After I registered with the site, I sent off mails to people whose profiles I felt loosely fitted my idea of my future partner. Of the people I mailed, Rajesh was the last to respond after almost a month. And at that point I never even dreamt that it was one mail that was going to change my life or that it was from the person who would finally steal my heart. But after a couple of mails I felt something different about him. He was not like usual guys who look at the physical beauty first and then check if the rest matches. Communication for me is the most important aspect of a relationship and without good communication I do not think any relationship can sustain much. So we decided at the onset that we will not exchange snaps till we got to know each other better and felt everything else was to our liking. Unless you go in for an arranged marriage it is very rare that one doesn’t see the face to decide the fate. But then we felt seeing each other’s snap before we got along will only prejudice our judgment. After three months of chats and emails we fell in love and only after that did we exchanged our snaps. The best thing was by then it really didn’t matter how the other one looked. Now looking back at that decision I am really proud of myself for being that strong a person. Recently I heard someone say love is blind only when people see the outer beauty and fall for that before looking on the inside and I can’t agree more with the person since I feel outside beauty only will last you some years but the inner one is what you will be left with for the rest of your lives.
Anyway when we did see each other’s snaps it only made us like each other more and so at this point we brought our parents into the picture and “arranged” for our marriage. Everything just fell into place. It was however decided since he couldn’t make two trips before the wedding we would see each other face to face only two days before the wedding. This was one decision which was sort of alien to all the people we know and for some women folks it was a romantic thing to happen. Everyone advised my parents against it since they were going to give away their only daughter to a guy they had never laid an eye on. His family teased me at my choice since all his family and friends and some relatives got to see me before he did! There were so many people who thought we were making a big mistake by getting into marriage this way. Here I will have to say hats off to my parents for having the faith in my decision and being strong.
When I went to pick him up at the airport with my brother, inspite of the huge crowd outside the airport and the distance I knew it was he for my heart gave a skip. And there was such a big smile on my face. I couldn’t really believe it was my future walking towards me. My family interacted with him like they have known him for ages. At no point there was any feeling for any of us that this was the first time we met face to face. It was very important for me from the beginning that the guy I should marry should be at home in my family and vice versa. So when I did see this happening it was one of my happiest moments.
Finally the D-Day arrived and it was very different experience for people who came for our marriage, they felt they had not seen a wedding like ours since throughout the ceremonies instead of being sober, like people usually are in our orthodox state. We were talking dime a dozen and laughing during the most pious ceremonies and a lot of people wanted to know what we could think of joking about during the ceremony. Now six wonderful years and a lovely daughter later what started as a virtual experiment of our “love cum arranged” marriage can be termed as a very happy and successful marriage.
p.s.: a shorter version of this article was published in Gulf News Tabloid on 14th Feb 2007 in its valentine special.
* 4 2 ka 1 Love story - because I got married on 4th Feb 2001