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Not just Arrange Marriage….

PRESENT DAY – October 2011

It was the celebration at my home where all my friends gathered after a long time. I was overwhelmed seeing my old friends after a long time. It seems like a decade has passed since we all met.

“Hey Jay congrats for your marriage” Friends complimented me.

This party was thrown for those friends who were not able to attend the marriage function.

“Hey thanks all. Enjoy the party guys!” I replied.

“But where is the bride. There is no way of enjoying without ‘bhabhi’. Please Jay call her.” All enquired.

“She is not here right now. We have a so called ‘ceremony’ in which the couple goes to bride’s home the very next day of the marriage. I returned after the ceremony for all you guys, but she stayed there. She has departed today from her home and may be coming within an hour.”

“That’s nice  … tell her we are waiting. This party is of no use without her.” They replied.

“Hey Jay you once told me that yours is a love marriage.” Harsh, one of my best friends asked.

“No No it was an arranged one. Well there is a long story behind that. ”

“So why not you tell us the that story till ‘bhabhi’ comes? ”Harsh requested. His eyebrows up when pleading.

“No I think it will not be interesting for you all.” I refused and turned towards the drinks stall.

“Come on Jay. Please start.” Harsh continued. He followed me to the stall.

“Please Jay. Don’t make us all leave before meeting bhabhi. Please start we are waiting.” All sang in a similar tone.

Soon they scattered to bring the chairs from the corners and from wherever they can find them. All prepared themselves for the show.

“Hey all don’t look at me like this. I am not going to tell the story.”

There was a long silence before I decided to tell the story finally.

“Okay friends its just for your sake.”

“It started around a year ago when I met her. No actually I didn’t met her.”

Here I go…….

1 YEAR AGO – October 2010

SCENE 1: The BLUE café , 4.00 pm

The waiter served the coffee and left the room. I thought its better me to start first.

It was 4.00 pm. I want to enjoy the weather outside.. Why am I sitting in a restaurant with dim lights just to see a girl for an arranged marriage?

Her looks were graceful. Decorated with a blue sari, sparkling bangles and open hair, she was looking like a perfect life partner. She appeared to me like a princess on earth. But there was little certainty in my mind whether she is the right partner I was looking for.

So I started first. “So are you feeling comfortable Ms. Tanya?”

“Yes I am comfortable”

“So how do we start?”

“We can ask questions to each other. And we both have to answer each question, either I had put up, or you…” She replied.

I was pushed for a meeting for an arranged marriage in which I don’t believe. I don’t know why I was wasting my weekend in a task that I am not interested in, but for the sake of my parents I agreed for the meet.

“So tell me Ms. Tanya why you have chosen marketing? Usually it’s a man’s job…”

“I was interested in marketing right from the time I passed out from my school. And Mr. Jayawardhan, I think living to your dreams is the best you can achieve in your life.”

“You are right. And as you already know I am a Software Engineer and I am also living to my dreams.”

Errrrh It is boring to discuss more about our jobs, let’s move to the main questions.

“So mr Jayawardhan do you believe in arranged marriages??”

Whats the point of this question, don’t you see that we are here for the same. I don’t want to tell truth so I just replied the opposite.

“yes I totally believe in arranged marriages. 90% arranged marriages are successful in india. And what do you think …?” I replied sarcastically.

Clearly seen she was thinking deeply as if she is preparing some sentences in her mind.

“Hmm Mr Jayawardhan you will get answer of your question soon….” Her voice created mystery.

Now I believe, every woman is a myth; we can’t judge what they are thinking… ufff. Now it was my turn to ask.

“So what type of person are you looking for as a perfect partner??”

“Why you want to know this, so that you can prove yourself according to my thinking..? ” she replied.

Had I asked the wrong question… naah… she is wrong…. I concluded her harsh personality.

“I was just asking this question as a part of the meeting. I should know what the image of your dream man is, but if you don’t want to answer it’s ok.”

“Mr. Jayawardhan I am a reserved kind of person and I believe in testing a person before starting my new life with him. So don’t mind. Now I must ask you an important question.”

Now it’s the chance, I can make myself appear negative in front of her so that this arranged marriage could stop here only. But what I am doing, I had promised my mom, I must be loyal to her.

“Do you drink, and smoke??” her eyes big and eyebrows curled.

“No I have never touched both of these sins in my life. What about you? ”

There is no point of asking the same to her. Girls usually don’t smoke and drink.

“What are you saying.. You haven’t even touched. Strange.” She replied. Her eyes grew in astonishment.

She continued.. ”Not drinking but I smoke occasionally… I hope you haven’t any problem with this.”

What the hell , with whom I am sitting with… why I am wasting my time.. God save me.. errh!! I want to end the conversation now!! Now I was speechless. Now how should I react on this question?

“It’s okay with me to smoke occasionally.”

I don’t want my kids to learn smoking from their mother at least… J

There was a big NO in my mind for this lady. But let the conversation be complete, I can’t stop it here.. I remembered my promise to my mom..

Tannu was much better than this girl. Oops… I forgot to tell about Tannu. She is a good friend of mine. She is simple but stylish, quiet but talkative, tradition loving but modern. She is the angel of my dreams. I somehow returned back from my dreams and ask her the next question.

“Do you like movies..?” I asked the next question.

“Yes I love movies… Tom Cruise, Bruce Wills, Samuel Jackson and Gerald Butler are my favorite actors. I hate Bollywood movies, all are the same. What about you ..?”

“I don’t like Hollywood movies. I watch bollywood masala films. I am a die hart fan of Shahrukh and Hrithik. It’s not like that I hate Hollywood movies, I have seen Titanic.” I replied in a priding tone.

That’s again a mismatch, she don’t like bollywood movies… Tannu is a big fan of king khan. For Shahrukh movie its first day first show for her.

“What about music Mr. Jayawardhan. I like rock and pop music. Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Shakira are my favorites. ”

Yes that’s what I expected. I can’t expect from a girl who watch only Hollywood movies, to listen Mohammad Rafi’s songs. Tannu’s favorite singer is Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar of oldies and Shreya Ghoshal in newbie’s.

“That’s cool. I have also heard to these singers, but I like A.R Rehman, the great musician.”

“Do you consider yourself religious?” I wanted to know the answer of this question let’s see what she has in her bags now.

“I think I am religious.” She replied.

Now I was happy. At least here we match. She agreed that she is in a relationship with god.

Lifting the cup of coffee from the table she added “I think I am religious because my parents are religious, they go to church every morning. They told me several times to come and join them in church, but who likes to wake up early from bed and go to church, after attending late night parties.” Her face grew big in pride.

What the hell, she goes to late night parties…. I can’t tolerate more… she is just opposite to Tannu who is just like me. Tannu is a cultured girl. Her gentle, caring and polite nature makes a special place for her in my heart.

“Do you go late night parties every day?” I interrogated.

“No it’s also occasionally like smoking. Don’t you love parties?” She replied.

“No No I also love parties… but not prefer late night parties.”

Huh… She is disaster, late night parties is just a awkward hobby for me. Comparing with Tannu she is again opposite. She is a family girl; don’t go outside without the permission of her elders. I just love that decent quality.

It was her turn to ask the question, but I interrupted in between.

“An important question from my side, have you ever been in any relationship?” I asked.

“Yes I was in a relationship with my best friend in my office, after my 2 year relationship with a good friend in college ended. I think that I must tell you everything before marriage. Listen you are a modern guy and I hope you don’t have any problem with my past. I also don’t bother about your any past relationships.”

But I bother madam. I am a simple guy, I don’t think that time pass relationships is a trend in modern culture. Tannu is a decent and cultured girl and I am sure a girl who always obeys her parents can never be in any relationship. It’s high time now. Let’s stop all these nonsense. But before I say adieu she added something.

She added, “This was about me, now I don’t bother about your personal life but still tell me your past relationships if any.”

I don’t know why but I was happy to answer this question now.

“No Ms Tanya I have never been in any relationship. But now I feel that I am in a relationship.”

“What do you mean… with whom?” she enquired.

“With a friend of mine”

I am now talking about Tannu. I don’t want to expose anybody’s name in front of a stranger and also when I haven’t even proposed her. So it’s better not to tell her name.

“I have never seen her before but her inner beauty makes her the most beautiful girl on the earth. Her polite voice makes her a pure soul for me. Her way of talking and managing everything makes her the most intelligent girl in the world.”

“What  … You’ve never seen her before, so how do you know about her?”

“We usually talk on phone. She is like my phone friend. It’s the inner qualities of a person that makes you fall in love. You may be the most beautiful girl, but not as beautiful from inside as the girl in my mind. You may be true to your words every time but not PURE as she is. You may be the most adorable girl, but not know the real meaning of love as she does.”

“You are the perfect person in terms of making and maintaining relationships, I have ever met in my life” Tanya reacted.

“Thanks for the complement. And now I want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to you.”

“For what …”

“For making me realize what is love…..”

Now I was satisfied. I achieved what I wanted.

“So have you proposed her ..?” she asks curiously.

“Still I was not aware that I was in love, but you made me realize that just by knowing her qualities one can fall in love. You are beautiful; you can get any charming personality. But my dream girl is more beautiful than you. I will accept her in any case, outer beauty doesn’t matters, and it’s the inner purity that matters for me.”

“So what should I tell my parents about the result of our meeting” she asked.

My mind and heart concluded that she was not the right life partner I was looking for. Now it’s the time to stop, I can’t wait more. I stood up.

“As you know nothing between us is similar. If I agree, I will not live a happy life and thus my parents will not be happy. So it’s better to end the conversation here.” I reacted.

I should leave now, I have to talk to her, yes my dream girl – Tannu. I will tell her my feelings for her.

She also stood up and said “Ok Mr Jayavardhan I have no problem. Lastly as a friend want to say something. I will never forgive you if you further delay in telling your beloved person what’s in your heart. People, who are loved, deserve to know that they are loved. If you really love someone, don’t ever miss a chance to express it because ‘Hearts are broken when words are left unspoken’.”

Appreciating what she said, I left the place in gesture. I started my car. Drove like a racer. I couldn’t wait I have to reach home before 7 pm, the time when I usually talk with Tannu. This call was not going to be as usual but was special as I was going to propose her.


SCENE 2: Jayavardhan’s (Jay) Home:

“Hi Tannu.”

“Hey, Jay how are you?”

“I am fine. You tell.”

“I am also fine.”

I was now nervous. Usually I talk to her like a friend, but now words were not coming out. After a pause I started the talk.

“So how was your day?”

“It was awesome. And yours?”

“It was also good. I called you to tell you something.”

“I also have something to tell you friend. But let’s start with you.” She replied.

“No. You start. After all ladies should be first.”

“Okay fine. I will start. Mine is a serious topic. ”

I took a deep breath. As she will continue her talk I thought I got some time for that golden moment.

“Yes Tannu, what happened ?” I replied in astonishing tone.

“I am getting married soon.”

Oh god. I got fainted for a moment. It was like the all natural disasters came together on earth. But I stay calm and replied her in controllable tone.

“That’s good news. When is the ceremony?”

“Actually I don’t mean that way, but it’s going to be fixed soon. My parents are in a hurry. They want me to start meeting guys.”

I took a long breadth again. Thank god it’s yet to be fixed.

“What were you going to tell me Jay?” she asked.

“I had attended a girl for arrange marriage proposal today. Forget that; I want to tell you something more important.”

I have to tell her now or never. But I don’t know where my courage was gone. Now it’s the time to say the real thing, those three beautiful words. I don’t care what would happen. I took a long breadth and started, just then she interrupted.

“Hey Jay I have to go now my mom is calling.” She uttered instantaneously.

“Wait Tannu I want to meet you. We are talking on phone since many months. Now can we meet? I will continue the rest of the story about my arrange marriage when we meet.”

“We will surely continue our stories as I have also something to tell you, but now I have to go.” She replied.

Damn! I will not be able to sleep now. She was about to leave along with my hope. An idea got struck in my mind.

“Tannu can we do one thing. We will write our stories that we want to tell each other on a piece of paper and will exchange tomorrow, when we meet.”

“Yes it’s a very good idea. We can meet tomorrow. Can we meet at BLUE café…?” She suggested.

“Yes it’s the best meeting place. But how do we recognize each other?” I curiously said.

“Yes this is an important question. I will come in blue sari.”

“Okay I will also wear blue shirt.”

“Okay we will meet up then. Till then … bye.” She said before hanging up the phone.

SCENE 3 : The BLUE café. 4 pm.

When I reach the café, I remembered my meeting episode when I met Ms. Tanya at the same place for arrange marriage proposal. I stopped that movie instantly and started dreaming about Tannu, how she look actually. Finally after a long time I was going to meet Tannu, I will surely tell her my feelings for her. I am sure she can’t say NO! 30 minutes passed. I should call her now.

“Hi Tannu.”

“Hi Jay. Where are you?”

“I am on table no.2.” I replied.

“So u are at table no.2. I am at no.3. I am just able to see your back. Please turn around.” She replied.

Now that’s the excitement along with nervousness. A movie was playing in my subconscious mind. When we first started to talk each other as strangers; how we became friends; how we discussed our likes and dislikes; how she begin to tell me her everyday moments; how I started to love her. The whole past was playing in my mind like a movie. I turned around.

It was a heaven like feeling for me. Blue sari, sparkling bangles, open hair. She was looking like an angel. That princess was mine, only mine…

Just when I was completely lost in her looks, there was a sharp and loud sound passed my ears like a sound of a tight slap. Soon I realized that somebody has slapped me.

The movie immediately stopped in my mind. Ohh… she was Ms. Tanya, yes the girl I met for arrange marriage.

“Hey Ms. Tanya how are you… but…. But why you slapped me.” I rouse in anger.

“Nice meeting you Mr. Jayavardhan. I am Tanya, you can call me Tannu.” she replied in an aggressive tone.

Ohh… she is Tannu… my Tannu. No she is that harsh, non cultured and irritating girl Tanya. No sorry she is my tannu my phone friend. No damn she is Tanya. Ohh gods save me… I slapped myself to come out of my dream. But alas! It was a reality, a bitter reality.

“The slap was to pull you from your dream to the reality.” She said in a soft tone.

“In fact I am very happy that I met you again. I am very glad that you are Jay or Jayawardhan. And before you bring a negative thought about me when we met at the same place yesterday, I must tell you something. Please forget that evening. I just want to say that….”

I interrupted..

“Shut up. I don’t want to listen anything about you. I know you, your behavior, and your character. That day I was silent but now I should speak. You are not my type. And if you feel that I am your friend, you are wrong. I ‘was’ your friend. And now please forget me, and don’t ever try to call me. I promise that I will not disturb you now onwards, I will not call you, and I will not meet you.”

“But Jay… please listen…”

PRESENT DAY – October 2011

“Just after that conversation I left that place. That day I didn’t sleep not because Tanya was my Tannu, but because she changed her appearance while talking on phone. She masked her arrogant character with a soft tone that I didn’t understood. How fool I was.”

Everybody was silent…….

The environment was totally silent. It was like the time was stopped for a while. One can’t imagine that this could happen.

“Earlier I was in dilemma about this type of relationship via phone, but now I have realized that I was wrong. One can’t predict anyone’s character, way of talking and demeanor by just talking on phone.” I told this to everyone like a fact.

Soon the silence breaks.

“Hi everyone!!”

A soft gentle voice diverted everyone’s attention. A charming lady came and stood beside me. Yes she was my wife, my sweetheart.

“Hey Jay, she must be your wife.” Harsh, my best friend in my college curiously asked.

“Yes guys. Meet Mrs. Akansha. God showed his blessing to me and gave the most adorable lady on earth. My angel, my princess.. my everything… my life… my wife.”

Soon everyone greeted her and congratulated her for the marriage. Soon the environment was refreshed and everyone forgot the story I was narrating.

“Now it’s the time to show you all my marriage snaps. Let’s start the presentation.” I announced.

Soon the presentation started with the wedding location, date, time and the wedding couple description. Soon it showed the glimpse of wedding invitation card, the gifts and the decoration of the home before actual snaps started.

“Wait… Stop.” One of my friends, among the audiences of my love story interrupted.

“Please rewind back to show the wedding card.” He continued.

“Is this my vision blindness or the computer error that I am seeing the bride name as ‘Tanya’?” he added.

“No my friend it’s real. This is my real wedding card.  Its showing ‘Jayawardhan weds Tanya’”

One by one all asked similar question…

“So how…”

“How come..”

“Okay she may be Tanya… But not your tannu.. Am I right?”

“You told us her name is Akansha..”

“Silence dear friends…. Silence… I have something to tell you…” I interrupted before the crowd’s questionnaires begin to trouble me.

The presentation was in pause mode when I continued.

“Yes you all are correct. She is Tanya or Tannu… my Tannu.”

“Akansha is her new name given by my parents as per rituals.” I added.

“I realized that this type of relationship can never go fruitful and would end soon. So I promised myself not to talk to Tannu from that day onwards as she was not my dream girl, she was all fake. But a small thing changed my feelings, changed my belief. You all remember, we promised to write our left conversation on phone on a piece of paper and exchange when we meet. We got separated but our words can’t. Our words were exchanged. It’s like god wanted us to exchange our slips. He is almighty, without that magic moment that god created in which we accidently exchanged our slips, I would not have been the same Jay in front of you.”

Soon Tanya busted into tears remembering our whole story.

I immediately hugged her.

“These tears are for you hubby. You once again realized me that how important I am for you and you are for me. You once again remembered me the moment that god created so that we met again after that meeting in blue café and promised to love me more than your own soul for the rest of my life.” She told. Her eyes still wet.

“You were right Jay. Yours was Not Just Arrange Marriage” All friends joined.

“But one question remains unanswered Jay. How your misunderstanding turned to understanding? Was that piece of paper enough to tie the holy bond between you two souls?” Harsh asked.

“Yes that piece of paper cured our wounds. We first met as Jayawardhan and Tanya. But this slip describes the love between Jay and Tannu. Here is a glimpse of that paper.”

I hit the ‘play’ button on the PC which was earlier paused on our wedding card. It goes on to show our love story, and ended into a message from Jay and Tannu. These messages were the real slips which were exchanged at the time when we both met after our phone conversation. The slips described…

To Tannu…

Hi tannu I don’t know how you goanna react after reading this but this letter is all about my heart want to say.

Yesterday I met a girl for arrange marriage which I don’t believe in. She may be beautiful, charming and a perfect partner, but can’t be sweet, pure and good at heart as you are. Its only yesterday I realized that you are an important part of my life. My physical presence was at the café with that beautiful girl but mentally I was with you. And then I decided to propose you on phone only. But that didn’t happened.

Since you hanged your phone yesterday after the conversation, I am feeling nervous. I never thought that you will grasp a major portion of my heart with your voice, your purity, your fragrance that I feel every time I talked you on phone.

I don’t know who you are what your background is and in fact I don’t want to know. I just know your heart and it’s the purest part I can ever imagine.

I love the girl who bought colors in my life; I love the girl who melted my heart with her fragrance of purity; I love the girl who stood beside me whenever I was in problem; I love YOU.

Will you be my angel for the rest of my life…

Yours and always be yours,

Jay

To Jay…

Hi Jay. I never thought I could ever say this to you. But when you suggested that we should write our stories and exchange when we meet, I thought it’s the best chance for me to keep my feelings in front of you.

Yesterday I met a boy for marriage proposal. My heart rejected that proposal. So I planned to appear fake in front of him. I told him that I drink; I attend late night parties; I am not religious; I am in a relationship; in fact I just showed my character just opposite to what I am.

I don’t remember when my liking grew for you and how you became an important part in my life. I don’t know who you are what your background is and in fact I don’t want to know. I just know your heart and it’s the purest part I can ever imagine.

I love the boy who bought colors in my life; I love the boy who always supported me; I love the boy who stood beside me whenever I faced any problem; I love YOU.

Will you be my partner for the rest of my life…

Yours and always yours,

Tannu

P.S:

Marriage is a promise. Not just between the souls but between the two hearts and that’s already been made at heaven.

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

Composed by Alok Kundnani
(C) Alok Kundnani 2011.

       

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