Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Arranged Vs Love Marriage - II

Re-birth is interesting.

Anjana was very nervous. This process of arranged marriage was turning out to be painful for her. It had been 2 years since her parents started searching for an alliance for her. It was always a case of so-near-yet-so-far. Initially she wasn't concerned when the first few alliances fizzled away. Over time the constant process of talking to boy's mom, then his father, exchanging photos, talking-to-the boy began to erode her confidence. Every time she'd go through the process and in the end something would not work out. She'd start all over again. This was turning out to be an extremely painful process. She began to wonder about her 'luck'. She discussed if she was a 'lucky' person or not. She had never done this before in her life. It was probably a sign of her weakening mental strength. She was extremely beautiful, well qualified and smart girl. It was a surprise to everybody that it wasn't working out for her.

She was supposed to meet this boy called Arun. He was a telecommunications guy in the US. His parents had called and spoke to her, she had 'chatted' with him in MSN, he called up and spoke to her. He was coming to Bombay (His parents lived there) for 15 days on a vacation. So she had to make trip to Mumbai from Madras to meet face-to-face with the boy. The boy and his parents came to visit her in her uncle's house in Mumbai. In the 90 minutes that she spoke to him, she found him slightly aggressive. He was less interested in learning about her than talking about himself. Since that was not a good reason to reject a boy - After all he was a good alliance - her father said "yes" (because she had said "yes") when he called the boy's house later in the evening. The boy wanted more time. Apparently he was meeting other girls too. A week of agonizing wait later, the boy communicated that he was not proceeding with the alliance.

When the family was plunged into this 'depression' came the alliance of Karthik. Karthik was also educated and working in the US. Given the pessimistic state of Anjana's family, they were surprised by the rate at which the proposal progressed. They couldn't believe if this could be true. In 4 days time the horoscope was matched, the boy's parents spoke over the phone to Anjana. She also had exchanged 3 mails with Karthik. With this alliance, Anjana somehow felt magic. Everything she expected in a boy was present in Karthik. Among the alliances that had come her way, Karthik's was the best. She had spoken to him a couple of times over the phone and couldn't believe they connected so well. He explained how he had come up in life the hard way and as to how he had supported himself and his family while studying. She was totally impressed. Was this too good to be true? He said "yes" over the phone itself. He wasn't particular on meeting her directly. She was even ready to say "yes" without meeting him. Something that was completely against her principles. Karthik's parents were in Coimbatore. Her father requested, her aunt to go and meet the parents. As a courtesy call.

Anjana picked up the phone. It was her aunt on the line from Coimbatore. She must have met Karthik's parents. Her aunt said something which left Anjana confused. "Karthiks father has this skin disease. He has it all over his body. I feel this could be hereditary disease. I have told you what I saw. It is upto to you to make the decision"

It was too good to be true.

Anjana couldn't believe this. She didn't say a word. Who would have thought? What a weird situation to face? Was there light at the end of the tunnel? Ever? Why were such strange things happening to her? After communicating with Karthik and making sure what the disease was, she talked to doctors to verify if this was hereditary. Hereditary/Inherited reasons was the cause of such a disease some of the times but not 100% of the time. Nobody could say if it will/will not pass on to the next generation with certainty. Basically it was going to be Anjana's decision. A decision nobody could help her with. What would she decide?

Her mother asked Anjana " He is your father-in-law, you must mentally be prepared to look at him and not feel wierd. He is your husband's father. When you have kids, he will touch them and carry them. You should not feel weird. You should not feel it could be contagious. What if the boy develops the same 10 years later? Are you prepared for all this?".

Anjana somehow felt right about this. She believed that this was for the good. Besides she hadn't connected with anybody like the way she connected with Karthik. She knew he was the one. She knew this was it. She asked for time to think. Karthik's parents were precious gems of people. They waited patiently. They promised that they would take care of Anjana like their own daughter (And in the long-run they did). Anjana wanted to marry karthik. Her parents were against the decision. Finally, Anjana's parents relented and the marriage happened. Karthik & Anjana walked into the sunset like the way John Wayne does in his movies. To her delight she found that Karthik was a genuinely good person. His parents were such wonderful people. It was so perfect. Her relatives and the society criticized her decision. They couldn't look at Karthik's father. How could the society shun them? She wasn't superficial. The society was superficial.

The Bloody society.

(To Be continued)

16 comments:

xyz said...

Bravo!

Totally did not expect you to take this line.

Very interesting! Very Tarantino

thennavan said...

Too good (not just the narrative but how it closely mimics life) :-)

Casement said...

You kept it true and simple! Love or arranged, it is just that one magical intuitive moment that counts...You've highlighted this similarity with subtlety. Waiting for the next part!:)

MBA Cutie said...

Hey! Looking forward to meeting you at Ross!

Ram said...

For a moment I thought my browser was playing tricks! I thought when I was reading the 2nd installment, it jumped to the end of the 1st instead of the 2nd.

I disagree with others above, though. It don't mimic life in general. It does for some, but for others, the story is scripted very differently.

Uma said...

ram,

you might be hawkeye's friend to express disagreement honestly. I appreciate it. But I disagree with you.

I have had up to 14 boys come and see me and go. It took 2 years for me to settle. This blog, especially the lines about "luck" and "confidence" cannot be more true.

You would understand it only if you or your sister had gone through the same thing. this blog is so true that I cant believe it is written by a male.

I am not a frequent commentor here but I read regularly. The paradox presented here in the two stories is simply excellent.

- Uma

MGalBlue said...

Hey ! Thanks for your comments on my blog and thanks for you offer of help. I will surely need some when I am at Ross. I am so looking fwd to it. Well see you at GBR in April.
Looks like you a great story teller.

Ram said...

Uma,

I have to go with your experience and applaud you for sharing it with us. I am sure that the ending is a happy one. All I tried to say was that this is not an accurate representation of arranged marriages at large.

I wish to clarify that I totally agree with Bharath's take on society. However, I do feel right to caution against generalization ;-)

Bharath... keep up the standard!

thennavan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
thennavan said...

Ram, I don't want to sound like I am entering into an online equivalent of fisticuffs with you :-) but I am someone who measures what I say and the reason I wrote those words "closely mimics life" is because I know exactly someone who could be the female equivalent of the protagonist here (whose father had Leukoderma due to which the very same words that were put forth by Bharath reg. the reservations about whether the disease will be passed on to the progeny and also about the grandfather cuddling the grandchildren with this condition were expressed in real life by people). So, I do speak for myself only :-) (and never thought my words were gospel that they could be taken for generalization ;-)).

Ram said...

Thennavan,

Yes I understand better. Thanks for the clarification and sorry for the misconception.

thennavan said...

Cool Ram, we are after all humans first and bloggers later. That is why I resent heavy-handedness by anyone over others since what everyone writes is based on their thinking process(es) and nobody has a right to sit in judgement over it, much less criticize it or jeer at it since nobody is perfect :-).

hamsini said...

Thumbs up!!!

Hawkeye said...

ram, thennavan, hamsini, uma, xyz, casement

thanks for visiting and commenting.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me so much of Sudha Moorthy's 'Mahashwetha'. Such marriages are successful till nothing unpleasant happens.... After all marriage is just a gamble!!

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