My neighbor is also my very good friend. About five years senior to me, she comes from a more conservative background than mine, and we both have swapped many a tale from our growing years. Even in our current situation we find ourselves doing the same thing in two different ways, just because of our approach is so different. One of the subjects we exchange notes are our marriages and spouse. She had a traditional arranged match. I had a marriage by choice, with the blessings of both sets of parents. Recently I had a minor disagreement with my husband and was narrating the incident to my friend. She commented that she never thought that people in ‘love marriages’ also argued. I burst out laughing and told her that the paths to the mandap in an arranged marriage and a love marriage were different, but after that the stories were the same.
It got me thinking on how I had met my husband. These are situations which make you want to believe in the theory of destiny. He had trained to be a pilot but luck had other things in store for him and he had to give up that dream when he met with an accident. Taking up the offer of a friend in Mumbai, he shifted here to make a fresh start. Till that day he had never stepped into this city. He got a job very soon after he came here.
At this time I was an under-graduate student and had lived all my life in Mumbai. The chances of our path crossing was remote as his work place was in a different part of the city and my college was in the suburbs. I walked to college and so that cut out the chance meeting on a train or a bus. And yet we met. And the way we met makes me believe even after 25 years since the day has passed that we both were meant to be there on that day and that time.
My husband’s colleague had some official work with my father who ran his office from our home. That particular day when he was supposed to meet my father, my to be husband happened to be free and offered to accompany him to seal the deal. That’s how he reached my home.
I was in my final year of college and generally got home around 1 pm , but that day a couple of lectures got cancelled and I reached home at 11.30. That is how I happened to be home when he came home. Neither of us were supposed to be there on that day at that spot but yet we were there. And it was me who answered the door that afternoon. And we both immediately felt a connect.
He asked me out within a month and proposed to me soon after. The optimism and to a certain extent, naivety of youth was probably the force which propelled us through the first few years. While both sets of parents were not too keen initially, we eventually convinced them and got married. The first five years of our married life was certainly not a cake walk. We both had to work hard to come up from scratch and while we managed quite well financially, we rarely had money to add frills to our life.
What I have learnt in over two decades of marriage is that this is one relationship which one cannot let be for it to survive. We are bound and bonded with our parents, siblings and children through bonds of blood. A marriage is a relationship we forge with full consciousness and choice. It needs constant nurturing. The years spent with my spouse have been smattered with good and bad. We have weathered many a storm. But then we have also had some beautiful moments and created umpteen memories.We have two beautiful children and a home which is haven for all of us.
There have been instances when I have almost thrown in the towel but it is the memory of the day we met and more importantly how we met that has reconnected me to the magic of us. And that’s the main factor which has stopped me from throwing it all away.