Sanjana and Saaransh agreed to find their partners through a typical arranged marriage process. Their pictures were exchanged and it was their parents who played pivot roles in this process. They met each other for the first time at Sanjana’s house as ‘rishta’-proposal came from Saaransh’s family. Their meeting was a very formal one in the presence of all relatives from both sides. Like every other arranged marriage, they were given some time for interaction. In mere exchange of conversation, they felt a striking connection between the two and agreed to proceed further in this process of marriage.
After both of them gave green signal to their families to proceed in this matter, the family astrologer found out a suitable and auspicious date for engagement process by matching each other’s Kundli; birth chart, which was just a month away from their first meeting.
After their first meeting, Saaransh went back to his city to join his workplace while Sanjana got busy with the preparation of her final year semester which was the most important task in her list of priorities for her as it was just a week away. She kept herself immersed in the preparation process of end-semester exam and promised her mother to help her as soon as the exam got over. As Saaransh was staying at a faraway city, he had to join his workplace immediately as he was leading an important project.
Sanjana has always been an ideal daughter for her parents, a heart-throb for many boys of her school, college and a sincere student for her teachers. She was not just good at academics but possessed various qualities to enchant anyone. Fair look, beautiful radiant smile, slim built, limousine eyes constitute parts and parcel of her magnetic personality. As promised to her mother, she showed her active involvement in the preparation of the Engagement ceremony after her exam got over.
The day of engagement arrived as decided by the astrologer and all family members had gathered at a temple selected by both parents. Relatives of both parties were invited who arrived at the venue at the decided time. Sanjana got dressed up in a beautiful Silk Saree as selected by her mother and put a little make up to complement with her attire. Her ever green smile added volume to her confident persona. She was brimming with extraordinary satisfaction; a sense of satisfaction of witnessing her parent’s happiness.
As soon as she got down from the car at the venue, she saw Saaransh too getting down from his car. It was as if timing was well matched by the destiny, their eyes met for a moment and she could find Saaransh staring at her from the corner of his eye. They exchanged rings after the chant of certain Sanskrit shlokas and performed certain rituals which could not be deciphered by many at that moment. Everyone sprinkled petals of flowers over them as a mark of their blessings to start this beautiful bonding. Engagement process is analogous to the concept of couples proposing each other but in this case they barely knew each other or had spent any moment with each other. The feast began after the ceremony got over.
The photographer called them to the back side of the temple to pose for couple pics. It was when they got some personal time away from the crowd, after their first meet, to shed off some of their personal inhibitions. They weren’t comfortable in giving poses as they had not even interacted well with each other, so they just made it simple. Saaransh broke the ice by complementing her. After some brief interactions, before the photographer started bothering for subsequent pics, they exchanged their mobile numbers to stay in touch; after all officially they were fiancée. The astrologer selected the nearest Muhurt to be 2nd day of next month which was barely thirty five days away from their engagement but this time there were a lot of work and both parties agreed to it. All guests and relatives returned to their respective homes with a sense of satisfaction with the arrangement process, food, decoration and divine aura.
Again Saaransh returned to his workplace a day after his engagement. Just after two days, Sanjana received a ‘Hi’ message from Saaransh and their interaction started through messages. After few days, their chatting converted to phone calls .Sanjana was busy with the wedding preparation like shopping clothes, printing cards, negotiating with catering services, making a list of guests, inviting guests as well as helping her brother in academics. There was barely any moment of rest for her. Time was slipping away so fast.
Finally, the D-day arrived. Sanjana was feeling little anxious inside; a mixed feeling she was undergoing; excitement of embracing a new phase of life as well as going away from her own family was causing some emotional turbulence within her. Amidst all these feelings she tried to maintain that confident smile which she always carried.
Who knew that something like Corona will lock everyone inside their homes for such a long time!
After completing all rituals of marriage and a brief stay with her in-laws, Sanjana had to relocate with Saaransh to Pune where he was doing the job. It was just after few days of entering into a new city, Lockdown 1.0 was declared and it was urged for everyone to be quarantined. Everything was new for her, the city, this new phase of life, new terms like quarantine as well as breakthrough of this new disease called COVID-19.
Like every other girl, Sanjana too had weaved a lot of rosy dreams about her future partner. Even though she had never expressed it to anyone, she too had some expectations from her marriage and her future husband. Due to the fast paced occurrence of her marriage, she didn’t get much time to enjoy her courtship period with Saaransh. The videos of being proposed with a bouquet of multi-colored roses fascinated and excited her. She had downloaded some of those pictures in her mobile. She would often see those pictures and imagine herself to be one of those girls which filled her heart again with hopes for love. The declaration of Lockdown 1.0 made her happy secretly as she considered this as a golden chance to live her courtship period again. Was God really reading her mind and knowing about her secret desires that no one had known? Perhaps, yes! Lockdown felt like blessing to her and it was carrying forth a lot of surprises for her.
Slowly and steadily Sanjana got used to this new phase of life. She started to devote more time to her hobbies which she had forgotten to have existed because of academic commitments. She was now living and enjoying life like a child; singing, dancing, painting, reading and giving time to a newly found hobby; cooking. She was getting to know Saaransh better; his likes, dislikes etc. She found that Saaransh too was very supportive of her.
Months passed and the news of rising positive cases of Corona affected people intimidated her. She took all measures to keep her safe from this novel virus. Saaransh was also allowed to work-from-home due to the declaration of complete lockdown. She was missing her family and it was the first time in which she had been away from her family for such a long time. What could have been done in such a time of pandemic except for saving each other’s lives by adhering to safety rules?
It was a day before her birthday. She was missing her family and friends very badly. She was wondering how her birthday in lockdown would feel like. Just few minutes to her birthday, she was asked to come to the hall of their home where Saaransh had managed to decorate everything secretly. Her favourite chocolate flavoured cake with icing of multi-coloured rose was kept on the top of the table. She was overjoyed to witness all these. Before she picked the knife to cut the cake, Saaransh stopped her and started to do a conference call to her family, friends so that they could all be a part of this-virtual-lockdown-birthday. Lights were turned off, candles lit the room up. She picked the knife and started to cut the cake after blowing the candles, she felt something was obstructing the process of cutting. While she leaned forward to catch the culprit obstructing the process, she found out a small box. Saaransh quickly snatched the box from her hand and sat on his one leg, like a proposing pose, with a bouquet of multi-coloured roses, slid the ring into her finger and confessed that “We didn’t get much time to spend with each other after engagement, think this phase to be like a live-in-relationship. So, can I have the liberty to confess my live-in-partner my deepest feelings that I love her every moment since the time I saw her and always wanted to propose her like her dream proposal? Will you marry me again and be my wife forever?” All these felt like her dream coming true, something straight out of a fairy tale. She shyly said yes and everyone cheered them up in the virtual setting.
Lockdown gifted her best memories to cherish for lifetime as she had learned to enjoy life the way it came instead of complaining about the shortcomings. She now, believed that no dream has an expiry date and every dream comes true one day.