Arranged Marriage -A Boat Ride

Arranged Marriage -A Boat Ride

7 mins 9.7K 7 mins 9.7K

"I had dreams that were halted when I got married, at the age of 19. However, my husband from arranged marriage helped me not only fulfill my dreams but also gave me two sweet children. Today, I am a successful make-up artist. I always wanted to be that. If it was not for my husband, I would never have reached there. Read on to find out how this happened……………..

I was attending puja in my neighbor's house. Suddenly, I received a summon from my younger sister to come home at once because Amma (my mother), wanted me to fetch something for someone. I was not told the whole story until I returned. I was 19 and was the oldest among three sisters. I had already matured beyond my age. Sensing this, Amma had started looking for a suitable match for me. My sister was summoning me because my mother wanted me to make tea for Bhaskar's family. However, I was not told why Bhaskar's family was coming to our house. I presumed that he must be a friend of my father's and he must be coming to see him.

When I returned, Bhaskar's family had already arrived. Therefore, I was asked to slip in to the house from a back door. I did not quite get the reason for this, however, I obeyed. I quickly made tea and was going back to my neighbor's house, when my mother stopped me and asked me to get ready and take the tea to the drawing room, where my father was playing host to Bhaskar and his family. I asked my mother why and she told me that Bhaskar and his family had come to see me. I was annoyed that I was not given advance intimation of his visit. However, I got ready without much ado. I wore my favorite pink sari with my favorite green earrings and green bangles. My forehead carried a small bindi.

After drinking several cups of tea, Bhaskar and his family left. Within a week of their visit, my father received a phone call from the prospective groom himself. Bhaskar talked to my father with respect and told him that he had liked me and would like to marry me. The ring ceremony was held exactly one month after our first meeting and the marriage after three months. Exactly 90 days from our first meeting, I was married to him. When I started my new life in his little room, I faced many challenges. I did not know how to cook because I was never required to cook at my place.

My mother was always there to do the honors. However, since I liked fish and rice very much, I had learnt to cook them from my Nana (father). Bhaskar was 30 when we got married. He lived in a rented flat in Guwahati. It resembled a storeroom in my house. My Nana was a government employee and all my life, I had lived in a B grade quarter at Digboi, Assam. We never had a power cut or a shortage of water. In addition, our house had three bedrooms, a spacious backyard and a kitchen. Here, Bhaskar lived in a single room where he shared a common bathroom with a couple of other tenants.

There was a stove in one corner of the room. The government water supply used to come twice daily and at the beginning I used to miss those timings since I was not used to that routine. The long power cuts frightened me. At such times, I used to cry and think where I had landed. Sometimes, I would wake up at night thinking that this marriage was a dream, which would break at dawn. However, that was not to be. I started missing the comforts of my home and got agitated at my Nana and Amma for getting me married here. I started throwing tantrums.

Surprisingly, Bhaskar always behaved like a grown up and instead of getting angry at me, he would say, "I am extremely sorry Pragati, for not being able to give you the same comforts that you enjoyed in your house. However, I promise that I will try my best to make you happy. His determined smile, the maturity in his voice and his reaction to my tantrums always silenced me. Whenever, I threw tantrums, he would say the above words and silence me. His patience and determination compelled me to trust him. I decided to bear everything, in the hope that things would improve soon. I was surprised that this "soon" came just six months after marriage.

Bhaskar's family was well to do. However, he used to live separately from his family because of his job. This was more of a bachelor pad. Moreover, I came to know that he wanted to be independent and therefore had refused help from his father. This made me feel very proud of him. His reaction to my tantrums made me respect him more. He understood my situation well and was there to help me. He was always there to bail me out of trouble whenever I faced challenges in my new home. He started by helping me do the household chores. He started getting up early in the morning to fetch water.

I took this positively. Eventually, we both grew up. He understood that I was afraid of darkness and he came home before the evening power cuts started so that during that time, we could sit together to have our tea and chat about our day. Then we got together to make dinner. We both lacked culinary skills, but each of us had learnt to cook one dish, which each of us liked very much. We cooked whenever we had time. When we did not have time, we would go for night outs. Our weekends were always spent outside the house. We would visit the nearby spots, take bike rides and spend long evenings sitting on the banks of the Brahmaputra River.

Slowly, we grew to be best friends. Friends who understand each other. Friends who stand with each other in troubled times. After spending one year of our marriage like this, we shifted to a one-BHK home. Bhaskar had got a promotion and we rented a flat. From here on, things changed. We acquired the comforts that Bhaskar had promised to get me. I began to trust that Bhaskar could do anything for our family and me. We spent 16 years like this. During this time, we had two children, a boy and a girl. The girl is in Class 10 today, while the boy in Class 5. Bhaskar found out that I nursed dreams of becoming a make-up artist.

He encouraged me to take training courses in make-up. I am finally happy that the dreams I had seen for myself before marriage were finally coming true. Bhaskar is a happy-go-lucky chap and has minimal needs. Moreover, he does not think twice before doing anything for his family. He has always encouraged me to push my boundaries and fulfill my dreams. He is the one person to whom I can go when things go wrong in my life. He will hold me in his arms and repeat the same words he used to speak when we were just married……." I promise that I will try my best to make you happy."

He had unknowingly done much more than that. He had given me two sweet kids, encouraged me to pursue my dream of becoming a make-up artist and live an independent life. He had proved true the lines my Amma used to say, whenever I would tell her that I liked her pairing with Nana. My parents had spent many eventful years together. Whenever, I asked her secret to their happy marriage, my Amma would tell me these words:

"Marriage is like a boat being rowed by two people who always sit on the opposite sides. They can reach the bank safely if one compromises and has full faith on the other who is going to take the lead in navigating the boat in rough waters. Sometimes, it can be towards the feminine side and at other times, towards the masculine side. They should have belief in each other that they can surpass the huge tides and reach the shore together by not letting their egos clash."

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