Only From My Side
Only From My Side8 mins 9.2K 8 mins 9.2K
On my mother’s insistence, I visited the marriage bureau’s office along with her one day. Despite my lack of interest, my mother was keen on getting me married by the end of this year. My only serious relationship after college had ended on a sour note after 8 long years. Arranged marriage seemed a much simpler option, as I didn’t have a choice. I met a few girls in the past but nothing seemed to work out. I was almost on the verge of giving up on finding true love. My mother always said, “ Love happens in the most unlikeliest of all places.” I would just laugh at her statement, not wanting to dampen her spirits of finding the perfect daughter-in-law. I never craved for perfection. All I wanted was good companionship.
In the office, I allowed my mother to do all the talking while my mind wondered on ways to get out of the place as soon as possible. After filling up the form giving out the necessary details, the concerned person gave us a large album consisting of pictures and bio-data of educated and unmarried girls. My mother frantically turned the pages, desperately trying to find the best match for her only son. Even though I barely looked at the album with attention or interest, my eyes were instantly attracted to the picture of a girl dressed in a dark blue and green dress. My mother had chosen to ignore her, as she felt that the girl was a bit overweight but I was drawn to her simplicity and smile.
She seemed fresh and natural, without a slightest layer of make-up. Even without it, she was beautiful in her own way and my lips couldn’t stop themselves from letting out a huge smile as I stared at her picture. My mom inquired about the girls she felt suited my personality. To her surprise, I immediately expressed my desire to meet this particular girl and no other girl. She kept on turning the pages, trying her best to convince me to change my mind. But me and my heart refused to listen. Even then, she noted the contact details of the other girls first and only after much coaxing and forcing did she ask for the details of the girl I liked.
Maybe she didn’t want to create a scene in the office and reluctantly agreed. Back at home, we had a bit of argument as well. She just couldn’t understand why I was being so gung ho about a random girl whom I hadn’t even met when I had better girls for choice. Frankly, I really don’t know why I was so keen. She seemed genuine and honest in her pictures. But photos can always be deceptive. Luckily, Dad supported me and we managed to convince my Mom somehow.
On meeting Sania, I felt that she looked prettier in person compared to her pictures. She spoke less, but sense. I asked her a few work-related and general questions and she answered them with sincerity. Strangely, she had nothing to ask me even though I tried my best to tell everything about myself. At home, I couldn’t get her off my mind. Spending a few minutes with her created certain kind of strange positive vibes which were difficult to forget. I knew I had to meet her again. Love certainly was in the air for me but would she even be interested? Since I was an average looking guy and she an extremely beautiful girl. Her extra kilos didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I felt her chubby cheeks made her look more cuter.
Luckily, Mom changed her mind on meeting Sania and the three of us shared a positive approach towards her. I met her a couple of times. Every minute I spent with her convinced me that she was the one. She was a bit shy and timid in the beginning but later onwards started opening up. It’s really strange, the effect she had on me was enchanting. Honestly, I was crazy about her. Her picture had won me over and meeting her had just clarified the little doubts I had in mind. Her beautiful smile, her sincerity and her simplicity were everything I had always craved for. The more time I spent with her, I was convinced of my future with her.
Even though I was clear about my feelings from day one, I never really knew how Sania felt. She wasn’t quite good at expressing herself either and often left me confused. My happiness knew no bounds on the day both set of parents mutually decided the wedding venue and date. While I couldn’t control my excitement, she seemed a bit distraught to me. I asked her a couple of times but she never said a thing. The entire time me and my family were at her home, she stayed aloof. Maybe she wasn’t happy with the date we had decided or something else was bothering her. Maybe she was unhappy about leaving her own home and moving in another family. I couldn’t figure out.
Sania apologized to me the next day over the phone. Her voice seemed genuine but somehow I couldn’t trust her words. She was definitely hiding something and I could make out that she wasn’t happy about the wedding. I hoped from the bottom of my heart that her concerns were wedding related and not about me in particular. Not much of a speaker from the start, she became quieter day by day. Something was definitely amiss. If only she would speak up, I would at least know her true feelings. A few days passed in confusion and despair till one day she decided to show up outside my office without prior notice. I was about to go on a lunch break with my friends and had to cancel plans at the last moment.
Even though Sania looked perplexed, I couldn’t help myself from admiring her beauty. She must have seen me staring at her for more than a minute perhaps, and she smiled a little.
“ You’re looking really nice today.” On hearing her words, I became even more cautious. It was the first time she had praised me. Maybe she wants to break up with me and actually wants to say, ‘ Sorry dude. You are good but not good enough for me.’ I did nothing but nod my head in confusion. She wasn’t just here for some random small talk. She definitely had an ulterior motive.
“ There’s something I wanted to say…….”
“ I love you.” I cut her in between as I felt I would not get a chance later. My sudden confession left Sania stunned. She looked at me and then looked at the other respective tables. She surely didn’t know how to respond to this sudden outburst of emotions and spoke after what seemed like years to me.
“ I am sorry, Sanket. But I don’t love you.” Those words hurt worse than a bee stung. I appreciated her honesty, but I thought she could have just said it a bit nicely.
“ Who is it that you love then?” I tried to be as direct as possible as there was no need to beat around the bush now. Sania was here to call off our wedding and there was nothing I could do about it.
“ There was someone. Even though he never loved me back, it took me a long time to move on from him. He got married last year.” A tear fell from her right eye and she didn’t face me while speaking. It was actually a relief to discover that she didn’t have a boyfriend at present. But it didn’t mean that the coast was clear.
“ If it makes you feel any better, I was in a serious relationship for a long time. And it didn’t end well. Some people have a limited purpose in our life. Some teach us, some make us laugh while some make us cry. We really can’t help who stays in our life and who doesn’t.” I placed my hand on hers, trying to assure her. I thought that she would take her hand away, but she didn’t.
Sania looked into my eyes with a worried expression on her face. “ Why are you telling me all of this?” I didn’t know whether I should laugh or cry at her question. She was the one who started the topic first.
“ I really don’t know. Now that you have told me about your past, I would like to know where this takes us. What do you want to do?” I knew what I wanted but that wasn’t my main priority right now. I wanted her to be happy even though I wasn’t.
“ My parents don’t know about it. You are the first and the last person who will ever know about my one sided love. I didn’t want to hide anything from you before we get married. It was actually killing me from inside. I felt as if I was betraying you. I really like you, Sanket. But there’s a huge difference between liking someone and loving someone. Will you be able to give me some time, if, we, do get married? That is, if you want to marry me.” Sania kept a straight face as she spoke the last sentence.
Her rhetorical question amused me to such an extent that my anxiety and nervousness faded. I let out a smile and pressed her hand which was still placed underneath mine.
“ It’s not about me. It’s about you. I am dying to marry you! Ours is an arranged marriage, Sania. We still have a lot to know about each other. As far as time is concerned, we both have all the time in the world. So that shouldn’t be an issue, I suppose.”
Sania’s beautiful smile returned on hearing my words, which meant that her answer was yes. It was her signature smile, the one I had fallen madly in love with. I realized one thing that day. Love teaches you the art of patience. As it is rightly said, “ The best things happen to those who wait.”