Raghav was a handsome and highly qualified young man holding a very important position in a bank. He was the only son of well-to-do parents hailing from a business family. He had everything a young and talented man could ask for ----- except a wife.
Raghav was very particular that the woman he married to be a working woman even if she was not a great looker. His parents, on the other hand, had a long list of specifications in addition to the single-point agenda that Raghav had set. So the search began for that elusive girl who would fit the bill.
Many houses were visited , many girls were seen, and an equal number of bajies, bondas , kesaries and coffees were consumed and yet there was no sign of the girl in sight. If the girl was working , the parents would not approve , for she wasn't so good-looking, or not fair enough or the staus of the parents were not high enough and so on. Ironically, when the girl had all the desirable qualities, she was the non- working type.
The years slipped by. Poor Raghav ---- a few strands of grey hair on his head and a few extra kilos around the waist ------- slipped in, as friends and relatives pitched in to find the perfect girl for Raghav.They persuaded Raghav and his parents to be more practical and compromise just a bit on the specifications. After all, the 'Boy' also was not the same handsome young Raghav of the past. The same logic would apply to the girls too.
Around this time , a distant cousin dug up a girl, who was fairly good- looking and was also an officer in a bank. Well-wishers advised the boy and his parents not to dilly- dally and quickly finalise the alliance, for they may not find another girl of equal merit. Also the boy was getting older. It was alright if the girl was a little short and stout. She could always wear platform heels, couldn't she ? The most important thing was that she was working woman and also decent to look at.
Raghav and his new bride , Meena, had a wonderful honeymoon at Kodaikanal. At the end of the week, it was time to get back to the routine grind. Come Monday morning , Raghav got ready for the office and dutifully offered to drop Meena at her place of work, altough her branch was quite some distance from his own.
She seemed surprised by his offer and said " Bank? What bank? I don't have to go anywhere near a bank anymore."
"But aren't you joining duty today? queried Raghav, taken aback.
"Yes, I have joined duty ---- not at the bank, but at home --- as a housewife. I have had enough of working outside. Now I wish to work only at home, raise a family and lead a contented and peaceful life. I put in my papers at the bank the day we decided to become life partners. There is no financial compulsion for me to continue as a working woman. Now, darling, would you be a pet and drop me at the market? Vegetables are always so fresh and cheap in the mornings."
Raghav, who was too stunned to make any meaningful response, kept mumbling incoherently, and drove the car like an automaton. The last image which froze in his mind as he drove away from the market was that of a short woman trying to balance herself on platform heels , waving with one hand while the other hand clutched an enormous shopping basket. Some corner of his brain registered a shouted reminder " Come home early for lunch, I am making drumstick sambhar and potato curry."
Do arranged marriages work? Opinions tend to differ.
Absolutely, and in the same way that love can grow in romance novels from a marriage of convenience. But there's more to love than finding a suitable match. Love can grow for many reasons, from lust at first sight to friendship that develops over a long period of time. It's impossible to predict whether a union will be successful. The only two people who can make it work are the bride and groom, the hero and heroine of their own story.
I am sure all South Indians would love this blog, and may even be able to relate to it. It happened to someone known to me years ago, but believe me, it is still happening and there is nothing really wrong in it.