Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My parent's love story: Celebrating 25 years

He was 21 when he joined the Indian Army. After four years slogging in an engineering college, he was now an officer of the Indian Army. Young, enthusiastic and free from all academic pressure. The army training at Dehradun was intense, from learning modern warfare to fitness, learning how to be an officer, surviving and keeping the morale high, he did it all.
It was after two years of serving in the army when his friend, a fellow officer was to get married and the two best friends came to Ghaziabad, a small town near Delhi for the celebrations.
It was here that he first saw her, she was the bride's best friend, standing next to her at the engagement ceremony. At that time his parents were already looking for a match for him, he was now 23, a Captain in the Indian Army, tall, rugged and strangely handsome.
She was 21, a lecturer in a university, from an academic background. Fair with thick wavy hair and large almond eyes, she caught and managed to keep his attention throughout the wedding ceremony and a day later he tentatively approached his best friend's wife. Those were the times when asking a girl out would have raised many eyebrows and he didn't want to lose this one girl.
The new bride caught hold of her friend and told her of this young officer's interest in her, she was shell shocked. Her father was the terror of the locality and she kept rethinking scenarios in her head and replaying the whole wedding thinking she had not made and gesture to catch his attention, she was scared that her father would bury her alive. She told her friend the same thing and asked her to tell the young man to not try to contact her again.
A week went by with no contact and she was relieved. They were hosting a dinner for the newly weds and here, the bride told her parents about this young man. He didn't want to approach her in any way that would seem indecent and she gave them his home address and number. Soon, her father went to meet the officer's parents and was back within a day. He was enamoured. They were a large family of 7 kids with him being the second youngest. He was impressed by the young man's way of approaching his daughter and decided to   talk to them about marriage.
The young man was pretty smart, hitting right at the elders. He just had to impress the girl.
The first day he went for evening tea to her house, this was the first time he was to meet her. Her two younger sister's were eagerly waiting at the gates when this tall and thin man zoomed in on his motorcycle. They were mildly impressed but they wanted to see him. She was more scared than impressed and when he sat down on the sofa and she came out to talk , she was surprised to see just how thin he actually was. Coming from a Punjabi family she had never seen any man who wasn't fair and fairly heavy with a pot belly and here was this officer who had turned dark from training outdoor and well, he was very thin and tall with a very bad dressing sense. But she decided to give him a try. He was very intelligent, the way he spoke about things, his knowledge on everything and his ideas, they were so ahead of their time that she could not just ignore him and now even her parents were on his side, sly.
They decided to go out on dates and he would come to pick her up on his bike and her two younger sister's would sit behind him, leaving her alone and go for rides. He was forming a bind with her family and was catching her attention. On their first date she realised how little he actually ate, the whole morning they travelled around Delhi, watching movies and driving when during late afternoon he finally asked her if she wanted to eat something, finally! she thought. At the restaurant, suddenly it occurred to her that he was an army officer and well, they are supposed to be highly mannered and smart and she could not embarrass him while eating so she thought hard about what to order for lunch and then finally decided to go for cutlets, the only food she was sure she could eat with a fork and knife.He never really ate much and she could not ask him for more food and when she returned home by late evening, she had strong hunger pangs and was cursing him.
The next few dates were a climb uphill and as much as she liked him, it seemed that her sister's and parents liked him even more. That was until she met his mother, an old Punjabi mother ship who rejected her saying her eyes were too big and it looked like she had a squint.
Furious, she stormed out when she heard of it and refused to contact him ever again. She had never encountered any person like his mother and his over bearing sisters and it was a first for her. Once again he tried to contact her and found a connection.. His senior in the army was her cousin brother and he asked him to intervene. Seeing how strong family ties were here, he was being pretty smart here. They decided to meet at her cousin's house and he called his mother too. This was day her older cousin told her that he was very serious about her if he was trying to break his mother from the typical Punjabi mother in law mode and trying to get them to talk again. Soon enough, all was well and their wedding was on.
Their courtship lasted 2 years while he was posted in the treacherous north easter region of the country, an occasional latter every week from him and a number of rejected suitors from her side, they went on strong and finally were married a day after Valentine's day in 1989.
I guess, this would seem way more interesting to me as I know all the characters and as a kid I was fascinated by various tales my parents told me, their own version and then my grandparents would tell me their own version.
The stories of "after-marriage" are even more fascinating as is the fact that at my age, my mother was about to get married. And as they complete 25 years in February, I wish for many more and hilarious tales from both sides.
Cheers!

5 comments:

  1. It's an interesting read even for someone not knowing all the characters! What a love story....such persistence.... happy silver anniversary to them!

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  2. well written......we may don't know your parent but we can relate there character from you and a romance of such kind in 80s is itself interesting and hard to find. Happy Anniversary to your parents...I wish they have many many happy returns of the day :)

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