I recently read a blog post about being with the right partner, and how Love is a decision and not a feeling and that we need to work hard to make a marriage work. This is all very nice when the partners know each other and fall in love and then get married. But what about an arranged marriage? Where does love fit in, in an arranged marriage? In a country like ours, where tradition is more important than feelings, it is difficult to convince the family members, regarding a love marriage. So “Love” in an arranged marriage? Possible or not??
I am a big mills and boon reader… and of course the books are all about a handsome rich guy meeting the normal not-so-rich girl and sweeping her off her feet with roses and chocolates and diamond rings… I wanted someone like that. I wanted to be that mills and boon girl who gets her handsome prince. I was adamant, I was going to choose my own life partner, someone whom I know beforehand and whom I loved and who also loves me. My mother could not believe it.. What nonsense..? Where will you find such a guy? How can a hero from a story come to life..? You don’t know anything about it… we will find a good guy from a good family with a good job, for you, was something she said and began looking for a suitable person. So began the process of “girl looking” …The process of the guy coming to the girl’s house and then the girl coming and meeting the guy. Uncomfortable silences, awkward questions… And then deciding whether to say yes or No finally and then of course “the discussion” about various details like where to have the marriage, engagement etc… Although I found this whole process a bit tedious, I did not want to say No and start a whole argument with my parents. I was determined to choose my life partner my way. So what if a lot of guys came home to see me? Ultimately I have to say “yes” to proceed. I was confident that nothing would happen without my consent.
And So it went one after another proposal coming and going… until the last one.. June 18th 2011. It was a Saturday… I refused to take a day off, just for some guy coming to see me. I remember my mother giving me advice. Don’t talk too much, just answer what they ask, that’s it, no need to talk anything more. My brother saying, At least try to pretend to be a girl, Blah blah…Blah.. I was not really listening, my mind still on that perfect “mills and boon” guy who would come into my life one day and sweep me off my feet. So then came this person whom I met for the very first time. Everyone liked everyone. I mean my family liked them and his family liked us and I have no idea how it happened, but I found myself saying “yes’ to my mother when she asked me discreetly if they should go ahead with “the discussion” and before I knew it, my marriage had been settled. I could scarcely believe it!! How in the world did that happen? What happened to my mills and boon hero? What about love? I was so confused.
As it turns out, there was no reason to be…
Love happened, no one decided to love, but it happened. To stay in love is the decision we made. And yes, we do have to work to make it work. For better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health to love, cherish and protect as long as we both shall live, were the vows we made to each other and it is very difficult to stand by them. The idiosyncrasies, the arguments, the decisions, hundred other things that make a life, happened to us too. So we fight and then we make up, agree to disagree, arguments turn into discussions, and many other things which we consciously had to do, to make this most important relationship of our lives’ a success. Each time we fight or have a disagreement, we remind ourselves of the vows we took and whether winning this argument or this fight is more important than our vow to cherish.
Slowly day by day, we matured in the relationship, we are still learning so many things, making so many compromises and adjustments, although it does not feel like that, because Love helps overcome all that. I realized that I was so ignorant, holding on to the idea of falling in love and finding a perfect hero from a fairy tale. There is no perfect man. It is rightly said, “Marriages are made in heaven” God chooses whom he allows in your life, and he will definitely be perfect for you… But you have to make it so.
An impossible reality of love in an arranged marriage made possible only by believing that God always chooses the right person for everyone. It is really up to us whether we want to accept that person in our life or not. I did and I have got a man who loves me more than I have ever thought…who surprises me with something new every week… who holds my hand when I am ill… who makes me laugh when I am sad… who sheds tears for me when I cry… who laughs when I am happy.. What more do I need in this lifetime… I got my red roses and diamonds too over the course of time as a wonderful surprise!! I found an amazing love in my arranged marriage, with a stranger. And it’s been more than two years now… We have a beautiful baby boy now to show for all the laughter, the tears, the joys, the disappointment and the fun and love…so much love I still cannot believe it!!