Wednesday, August 8, 2012

About Love, Marriages and Other Arrangements


Roshni was sitting on the bench on the railway station, waiting for the train to arrive. She had covered her face with big sunglasses and a scarf to hide the bruises, and she wore an oversized kurta to hide her pregnant belly. She was sleep deprived and starved. She looked almost on the brink of death. But if you would have seen Roshni six months back, you would have instantly fallen in love with her rosy cheeks and clear complexion.

Roshni fell in love with Prasad, she was 19, he was 22, and they both decided to elope. Prasad's friends had arranged for a priest do their wedding in a nearby temple, and the first few weeks they spent in a rented house. Soon they were out of money and after lots of bickering Prasad finally agreed to take Roshni to his home. Things turned out to be worse than expected. The family not only rejected her, they also abused her verbally and physically, but she stood her ground as she had no where to go. Things became even more worse once Prasad and his family found out that Roshni was pregnant. They fixed Prasad's marriage with the girl of their choice. and when Roshni objected they forced her to down rat poison, she some how managed to break free and run away.

'Your train is here madam!', said the porter. Roshni stood up, adjusted her scarf and boarded the train that would take her away from her 'love' marriage.


'Usha! He's here...!', shouted Jyoti, Usha's younger sister. The groom had arrived. Usha who had so far just fussed about her bridal outfit was now excited and nervous on hearing the arrival of her groom. Arjun and Usha's marriage was fixed a month back, it was the standard Indian arranged marriage. The families first exchanged details of each others wards and then the groom's family came to see the bride. They liked the girl, and the girl's family too found the boy perfectly compatible with their daughter. Usha didn't have much to say or do in the match making process. She was only asked once whether she liked the boy, she had coyly nodded her head. She loved her parents and knew they would find the best match for her.

A year passed happily and Usha knew her parents had made a right choice. She loved Arjun, and Arjun adored her.


'I would like to book a table for two,' said Janet on call, 'And make it a candle-light gourmet dinner!' She made the arrangements and hung up smiling, it was Frank's birthday today, and she had planned out a surprise dinner date for him. They'd been married for the past 5 years. There's was a love marriage, a fairytale love marriage! They met in college, fell in love, decided to get married, and the parents on both the sides agreed. Frank's family had not only accepted her, they loved her as her own. She took some time to adjust to her new surroundings and Frank's mother had been ever so patient. She guided Janet like her very own daughter, once she even helped her to sort out a quarrel with Frank.

The idea of a dinner date was Janet's mother-in-law's as well. Initially Janet was a little skeptical, she did not want to leave her 2 year old son behind.But after repeated assurances of her mother-in-law to take care of their son she'd finally agreed. 

Janet smiled as he opened her wardrobe to decide what to wear for her dinner date with her loving husband.


'I don't want to get married!'

'Then what do you want to do? You are already 27, do you want to remain in your parents house forever?'

'So now your own daughter is a burden to you?'

'No darling. Listen to me, you are a girl and someday you will have to leave this house and go. Is there anybody else in your life?'

'Ofcourse not mom! There is no one!'

'Then why not marry this boy, he's really nice. Give him a try, he might turn out to be better than you think!'

A doorbell rang, and Urmila was brought back from her memories. She remembered the discussion she had had with her mother before reluctantly agreeing to marry Ajay. It had been 3 years since they got married and in these 3 long years they never learnt how to live with each other. There was constant bickering, nagging, taunting about things as small as the number of spoons needed on the dinner table. Then a month ago, finally fed up of having to tolerate each other, they filed for divorce. Urmila got up to open the door, expecting the postman with the some divorce document. Instead it turned out to be her mother-in-law at the doorstep. She never wanted them to take a divorce fearing the society, and she had come here to talk it out with Urmila. Urmila had a feeling that it would turn out very much like the talk she had with her mother...