As told to Anshulika Bansal
We were childhood sweethearts. We didn’t know that we had something inseparable until he left for his college in another city. The separation was kind of jolt for us and in that dilemma, he proposed to me.
I always considered him as a friend. It was a situation where I didn’t want to take this friendship to a next level and I did not want to lose him as a friend. He was much more than a friend to me but certainly, not a boyfriend. I always thought that it will pass as this is a friendship test that God has set for us. But, I never knew that in the confusion of choosing between a friendship and a relationship, I will give in.
I entered into a relationship with him since the first year of our college and I knew it will last forever. The euphoria lasted till our “honeymoon period” of our relationship before we had any picture of the future.
Soon fears crept in and we saw the only challenge for us was our fathers. They had some family rivalry with each other since a long time. In the turmoil there were only two good things- first one is our relationship and the other that our mothers were great friends. My grandfather and his grandfather were neighbors. They had an agreement over a barren land in the same locality. It was an 1800 square feet plot that was bought in unison on Anshul’s grandfather’s name. The registrar office had his name noted down as the sole owner of the property. Later on, due to sudden demise of his grandfather, his father sold the property without any prior notice or a discussion with my grandfather. His father was ignorant about the verbal agreement that both the grandfathers had. Both the families exchanged abuses without looking into the matter and a mere 1800 square feet plot created a rift between the families.
Mother is an epitome of benevolence and I guess they were the only sane people who ended their differences way before anybody could know. When both the houses were separated by just a boundary wall, our mothers had a bond beyond boundaries.
I have always shared this fear during our relationship and sometimes I panicked and cried for hours on a phone call. My soul could be naked when I am with him and this was and is the best part of the bond we share. His words always soothed me. Though I know how helpless he would feel by my sudden downpour about our future. His helplessness was worse to watch than tears. I know every nook and cranny of his heart and it ached deep inside my heart to know that his eyes well up hearing me sob on the other side of the phone.
My father thought that I am the closest thing to perfect as humanely possible and I will never do such a thing which can put his dignity under question.
This relationship was like a ghost that both comforted and haunted me. It was an inexorable truth that we will have to part ways in the future if our parents are not convinced or their rivalry does not end up with time and this was the last thing that could happen. I cringed at these thoughts and sometimes his words weren’t enough to stop the seeds of doubts from sprouting.
After graduation we decided to do Masters in our respected fields. As he was going back to his college, he came to meet me. Tragedy stuck in, and we were caught red handed by my Bua (my father’s sister). I looked around, my eyes darting all over the surroundings, as though looking for some shred of comfort where I could make something up to present before her. Her nostrils were flared up with anger and believe me her personality has always been intimidating me since childhood.
Soon, my father got to know about it and there was hue and cry in both of our families. The atmosphere was so heated up in our families that it really scared us. Anshul was transfixed with horror and he lost all words of comfort which he kept showering upon me earlier.
One day, Anshul’s family came at my house and there was a discussion between them. The discussion went for hours. The clock ticks nearly killed me. In the evening, after his family left, I was given the news that I would be married in a month with Anshul. I thanked my stars for giving us such wonderful mothers who convinced our fathers to end their rivalry . My mother suggested mending ways by offering monetary compensation of the land that was sold years before because it was an innocent act by Anshul’s father and the elders at that time behaved irrationally. After pondering into the matter they had a mutual decision of getting us married and burying the past.
This conspicuous agreement for our marriage was unsettling to us as we wanted to pursue Masters and then tie the knot. It was so sudden that we didn’t have the time to present our thoughts regarding the marriage. We also shuddered at the thought that if we don’t get married now, they may change their decision and we will never be married to each other. We decided to complete our Masters after the marriage and set our future according to our wishes.
The marriage was a surreptitious one and there were troubles in carrying out the ceremony with things forgotten at the end moment like my favorite flowers for decoration, battery back-up for lights and the venue was imperfect. There was no music in the hall when I entered which was promised by the DJ. Sometimes, I feel the ceremony was a bit rushed up. It was my dream to have a grand marriage ceremony since my teenage but whenever I see him sleeping next to me, only one thought comes to my mind that he is worth all the sacrifice.