Ours was a blind marriage. Yeah, it was like a blind date where you date a person who you don’t know and have not met before. We were the bravehearts who jumped into married life without meeting each other even once. I was in a better position. I had seen a photo of him. He hadn’t seen even that.
My friends were amazed. “Leena, you are missing the golden opportunity of courtship and those romantic moments.”
“Well, then I’ll love to miss the golden opportunity!”
I understood that after marriage everything would change. My life wouldn’t be the same again. Initially I’d find it difficult to adjust in my new life, new family, and new place. But would meeting my future life-partner once or twice really be helpful? Won’t it be just seeing my man in flesh and blood before taking the plunge? Will he or I be in our natural self in those moments? No one could be, in that kind of awkward formal meeting.
I trusted my parents and he trusted in his fate (which had, of course, the best in store for him).
Related reading: Arranged marriages and the interesting men I got to meet
We were married in the most traditional way. We saw each other for the first time while exchanging garlands, as per ritual. We met alone for the first time after the ceremony in the wee hours of the morning. I was yawning and he was shy. It was supposed to be our ‘first night’. But the priest and then my overexcited relatives made it our ‘first day’. By the time we were left alone in the room, it was already 5 am.
We started our new journey together as strangers. I came to my new home. Along with me I brought weeklong rituals, functions and celebrations. Although it was exciting, at the same time it was exhausting. I was loaded with gifts and enjoying the wonderful moments of adulation and attentions. But alongside, I was also loaded with heavy saris, deep makeup and equally heavy jewellery the whole day to live up to my new bride status.
It all came at a heavy price. I could hardly meet my husband. We were continuously mobbed by the huge crowd of uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, friends… and God knows who else. At night when we could finally get our much-awaited privacy, I was so tired from everything that I used to doze off almost immediately after changing into a comfortable nightgown.
Then the day came when we finally flew to the city he worked in. His leave was over. We were clubbing our honeymoon with his work. I came to his bachelor’s accommodation, which was waiting to become my home. His friends had decorated the whole house with flowers. I was touched. I wasn’t expecting this kind of warm welcome. But this is what friends are for. They understand a newlywed’s plight better than the families.
I was reborn. The journey was exciting. Marriage with a stranger was really beautiful. Every day was so different. Every day was new; slowly we were getting to know one another.
Every day I was getting introduced to a different aspect of him. Each day had a new surprise in store. Maybe it was the same for him too.
And one day I got introduced to a completely different facet of him, which even today brings a smile to my face.
His childhood friend had come to meet us. He couldn’t attend our marriage. Enthusiastically my husband introduced him to me. I could feel his excitement. It had no boundary. He was lost in his good old days with his friend.
Suddenly my husband realised his mistake. He hadn’t introduced his half-a-month-old wife yet.
My husband came close, warmly put his hand around my waist and introduced me, “And she is, umm… she is Lata.”
“Who is this Lata?” I jerked away from his loving touch.
“Oh God! You forgot my name. How could you? Who is this Lata? It can’t be a slip of the tongue. If you had some other woman in your life you should have said it before. I wouldn’t have married you….”
Very innocently he was staring at me, unaware of his crime. His friend was laughing his heart out. He was enjoying the moment, his friend getting his first scolding from his wife.
This might happen if you marry a stranger.
I’d read a lot of jokes about absent-minded scientists, but never thought I’d have one myself.
Twenty-one years later, I’m still looking for ‘Lata’.
Sometimes the relationship just ‘clicks’, as Meera S wrote. Or sometimes these moments of humour might happen during the adjustment phase. Do you have similar funny incidents to share? Write in and tell us!