Names changed to protect identities)
I was in love with a girl 4 years older than me, and the sister of one of my sisters-in-law. I always had a crush on Rekha, a girl in her late 20s. I had finished my army training and was enjoying the early days of my job. Though my routine was always hectic and I seldom had time to think of girls, one day, I was lying on the bed after lunch and thought of calling her.
Talking to her about many things, in the flow of my emotions, I very calmly asked, “Will you marry me?” Quite shocked, she didn’t respond and remained silent for almost a minute. I thought, “I have committed a grave mistake.”
Finally, the silence broke and she said in her soft voice, “When and how did you started loving me? I have no idea.” A genuine question, though I couldn’t come up with a very convincing answer. But I kept things very simple and said, “I have always loved you, since the days when I was in 10th class.”
She was convinced and I was happy; however, both of us were reluctant to reveal anything to our families. In about a month or two, I went to Madhya Pradesh for attending a short course. It was then we started talking more. One evening, to my surprise, she asked me to talk to her mom. I had no idea what to say, but being a responsible partner, I spoke to her mother and tried my best to convince her, clearing up all her doubts about our relationship.
Rekha’s mom was sceptical of my efforts to convince my family, because she knew my family well. However, as my dad was everything to me, I decided to talk to him and disclose the secret.
My dad didn’t agree, but I didn’t give up either. According to his religious teachings, a boy shouldn’t marry an older girl, as it is called a disproportionate marriage. I took his permission to let me explain my point, and being an understanding dad, he gave me one chance.
It was my best and last chance. I put across a very simple and basic point. I told him, if I don’t get married to her, all you people will be spoiling two marriages and four lives. If she gets married to someone else, not only will our lives be spoiled, it will be a curse on both of our partners as well.
Related reading: What I learnt about love at 30…it’s over-rated
I am not sure how convincing that was, but my dad promised me that he would go to our village and have a talk with both his brothers and my older cousins about this.
The next thing I knew, my dad went to Rekha’s home and foulmouthed the girl and her mother. Rekha told me that my dad accused them of trying to trap me, as I had a government job. That really was heart-breaking for me. At the time, when I asked my dad why he did this when I expected so much from him, he just backed off and didn’t want to discuss it.
So what went wrong? I discovered afterwards that at my village some of my cousins brainwashed my dad and made him believe that Rekha and her mother were trying to trap me because I was settled and it was a once-in-a-lifetime proposal for Rekha.
I left the army a few years later and am now working happily in a private firm, 33 and single.
(As Told To Raghabendra Pradhan)