The most commonly asked question happens to be, "Love or arranged?" I usually go with arranged. I don't believe in love-cum-arranged marriages. That's like saying upma-cum-lasagne. And anyway, would you believe me if I were to tell you that I very conveniently happened to fall in love with my mother's brother's wife's sister's son, who obviously belongs to the same community as me, and whose family and mine have known each other for ages? That I agreed to marry him without having met him even once, or even seen him in person, ever? You wouldn't. I wouldn't. But like I said, weird stuff happens. And of all the things in this world, love is definitely among the weirdest.
I'm a rather sentimental person. And very filmi. P had once said, "Wow, look at you! You're quite the Bollywood-type, aren't you? You want to go eat chaat from a gaadi, in this rain, at this time of the night. You should be in a movie!". Well, I quite agree. I am the 'Bollywood-type', and I've always felt that people should make a movie about my life (and of course, cast me as me). All my life-lessons come from Bollywood. Between pyaar dosti hain and kahin na kahin, koi na koi, tumhare liye zaroor banaya gaya hain, they had me convinced that my one true love was lurking somewhere in my not-so-large social circle. But that wasn't to be.
In true Bollywood style, it all began at a wedding. But quite unlike Bollywood, Boy did not really meet Girl, and Girl wasn't even aware that Boy was there. No songs were sung, no dances were danced. What did happen was, the Great Indian Matchmaking Mob (GIMM) sniffed an opportunity and went to work at once. However, I hear that the GIMM's advances were scorned and the proposal rejected, "faster than you could blink your eye", to quote S. But thanks to S's perseverance, we became friends on a social networking site, albeit almost a year later.
A bunch of misconceptions brought us together. I thought he wrote comics. He thought I was "something like a doctor". Our conversations revolved around LOTR, zombies and music. It was funny, it was crazy, it was weird. Whatever it was, it worked for us. Nighttime conversations got longer and longer until my bedtime was officially moved to 4 am. I'd sit by the window talking on the phone with him, the hours just bleeding into each other. And I'd sit there even after he'd hung up, my forehead pressed against the cold metal of the window grill, listening to the song he had sent me, my phone clutched to my heart.
Within a couple of months, we knew. We were getting married. My mom and I had a very awkward conversation, during which she tried to get me to "talk about my feelings about S", which ended with me saying he was okay, "kinda my type." Because I had no idea how to handle these "talks". Hell, I didn't even know how to handle this whole situation. Remember, I was yet to meet this guy in person. But our parents jumped the gun: my mom told his mom that I "liked him" (that was the ultimate outcome of the aforementioned conversation), his mom told mine that she liked me (she also just assumed S must like me well enough), and just like that, matters were taken out of our hands.
Not that S ever asked me, but I texted him a yes. I know. Weird. I told you it was! He said it was the best thing he'd heard all day, and went out for drinks with his friends while I, hundreds of miles away, worked on my Masters' thesis. We met shortly after that, I got piss-drunk on our first date ever, and everything after that was this huge whirlwind of activity which culminated in us getting engaged by the end of the month.
And now, here I sit, in his apartment that I moved into a few months ago. I have spent the day drawing up to-do lists: clothes, jewels, invites, food... the works. In a few weeks, I'll be back in my hometown, sitting in a mantapam, draped in yards and yards of kanjeevaram, my hands and feet covered in intricate henna patterns. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about it. Sometimes I look forward to it. Some other times, I just want the wedding to be over so I can get back to where I am right now, in my shorts and T-shirt, in this little apartment that has now become home.
It's late, and S has fallen asleep. I listen to his deep breaths, and I realize I love the sound. I sometimes marvel at how everything has fallen into place so quickly, with miraculous ease. There has been no drama, and few crazy stories to tell. No naach-gaana whatsoever (though I believe there will be some later, at the wedding). However, the filmi me is, quite inexplicably, happy.
As I type, the ring on my finger winks at me. If this is arranged marriage, well then, I must say we've arranged it all quite well!
Note: I got married three years ago. I just happened to find this post lurking among my drafts. It was written in October 2011.