Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

BTFYA 1 - Back to 5 years ago


They say that you have to sift through loads of coal before you get to a diamond. But 5 years ago, the darkness of the soot from all the sifting was very close to touching my heart, still there was not even a slight shine. It was hard to hold onto the hope when there was simply no prospect in sight. It was not really that I was that desperate to get married. It was more like I was weary of all the pressure and all the repeated questions from relatives and friends (which is one of the reasons I pledged that I'd never ask anyone about "marriage" or "kids" plans :-p). Moreover my self-doubting was causing even more of a distress to me than anything else.

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if the situation at home had been better. Dad, God bless him, wasn't really worried or atleast he never showed his worries to me but mom was the worse affected of it all. She was the most influenced by the society as such and she was wondering whether her daughter will ever find a groom. Since mom and I are very close, she'd confide in me about her anguish, making matters and my feelings worse. I used to ask myself whether marriage was the sole purpose of life, the start and end of it all and well, I didn't have any answers.

Each time I "saw" a guy, I'd be all excited. Maybe he was the one, the one with whom I would know I belong. I used to wonder how anyone knew that they were meant to be with the other person. How would you know a person until you actually live with him/her? Again no answers except the elusive "You'll know". The only decision I made was to have no regrets whether I said "Yes" or "No". And I held onto this rule with all the guys I met, but I did come close to breaking it for one - lets call him V.

Before I even got to a decision, the whole "Yes" or "No" deal would go through my parents first. That was my first filter level, so though I met somewhere close to 20 guys and even more sets of parents, more than 60% of the prospective grooms got rejected with a "collective" "No" :-D. V was the exception. He was quite handsome, met all of my parents' criteria and his parents were gems. But I somehow felt that he was too serious. I'm not into philosophy and spirituality at all and 3/4th of the time he talked only about those. They said "Yes" immediately and maybe I shouldn't have encouraged it, but I was kinda coerced into meeting him again. The 2nd time only re-enforced the feelings I got from the first time and I was able to say an outright "No". Mom was not too sure about my decision and it was quite frustrating for me to even explain to her why I thought it'd not work. But well, ultimately, she knew what I was talking about and she convinced his parents somehow that I wasn't generally into marriage (V's mom even said that he could live separately if joint family was a problem, which honestly was never the issue. She was such a sweetheart!).

Around the end of August 5 years ago, as I said, I had just said goodbye to the last prospect in sight and was very close to regretting not having said "Yes" to V. But I still wasn't in the phase of marrying the first guy that came along. The last guy, A was one of those guys who are great as friends, but just don't cut it as husband material (maybe for some other girl, but not me). We had exchanged emails for quite sometime and one thing that irked me majorly about him was the fact that he smoked as well as drank socially. My problem wasn't that he chose to smoke or drink, but the reason he gave for it - because his friends did. That kinda took me aback, you live your life for your friends? Anyways smoking was a total no no for me and we both decided to stay friends.

The experiences had only made me more frustrated. Before A, I had communicated online with another guy N who kept talking about how looks aren't important. He left me wondering whether it was his looks he was talking about or mine. Well, I didn't have to wonder for long. After months of chats, emails and online communication, I got a pretty good idea about his lack of humour and his quite-a-big inferiority complex. Our so called communication never went offline, stopped at the online part ;-) :-D.

Anyways you can see how this ordeal can lead to mental unrest. I felt like running away from the pressure. To be with myself and think about where I want to be, rather than meet guys and talk about it. And I did. I went on a trek trip all by myself with a trek group to Bisle forest. This was the first time in 24-odd years that I went anywhere without my parents tagging along and though it was scary at first, it was exhilarating. And it was the beginning of my love for adventure :). I'll probably write another separate post on that, but one thing I was able to do there was exactly what I wanted to do. I remember sitting on the banks of a river alone and thinking that it was the one of the best days of my life after a long time. I felt free and not pressured. I also felt refreshed and ready to tackle the next set of guys ;-). Later I went on another trek, this time to Yedukumeri with mom (you heard it right, she joined me on the total 34 mile trek!) and we were able to spend time together (make that hike, rappel, cross rivers on rope together :-D) without thinking about guys and marriage as such ;-). I feel the trips kinda brought me back from a bad state of mind that I was getting myself into.

Coming back to today, I have had one of my best friends ask me "You are fair and pretty, how come you had to go through this?" and I remember saying the whole deal doesn't have anything to do with looks. Looks are a part of it but just looks are never enough when you are going into a marriage. There are so many things to consider that its all quite mind-boggling. And to imagine, many of us have gone through it and many are going through it right now! I have also had other friends ask me as to how I knew he was the one when I met Sri. I have said "I don't know, I just did". I still don't know why. Yes he passed my parents' filter. Yes, he had many of the qualities I had in mind. But I cannot to this day say why I said Yes to him. I'm only glad about one thing. I said "Yes" after thinking and not because I was tired of "seeing" guys. I said "Yes" in a very clear state of mind and not because I was pressured into it. I said "Yes" because I felt like saying it and not because I felt I had to. It doesn't mean that I haven't had doubts but whats more important is that I haven't had any regrets whatsoever :).

Epilogue:

This post is the start of a series and I wanted to write it because I started this blog after I was married. Had I been able to keep a record of my feelings 5 years back, it'd have been a different side of me. I have been wanting to post about a series of things that happened before this blog did, but you know what my usual excuses are :-D. Well, Sri and I are reaching our 5th anniversary soon (No, today is NOT our anniversary), so I felt this would be a good time. And just to get the point across, this post is not really about Sri. Its all about me and what I was going through. This is usually what most people in arranged marriages go through unless they have a diamond glaring at them on top of all the coals, which is what happened to Sri ;-) :-D.

9 Comments:


Rohini Kulkarni retorted...

Very nice post. Enjoyed a lot reading it. Yes. U have described it so vividly.. every emotion a girl goes through before saying that historic Yes or No.

I've been following your blog for quite sometime now. Glad to see a Kannadiga family(Bangalorean roots) who is so super-talented living in the US.


Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) retorted...

Very nice post ... reminded me of the post I had written sometime back
http://cutecantaloupe.blogspot.com/2007/07/distant-engagement.html

You are so right ... girls are just out of college and there is pressure on her to get married ... everytime I met a guy I felt I wasnt' ready for the marriage ... but that never happened when I met BP... though I sometimes wonder what I'd do if there was no pressure on getting married ... how I'd ever announce to my parents when I was indeed ready ...
Looking forward to your next post.


Rajaram MG retorted...

all i can say abt this post: Wow.... :)
very nice post...i really enjoyed reading it...
anyways...even guys go thru similar phases...which i did...i had my share of tuff time till i found my diamond :)


Deeps retorted...

Rohini,

Thanks for the compliments and hope you keep commenting here..

CA,

Wow, your story is more awesome. I'd have been scared as hell to marry a guy who I hadn't even met. hats off to you and glad it all worked out :).

Rajaram,

Glad the post struck a chord. I'm sorry you had a tough time too, but I believe its a little bit more difficult for girls what with the "age" thing coming into picture much more earlier for us. Maybe you can write your story in your blog sometime ;-).


Smi retorted...

Well expressed. I must say the institution of arranged marriage is far more interesting than its much hyped counterpart. I'm sure you'll agree :)
Will look forward to the next part of this story.


Soumya retorted...

I can only imagine all the frustration.. I was myself getting ready for this whole process, when the diamond just showed up at my door. I'm glad that I got spared, although I had gone through an anticipitory anxiety stage.

Even though I had heard most of it from you, it was nice reading this post. You have put it so beautifully. I am really happy for you that after everything, you did find your diamond, and all was not in vain.


Subhashini Sury retorted...

u write so well....i am logging in after almost 6 months n ur blog was on the top 5 sites to visit :) worth it :)


Deeps retorted...

Smi,

Yeah its interesting alright, it almost felt like a swayamvara, except I didn't get to see the guys all at once :-D.

Soum,

I'm really glad it turned out this way for you, you already have enough frustrations to deal with and this would have really piled it on..

Subhashini,

That was a very lovely compliment. Thanks for bringing a smile onto my face :).


Harish Suryanarayana retorted...

A well-thought out and timely blogpost. Thank you for sharing what you went through. I am sure many people go through so much turmoil in finding a suitable mate. I am glad you still had hope and I am glad you said 'Yes' by your own volition. Not too many people get to do that.