Arranged!

Short Story

"Heyyyy! Long time... What are you doing here?"
Rajani yelled from across the shop.

Yelling in a saree shop is acceptable. It is like a cafe... for women... And you get to meet so many of your old friends... Rajani was a dear friend from college.

"I was buying sarees for my wedding..." I said.

"Woooowww... When are you getting married? How come you didnt tell me?" She asked.

"Umm... In two weeks... everything happened so fast..." I managed to say.

"So how is he? What does he do? Is he a Doctor? Remember how you used to say...," Rajani glanced at my mother who was going through a pile of sarees, "Is it a love marriage? Or is it arranged?"

"Umm.. It's complicated Rajani... He's an Engineer. Works with a multinational in Banglore," I said. I looked at my mother who was now getting impatient going through the pile of sarees all by herself... "I should get going Rajani. I will call you some time?"

Rajani left. She noticed I was under a lot of stress. Weddings are stressful. I thought mine will be smooth sailing. But life doesnt happen how you think it will.

I thought I will marry a Doctor someday. He will sweep me off my feet. I would be intrigued by his passion for his work. His dedication towards his patients, his ability do good for the society would attract me towards him. I looked at the sarees my mother was showing me. Peacock green with a turquoise pallu for the sangeet. Bottle red with shades of pink and a light orange pallu for the wedding day... I had a say in choosing the sarees I wanted to wear.... But what about the man I wanted to spend my life with?

Why didnt I have the right to choose him?

***

For our honeymoon, it was decided that we ll go to Ooty. It was close to Banglore. So it was decided.

Sometimes I think things would have been different had I been born and brought up in a big city... Maybe then I would get to choose the man I wanted to spend my life with. But look at Rajani... she lived in the same city... we went to the same college... and she can fall in love and marry the man she loves.

Why didnt I fall in love? I was friends with some guys. I had a crush on a guy in college. But could never fall in love with him. Should it be this difficult?

Walking down the steep inclines of Ooty with Suresh, now my husband, I couldnt stop thinking about how I had imagined my husband to be...

I thought how I imagined our afternoons to be... How we would talk about serious issues... about work... about how we wanted to do something for the poor... contribute to the society....

Suresh cracked a joke... I smiled... just enough to not hurt him... The poor guy had been trying to make me comfortable for the three days that we had been married.

He's so different than the guy I thought I will spend my life with... Suresh pointed towards the valley. He said something and laughed. I didnt hear what he said, I was too lost in myself. But his laughter was infectious. I smiled. This time, not out of mercy.

I was lost in my thoughts as we walked downhill. Just then a state transport bus came screeching down the slope and Suresh pulled me towards himself. I looked at the bus that whizzed by... too arrogant to care about a girl lost in her thoughts. I looked into the eyes of Suresh. He held me by my waist. I could feel his heaving chest, his strong hands... This was the first time I was standing this close to a man. I felt safe. I meant something to someone. There was someone who cared for me. He let his grip loose. His eyes almost apologetic for having held me so close.

He was back to his jocular self after a while. This time, I was lost in his talks. He was so intelligent.. so witty... We came across a park where there were school kids playing with balloons. He kept looking at them, a smile playing on his lips... The smile faded when he saw a poor boy in tattered clothes looking at those school kids. He went ahead a bought a balloon for him. The eyes of the little boy lit up. He ran off with the balloon jumping with joy. There was a smile on my husband's lips...

I fell in love with my husband.

***
Back home, once we were out shopping...

"Heyyy.. long time... How are you?" It was Shreya. We were friends from school... "And when did you get married?" She asked looking at my mangalsutra and the sindhoor on my forehead...

"Last month." I said.

"Woooowww... that is so amazing... Love marriage or arranged?" She asked.

"Arranged." I smiled.




________________________________________

I would like to thank Heena. This is the first time I have adapted a story. "Arranged" was first written by Heena here - (http://queenofmars.wordpress.com/2010/09/08/a-walk-to-remember/)

This post is dedicated to Nupur and Heena for different reasons. You know the reasons.

I was talking with a German friend the other day. The topic steered to Arranged marriages in India. Though she argues with me on most things (in spite of me being right always), I never thought I will find myself supporting the concept of Arranged marriages so strongly. I hope this story helps.

This is the first time I am writing from a girl's point of view. And yes, it was difficult. If any of my engg friends call me girlie after this, expect some serious ass kicking..



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Short story: Someone up there had a plan...

This post goes out to all the men who read my blog. I realized that I dont write enough for the men out there... So here!


Short Story:

Present day...

My phone rang at 2 in the night. I dont know why, but tonight, I was sleeping the sweetest sleep I had all month.
She didnt even say hello... Somethings are so important that you skip hellos on phone -

"I wanted to say... say... yes..."

And I say, someone up there had a plan...

Chapter 1

I remember running behind that 10:15 infy bus. It's weird that people can be late for a 10:15 pick-up. And by people I mean myself and the pretty girl who came running after me. Well, running after the bus actually, but behind me. The phrase of importance here being -'behind me'.

So anyway, I stood there waiting for the Taxi. That is the only option you got to reach Infosys campus. I looked at the girl from the corner of my eye. She had a Infosys card hanging around her neck-the strap of which was kinda wet from her sweat. For everyone who says Bangalore doesnt sweat, I say, well.. You run-You sweat.

"Umm... Infosys?" I asked her. Yes, two words is what I could come up with.

"Yes?" she asked. That sounded like a question - Means use more than two words in your sentence.

"I meant, are you going to infosys?" I re-framed my question.

"Yes, I am. You too?"

"Yes. Wanna share a cab?" I said making the 'horizontal thumb- take a lift' sign. I dont know why I did that.

"Yes. Sure!" She said almost overjoyed. Now her joy might be because of reaching the office on time. But trust the male brain to chose the option that soothe's its ego.

I stopped a taxi. We were about to enter when Ajay came running to the bus stop. Whats the point in running if you are like 15 mins late for the 10:15!
"Hey! Stop stop.. please..."he shouted from a distance.

He ran at full speed and jumped into the back seat.
"Haan.. phew.. yes.. let's go now..." he said.

I kept looking at him with disgust and so many other emotions I cant describe. I looked at.. umm.. what was the pretty girl's name? I hadnt asked her for her name!

She looked at me and smiled. I sat next to the driver and she took the back seat next to Ajay.

"Hi... phew.. Hi.. my name is Ajay! What's yours?" Ajay extended his right hand.

This was even before the driver started the car! I mean seriously... Let the car start Ajay!

"Hi.. my name is Pooja," she said.

Ah.. so that was her name. A little too common a name... Bu then, a guy named Raj cant really say that now, can he. Of course, I wasnt named Raj, I have a still commoner name.... :P

"That's a good name... I like it.." said Ajay.
Who asked if he liked her name or not?

"Well, Pooja, I work in the development services section in Infy, what section you work in?" Ajay asked.

I looked at him in the rear view mirror. He was sweating like a pig. When Pooja sweats, she looks so cute... well, Ajay, he just looks he's having an allergic reaction to Paracetamol!

After blabbering for 20 mins, Ajay and Pooja reached the infy campus. I didnt reach coz what's the point.. I am invisible anyway. With my sorry walk I started walking into the office building.

"Hey, excuse me? I dont know your name yet..." Pooja asked me.

Really? She wanted to know my name.

"Ah... thats such a simple name.. really common no?" she said when I told her my name.

Well, it's not THAT common. I know only 5 other guys with the same name...

"Well, I ll add you on the messenger." she said.

"Yeah.. please do..." I said.

Please do? Please do? Where did that come from?

She pinged. We met for lunch. We hit it off.

Chapter 2

"Could you book me on the bus to Mysore?" I asked to the lady at the reception. We had an annual sports meet in the Mysore campus. I just wanted to go to get away from office. Besides, anyone who has been to the sports meet will tell you how awesome it is....

"Sorry sir, we are full..." she said.

"Oh... there must be some way I can go."

"I am sorry sir. There isnt any other way." she said.

My shoulders dropped like Venkatesh Prasad's after being hit for a six. I started walking out of the room, when she said -
"Sir? You could go with the cheering squad if you want...There is one seat left."

Chapter 3

I entered the bus full of giggly cheering-people-squad. Some of them even men. Nothing wrong with that. How can you be cheering squad if you are not a little giggly?

I found a seat - one seat - on a bus with 42 seats. And who is the girl next to whom the seat is empty? You guessed it right.

"I didnt know you were on the cheering squad..." Pooja said.

"Well, I am on the tennis team!" I pointed to my Tennis stuff like it was Exhibit A.

And she laughed.


Chapter 4

Mysore was the best week of my life. And I dont think that was coz I won all my games. It was something else. I didnt know if it's what people call love.

Today, I proposed! I have known her for 28 days and I asked her to spend all her life with me... Yes, just like that...

The plan...

If you are a 20 year old reading this and trying to find out an iota of rationality in what I did, I suggest that you dont...

I was 20 once. And very rational. But then, there are something just dont demand reason. The heart has its own reasons.

Place your hand on your heart and tell me there is no girl you know, doesnt matter if she's an actress, or was your girlfriend when you were 15, or your neighbour's daughter, with whom you would want to spend your life with. If there is, then you would understand. If there isnt, I hope you find a girl who is.

I probably knew I wanted her when she came running behind me. I knew she was the one when I was so scared to talk to her, just coz I didnt want to mess it up.

Do you believe in destiny? That things happen for a reason? That this life is a screenplay written just for you?

I didnt. And I am proud of the fact. There is a time for everything. If you believe in something without actually investigating or experiencing it, then its blind faith, isnt it?

But one day, I hope a girl comes around, whose laugh becomes an ambition, so much, that you wanna be the one who makes her laugh all her life.


Present day

My phone rang at 2 in the night. I dont know why, but tonight, I was sleeping the sweetest sleep I had all month.
She didnt even say hello... Somethings are so important that you skip hellos on phone -

"I wanted to say... say... yes..."

As I said, someone up there had a plan...


- Dedicated to my room-mate and dear friend Rahul and his wife... This is my interpretation of how they met...

Short story: Someone up there had a plan...SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
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