For someone who grew up reading romantic novels and watching Hindi movies, my dream man was that knight who would come riding his white horse and take me to a dream land. There was even one Hindi film song which said what I felt, “Oh mere sapnon ke saudagar,” from the film Dil Hai Ke Maanta Nahin. My Mr. Right was this tall, dark and handsome fellow who was clean shaven. After all, that’s how Hindi film heroes and men from romantic novels looked like. As I failed to find anyone closely resembling my dream man, my family took the task upon themselves. For them, anyone who had a job and who had a matching horoscope to mine was good enough. My uncle and aunt held the fort in Kerala and my maternal uncle took position in Mumbai. The stage was set and the permanent cast members with me as the central character took their seats waiting for the new character to enter.
A marriage broker was summoned who did not show any interest in either talking to me or looking at me. He at once rejected the photographs that were given to him. A Tamilian, he said to my mother, “Amma, the photographs that show off her short hair aren’t right. Please click new photographs with her hair tied and of course, also put a jasmine gajra around the hair.” I found it funny. I asked my mother what is the use of hiding my hair as anyway, whoever my future in-laws might be, they will eventually find about it. My mother wasn’t ready to listen to any of what I said and off, we marched into a studio and got new snaps. It was in 2004 and camera phones were not still a part of our daily life. I still have those photographs and every time I see it, I burst into laughter. I had never thought jasmine flowers and long hair could get you your soul mate. After some days, the first call came from a boy’s father asking for a copy of my horoscope. They wanted to find if my horoscope will match with his son’s so that they could ensure that we will live happily ever after. I could not help and wonder loudly, if horoscope matching was the basis of happy marriages, then there would have been lesser divorces. My wisdom neither mattered to my mother nor my uncle. After couple of days, we got a reply from them saying, they could not go ahead with the proposal as my horoscope had a ‘kuthu dosha’. ‘Kuthu’ in Malayalam means to prick. It was a LOL moment for me. My mother was shocked and disappointed. Never to miss a chance to mock me, my brother exclaimed, “I knew it. No wonder you are so short-tempered and ready to pounce. The Kuthu dosha is to blame.” That was the only time ever I wanted to prick someone really bad. The search continued. When for me, ‘Abhishek Bachchan was the Mr. Right, solely because he was tall, dark and handsome but for my mother, the perfect person was someone, ‘who was fair, had a moustache and was fat’. Yes, she has never understood the word ‘healthy and fit’ as for her only those with enough stored fat in them looked good. May be, that day, Gods were in a mood to say thathasthu, for he came just as my mother had wished for. Tall and fair with a moustache, chubby cheeks and a round tummy. Just the opposite of what I had envisioned! Another plus point about him was that he hailed from the same village as ours in Kerala and his sister was married into a distant relative’s family.
He came, he ‘saw’ me, I glanced at him, we spoke for merely 3 minutes and in those few seconds, I told him something indirectly, ‘Please do not expect any dowry’, hoping that being a hardcore malayalee, he would run away at the prospect of a ‘dowry-less’ girl. After the guests left, as I sat munching on the snacks left on the table, I coolly told my people, I am not interested as I do not think our thinking would match as there was nothing common between us. And that I had also told him not to bother about dowry. My family was shell shocked. How could, how dare she, how audacious, how foolish… and some more terms that I seem to have forgotten now.
There was a huge uproar as they just could not get why I would reject someone who was just the perfect guy. Horoscopes had matched, the boy’s family was known to my uncle and aunt in Kerala, and he had a job. This was all they knew and these were all that mattered. When I tried to put my arguments forward, my uncle bushed them off chiding ‘it is your degrees talking.’ My mother had only tears. After a point, when I could not take it any longer, I just agreed. Que sera Sera. I stepped into a new life with doubts, questions and just plain indifference.
This December 5th, we celebrated our 11 years of bliss. He may not have resembled the image I had in my mind but he was everything that I had hoped for in my Mr. Right. He is supportive, loving, understanding, caring, and yes, has a sense of humour too. He is everything that I am not – patient, calm, mature and practical. Our likings are different. He hates to shop and I zealously believe in retail therapy. He loves science fiction and action movies and I adore’ Sleepless in Seattle’ and Friends. He remains awake even after midnight to watch ‘Mission Impossible’ but if ‘Friends’ is on, I can hear him snoring after a while. Yet, he is my Mr. Right and I would not trade him for any brave knights in the world. What I have learnt from my journey is that there is nothing like the right person but he or she eventually becomes right for you when you can embrace the differences and decide to walk together. You may not have same dreams or goals but you both want a future together to help each other reach their respective goals in life. You may have different priorities but you happily join forces with the right spirit to balance out, what we call life. We have that and we are determined to chalk out the path together, albeit the turns and curves sometimes are difficult to manoeuvre, yet we know we will find our way.
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