Their match was arranged. They did not meet or even see each other before their wedding. Even on the day of the wedding, they did not see each other as my mother had a long ghoonghat (a veil that all brides were supposed to adorn). They first met two days after the wedding when they reached my father’s house.
My parents come from a time when marriages were fixed considering the household more than the boy and girl themselves. “Rishta pakka ho gaya, ghar kafi achcha hai, achche log hain, ladka bhi achcha hai” is a familiar phrase especially for people from the older generation. That was the priority list of fixing matches in those days. Both my grandfathers were men of repute in their communities. My paternal grandfather was a learned man, an engineer and professor of engineering by profession and a scholar of history, philosophy, literature by choice. A self-made man coming from a humble background. My maternal grandfather on the other hand was a hard-working man, self-made, took care of a large family. Both the grandfathers had lost their fathers at an early age and both of these were raised, and guided by the elder siblings or uncles. Both knew the value of giving, of kindness, of extending help and of education. Therefore when suggested by a common aunt both readily agreed to the marriage of their children.
In these 50 years, the two of them became 8. They had three daughters, one son-in-law and two grandchildren. My father learned to be a little more social. If mother would ask him to go out with her 10 times, he would say no 8 times but then she would be able to convince him the remaining two times. At the start, the ratio would be 0-10, then improved to 2-10 and today the ratio is almost 9-10. He has accepted my mother’s way and realized that it is important to meet people and socialize. My mother also learned that my father does not enjoy everyone’s company so she made her little groups and learned to do her things when my father was not interested. My father got a little more experimental with food and my mother tried to get a bit organized but hasn’t gained much in that area. The biggest change however that we girls witnessed was, how my father mellowed down his temper and how my mother learned to voice her opinions and become a bit more assertive. In the growing-up years when they would fight, with my father dominating the argument most of the time I would often wonder (siding with my mother most of the time) if this is what marriage is all about? Today when I see my father and mother looking out for each other in their daily life, like my father sorting out the medicines for my mother each day post breakfast, my mother making the besan barfi or chole bhatoore for my father the way he likes, is when I realise maybe this is what marriage is all about.
#16 January 20, 2022
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https://shubhrathoughts.blogspot.com/ and shared on my social media handles.