Journey From Engagement To MarriageIn any culture the journey of 2 people a guy and a girl from engagement to marriage is very special. The waiting for the most special day, the blush of a new bride, the scent of flowers, the inflow of so much positive energy (wishes & prayers) are exciting, dreamy and fascinating. In Indian culture this journey is like a colorful dream - a Bollywood movie - i would call it an Indian dream - Our heroine is a smart Indian girl named Naina, and this is her story.
Naina was born in a traditional Indian family, where a lot importance is given to culture, spirituality, family values and arranged marriages. Naina was truly a believer in Indian tradition, she always wanted her husband to be picked up by her father and mother. She grew up in this beautiful, connected family, her brothers were her pillars of strength. There was true and unconditional love in this family that makes anyone jealous.
Naina was in her bedroom, it was a sunday evening - she was dressed in a beautiful pink saree, she was wearing her bangles, earnings, she was looking wonderful - she was getting ready because the bridegrooms family was to visit her. (Normally in an arranged marriage, the bridegroom family visits the bride family - if all goes good - if the families like each other, if the groom and bride like each other - the story is a success else its a recursive loop.)
Her mother came into her room, she admired her daughter on how beautiful she was looking, she then started to talk about the grooms family - the groom is an IITian, (like MIT) is an engineer and is working in Microsoft and the family is well read and settled. Naina mother added that Naina would be lucky if this match was a success. Naina always loved her mother, her mother was a simple person, her mother always thinks that only good things can happen - Naina admired her mother, she wished she had the positive thinking that her mother had. As soon as her mother left her father came, he just saw her, in his mind he was seeing the little girl who he used to pick from school every other day, he cant belive she is grown up and is ready to marry - he has always been proud of her - be it her academic education, her job everything... secretly he was dreading about the day he would have to part with her. He looked at her and smiled, Naina understood what he was going though, she smiled back to him and said "Papa, they are just coming to see me, it not like i am going to go with him - dont worry i will reject the groom". Her father said, "Ya do it Nainu". Then he quietly left the room.
Naina's mother came to inform her, that the grooms family have arrived. They were seated in the living room, the introductions happened. And its was time for the bride to be shown to the grooms family, Naina was called for, Naina walked in and was seated in the living room sofa - it was a large room with loads of space and everybody was waiting for her to appear.
Naina was a beautiful girl, she had curly her, very cute eyes, pretty smile and a child like face. She is so likable by everyone at the 1st sight. The grooms family were impressed by her looks, they were already impressed by the family - they were sure that Naina was their daughter in law. Naina was introduced to everyone her potential mother in law, potential father in law, sister in law - her husband ... and finally to Aman - the groom. Naina was so uncomfortable in her own living room and shy to see Aman. Aman said "Hi" and Naina also said "Hi", then they resumed back to their seats. Aman was very tall than Naina, with a sharp nose and a handsome face. Naina always wanted her husband to be liked by her brothers - she saw that happening Aman was connecting with her brothers.
Naina's brother's liked Aman very much, they decided to make Naina and Aman talk to each other, and see if they like each other. They asked Naina to show Aman their home. Naina & Aman without knowing what to do, decided to walk, Naina 1st took Aman to her room. Aman has never entered a girls room in his life, even his sister doesnt allow him into her room. Aman liked Naina, her room - its was beautifully decorated - it had a huge shelf full of books, all Jane Austen novels, at the corner a worktable with a laptop - looked like a neat work area, a neat closet and a dressing table, then a small shelf where a lots of bangles, earnings and a beautiful balcony with pot plants... Aman decided to kill the silence, he said, "Naina, your room is looking beautiful... " Naina said "Thanks".. Aman didn't know what else to talk, he was looking at Naina and secretly admiring her beauty. Naina did not know what to do, she was looking at the floor. Soon 30 minutes was over, from downstairs Naina could hear her mother calling her. She said, "Let go down". Aman got up, "Ok, before we go down, i have to say something - before i came down here i was confused i thought how could i decide a girl in less than 1 hour, I always thought that I had to fall in love before i marry, I came here to reject you - But the moment I saw you, i dont think I can bring a better girl than you to home to show to my mom as her daugther in law...and i... i... i... I love you". Naina smiled calmly, then she said, "Lets go". He said "But you haven't answered me, do you like me?". Naina smiled again and kept her suspense and again said, "Lets go, I will tell you later". Aman was upset. He never ever thought he would propose to a girl like this, and after he did, the girl has not responded, he was angry on himself for being so vulnerable. They both started walking downstairs, everybody were eagerly waiting for their decision. Aman's sister enquired him, he said an "Yes". Both the families were thrilled in excitement in the upcoming wedding... Aman was confused, he was all the thinking that somebody would ask Naina for her response, it seemed nobody did...
Meanwhile the families started to pick a date for the engagement. Sweets were exchanged. The engagement was supposed to happen in Naina's house it was a custom and a date was picked. Aman took Naina's mobile number from her brother before he left Naina's home that day.
After the grooms family left, Naina left to her bedroom - her mom dad and brothers congratulated her... Her mom and dad blessed her... Naina was feeling happy, she could not stop thinking about Aman, she has already fallen head over heels for him - inside her. She was lying in her bed, and everywhere she could see is only Aman. She was thinking how could just 1 day change everything, everything looks different, everything looks pretty.... the happy thoughts were flowing seamlessly... She was completely lost in her thoughts... the night came, her cellphone began to ring, it was from a unknown number, she somehow left it was Aman, it was Aman....
As she picked up the phone to answer, she was thrilled, a complete rollacoster ride. She said "Hi", the voice on the otherside said "Hi, This is Aman, Can I speak to you for sometime, Are you free". Naina said, "Yes".
Aman asked Naina, does she like him, and she answered with an "Yes". Aman was thrilled, his happiness knew no boundaries. They spoke for hours together, about their work, parents and siblings.
Almost at 2.00 am in the morning, both of them said good bye to each other and went to sleep. Naina felt she is in Love. Aman felt the same. They could not sleep that night.
The morning came, bright beautiful day - Naina got up feeling happy, she got ready to office, seems her mom made her favorite breakfast - Naina ate, then she left to office... Her office was 4 kilometer away, Naina loves walking, hence she used to walk everyday to office. This was also her fitness mantra. Her house was in a integrated township hence walking was a real pleasure to her.
She felt her cellphone ringing, she picked the phone, it was Aman, he wished her good morning.. Naina was happy, they spoke for sometime until Naina reached office, she resumed to her work... For every hour, atleast 1nce she was reminded of Aman, she was wondering how a stranger, could become so important to her suddenly... :)
In the evening, she started back to home, she got a call, it was Aman, again they both talked until she reached home, now this became a ritual - everyday 4 km walking was a discussion time for Aman and Naina...
The engagement day came, the bride and the groom exchanged the rings and engagement happened. Naina was looking lovely, it was a small gathering, only Naina and Aman's family members - there was fun, laughter and happiness everywhere. The secret lovers were keeping their love secret from their families.
Aman was secretly deciding to meet Naina alone... as Naina never said that she loved him and he wanted to hear it, in person from her.
The wedding date was fixed, it was 6 months from engagement.
To be continued...
- part 2