Marriage - it's the be-all and end-all for a woman, particularly in a society like ours. But I chose my career over marriage.
However, at the age of 30, I had to get married to a person whom I barely knew for 5 months. It all started when my younger sister got engaged.Her in-laws had many questions about me. Why was I still single? How could the younger sister get married before the unmarried elder sister?
They started pressurizing my mother to get me married first, or my sister’s marriage to their son would be at stake. From that day, everyone’s eyes were on me. My family had to bear everyone gossiping about their daughter. From being called medically unfit to accused of having an affair with another girl, everyone was talking about me. But none of these rumors were true!
At that time, I felt that being the elder daughter was a crime. All the love, affection and sacrifices that I made for my family just vanished. My mother told me that I brought bad luck to my sister and I was the reason for her troubles. Even my sister told me that she would never see my face again if her marriage was called off. Suddenly, I felt all alone.
I really wanted to tell my sister, “Dear Sister, it was I who paid for your IT college admission. I gave you pocket money and got you fancy clothes every month. Today, because of that same education you are earning more than me. And you’re say that you don't want to see my face?”
I was broken, I wanted to leave everything and go away. I even thought of committing suicide. But I was firm that I didn’t want to marry.
Months passed by and nothing changed for me. In fact, it worsened. I had no option. So I decided to change my mind. I spoke my heart out to a close friend. She suggested that if I agreed, she could introduce me to her friend who was looking for an eligible girl for marriage. They didn't have issues with caste and were a very liberal family.
I don't know why, but I said yes at once. I still don't understand why I did that. Was it because of family pressure? Or did destiny actually want us to meet?
Two days later, I met the boy. He seemed like a joyful, playful Punjabi guy. And yes, it was love at first sight. I didn't speak much that day apart from my likes and dislikes. A few days later we met again and things clicked! He was just like me - independent, self-reliant and an extremely expressive person. Yet, I had many doubts in my mind, which were cleared after a few conversations. I was open enough to tell him that if my family agreed for the marriage, we could stay together. He willingly agreed.
I broke this news to my mother and sister. And they were amazed! My mother decided to meet the boy’s parents. At first, I was terrified because I had never thought about this. 3 months later both the families met. They started talking about the what, when and where of the wedding. But both of us said that we didn’t want a lavish wedding. We wanted to use our own savings. And we ensured that neither of the families followed any ritual of give and take. Astonishingly, everyone agreed.
On the other hand, my sister's marriage was to be performed with all rituals. Jewellery was made for her; money was collected for her. What surprised me is that no one cared to ask how I was managing things for my own marriage!
It made me really feel like a bad charm for my family who just wanted me to go away as soon as possible.
I shared my thoughts with my husband and even told him that since things were decided, why couldn’t we get married immediately? He then told me that his mother wanted us to get married on a certain date (mahurat). To my surprise, she even asked for my kundali (horoscope), something I don't believe in at all! When I told my mother about this, she told me that I was a manglik and if this news were to reach my prospective mother-in-law, she would never agree for the marriage.
I felt helpless. I cried all night, wondering how to fix this huge mess, which was created because of me. My family believed that I was bad luck and when I finally fell in love and wanted to settle down, I get to know that I’m a manglik.
Days just passed by and I broke all contact with him. I switched my phone off. A few days later, I saw him at my doorstep, worried, looking for me. I broke down; I literally fell to the floor, holding him tight and crying like a kid.
He heard everything and then, to my surprise, he said, “No matter what happens, I am getting married to you. I don't care about the fault in your stars or anything else.”
He went to his mother and clearly asked her the mahurat when she wanted us to get married. That was my mother-in-law’s only wish that he wanted to keep. Heated arguments followed but he stood firm on his decision. Finally, his family agreed.
He even told them that he wanted us to get married in the same month itself. July had just started. Our wedding date was decided. We arranged a small Arya Samaj wedding with a few relatives and close friends.
Even my sister got married in the same year.
Now we are a happy couple, living peacefully in our space.