I grew up saying that if I ever get married, it’ll obviously be a love marriage. Every time there used to be a discussion about marriage in the family, I used to change the topic by saying, “I am waiting for the right one.”
I wonder why I was always so confident about a love marriage, about finding the right one, falling in love, and eventually getting married to that one person.
Unfortunately, nothing like that happened. I did not find the right person.
All my dreams of ‘love marriage’ were lost.
I got tired of being rejected. Tired of listening to ‘No.’ I was 24, and was rejected a lot of times.
It was Asha’s wedding. Her wedding meant a big deal to everybody in our family. She was a year younger to me, and was getting married. Of course, people were talking about it.
Asha was my cousin, born in India, and brought up in USA. She was back in India, just for the grand wedding.
Her entire wedding ceremony was huge. Her favourite colour was yellow and hence the entire hotel was decorated with yellow flowers, lights, curtains and what not. It all looked so appealing. Women made to wear yellow, while men were made to wear red.
She met Rakesh in USA, both of them fell in love, dated each other for a really long time, and things went far too ahead. Well.. whatsoever, they were now getting married.
I was in Asha’s room, on one of the days of the wedding week, talking to her about general things.
“But, didi. I don’t think you should wait for the right one anymore.” Asha said.
I laughed, “You really think I am waiting? I am not!”
“Listen, just because I was in US, you think I don’t know about what was happening here? I know everything. You have been delaying things. I know that! Don’t let stupid things stop you. I am sure things are going to work out now. I assure you.”
I did not say anything. She was right.
She removed her phone from her purse and showed me a picture of a man. She was smiling.
“Who is this?” I smiled and asked.
I pushed her phone away.
“He is a teacher in our college. He is coming here tomorrow. He is of your type only. Meet him once.”
I was shaking my head when she said that.
“Become friends at least.”
She gave me her number. Asha told Sahil to text me. Sahil did.
Asha knew that even Sahil couldn’t find someone. She convined Sahil to somehow meet me, and made me look like the ‘one’ he has been waiting for.
Sahil and I texted each other for sometime. We spoke about general things. It was nothing exciting and eventually we stopped texting each other.
Few weeks passed. Asha went back to US.
I got busy with my work. The routine.
One day, Sahil called me.
He said that he is going to be around my area the next day. I got the hint. He wanted to meet me.
“Let’s meet for a coffee?”
“Was looking forward to that!” he said.
So, I was gonna meet him. I was very nervous. I had just seen one picture of him. Barely knew him.
We had decided to meet at a local cafe in the afternoon.
It was a gloomy day, with dark clouds in the sky.
I was supposed to reach there by 4, but I decided to reach before that.
I reached around 3, and to my surprise, he was already there. Waiting outside the cafe. He had a black umbrella in his hand, was wearing a blue checks shirt and a black pant.
I tried to look inside the cafe, it was not that crowded. I wondered why he was still standing outside. He was looking at the other side, was checking his watch. He looked nervous, but so handsome.
I was standing on the opposite road. I didn’t know if Asha had ever shown him a picture of me. I was still standing there. Looking at him. He didn’t seem impatient or irritated. And then, it started to rain. He quickly opened the umbrella and took his phone out of his pocket. He looked up exactly where I was standing before seeing his phone. I tried to hide behind a car with my umbrella.
He was texting someone. I saw him type.
A minute later my phone beeped.
It said, “Asha told me that you don’t like going out when it rains. Unfortunately, it is raining. Take your time. I might be late too.”
He was still standing outside. Waiting. Checking his watch, phone.
I decided to show up.
I checked myself in the mirror of the car I was hiding behind, took a deep breath and went on the road again. This time, I deliberately stood exactly on the road that was opposite to where he was standing.
Cars were moving quick. He looked at me.
He saw me and smiled.
I crossed the road. My heart was beating really fast. It was raining badly. I usually used to look down and walk. But this time, I purposely didn’t do that.
As I approached him, his smile became wider. He looked at me and said,
“Did you face any problems while coming? I also just reached. The traffic, I tell you.”
“No, not really. You get used to the daily suffering.” I smiled.
He nodded and opened the door for me.
We both went inside the cafe, we ordered for coffee and biscuits.
He looked so happy and was full of energy.
We spoke for almost an hour. Finished the coffee and biscuits. And not once, did he say anything about how I looked.
When we were paying the bill, he said
“You know what, rains really make me want to have hot corn. Let’s go grab some, there is a small stall 10 minutes away.”
I smiled. I was surprised.
We had corn, laughed, enjoyed the rain. I realized he is a really nice guy. He told me about all his weird fantasies and dreams. I told him about mine.
We didn’t bother to look at the time. We went for a long walk, told each other a lot about our philosophies and stuff, went for a small play, and spoke about almost everything.
I had a really nice time and then we decided to head home when mom started to call me.
We were waiting at the bus stop. Both of us were quiet. It was raining a bit. He still seemed lively and happy. I looked at him and smiled. He was looking down at the road. Then he looked at me, pressed his lips, and said,
“I want you to meet my parents.”
“Are you blind, Sahil?” I asked.
He laughed, “No, I can see that your bus is coming, and it’s time to go home and tell your parents that I finally like someone.”
“There is a scar on my face!”
“I know.” He said, with a smile on his face.
“You cannot just ignore it. You have to say something.”
“I didn’t see the need to be honest. I saw it. It’s fine. I know it screams for attention. I know it makes you feel ugly. But, you know what? I don’t care. I did rather see the spark in your eyes when you smile. I did rather fall in love with the way you laugh.”
“Tell your scar that it has got enough of attention already. Enough now.”
Both of us started to laugh and we watched my bus slowly disappear, while it continued to rain.
He extended his hand, and said,
“Will you marry me?”
“Yes.” I said.