Married In Haste, Loved For A Lifetime

Posted: June 26, 2012

Ages ago I had passed the preliminary and the main civil services exam and was awaiting my interview date. My father had been caught by surprise that his good for nothing son had reached so far, and in his wisdom (and without asking me) he arranged for me to attend a one-week coaching for the interview in Delhi. I protested, but left for Delhi with no intention of attending the coaching classes.

A friend of mine put me up in Delhi and when I told him I had no wish to join the coaching, he cajoled me into at least having a look at the coaching centre. I did, and arrived at the centre on the appointed day. Among the so many people waiting in the reception area, a girl caught my eye, and we talked about this and that. It was because of her that I attended the coaching on all the six days; and on the last day we exchanged addresses (those were the days of snail mail) and left.

A beautiful love storyInterviews over; I passed and shortly before joining the Academy I had a letter from her congratulating me and telling me she didn’t get through. We continued to correspond, and while in the Academy, I proposed to her through a letter that took a lifetime to write! In return I got a letter from her brother reminding me of the differences in our cultures (she a Malayalee and me a Punjabi), and telling me that while there were no objections, they neither gave nor accepted dowry (I think my being a Punjabi had something to do with this!). While on the subject of dowry, I had already been offered, among other things, a cinema hall in Hyderabad, and a farm house somewhere around Delhi! (The cinema hall baffles me till date, what was I supposed to do with it?)

Later that year we IAS trainees were taken for what is known as a ‘Bharat Darshan’, and once my group reached Cochin, I asked the faculty member accompanying us to allow me two days off; he told me I could only be allowed leave on compassionate grounds, and what such grounds did I have? I had none, so I asked for leave on passionate grounds, and it was promptly granted with a grin!

I was being adventurous – I had no clue of Kerala or where Kottayam (that’s where she lived) was; I didn’t know the language, I hadn’t told her I would turn up, and yet I went, found her house, and there she was, open mouthed and confused. Her folks were gracious enough to let me stay with them, the date of the wedding decided without much ado. I had already told my parents about her and that had created some consternation in the family.

Once the training course was over, I, along with a batch-mate of mine from Kerala traveled second class by train from Delhi to Kerala in sweltering heat (we had no money for the good things of life like air-conditioned travel or flying), and that’s how I got married in Kerala, Kerala style! Except for my brother, no one from my side attended. Everybody from my wife’s side was there. (We later had a Punjabi wedding, too – a rather subdued affair by Punjabi standards!)

She has been the source of my strength in bad times, she has taught me patience, she has stood by me through everything, and she has given us two lovely daughters.

Pic credit: Davidyuweb (Used under a creative commons license)

I am a former bureaucrat, and have worked a lot on gender issues, disaster management

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  1. She has been the source of my strength in bad times, she has taught me patience, she has stood by me through everything,

    That is just what marriage is supposed to be isn’t.

    As for your lovely daughters I think you deserved them.

    Congratulations for standing up to society’s criticism that you may have faced – hamari nazar naa lagey!

  2. Lovely.! I always knew that your love story would be something straight out of a Bollywood romantic flick.! 😛 God bless you both.!

  3. What a heartwarming tale!

  4. Real life love stories! Always love them 🙂

  5. Awww..what an adorable love story 🙂 Its lovely 🙂

  6. Paromita Bardoloi -

    Wow!!! All I can say, someday I too can write something like this.

  7. What a sweet story! loved it. I have been following your posts on WW and really admire your thoughts and manner in which you’ve held ground against the dogmatic society.

  8. beautiful! such simplicity! In your time, communication was not an easy task and still you maanged to find your true love..and in today’s times.when every1 is connected to every1 online..still people fail to find such true love 🙂 and yes..god doesnt make men like you anymore! 🙁

  9. well may be you were expected to sit and relax in that cinema hall as per your whims and fancies? 😉 just guessing 🙂

    such an apt title for the post Sunil Jee…Your wife surely is a wonderful women…

    a companion who is your friend [in today’s lingo BFF] is hard to find but once you find him/her you are done for life 🙂

  10. There couldnt be a better title for this love story 😀

  11. The picture says it all…

  12. Thank you all!!!!

  13. I wish I had a father like this 🙁

    BTW I didnt know a simple Punjabi existed in this world 😀

    All the Punjabis I met in my life are loud,proud and making fun of poor mallus like me for our “expicit” film industry or dressing sense , accent ,dark skin(even when i am not) , infamous looks.

    But u changed my impression.

    Sir, what do you think I should each my 7 year old son to become responsible person like you.

    I havent seen one in my life.I am a single mom and I sometimes why this world is producing such wicked men.Wht is going wrong ,according to you?

    Please reply.

    • Freemind, thanks! Well, yes, Punjabis can be loud and brash! I really don’t know how to answer you, but I guess I found my own direction (misdirection, according to some) pretty early in life. I am sorry I missed you comment till now.

  14. Sometimes blogs are a boon and I can ask questions which I may not ask otherwise.

    Thank you.Great blog

  15. Awesome! A big Example for Punjabi -Malyalli couples indeed 😀

  16. I wish one of my best friend could do what you did. She is a Hindu Brahman and was in a relationship for more than 10 years. He is a Muslim. Her parents did not agree. The guy’s family had no problem. But her father threatened to kill himself if he had to go against his “samaj.” Sadly, she had to part ways with him to boost her father’s ego or save his life, whatever it is. 10 years of togetherness lost. The guy had to get married to someone else, much against his wish. My friend is now paraded to prospective grooms every weekend, who not only want her to earn after marriage but also want a few lac rupees and loads of goodies as dowry.

  17. Woa.. what a great live story it was..I really like the way It was narrated. I held my interest and I cud actually picturize everything.u have build the relationship and kept it intact even when there were fewer mean of communication. It is rarely difficult in present reminds of the book written by chetan bhagat-two states. There was nothing glamorous , too much involvement but mere simplicity which really paid off in the end.

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