I remember in 2011, when my dad mentioned my shaadi for the first time, I was just 21 and it came as a shock. I was waiting to join my first company and start working and earning for the first time, and there is my dad felt that this was “THE TIME” for me to marry. Thankfully, that discussion never went far enough to even start meeting any guys.
And within 2 months I got my joining and travelled to Mysore. See, I won’t say I never had a crush on anyone, obviously, me being a 21-year-old, meeting new people from all over the country and staying in a huge campus of Infosys, where you have the best sceneries, amazing weather, good theatre inside the campus, places to date and have long walks on those beautiful pathways, I met few interesting people but never connected with anyone to that level.
Just within 6 months on that campus I went ahead and took an opportunity with IBM and shifted to Bangalore.
I hated the city for a year and later fell in love so hard that I cry every time I think about leaving the place. Even today I live with the hope that one day soon enough I will be back to the city and enjoy the calmness and openness that it brings along. This was the time when I was also thinking of making a switch to my career, from development to design and had no guidance on how to do it.
Long story short, I happened to land in a Design School in Delhi and shifted to North India. Those were the most interesting yet tough years for me. I learnt a lot, not only about design but also about life. Meanwhile, my dad was back with the same discussion after 4 years, but this time he had guys in the line for me to meet. Oops! I started talking to one of them, and by the time I met the third guy I was clear that still people think that girls do not have a say in the decisions taken regarding marriage. Even today, when we talk about modern ideas and way of conduct, where we talk about equality and female rights, every person I met said to me ‘This is how we live and you have to adjust with us in all ways’. I couldn’t imagine myself with a person who never bothered asking me about my likes and dislikes. But again, I wasn’t mentally prepared for shaadi talks even. I just kept going but with every guy I talked to, I was losing all the hopes for my future.
Somehow, after a few meetings, this whole process took a break and I got a breather, and three years passed by with just one or two guys my mom mentioned about but nothing further. Thank God, there were not many I had to meet to get my hopes all crushed. But, by the time I got mentally ready for shaadi, I had a clear checklist in my mind like every girl. But my checklist was basic, with very few points which were non-negotiable for me.
Girls, if you are also looking for your life partner, it doesn’t matter whether it is a love marriage or an arranged one, you will always have a checklist in your mind, but make sure your checklist is not very long and you have in mind the terms you cannot compromise on, some basic things you stand for. Your points will definitely be different from my points. But have one, it helps.
Coming back to the story, it was Feb 2021, when my parents met a family and liked them a lot, later I had a call with the guy and he was okay, and I was waiting to talk to him to understand but he never talked instead his family members talked and when we met, we just met for 5 minutes and I was asked to answer, I couldn’t say anything obviously but it took me 8 months to finally make my parents understand my point on why I don’t like the guy. I was so frustrated that I finally started the process on my own.
Day one I matched with a person and we talked. It was such an easy conversation that I had to put no pressure but just go with the flow and believe me I never told him this. Just after 2 days of talking to him I stopped checking my profile and was waiting for this guy’s call or message every day. I think when it is supposed to happen it just happens.
Points in my decision making, I liked it when he asked me to pick the city I want to live in after marriage in case things go this way and we decide to marry. I went WOW!
No one in my life understands what I do professionally and why I do things as a side hustle but just making an effort to understand and saying that if you like it you should keep doing it, is like a fresh breath. I won’t understand what it is but I can try and cheer. Another WOW!
He asked me, “Let your parents come meet me and give their approval and then I will travel to meet you after that for sure.” Third WOW!
Before this I never saw anyone doing that. See, I don’t say that only the guy should travel and make efforts to meet, the girls should too, but reciprocation with the right emotions and actions matter, and that’s what happened. When he came to meet me, I had a great time talking, having lunch, dinner and going to the theatre. Our talks include everything from personal likings to professional plans to investments to hobbies to get-aways to each and everything that popped in our minds.
I was still confused and was not sure, the second day when I made him meet my siblings, that was another WOW moment because that was the time I felt, everything is great. Looking at him talking to my siblings gave me the confidence that yes, I am ready. It was so relaxing.
I learnt a lot from my process of all this, and if I share, the most important thing is, I know I am not a princess that needs to be rescued I just need a person who understand that even I have some plans for my life and it is important that I work on that along side because only that can keep me happy. And only when I am happy, will the people around me be happy too.