Arrange Marriage

Raima, spunky, funky, monkey. Full of life, vivacious, ready to explore and embrace everything that comes along. She got relocated from Singapore to India to fulfill her destiny, to get married.

Neeraj, reserved, well settled in US, responsible, man of few words, bordering towards boring. He has gone through a heartbreak and life some how has further slowed down. In India forcefully, as he needs to fulfill his destiny, to get married.

Since, Raima has been unsuccessful in finding a perfect match for herself, her father has taken the responsibility on his shoulder. Mutually they have settled for modern day swayamvar and chosen to announce her availability and keenness. It is through this celestial platform she has already met around 38 eligible bachelors. In the beginning of this journey, she was reluctant, embarrassed and uncomfortable around the prospective husband but after meeting few of them not only she became comfortable she also strategically chose a permanent venue, a coffee shop mid way from office and home as these meetings has become twice a week affair.

Today, satya is serving Lattee for 39th time to Raima, in the same coffee shop on the same table, close to the window. Like all other times, her company is a new prospective husband. By now, she has mastered the meeting skill. In the beginning it all seem to be an easy task, how difficult can it be to find well educated, well settled, well behaved, decent looking guy from an educated family, turned out to be very. Some of them had problem with her outgoing behavior as they were looking for sanskari bahu, who won’t take such meetings alone. Few of them wanted cook plus wife, they insisted on knowing if she is capable of making gajar ka hawla as their sunny boy really likes it. One of them came with family and extended family and extensions of extended family, Raima on one side batting with all vigor the volley of questions thrown by 15 of them from the other side. Even in todays day and age, there were guys who wanted convent educated, fair, good looking, tall, well brought up house maid, since in business families wife don’t need to work. Then there was one who took great pride in confessing his love for doing pots but when it comes to wife, they are from different land, pure and virgin. After many such meetings Raima reached to the conclusion that marriage is not in her destiny but there is no harm in getting free coffee and entertainment. Having this in mind, she met Neeraj.

It was a known territory for Neeraj, but his experience was much less then Raima’s. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to get married, he wasn’t sure what he wanted in the girl, not that many know and some of them don’t know even after 20 years of marriage. Meeting was courteous and went on smoothly with less then expected excitement. They didn’t show any interest or disinterest in each other. Neeraj went back to Texas the very night and Raima to Safdarjung where she was staying with her family. Days passed, life moved on as usual, office, twice a week coffee meetings, friends and family on the weekends.

Autumn made way for spring. Amaltas tress around Safdarjung got loaded with yellow chandelier flowers. It was a fine Saturday morning, precisely 3 weeks from the first meeting with Neeraj, Raima received a call. Sweet, gentle voice introduced herself as Neeraj’s sister, Kamna. It took Raima completely by surprise as she had no contact with him since that meeting. When Kamna expressed her desire o meet, Raima got all the more confused as it is not often that she gets invites by prospective husband’s sister. Confused, reluctant and inquisitive she decided to meet. This time she chose a different venue, Baritos in HKV.

From the very first meeting they took liking to each other, they had similar interest, taste, and zeal for life. With one man common in between them. After that they met often sometimes for coffee, at times for run, visiting libraries and cinema halls, exploring chandni chowk and its lost alluring history. What started as an awkward meeting turned into a solid bonding. Meanwhile, Neeraj was busy with his career in Texas and Raima was updated about him from time time. As Raima started visitng his house in capacity of Kamna’s friend , she got to know more of him and his family. His presence even when he wasn’t there could be felt everywhere in the house, unknowingly somewhere deep inside, a relation started.

One find day, when she was at Neeraj’s house with Kamna, Kamna in most nonchalant way asked her if she wants to permanently move in since everybody is fond of her and she in turn likes everybody.

Neeraj was visiting next Wednesday, 3 days from now. A quick temple wedding was arranged which was followed by a small party at Safdarjung.

7the day at the airport, all bags packed, glowing happy bride next to him he couldn’t thank his sister enough for making it happen. From the time he met her all he thought about was being with her. It looked like an impossible task because here was a women who knew what she wanted and was ready to go extra mile and here was the guy who didn’t have time on his side to sweep her off her feet.

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