Next morning, I woke up late. It is was weekly off so I was not in any hurry to get ready for Office.
He was standing in Kitchen, preparing tea and breakfast for us. I reached him from behind and hugged him. He responded, “Good Morning!”, and continued working on what he was doing.
I felt very good holding him in my arms. It was very soothing, and calming to me so I kept embracing him like this and rested my head on his neck. After a short while he asked me to get ready quickly for the breakfast and Tea.
After we finished our breakfast, I moved close to him, grabbed his hand in my hand and said to him, “You have always ignored my stupidity and forgiven me earlier. But this time you left me all alone. Please don’t do it again to me. I cannot live without you. “
He said nothing; just looked at me and then kissed me.
I asked him again, “I am a little curious. What made you change your mind all of a sudden?”
He smiled, and said, “Yesterday, I got a call from Mom (my Mom). She was very upset.” He paused and looked at me to see my reaction, but I had a fair bit of idea why would she be feeling sad. I just looked down. He continued, “She told me that after I left, there was a heated argument between you and your parents regarding your marriage with that girl.” When he finished his sentence, I looked back at him. He was smiling. His smile made me smile too.
“You should not have done that. Your parents felt very hurt with your disobedience and arguments with them. It was probably first time they faced such a situation with you and it was far beyond their imagination.”, He sounded serious this time.
I was already feeling bad for past few days about how I had behaved with my parents and now his revealing this thing made me feel guilty too. When we are crushed below the heavy load of guilty-consciousness, we tend to find all sort of reasons to prove ourselves non-guilty. That is the safer way to escape the guilty feeling. My mind was doing the same thing. I told him, “What could I do? I had no other option left. You were not on my side either. You had stopped talking to me and I was already feeling bad about it, although it was not my fault at all. I tried to approach you many times to tell you that I wasn’t aware of this marriage thing and it was also a surprise for me to hear it from my Mom. That was the first time I came to know why they had planned such a big Pujan event this time. But you did not give me a chance to me for explanation. You did a total cut-off with me. Could you imagine, just for a moment, what sort of hell it was for me in those days? My friend “A” and you, both abandoned me without giving me a chance to clarify the things. I was being punished for no fault of mine. And the terrible part of it was that I lost you, my closest friend from whom I used to get support during all small and big problems in my life. I was left all alone in this world and could not even share with anyone what exactly my problem was. No one was there to suggest me a way out of my problems.”
He kept on listening patiently. I continued, “On top of that, the incidents took unpleasant turn after you left. Mr. and Mrs. XXXX approached my Parents for my “Rishta”. Their daughter had shown her willingness to join me as my life partner. I used all sort of excuses to avoid it, but nothing worked. I told my parents that I want to get financially stable and independent, and settle down in my professional life first. But they (my expected in-laws Mr. and Mrs. XXXX) blew it off by saying, they were not stopping me in my career growth. They said they would rather be happy and would like to offer all sort of assistance from their side as and when required. They offered me to help me financially as an angle investor if I wanted to start my own business. After all this was for their only daughter who was (supposedly) marrying me. They also said that all they asked was to formally fix this relationship through a ‘Thakkaa’ Ceremony. They further insisted that they and their daughter was also ready to wait for the marriage for a year or two, if I am too much insisting for gaining the Industry exposure (job). They also added that my Job (or not being in a job) was not a concern for them any time, but they respected my decision to be get professionally settled before marriage and would be flexible in either way I chose.”
Now, for kind information of readers of my eDiary, Thakkaa – which literally means “To Stop (from further search of a suitable match in arranged marriages)”, is a small ceremony in which boy and girl are officially declared to be in a relationship and are assumed to be committed to marry each-other. In Punjabi culture, it is the first step of engagement and to let each side know that they are committed now and bound to this relationship and hence each side must put a rest to further attempts to search a suitable match for their child.)
Punjabi’s are famous (or notorious) for their extra-ordinary love for three things in life. Delicious Food, Music and Canada. If someone from their family is in Canada or abroad in any developed countries like USA, or Europe etc, it not only shows a sound financial status, but also represents a “Modern family”, and well accepted in social norms. Such families get better recognition and respect in society.
For my parents, sending me to Canada (or any other country) forever was never an attractive option. They were very hesitant to send me, the only son, to USA for project internship last year, when it was 100% sure that I was not going to stay there and would have to come back after the short term project internship. Actually, my love for my parents could be understood from the fact that, I have never spent a night alone away from my parents in these 20 years of my life, before I moved in to this apartment to live with my Roomie. It was really a hard decision on both the sides. I also did not want to stay away from my parents and friends. But yes, when it comes to “comparison”, they would not mind seeing “Canada” somehow attached to their family and Son. It probably would give both the things to them, the benefits of being connected to Canada, without losing their Son. The girl was also pretty, well educated, and on top of that, were already had a acquaintance with my parents. So, they were also a bit inclined for this relation as they were getting all the things as a bundled package.
When things did not go the way I planned, and none of my excuses worked, I decided to leave the room. It looked rude, but I could not tolerate it any more. My Mom asked me to wait, but it was getting out of my limits.
Later, my Mom came to my room, alone. She wanted to discuss the matter with me, rather explain to me what a life time opportunity I was ignoring. Both of us were rigid on our stands and slowly, the arguments started catching the heat, both at emotional and psychological levels. I was already going through psychological stress for past few days, and this additional stress was just enough to break down my nervous system. No one was willing to understand my needs or listen to them at least. I was being forced to accept their decisions.
Finally, arguments took the ugly turn, and I told my Mom, “I won’t marry that girl even if she is the last girl on this planet.” She was really pretty, but when something is being forced upon me, it is just not meant for me. I started hating her, without even knowing her, just because of pressure created on me to marry her.
“Why? Do you have someone else in your life after moving to Delhi?”, asked my Mom. “Believe me, you will not get such a beautiful girl and such a good ‘Rishta’ (proposal for marriage) in future.”, she added.
“Mom ! I beg you to please leave me alone. I don’t want to discuss it further. I am not willing to marry as of now. This is not an age for marriage. I am not even graduate yet. I cannot take up added responsibility of family. I want to enjoy a little time with my friends after finishing my studies. I am not going to marry her and that’s final. Doesn’t matter if I will never get a better marriage proposal. Even if she is the last girl on the planet Earth. I would rather marry my roomie (his name here), who loves me and understands me more than anyone else in this house, and believe me, I WILL marry him.”, I said, picked up my back-pack and left the room and the home.
I switched off my mobile after I started receiving the calls from my Mom. I kept wandering around the station for 2 hours before the scheduled departure of the train, and then reached at station just 10 minutes before departure of the train. My parents and gang of buddies, everyone was waiting for me at the platform. Mom was crying and were not able to speak to me. She kept hugging me again and again as if she found her life back. That made me cry as well. Neither of us could speak a word. We were not in a condition to talk. I was feeling sorry. I was the only reason for her this condition. The train started moving and I had to board the train.
After coming back here, I got the similar treatment from you. Negligence. I found myself “primary cause of pain” for everyone who loved me. My mom was so scared after my this behavior that she could not dare to call me next day. Till date, she has hardly given me 3-4 calls but our very short conversations lasted only for couple of minutes, asking just know-how of each other. She did not raise the topic of marriage again in our conversation. Although, I apologized her for my mis-behaviour but just words cannot heal the wounds by our actions.
My situation made me re-think about my decision to be committed to you as a life partner. I started feeling that I was no longer important for you. I was all alone, and cause of pains and suffering for everyone around me. I was ashamed of my life. This was the darker shades of my life which were getting worse day by day until yesterday, when your heart melted a little for me and had shown some mercy on me to accept me back.
(To be continued…)