Things would have been different If I was single, I would have loved to settle down in an arranged marriage. But, because I am already into a super-awesome relationship for almost seven-years now, I really cannot think of experiencing the magical charm of getting married to a stranger. Though, I still have my own set of beliefs and views to share about the idea of arranged marriage.
Mere thinking of settling down in an arranged marriage gives me goose-bumps. I think it is the most divine form of a relationship. The beauty of an arranged marriage starts from the day you and your families decide that yes he/she can be your only soul-mate. From that day onward, things between would-be husband-wife are like those teenage love stories, where everything is beautiful, the girl finds her would be husband the most handsome man in this world and the man sees her would-be wife as the sweetest and the most adorable lady he could have ever met.
First they would meet at a coffee-shop, they would talk nothing. Not even take a single sip of the coffee they ordered for. The boy would keep looking at everything around him and would constantly skip a moment to look at his would-be wife. The lady on the other hand would be sitting in all expectations that the man of her life would start the conversation.
Things move on, and the couple starts growing with each other. Every moment that passes seems like a never ending journey they are on to. Soon the day comes when they are on their marriage-stage. They both look beautiful. They both steal a moment to look at each other, in that single moment of looking at each other, all they convey to each other is “hey..you look beautiful”.
The would-be husband wanted to say “Baby, you look beautiful” but he does not do that. He thinks that it is way too fast. He is not sure if his would-be wife would be comfortable on hearing the affectionate word ‘baby’ or not. The beautiful lady thinks all what her would-be husband thinks about her. They both are talking to each other with their eyes. The boy is somewhat getting intoxicated looking at her would-be beautiful wife.[one] All he thinks to do is to describe her beauty, better than how Geoffrey Chaucer did to Alison in Wife of Bath Prologue and Tale. Sitting there, he is reading these lines to himself, thinking that he is doing it to his would-be wife.
“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.”
(2. 2. 4-8) ~ Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
While they both sit on the dinner table, all they think is of how they would make each other eat. It is a new experience for both of them. They are not sure who is supposed to start first. In midst of everything around, boy keeps his hand over his would-be wife’s hand. She is stranded for a second. She does not realize what just happened. She blushes and takes away her hand. Everyone around is smiling, and the beautiful lady of the day is feeling shy. She does not know what her would be husband likes to eat. She gives a childlike look to her would-be husband, and in a moment, he understands what she is trying to say; things are now becoming clear between them. All he says is ‘whatever you like’. Somewhere deep down in there mind, they both think about how an arranged marriage takes place. They are happy….
As the time is coming close for them to be husband-wife instead of would-be husband wife their excitement, and anxiety is also increasing. Looking at how nervous his would-be wife is like the husband now offers a supporting hand to his wife. She feels reveled. The ‘magic-touch’ seems to work now. For a moment, they look into each others’ eyes and smile; smile for the first time in last five hrs. Seeing that nobody is around, girl asks her would-be husband ‘ how do I look ?’ The would-be husband simply wants to kiss her hand and tell how beautiful she is , but is unable to do that. All he said says is ‘Angel’. The girl thinks why her would-be husband is not saying something else or more. She then realizes that maybe this is the real beauty of an arranged marriage. You never say anything to each other- you only feel.
Finally the moment comes when they are husband-and-wife. All the rituals are now over. They are now sitting and waiting to enter a new world. The girl is now crying. She has already started missing her family. This time instead of holding her mom’s hand, she looks for her husbands’ warm-and-cozy hand.[two] She takes hold of it; tightly. The husband is now a supporting hand to his wife. The lady of the evening now relies on her husband and not her first-family. Somebody from the boy’s family makes a witty comment on something. The couple shares a good-laugh – for the first time together. They come close to each other. This time they are less uncomfortable. After all they are husband-and wife; that too through the most sacred ritual of our world- arranged marriage.
Then comes the most precious time of their lives. The girl waits for her husband on ‘their’ bed. She is nervous. She is almost sweating. She sits there like a statue; waiting to be crafted by the only craftsman of her life. In her mind she thinks about all the fantasies she has ever had about her marriage’s first night. As her husband moves closer to her, she starts feeling more shy. She never allowed any man to come that close to her in her life. She only lets her husband be that close. She thinks that first-night in an arranged marriage is more beautiful than a love marriage. She thinks she is going to give herself to her husband; whom she knows very little of. May be that is the magic of an arranged marriage- she says to herself.
The husband is now sitting next to his wife. He is not sure of what to say and what to do. He is equally shy-and-nervous of things going with him. He has had so much to say and do, but none turns out. He thinks – how to go forward? He was not aware that things could be so difficult. For a second he thinks he should have had a love-marriage, so that he would have known his wife better- already. The very next second he looks at his wife and the thought of love-marriage skips his mind. He takes hold of her hand. He kisses her hand. For the first time a man was touching her, the girl thinks. With that kiss the husband says “You look beautiful, my angel.” She blushes and hugs her husband. [three] They sit there and talk, talk about everything they have had in their mind. The girl while playing with her words tell her husband that she was not yet ready for taking this first-night further. Husband is amazed to hear that. He was not expecting this. For some minutes they only look into each others’ eyes, while they play with each others hands. Husband smiles and says “even I am not yet ready”.
It is a moment of relief for the girl. They both smile at their own childish-yet-mature- than ever relationship. Suddenly they both ask each other something that makes them both feel dumb-stuck: “is this how an arrange marriage works?” They laugh and hug each other. And while they are talking to each other, girl falls asleep. The girl is in her husband’s arms and has her head resting on his shoulder. All what the boy does is look at her in amaze
Their arranged marriage evolves day-by-day. On the second-day of their marriage, they say to each other the three magical words “I love you”. It is then they make love with each other. To them nothing seems more divine than what they are into, at that moment. The next morning, while they have their early morning love-bird talks, all they say to each other is that “I could not have loved you more if it were a love marriage.”
I know you must be wondering that why didn’t I posted pictures with the text. So to answer that, I want to tell you folks that I orignally wanted my readers to imagine those pictures. Yes, imagine as they read the text. I am sure you were able to feel exactly the way I expected.
About Aditya Bhasin
Aditya Bhasin hails from India, Delhi-an avid reader, who enjoys his cup of tea over it, a racist in purest form as he hates chocolate and coffee. He does not like traveling much, but, if he gets an opportunity to travel he chooses to do that by a train instead of a car or a plane. He is an introvert person who is trying to be an extrovert by all possible means.
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