Part 4 http://newsnviews.online/news-n-views/runaway-groom-part-3-of-4/
Relocating to Mauritius was a kind of relief from all those idiotic remarks from my relatives for all those tie-ups and break-ups. The communication with my family was also not too frequent for one that my family is not internet savvy and secondly, calling to and from Mauritius is almost double the cost of calling to and from the US or the UK. So, for thirty-six months, I was pretty relaxed. Later, when I was planning to repatriate to India, the wild dragon of getting me married reappeared in the minds of everyone from family to friends to colleagues. En route to New York for my training programs, I visited India for two weeks, and that gave an opportunity to my family members to probe into my interest and willingness of getting married. I was informed how worried my relatives, my neighbours and others in the village were about my marriage. One evening as we were sitting together for our evening tea, I was asked about the kind of girl I would be interested in. At once, it appeared to me as if I was invited to write a job and role description for an open vacancy in my company. I thought about it and then said, “Knowledgeable. It doesn’t matter what her qualification is but should have a good hold on her subject. Not necessarily very fluent in English language but should be able to understand any communication in English. She must be internet savvy. She should know how to communicate through emails, chats, and social media, etc. Should not be less than 25 years of age, preferably around 30. She should be healthy (definitely not thin like a stick) but not bulky or fat or overweight. Any other qualification over and above this will be an added advantage.” I strictly asked them to not to involve or even consult in-laws of my sister. To give me options to choose from, I told them to bring in at least 4-5 proposals before starting to bother me. Within five days of giving this description, I left for a two month trip to New York and Pennsylvania.
During the visit to the US, I was more worried about possible challenges that I might face to repatriate to India, job market, financial concerns and few other tensions too. After finishing my responsibilities in the US, I returned home to India. My father came to pick me up from Delhi airport. Within first half-an-hour of the journey from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport to Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT), it was around 6 AM; my father told me that they had seen a girl, which according to them was a suitable match. I didn’t pay much attention to it, for one, many other thoughts were crossing my mind, and secondly, I had requested them to get me at least 4-5 proposal, so just one wasn’t of much interest to me. We reached home in the evening. It was Friday; I was told that we were to go to see this girl on Sunday. I refused. I said that the immediate priority was not to see a girl for marriage but something else. Moreover, I had made my travel arrangements to Mumbai on coming Saturday. They were upset and furious because they have had made all the plans with the parents of the girl. Maybe they hadn’t expected me to refuse to go. In that environment, they began to count good qualities of the girl and her family. They said that they saw at least 5-6 girls, but none seemed to be appropriate as per my criteria. I said, “Mummy, I stated that I want to see 4-5 girls, not you.” I was upset and angry. Out of sheer curiosity, I asked, “How did you find this girl”? My father replied, “Referred by the sister-in-law of your sister.” My request of not involving in-laws of my sister was also ignored. “What is her age,” I asked another question. “She is 1980 born,” my mother replied, “but we don’t remember the date and month.” “But she is a good girl,” my mom continued, “very educated, working as a teacher in a Government School. She also knows computer.” I said, “OK, let them wait for two more months. We will meet them in May.” In my mind, I had other plans. I thought, as such, I won’t be staying for more than few weeks and this way I could escape again. “You just see the girl. Say yes or no, whatever you feel like so that they can look for other options, if they need to”, my father said. “Yeah, they can continue to see other suitable matches, and if after two months, she is still available, then we can meet,” I tried to persist. “Why don’t you just meet them and finish it off,” my father replied, however, this time, he was a bit angry and upset. I gave in, “OK, we will meet, however, not this weekend but the following one.” I asked my mother, “You are asking me to meet this girl and have been praising her for last 4-5 hours, by the way, what is her name”? “Vandana Sharma,” my mother replied. After this episode, I travelled to Mumbai to be with my friends and to attend few interviews.
I returned home and on the same weekend, we went to meet Vandana and her family. We met in the house of her uncle. She was 5’1 tall, slightly overweight for her height. I asked her few random questions and on the face of it, she appeared OK, and I said yes. We began to communicate on the regular basis, trying to know more about each other, family members and future aspirations, etc. Soon I got to know that this relation with Vandana was influenced. Just one week before the planned event, my parents and in-laws of my sister had met the girl and her parents, and they seemed to have given them some inside information about me, my likes and dislikes and even things that I might ask her. Anyway, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and two weeks after this forced, secured and monitored date; we got engaged. Our engagement was attended by almost 75 close family members. Our marriage date fixed to be 10th December 2010. The process of knowing each other continued.
In the meantime, I shifted to Bangalore. I could speak to or interact with her only during her break times. One day she asked me, “Can I ask you one question”? I said, “OK.” Vandana replied, “Our engagement was attended by one of the very close friends of your father.” I said, “Yeah, he is a friend of my father for last more than 15 years. They worked together in IAF”. Next question from Vandana was a beamer for me and not expected from a teacher, she asked, “What is his caste”? Shocked and surprised, with my utmost curiosity, I asked, “Why”? She replied, “If he is not of the same caste then after marriage, I am not going to touch his feet to seek his blessings, and that should not create any ripples in the family.” I said, “OK” and disconnected the call. On another occasion, without knowing and without showing any interest in what I do and what is my salary package, she asked me to find a job for myself in Himachal, so as to enable her to keep her job, which, as expected, I refused. Apart from her beamers, during the following months of our engagement, I realized that all messages that I sent to her in English were never answered. Accepting her time constraint of 10 AM to 4 PM and also to honour my professional commitments, (obviously, I couldn’t answer her calls or reply to her messages as per her convenience), I suggested her to open an email account. I gave her plenty of reasons to do so, but it just didn’t happen. In spite of all these, I was still willing to go ahead with marriage plans. After returning from Mauritius, I was just trying to find a right kind of career opportunity for me, and I got one just three months before the scheduled marriage date. I called Vandana and explained to her the entire scenario. I told her that I am going to make this move because it is important for my career and I do not want to screw it after giving it so many years. I said that with the current development, we have no other option but to postpone our marriage by few months. She was reluctant, and so was her family. They seemed to be in love with 10th December. I said, “I am not refusing to get married, all I am saying is to postpone it by few months.” Nothing affected them and after two weeks of cajoling and failed attempts to convince them, I walked out of the relation.
Well, these are four incidents of my life wherein I had to withdraw before making the commitment of marriage. It will be unfair to put blame on anyone involved in the relation or willing to make a commitment. However, I believe that situations of circumstances were such that things couldn’t move forward. I certainly believe in the institution of marriage and do wish to get married someday. I like simplicity and adore simple things. I don’t like complexities in relation.
Your stories, comments, and feedback are invited.
About the Author
Sanjeev Himachali, Pune
Sanjeev is seasoned Human Resources professional with a wealth of experience spanning across Manufacturing, Information Technology and Financial Services Industries. He is an Integral part of the Global HR Leadership Team which works on HR strategy development and deployment plan for all organizational level HR programs. Sanjeev has a well-rounded exposure to Business Operations and Delivery along with focused Human Resources assignments to understand people and people strategy. It Enables being a true Business Partner in deciding
People Processes and making informed decisions by leveraging market intelligence. He is a strategic planner with experience in Organization Restructuring, Change Management, Organization Development and Talent Management. Sanjeev is a qualified Career and Performance Coach.
Specialties: Change Management, Organization Development, Performance Coaching, Career Coaching, HR Operations, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Green-field Legal CGreenfield Operations, Start-up, Learning, and Development, and Compensation and Benefits.
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