I got married almost 7 years ago. It was in the most traditional way possible.
I had always thought there was no way I would marry anyone whom I met through a 'trolley scene' (This did not of course involve me pushing a trolley laden with tea-time goodies into a drawing room for a prospective husband, but means just that it was very much the traditional way of doing things). After all, how can you say yes I'll marry someone without knowing anything about them and just meeting them at occasions when they would be on their best behaviour?
The Parade of Prospectives began just before I graduated from university.
"What time will you be back today? So-n-so knows someone who wants to come over..."
Come over to do what? Inspect me to see if I am good enough for their beloved male offspring?
It used to make my blood boil.
I met various people in various settings arranged by various people.
Oh the stories I could tell.
There was the father of the 'boy' ('boy' being used very loosely to describe a 35 year old balding man) who asked me 'So what salary are you getting?'
Then there was the mother of her 'chand ka tukra' who wanted to know if I would stop working after getting married.
This is not leading to the logical conclusion of how much traditional trolley scenes suck (they do 95% of the time by the way).
Surprisingly, I ended up marrying someone who after I met him for all of 25 minutes, I decided was alright to marry.
A huge decision based on what exactly you may ask? During that 25 minute meeting we discussed our respective organizations mutual advertising agency and it's strengths and weaknesses.
As the visitors (not meant at all like the 'V' visitors...mostly not anyway) reversed out of the driveway and my mother cleared away the remains of the tea, I was asked 'So what should I say if they say they want to go ahead?'
I found myself saying very surprisingly and nonchalantly 'Okay.'
Faisal told me later, his mother asked him as they were reversing down the driveway 'So? What do you think?' and he said to his own surprise, just as nonchalantly 'Okay.'
As corny and cliched (and yes pass-the-bucket-worthy it may sound), that's just how it happened.
During the 6 months from our engagement to our wedding, we became the best of friends.
Today I can honestly say he is my best friend and I am lucky to have found him the way I did.
There have been countless stories of 'lowwe' marriages and arranged ones sadly falling apart down the road. There have been childhood sweethearts who after getting married have decided to go their separate ways. There have also been plenty of arranged marriages which fall apart for all sorts of reasons or (perhaps worse) last unhappily forever for a number of incorrect reasons.
The bottom line I suppose is that its all the luck of the draw.
I have been extremely fortunate to have married someone who I clicked with instantly, who I share numerous interests with and who luckily has a sense of humor and a unique maturity (I'm not saying he can't be pretty obtuse...because he can), but who ultimately is truly my soul-mate.
It hasn't been all smooth sailing of course. We have had our share of disagreements, arguments, not talking for days and more....and will continue to do so I'm sure. The happily ever after in the cartoons, movies and books don't take into account the frustrations of daily life, such as, there being no electricity all day, the child being a pain in the backside, your co-workers acting like morons or your just generally being bored and looking to pick a fight.
I sincerely hope everyone is as fortunate to find that special someone who ends up being their best friend/punching bag/therapist/cheerleader/partner in crime.
Since I can visualize the bags and buckets being passed around now I'll stop.
Faisal, this one's for you. (P.S. it's your turn to do the dishes)