BYOB

Our love story is pretty simple. Sharan commented on my blog. I commented on his blog. We got married and stopped updating our blogs. 

We were in very different places — physically and mentally — when we met. Sharan was in Delhi, emotionally well-settled, and ready to get married when he found a good match. 

In fact, he was such a power user of Bharat Matrimony that a few months before we met, I actually ‘vetted’ his proposal for my ex-roomie. 

I took one look at his FB profile (and blog) and declared that he was a narcissistic jaada thendi. So, it was pretty hilarious when I messaged the roomie couple of months later to tell her of my romantic situation.

I, on the other hand, had moved back in with my parents after quitting my job and unlike Sharan, my only claim to fame was that I did not have a profile on a matrimonial website. I was 28 which, back then, was a fairly admirable age for not having one, especially for women.

I was also at the dying end of a Chernobyl-level toxic relationship that lasted for seven years because my then-boyfriend forgot to tell me that he already started seeing other people within the first year or so. 

So, as I was saying, Sharan and I existed in different realms when it came to love and marriage.

When Sharan broke the news about our matrimonial decision to his parents, he met with some resistance. I was a year older than him and I did not exist in the world of arranged matrimony. 

Additionally, the fact that I took three hours to finish the puttu and kadala Sharan’s mom served me when I first visited them also did not help. I’m generally a slow eater and puttu was and still is my Kryptonite.

Who am I kidding, there was more. The day I visited them was also the day KM Mani had announced his resignation back in 2015 and for some reason, I was super excited, kept talking about KM Mani, and made them watch the live news coverage for a few hours. 

Sharan had assumed that we would face resistance from my family too even though I told him that my parents had made it very clear to me that it was BYOB – bring your own bhartthaav/bridegroom – when it came to getting married.

Nevertheless, Sharan called up my father and gave a fairly lengthy speech about getting married, and Achan was like, ‘Meghayude ishtam aan nammude ishtam,’ which roughly translated to please stop talking about trivial human things to me and let me go back to reading the printout of some philosophy book I found online while I practise the violin. 

Talking about the initial chapters of our life together wouldn’t be complete if I don’t talk about ‘The Proposal’. It was a starry night, we were on a boat docked in the middle of a river in the Sunderbans with some lovely people. Sharan and I were sitting on the upper deck, he gave me a packet of big red bindis which he procured from the local market on the island where the boat had stopped to refuel and asked me to marry him.

Later that night, we went back to the upper deck again, watched the river, and then Sharan fell asleep on my lap. After a while, it was starting to get chilly. I tried to wake him up. He was still sleeping. It became chillier and I told myself it was not bad. But then the mosquitoes came. And Sharan still didn’t wake up. So I sat there in the cold, getting bitten by mosquitoes, staring at the river, muttering a quiet and long Yaaaaay.

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