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On Our 15th Marriage Anniversary

Today, its 15 years since we got married the 2nd time. This was with consent of our parents. The ceremony though was not an elaborate one. We consider it to be a smart decision today given the fact it costs a bomb for a decent wedding ceremony.

15 years back on Aug 29 1999, I could have imagined of an honeymoon trip and big gifts from our parents; Well-wishers congratulating us while having to enjoy a lavish dinner. I imagined smiling faces, an established career for myself, enough money at disposal and words of appreciation recognizing my economic achievements.

I imagined to own a big house with all amenities that Monica (my love) would have dreamt of. I imagined no more problems, mind free from fear of disapproval of our relationship by our parents and most important getting to be with each other for rest of our lives.

The very next day Monica went for her job. I was seeing-off my parents and in-laws at the railway station. By the 2nd half of Aug 30 1999, no signs of marriage ceremony were left. We as couple were sitting next to each other at our rented two-bedroom house in the evening trying to make sense of the changed status of our relationship and how to re-align priorities and responsibilities.

We were yet to own a LPG gas stove. I had Rs 10 k in my pocket that were handed over by my father to purchase a double bed and an almira. I was also a full time student at first year of the two year MBA (Master of Business Administration) course.

I had a second hand Bajaj Chetak scooter. I recall when even an additional expense of Rs 100 use to hurt the monthly budget. Money was a huge constraint that limited our option to have fun that most other couples enjoy, at least for first few months post marriage.

Those early days of marriage, I yearned to earn as soon as possible. Still lacking maturity I caused a financial loss of Rs 1 lakh to my father when my attempt to open a dairy product shop flopped. All this, I recall impacted my self-confidence. Thanks for the support and understanding of my parents. I still recall the stress to head straight to shop post my MBA classes. I did not returned home before 8 pm. All the rigor of the full time MBA program was getting compromised. My risk of getting a placement in final year faded with every 6-month semester.

Despite all this we were with each other. Monica was supporting me and agreeing to what I believed even when she disagreed. This one sacrifice held us together as a couple.

Today, when I wish her on phone in the morning, I do not feel the need to be careful with what words I use. I called and said, “Mubarak ho”. We have spent 15 years as a couple and adding the 5 years before marriage we dated each other, its a full 20 years.

Events in our life never happened the way imagined but love continued in various meanings- understanding, adjustment, support and many more forms.

Thanks to all those who made this happen to us-

Simran- for sponsoring the tickets for Monica

Burhan- for believing in my relation and helping with assignments

Babbu- mangal sutra for the arya samaj marriage; accompanying to pick Monica from Bhopal on first trip to Indore

Nishit Bhaiyya- walking across the street at odd hours to message the due STD calls from Monica

Harita & Preeti- for the thumbs-up sign and “Bhabhi ko lekar hee aana”

Sharat- for helping me over the loneliness and settling down in Indore

Chetna- for words of wisdom

Yamuna Aunty- lying for secret trips to Chandigarh

Jhakhir Uncle- forewarning be about possible risks of losing Monica due to opposition of our parents

Ramesh (Mur Mu)- for Kanyadaan

Rahul- for helping us escape

Paramveer- for being a sweet young brother trusting and respecting our relationship

Chahal- lending us the Yamaha bike for a short trip to Timber trail

Satish uncle- for believing in my reasoning

Neera aunty- helping ease the tension amongst our parents

Tarun- for being there for her sister when she needed him the most

Maneet- undoubted love and acceptance of Monica as Bhabhi well before we were married.

Jasbir Mama ji, Mami ji, Phua ji and Phuffad ji- diluting the whole social pressure of my parents to accept an inter-caste marriage

My aunts- to keep haunting my parents with the dire consequences

Gagan- for never trusting and respecting Monica as my partner

Sony- for knowing that I was serious for Monica and then acknowledging the same silently.

Wahe Guru Sab te Mehar karan

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