Spark Still Alive
In Sashi’s Own Words
Love at first sight It was a typical arranged marriage – two people meet, get to know each other, and then get married. They discover each other more and with a sense of commitment, they fall in love.
It was one of the best days of my life when Alok, had come to meet me, in Bangalore. We had never met before and little did I know that this meeting would bring such a huge change in my life. It was the January 21, 1990 and Alok had visited us with his family to meet me. I was at the NCC camp, and rushed home, when my brother came to pick me up informing about the ladke waale (groom’s family) coming to meet the bride.
Hardly 18, it came as a shock to me and I didn’t know how to react. I rushed and my brother took me to our neighbour’s place where I changed into her saree and then was ready to meet him. As soon as I entered, I hurried into the kitchen, where the tray with the chaai lay waiting for me. It was love at first sight when I first looked into Alok’s eyes, and I knew that he was the one, with whom I could spend the rest of my life. When asked, I , immediately replied “yes” and so did Alok. We got engaged the very next day, and our wedding got fixed for June 4, 1990.
The magic of flowers
Then came the most difficult part – we had to stay away from each other. We did not even knowing how to contact each other. Alok’s family had shifted to Hyderabad and they did not have a phone. My birthday was on January 26 and Alok had no idea about it since we had hardly spoken to each other. To my surprise, when Alok came to Bangalore on January 30 for my brother’s wedding, he came along with a bouquet for me. That was when we exchanged phone numbers and our courtship started.
Dealing with distance
We never got to meet each other untill our wedding, but never felt each other’s absence because of the numerous love letters we sent to each other. It is a funny memory for me when I recall, how difficult it was to speak to him over phone in those days. I used to call him on the office landline, but had to remain silent trying to figure out who picked up the phone from the other end, as his was a joint business. Then we decided that Alok would only call me. Since he was in a joint family he never got the privacy to write letters at home. But wrote letters whenever he went on tours. Five months was a very long time to spend without each other, and finally the day arrived on June 4, 1990.
Even though 25 years have passed, the love has not diminished. Every relationship has its share of ups and downs. We have learned to give each other the space, understand responsibilities and assign tasks to work the magic. Even now, when we look into each other’s eyes, we still feel the same love and warmth we felt 25 years ago. Our love has only grown through these days, and even now, when I look at him, I thank God, for having such a wonderful person in my life.
It is only because of him, I am, who I am, today. We have two lovely children – son Anant and daughter Sheetall.
I don’t think there’s a set formula for marriage to work. It is the people who have to make it work.