Today marks the end of 14th year we committed ourselves into this beautiful relationship as husband and wife. Wow!! Already 14 years we said “I Do” in court that day, with 2 people to witness our joining as husband and wife, while the third witness was lost on the streets of NJ trying to find her way to the court. She made it along with her heartfelt wishes to our home after the ceremony :-). Not even cell phones were common then! Today, every car is equipped with a GPS as standard.
I had felt so overwhelmed when it was my turn to say “I Do” as the mayor of the town was reading the wedding vows. These were the same 2 words I had replied to his query, in my very first email reply to Pavan. He was a member of the Indian Students Association and had made arrangements for the new Indian students coming to the university, to be picked up from the airport, before he had left for his job in New York. He had already graduated from the university by the time I had arrived. I had written to him from India asking information about the town and the campus when I got his contact information in my admission package.
After I had settled into this new place, I had received this email from him..”Do you remember me?” to which I had replied saying “I Do”. He had replied saying “Be careful, what you say!” I had wondered what was wrong with what I had replied. It was the best laconic answer I could have given. I had turned to my office mate to understand what was wrong in what I wrote. She was such a lively girl and she had shouted saying…”Ooooo, you say that when you get married”.
I had dressed in this flashy sari and was looking totally out of place compared to the other people in the court hall that day. But, I had no other “Flashy dress” with me and we both had nothing extra in our pockets to buy ourselves something new although, we did buy rings for each other, lest the mayor refused to marry us without them :-). It was a silk sari my sister had loaned me when I had come to the US to pursue my studies.
Our families being in India, we had decided to tie the knot before we leave to India, in January, for the real Social Ceremony. Pavan, had seen another reason, a financial one, why we should complete this before the year ends. For if we marry before Dec 31st, I could be considered his dependent for the whole year, giving us a tax break!!! My God! Heights of being Practical! And here I was..nervous that we were about to be married.
I don’t know why I had even felt all these medical emotions that Hobbes describes…for this man!!
(If this is difficult to read..here is the link.)
If I told you some details that our courtship involved, you would wonder why too!
The first time he had come to meet me, I was hoping that he would be bringing some flowers for me. That would be a very nice romantic gesture I had thought. Instead, he had handed me this box of donuts that he had munched on, during his drive, as he entered my home. It had been such a disappointment. Sure, he had driven 7 hours to meet me for a weekend, still, how could he have been so thoughtless, I had thought.
During our conversations later, I had let this disappointment slip of my tongue. Soon, he had made another trip to meet me, driving another 7 hours, all the time munching on donuts and coffee to keep him awake. I had gone down to greet him as I saw his car park. Without turning to face me, he was unpacking from his car, handing me things..That inevitable box of donuts, his bag..and a bunch of white plastic flowers. OMG! I couldn’t believe this. This guy is giving me flowers, that were white and they are not even real! Later, I came to know that he hadn’t even realized the flowers were not real. I could have called him unfeeling, insensitive and many more such at that moment . He couldn’t make out real flowers from fake ones?!!!
The next time..he came to meet me. He surely didn’t forget his box of donuts, but, this time he handed me a bunch of pink silk flowers! What’s with this guy..I had thought, He surely had graduated to bringing pink colored silk flowers so, clearly, he is not color blind but, does he even feel my touch..it made me think of his tactual abilities. He still hadn’t figured out that he had picked artificial flowers! It had taken quite some focus on his part to make this part of him functional.
I remember, during the spring break when I had gone to his place. As he stood at the airport terminal waiting for me, with a bunch of 4 red roses.., somebody there had asked him ..
“Hey Man! are you going to pop the question to your lady, now?”
I had asked him what that was, ..and he had replied..
“Each of this red rose has a word to tell you....Will you marry me?”
Wow! he had come a long way since our first episode with flowers. Till this day, those 2 bunches of artificial flowers sit proudly on our dining table, telling the story of our courtship to all the curious minds who are interested in knowing it without retorting back at us..” That’s the 20th time you are telling us this story!!”