Arranged Love - Part 1 ( A short story)

'This colour suits me…’ Koel thought as she admired herself in the mirror. The purple top complimented her wheatish complexion very nicely. It was 9 am and she was getting ready for the office. Her husband Siddharth had already left for work. A radio nearby was tuned to local FM blaring some song from the latest movie. ‘Friends today is 20th May aur hamare listeners’ jinka aaj janamdin hai woh….’ The RJ said on the radio.
20thMay? Oh shucks…It’s been a year today. How fast time flies!!’ Koel exclaimed loudly. Her marriage had completed a year today. There was nothing usual about her marriage and thinking about that day bought a tinge of pain in her heart.

Koel sent her thoughts back in time, some 2 years ago. Equipped with a degree in finance from a reputed college Koel was raring to take the world in her stride. Very soon she bagged a small but decent job with a local chartered accountant firm. Coming from beginnings her parents had taught her that hard work was the only way to success. And one day all the hard work would surely pay off. 

Very soon her parents had started looking out for a suitable groom for her. Now came the problem. Like a typical Indian girl Koel had grown up on a healthy dose of Bollywood movies. She was a filmy at heart imagining undying love, proposal on one knee, grand marriage and a lifelong romance. She had even picturised her favourite actor not only in looks but also in romance.

It was a tough task for her parents to make her understand the reality. She finally agreed to meet prospective grooms but had put a condition that she will not be forced into anything. Her parents relentlessly agreed. Almost 6 months after this discussion a proposal of a guy came to them.

Name: Siddharth Malhotra
Height: 6’
Age :29 years
Working in an MNC IT company drawing a six figured salary per month.

After the initial checks where everything was found OK both parties agreed to meet. The parents were very excited as everything was simply perfect and on top of it all they were against any dowry. But our darling Koel had other plans. She did not want this to work out as according to her this guy was not handsome and seemed to be very serious.

Their first meeting was obviously a bit uncomfortable as both of them were shy and reluctant to break the ice. Koel was convinced he was not the one as she had expected a romantic eye-to-eye session, fumbling for words, by mistake touching each other and withdrawing immediately while handing over the cup of tea etc. Out of which nothing happened. 

The next day her parents received a call that it was a yes from the guys’ side. Now the Damocles sword was hanging on Koel’s head. Her parents and relatives tried to convince her for this proposal as they tried to understand the reason behind her rejection. However much she tried she simply failed in convincing them about her beliefs. What began as normal discussions gradually let to emotional blackmails with some scary threats involved in it. There were promises being given and asked for in return lot of tears were shed and the drama just seemed to continue without any end to it. The final nail in the coffin came when Koel’s mother had a bad fall from the stairs and suffered a back injury. She was blaming her worry for her inattentiveness and crying hoarse about how selfish today’s children were. Unable to bear it any longer Koel reluctantly nodded a yes silently praying for some miracle to happen and her knight in shining armour to come out of thin air. Well nothing of that sort happened…. And the D day seemed to be fast approaching.

Astrologically both their horoscopes were well compatible and the earliest mahurat was in 10 days after which there was no mahurat for almost 8 months. Not wanting to delay things so much both the parents agreed for a court marriage. Only to add to Koel’s disappointment! Apart from dreaming about romance, Koel also dreamt about becoming a bride. She fantasized a lot about her look on that big day of her life.

Koel was 5’7’’, with a wheatish yet very clear complexion. Her skin was flawless and she had beautiful almond shaped eyes with soft brownish hair. Throughout school and college she received a lot of attention from boys, but none of them could match her expectation of a romance. On the exterior Koel appeared as someone very tough, strong enough to take care of herself because of which despite her looks most of the boys maintained a safe distance from her. She was nicknamed ‘Sunny Deol’ in college as any nonsense would make her raise her fist in anger to say ‘ Ek ghusa maroongi na…’. But from inside she was like a coconut. Soft and tender, waiting to be loved cared for and feel wanted. She was not exceptionally beautiful, but there was something about her eyes which made her strikingly noticeable in a crowd. All through her growing up years she had dreamt about dressing up in all the jewels and finery to look like a princess on her wedding. But alas! Even this dream was short-lived. The bitterness was building up inside her.  There was very little that she could do about this and finally today exactly a year ago she was married to Siddharth.

To be continued....

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