Of all the things that I have been judged, one thing that bothers me(not that it bothers, I can’t take that off my mind) is how I got married?
How could I do this to my parents?
How can I change who I am for a person I love?
If I change myself that is not even love?
My upbringing comes up to a big question mark?
How can I be so selfish about myself?
All these questions are for as I mentioned before, How I got married? Yes! I got married not the way my parents wanted me to, not the way anyone in my whole extended family ever got married. Also, I never ever saw a marriage of that kind myself because I got married to a person who doesn’t belong to the “religion” I grew up in.
To answer all these questions, I dint fall in love head over heels with this person so that I could forget the world. It was not a fairy tale. My wedding was not what I imagined. To say the truth I was not one of the girls, who fantasized about my marriage. Growing up I thought myself as ugly and “black” , who had big nerdy glasses. During my school days I was called “chachi 420” (kamal Hassan’s movie which was originally “avvai shanmugi” in Tamil). I grew up to fulfill my parents dreams to study well and get into a reputed engineering college and eventually get placed in an IT company, which I obviously did and I really enjoyed being independent. Like, Carrie Bradshaw explored and enjoyed the city of New York, I too explored in the city of Chennai a.k.a Madras.
My husband, was not a person that I liked at my first initial meetings with him. I hated him from the bottom of my heart, which made him to approach me more to irritate me. Eventually, the talks turned out to last longer. As we were restricted from mobile phones in college, we used to speak only on weekends that we go home over the phone, even though we did see each other daily in college (college rules 😳). So the longer we never spoke at college, the longer our conversations would be over the phone 😉. Eventually circumstances made him my best buddy. Like all the best buddies in movies, mine turned out to be a relationship forever. So, Did I decide then itself that I would convert and marry him? Hmmm..🤔 Let me think! My thoughts at that time were FEAR. the fear of approval from my parents. To me at that time, being with a person I knew was important. I dint wanted a stranger. I wanted to be with someone who knew me for quite an amount of time, if not long enough.
So, when things got serious and we tried to get all our parents on board for a “no religion” wedding we couldn’t do it! I couldn’t think of a life of mine against my parents and my husband’s too. I wanted a family, I dint want to leave one of them completely disheartened. I thought to myself, what did I want eventually, its the companionship with him until the end of my life. So, I came to a point realizing “how I get married” does not matter, its who I get married to matters. And I tried to convince my parents with the same thoughts.
I had this huge fear in me, as I was going to their place for the first time, after 2 days of my wedding! I mean, normally everyone does the same but at least in arranged marriages parents meet at least few times ,visit each others homes and there will be a hope because we trust our parents. But, I stepped in their home with pure trust in myself and my husband. we started a life with trust in only “US”. I must say the fear about getting into their family vanished in like few hours. I don’t know, I just felt really good to be there. I’m a person who tries to stay away from stay overs. I never get comfortable that easily in someone else’s place. Growing up away from your native, I had to stay in some of my friend’s house as my parents used to travel frequently and they dint want me to miss my school. I got quite choosy about where I had to stay.
May be, I was not so scared because, I have met his parents before we breaking out the news to them. I remember this incident where I met his mom. It was our graduation day, I came there with my grandparents and my sister. He came with his parents. While traveling back, he asked me to meet his mom. I was terrified and nervous. But, she smiled. I mean that was not a “who is that girl my son is introducing me? Is she only a friend”. It was a casual “ah nice! good to know you” kind of smile. She was warm, pleasant and innocent. That day I thanked god that my mom was not there at that moment. Because, come on! she is my mom, she would have guessed what was on my mind the exact same second, as she did in every moment of my life. She had her instinct telling her all the while that “there that guy is not just a friend”.
I have a story for that too, for why she has that “doubts”. So my husband he lives in the exact border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which is a outskirts to outskirts of Trivandrum. After engineering, we were appearing for multiple examinations to get into what we called as “CORE companies” (in simple terms NON-IT companies). I As we stayed, little more near to Trivandrum (5 hours of bus journey) than to Chennai, my father preferred Trivandrum as those exam venues (Believe me I had no say in this). SO, we took this opportunity to introduce ourselves to each others family. So, for the first exam he arrrived by car. He convinced his father to drop us at Kaliayakavilai, from where we could travel through bus to home the rest of the journey ( this reduced the travel time by few hours). So, we were traveling in car he was talking to my dad which isn’t odd, as everyone were men and Tanej was a chatterbox which couldn’t raise any doubts in his father’s mind. But, he was texting me to start a conversation with his father. For the starters, I suck at starting a conversation. Next, we don’t talk to father in law or future father in law or a girl friends father too for no reason until they ask us something. Luckily It was my dad, he kept his suspicion to himself. Then the second time It was my Mom, my really suspicious mom. So, this time too they offered the ride and we took it! But the combination was unlikely. Again, dads speak to dads, moms speak to moms but us nothing much to speak there, just wait for the time to get off 😉.
My mom guessed it from the start, but my dad even though having his suspicions refused to believe it because it was me. So, why did I want to dishearten him by changing my religion. It was simple, They are my parents, I can talk to them and make them understand (although most of the talk was done by my GodFather). I believed in them that they will understand me on day or the other. And they did, even before marriage. Its their right to deny me of my wishes as they were too scared to send their darling daughter to someone they merely knew. When I broke the news of me considering to convert for marriage my dad had so many questions, for which I dint have convincing answers. Still, I managed to convince him (again most of the part was done by my godfather, I will never take credits for that). So Finally, I managed to convince my grandparents first with the help of my Godfather. Then our parents eventually agreed to our wedding.
So, My parents had to break this news to their siblings (my mom dint since, I did that for her. My Godfather is her brother). So, there was this day when my dad’s whole family was in there, My dad broke the news. These were exactly what they said. “So, My daughter decided to get married to a Guy from her college, He is not our caste not our religion either. We have decided to go with her, If you are onboard come to the wedding else we dont have a problem”. After 2 years of disagreements and struggles, the way they defended their daughter was a shocker. Some of them supported them whole heartedly while some were reluctant.
After all this time too, I find people talking to my face, behind my back, sharing posts in social media about this indirectly. It is always good that you respect and feel your religion is something very important to you. But, You are never entitled to other persons opinions and decisions. You cannot Judge/criticize that person with that decision of theirs. You can never fit in that person’s shoes.
I wanted to be with a person who would respect and love me for who I am, who lets me think about me sometimes (most of the times in my case) . Also, who I am is never ever defined by my religion. Its my family, my upbringing, my nature my temperament that defines me. I loved to be with this person. I am happy and satisfied living with this person knowing the fact that Im never perfect and he is too. So, This switch was not easy neither on me nor my husband, we had to convince our parents. Our wedding was arranged by my husband alone, where he managed to bring in both our parents and make them talk to each other for the first time (after they knew about us) on our wedding day. It was not easy, but it was worth it! Of course I couldn’t let them go. It’s still not easy for me after the 5 years and a kid. It will never be easy also. I face my own twisted situations that I have to deal with. But, I am so glad that I have the most reliable person with me to deal that. No, I have my own little family to deal all my problems. We have no clue on how our son’s future is going to be, but I am so sure that he will grow to figure out what he wants. He will know that we, his parents will be always supportive in his decisions if it makes him happy!