(This story was written as an entry to a contest of Indiblogger's Love Marriage ya Arranged marriage competition in association with Sony Entertainment Television, and linked to http://www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange
Two old friends, One a VIP, film star and producer-director (Suparna Sen), and another (Rohan) just an ordinary person met in the waiting room of a remote railway Station. Recollecting their past, their present life also came up. Suparna underwent three different types of relations, love, arranged marriage and current live-in relation. Rohan failed to marry his lover and accepted an arranged marriage. Suparna felt that love and marriage are two different things and her arranged marriage was the best one while Rohan felt his intimate moments with his wife are intruded by the past memory of his lover. Rohan thought that whether marriage through “arranged” or “Love” success of either type of marriages cannot be predicated. People can be happy/unhappy/break apart by both types of marriages. Love should culminate into marriage. Never mind if the rules of the society or any other obstacle opposes it. If you really love, the power of love is immense to cross those obstacles. Read on for the full story.
Do we have a magnet and/ or magnetic material inside us pulling our old friends for a reunion? Otherwise how could I meet my old friend Suparna.
At Simliguda, just before Arraku, the train stopped for long due to landslide and it might take long. The Landside has also closed for the alternative road connection to Koraput. I was proceeding to upper class waiting room for a comfortable rest, without knowing the surprise ahead.
I saw two vehicles just parked outside the fence of Station, one Honda city and another Xylo. Possibly, the occupants of the vehicles are already resting in the waiting room.. I saw a lady on the lone sofa. It took me few seconds to recognize her. At first, I just disbelieved my eyes. But, she recognized me instantly.
“Good Morning! Rohan, Old garbage! You must know the world is round and you cannot hide for long. ”
“Parn! How are you here?”
“I was on my way to Arrraku and further for selecting few outdoor locations for my upcoming film. But this Landslide on the road stooped me. I thought to make it by train but the same thing happened to this route.”
“But thank god! Just for this we could meet, long after a decade.”
Suparna and I were college friends of different streams and were on top demand for our respective performance in singing and drama in college socials. We were from different levels of society and life styles. Yet we were close friends, perhaps our common interest brought us closer.
After college days, Very soon, Suparna got her first break for a side role in a film but I realized that talent alone could only bring me medals from competitions. To become a playback singer I need the blessings of X-factor. I realized it was far to achieve. I must rather pass the final exam of CFA to survive in the world of hard reality but little knowing that soon another dream was going to shatter.
I shall tell you that a little later.
Suprna became a top film star in Bengali Movies and now a successful Producer-Director. She is also a well-known intellectual taking part in Local TV interviews on burning topics. Local people here are mostly tribal and may not have heard her name or seen her film. Now being a rainy season, there will not be any tourist and hence no fear of mobbing or any media exposures.
Her personal life is an open book, thanks to print and electronic media. First marriage, a love-marriage to a film producer lasted for two years, followed by an arranged marriage by Parents. Unfortunately, he died in an accident after four years of marriage, but blessed with a daughter, now a budding TV actor. Currently Suparna has a “live-in” relation with an industrialist NRI.
In the following hour we two friends, a common man and a VIP, were settled comfortably on a sofa. Her staff preferred to wait in their vehicle and placed the hot boxes and Thermos on the center table.
At this time of life, we had a varied experience of social and work life and achievements and our chats started revolving around that. I wanted to keep her and my personal life out of discussion. When two friends meet after a long time it could not be avoided either.
Munching a sandwich, she said, “How is Riya?”
I said, “Now I do not know about her.”
“I am sorry Rohan.”
“Our love did not mature into marriage. We both thought otherwise.”
“But I knew, she was serious about the relation to continue. If I am not hurting you anyway, what exactly went wrong?”
“She was afraid of the bitter oppositions with in-laws on her side and my side. True, on both sides, everybody was against it as we two were not only from two walks of society; we were also from two different religions. But, all these problems were temporary and I suggested her alternative and amicable practical solutions.”
“The oppositions would be strong initially and it would die out with time. She said the outcome of the opposition might spread to us and sour our relations.
I was even ready for a change of religion. She said No to it. To her, Religion is an embedded belief. It cannot be changed.
Lastly, I suggested, we could go to some other country and settle there. She argued there also and finally discarded the idea of getting married to me.
Our friendship metamorphosed to love; we came close to each other and fell for each other. Both were unaware of entering into a blind lane. The innocent bond of attraction, originating from nature between a male and a female of same species do not recognize the sheer rules of society.”
“Then what happened?”
“Her parents arranged a marriage for her to the most eligible bachelor of their community. I heard with two children she is settled nicely.”
“It was also an arranged marriage after three years of her marriage and I do not think I am unhappy with Snigdha.”
“You said that you were not happy either. Are you not fully happy?”
“I admit that. The trail of my real love could never become stale. It peeped through my intimate moments with Snigdha. She also felt it, but like a good Indian woman, never complained about it.” Suprna could not hide a long sigh and went to wash room, possibly to hide her tears.
Her companions brought news of temporary but safe clearance of road. However, the badly damaged railway track might take a day to restore.
Upon her repeated insistence, I accepted her offer to travel with her in her car.
“Can you drive my Honda?”
“I was the construction manager for making this hilly road.I know every hairpin bend of this hilly road like back of my palm.”
We are now crossing a hilly terrain through sharp hairpin bends and negotiating the curves in low gears but at ease. Rising to the Flat terrain of Plateau, she said after a long silence
“What a spectacular view! But I find you are till sad.”
“Not at all my friend, I am rather relieved to share my pain.”
“But now listen to me. I am the one who has undergone three different types of relations between a man and woman, two marriages and one current Live-in. I can tell you two important things. First, Love and marriage are two different things. Second, the relation which I most liked is the marriage arranged by my Parents.” She failed to manage a deep sigh and continued.
“Nitin and I loved each other madly but after marriage his love diverted into jealousy, over-possessiveness, and doubting. I tried to negotiate the first two aspects and was even ready to leave my film carrier. But, faith is the foundation of married life. When that is shaken, I could not help and walked out of relation.”
Tears now came out of her eyes. I preferred to remain silent. We both are having opposite experiences. Suparna married the one whom she loved but they broke apart. Riya and me loved each other but could not marry. The one I married could not replace Riya.
The pause between us helped Suparna to control her emotions. She continued further
“You know something, when you are in love, something like anesthesia acts on you. You fail to see the drawbacks on each other. When love matures into marriage if the state of anesthesia continues on both the marriage becomes successful otherwise not”
At the next moment something came out from my mouth “Suparna, tell me could you love your second husband same as your first marriage?” I cursed my lips but she did not mind my words.
“You can not compare between two. One is a pure love, which cannot be based on any reason, calculation, caste, religion, feasibility, or outcome. However, my second husband was caring, dependable and gave all support to inspiration to my career. He won my heart. I also loved him, but honestly speaking that was an imposed love and different from the uncontrollable strong mutual attraction between the two opposite sex by the rule of nature. But it was a very happy marriage”
She paused a little and continued “ I still say Love and Marriage are two different things. Two people may always fall in love. Later on if he or she also becomes suitable for partners of life, then they should marry. The suitability is a complex matter.”
I was angry now but was successful to suppress it but said dryly “Complex matter like?”
She looked at me and said,” There are many things. Getting married is no longer the matter between the two. Whether you like it or not, both of you are coming under the jurisdiction of society. You must be acceptable to society, family and last but not the least, not so far judged by both of you, the acceptability to each other. These are just the few. There are many other things. You need to have the assistance of some one who genuinely thinks the best for you because at that time both are under the sedation of love.”
I smiled and said, “So you are saying that like cricket there is the need for a third umpire and are you meaning the consent of Parents? What if when they say no? You look for another person to fall in love or go to matchmakers market with the parents and ask for few quotations. What happens to your abandoned lover? Force that person to do the same thing? In your second marriage how could you or your parents knew that he would be the sought after person.”
“ My parents knew him and his family. I also talked to him many times and said yes to the proposal”
I controlled my lips and said to myself only “ By talking and knowing a person and his family for years together can no where reach near to the inner mental qualities. At the best you make wild guesses only.”
“Slow Rohan, we are now going down the hill”
I swerved a little left for a vehicle coming up in opposite direction and said “Don’t worry, I am a cautious driver. However, what irritate me are the rules of our society. From Dhoti-Kurta-gamchha-Chhappal, we have changed to Suit-Tie-Boot, but remained in the days of great grand parents in our attitude particularly for marriage.”
Both of us remained silent for sometime. She was reading very minutely all the safety ads for safe drive and she pointed me to a overturned vehicle just near a big hoarding of drive safe. I smiled at her but I preferred to keep certain things inside my mind.
Her two marriages one “love” another “arranged” did not last long because of sheer luck. People can be happy/unhappy/break apart by both types of marriages. Love should culminate into marriage. Never mind if the rules of the society or any other obstacle opposes it. If you really love, the power of love is immense to cross those obstacles.
Just at Sunset, we were at outskirt of Arraku valley view point and was watching the breathtaking view of the valley. Darkness has just set in. As I switched on the headlights, Suparna insisted me to stay back at Arraku and proceed to Koraput early morning. I thought. “Better it is. We can have few beers and forget this bitter endless topic. The twin face of Marriage “Arranged” or “Love” is actually a bitter Gourd, beer is less bitter than that.”