HOW I GOT MARRIED by VIKRAM KARVE
Let me tell you the story of HOW I GOT MARRIED
40 years ago — on the 30th of May 1982 — I had an arranged marriage.
This is the only marriage I have had so far.
Yes — I have been married only once — and the same marriage continues till today.
I don’t know whether my marriage is a “successful” marriage or not — since I don’t have experience of multiple marriages — in order to be able to “compare and contrast”.
However — I can certainly say that my marriage has been a “durable” marriage.
Here is the story on my Marriage — How I got Married…
HOW I GOT MARRIED by VIKRAM KARVE
ARRANGED MARRIAGE INTERVIEW
1. Girl (Now — My “Better Half”)
2. Girl’s Mother (My Late “Mother-in-Law”)
3. Boy (Me)
BOY — GIRL “SEEING” (“KANDE POHE”) MATRIMONIAL DATE
This interview happened more than 40 years ago — in March 1982 — in Pune.
A girl came to see a boy (for arranged marriage).
The girl was accompanied by her mother.
The mother had come with the girl — since the girl’s father — a Brigadier in the Army — was serving in a field area.
Normally — in Maharashtra — the boy goes to the girl’s home
(for the customary “kande pohe” programme)
But — in this case — the boy had requested the girl to come over to his rather Spartan home.
It was around 10 AM in the morning — the boy was alone at home — as the boy’s mother had gone for work.
The boy (a Naval Officer) had come to Pune on a week’s leave for “girl seeing” for arranged marriage.
Since the boy was not one of those refined “metrosexuals” — he had not “decked up” for the occasion — but he was dressed in a simple cotton white kurta-pyjama — and he was enjoying a smoke and reading a book — while waiting for the girl to arrive.
The girl and her mother arrived at 10:30 AM.
“You are late…” the boy said — and he asked the girl and her mother to sit down.
The boy served Tea (which he had prepared himself).
Then — the boy lit a cigarette — and he said to the girl:
“Let me tell you a bit about myself.
As you can see — I smoke a lot.
I drink regularly too — around 6 Large Pegs of Rum every day — that is about half a bottle of Rum every evening.
My career prospects in the Navy are not very bright — I am certainly not “Admiral Material”.
You are a “SODA” — your father is a big shot in the Army — so you may be used to the comforts and facilities of army life — but in the Navy you get nothing — no batman (sahayak) — no transport — no proper housing — no facilities.
As you can see I am not a rich man — I just have a scooter — and I do not think I will be able to afford a car on the paltry salary we get in the Navy.
So — life will be very tough for you after marriage — you will have to live in some temporary makeshift shanty — and you will have to do all the housework yourself…”
The girl seemed confused on hearing the boy say all this.
“Don’t you get a house in the Navy…?” the girl asked.
The boy smiled at the girl.
“You do get a house in the Navy — but there is a huge shortage of married accommodation and the waiting period is 2 years — so by the time we get a proper house — it will be time for my transfer — and it is the same story in every new place — so you must be prepared for a nomadic existence shifting from one temporary accommodation to another…” the boy said.
“What is “SODA”…?” the girl asked.
“Senior Officers’ Daughters’ Association — your Dad is a Brigadier so you are a “SODA”…” the boy said.
“Oh…?” the girl said.
The boy looked at the girl and spoke.
“Also — let me tell you one thing — I am an honest, straightforward and outspoken officer — so — your chances of becoming a member of “SOWA” are pretty bleak…” the boy said to the girl.
“Ha Ha — by “SOWA” — do you mean — Senior Officers’ Wives’ Association…?” the girl said.
The boy was happy to see that the girl was intelligent.
“You are very intelligent — and highly qualified — and all your good qualities are listed in your matrimonial profile — but — I want to know one thing — and — I want an honest answer…” the boy said to the girl.
“What…?” the girl asked.
“What are your faults…? Your bad qualities…? Your weaknesses…?” the boy asked.
“I cannot cook…” the girl began opening up, “and I cannot…”
Suddenly — her mother gave her a stern look — so the girl stopped speaking.
Observing the situation — the boy said to the girl:
“Never mind — we will discuss all that in detail when we meet tomorrow…”
“Are we meeting tomorrow…?” the girl asked.
“Why not…? After all — we are getting married — and I am here for a week — so we can go out together a few times — and we can get to know each other better…” the boy said, extinguishing his finished cigarette and lighting another cigarette.
The girl’s mother was getting increasingly uncomfortable at the way things were going.
So — the girl’s mother asked the boy:
“You have a big beard — are you going to shave off your beard once you get married…?”
The boy looked at the girl’s mother — and — he said to the middle-aged woman:
“How does it matter to you whether I keep a beard or not…?
Why are you concerned whether my cheek is smooth or not…?
Are you going to marry me…?
Or — is your daughter going to marry me…?
But — since you have asked me this question — the answer is NO — I am not going to shave off my beard — I like my beard — and — a beard is the sign of a true Naval Officer — so I am going to keep my beard even after marriage — forever…”
Then — the boy looked at the girl and said to her:
“See — I told you everything — that I drink heavily — I smoke — and that I have no future in the Navy — very poor career prospects — I also told you about the poor quality of life in the Navy.
But — you just told me one thing — you told me that you don’t know how to cook — please tell me more about your other “faults”…”
“We have to go somewhere…” the girl’s mother interrupted — and she brought the “interview” to an abrupt end.
Then — the mother and daughter hurriedly left.
In the evening — the girl’s mother made a “trunk-call” to her Brigadier husband — and the girl’s mother said to the girl’s father:
“What a terrible boy…!!!
He is himself saying that he drinks half a bottle of Rum every day — he smokes a lot — and ….”
The girl’s mother told her husband everything.
“The boy said all that…?” the girl’s father — the Brigadier — he asked his wife.
“Yes — the boy hasn’t given us even one reason why we should get our daughter married to him…” his wife said.
“Maybe that is the very reason why we should get our daughter married to him…” the astute Brigadier said.
Though his wife strongly disapproved of the Boy — it seemed that the Brigadier was keeping an open mind.
Maybe — the Brigadier was curious to know why his wife hated the boy so much.
Was the boy really that terrible…?
HOW I GOT MARRIED
Now — Dear Reader — let me tell you what happened after the girl’s mother made the “trunk-call” to her husband — the girl’s father — the late Brigadier “J”.
FINALISING THE ARRANGED MARRIAGE
(In order of seniority)
1. Brigadier ‘J’
2. Colonel ‘G’
3. Lieutenant (IN) ‘K’ (Me)
A Cold Sunday Morning in March 1982
Time — 0500 Hrs (5 AM)
Place — SP Marg Officers Mess, New Delhi
The shrill ring of the phone shook up Colonel ‘G’ from his drunken stupor.
As he came to his senses from his drunken stupor — Colonel ‘G’ had hazy recollections of the previous night.
The last thing he remembered was that he was sitting with Lieutenant ‘K’ (Me) — at the Dhaula Kuan roadside Dhaba eating hot “Bun-Omelette” — along with generous swigs of Rum — from the hip-flask which Lieutenant ‘K’ always carried with him.
Colonel ‘G’ had no clue how he had reached his cabin in the SP Marg Officers Mess.
In fact Colonel ‘G’ was so drunk that I — Lieutenant ‘K’ — I had to literally carry him and deposit him in his cabin.
The phone kept ringing.
Colonel ‘G’ cursed at being woken up at this unearthly hour at the crack of dawn on a cold Sunday morning — and he picked up the phone.
The moment Colonel ‘G’ heard the voice on the other side — he perked up.
It was Brigadier ‘J’ — his ex-boss.
Colonel ‘G’ had high regards for Brigadier ‘J’
In fact — Colonel ‘G’ considered Brigadier ‘J’ the best boss ever.
“Good Morning, Sir — it is such a pleasure to hear your voice…” Colonel ‘G’ said to Brigadier ‘J’.
Brigadier ‘J’ was a man of few words — and he got to the point immediately.
“Do you know a Naval Officer called Lieutenant ‘K’…? He stays in your mess…”Brigadier ‘J’ asked Colonel ‘G’.
“Of course, Sir — in fact — I had dinner with Lieutenant ‘K’ last evening — he is a wonderful chap…” Colonel ‘G’ said.
“Oh — you know him well — and you say that Lieutenant ‘K’ is a ‘wonderful chap’ — that’s good — I would like to meet Lieutenant ‘K’ — you do one thing — bring him to Delhi Airport in the morning…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to Colonel ‘G’.
“Airport…?” stammered Colonel ‘G’ — a bit confused.
“I will come by the Srinagar Delhi flight — it reaches Delhi at 11:30 AM — you make sure that you are there with Lieutenant ‘K’…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to Colonel ‘G’.
“Sir — why do you want to meet Lieutenant ‘K’…?” Colonel ‘G’ asked Brigadier ‘J’.
“To fix up his marriage with my daughter…” Brigadier ‘J’ said — and he disconnected the phone.
Colonel ‘G’ was stunned.
For a few moments — he sat on his bed in a daze.
Then — Colonel ‘G’ gathered his wits — and — he walked down the corridor to my cabin.
I was irritated at being disturbed so early on a Sunday morning — especially after having enjoyed a late night — and — I was surprised to see saw Colonel ‘G’ standing in the door.
“Sir — why are you waking me up so early…?” I asked Colonel ‘G’.
“Bloody disaster…” Colonel ‘G’ exclaimed to me.
“Disaster…? What happened, Sir…?” I asked Colonel ‘G’.
“I told Brigadier ‘J’ that you were a ‘wonderful chap’…” Colonel ‘G’ said to me.
“Sir — I cannot fathom what you are saying…” I said to Colonel ‘G’.
“My ex-CO — Brigadier ‘J’ — he just rang up — and — I told him that you were a ‘wonderful chap’…” Colonel ‘G’ said.
“So — am I not a ‘wonderful chap’…?” I asked him.
Colonel ‘G’ looked at me and spoke wistfully.
“For me — you are a certainly a ‘wonderful chap’ — you are a bloody ‘sharaabi’ and ‘kabaabi’ like me — but — for Brigadier J’s daughter — she is such a innocent and decent girl — her life will be ruined if she marries a terrible fellow like you…” he said.
“Sir — what are you saying…? Marriage…? Are you still drunk…? You ‘passed out’ dead drunk last night — and I had a tough time carrying you to your cabin…” I said to Colonel ‘G’.
Colonel ‘G’ looked at me.
“I am perfectly sober now. But when the phone rang — I was in a ‘half-awake’ state — and — I am regretting my blunder of blurting out to Brigadier ‘J’ that you are a ‘Good Guy’ — well — I thought he was asking generally — I did not know that he was considering you as a ‘marriage prospect’ for his virtuous daughter. You never told me anything about it…” Colonel ‘G’ said to me.
“Sir — I just came back from Pune by Jhelum Express last evening — and then — we straightaway went to DSOI and got drunk — but I did mention — that I saw a girl — but she did not like me…” I said.
“Are you sure the girl did not like you…?” Colonel ‘G’ asked me.
“Well — it seemed that the girl was not interested in getting married — so she was quite impassive — but — her mother — she certainly did not like me as a prospective ‘son-in-law’…” I said.
Colonel ‘G’ smiled on hearing this.
“Ah — so Mrs ‘J’ did not like you — that’s good…” Colonel ‘G’ said — looking relieved.
Then — Colonel ‘G’ gave me a quizzical look and spoke.
“I don’t understand one thing — if Mrs ‘J’ did not like you — why does Brigadier ‘J’ want to meet you…?” Colonel ‘G’ said.
I thought about it.
“Brigadier ‘J’ wants to meet me…? He is the girl’s father, isn’t he…? He wasn’t present there in Pune when I saw the girl — only the girl and her mother had come. They told me that he is posted to Srinagar…” I said.
“Brigadier ‘J’ is flying down from Srinagar by the morning flight — he wants to meet you — and he has asked me to bring you along to the Airport to meet him — so you get ready — we will leave for the Airport at 10 AM after breakfast…” Colonel ‘G’ said to me.
“But why does he want to meet at the Airport…? He can come here…” I asked.
“Please don’t ask too many questions — Brigadier ‘J’ just told me to get you to the airport at 11:30 AM and he disconnected the phone…” Colonel ‘G’ said.
“Okay — let’s meet Brigadier ‘J’ — my prospective ‘father-in-law’…” I laughed.
Colonel ‘G’ had a worried expression on his face when he spoke.
“I only hope that this doesn’t work out — the poor girl’s life will be ruined if she gets married to you…” Colonel ‘G’ said to me.
“Ha Ha…” I smiled at Colonel ‘G’.
He gave me a worried look.
“Sir — I thought you were my ‘well-wisher’…” I said to him, jokingly.
6 Hours Later
New Delhi Airport — Domestic Terminal
Sunday — 1130 (11:30 AM) — circa March 1982
We — Colonel ‘G’ and I (Lieutenant ‘K’) — awaited the arrival of Brigadier ‘J’.
Brigadier ‘J’ arrived — he was short — he had a stocky physique — and he was wearing Army Olive Green (OG) Uniform.
Colonel ‘G’ introduced us — and we shook hands.
Brigadier ‘J’ looked at Colonel “G’ and said to him:
“Why don’t you leave us alone for some time…?
I want to talk to the boy alone.
And then — we will take a decision.
If it a ‘YES’ — I will go ahead to Pune and fix the wedding.
If it is a ‘NO’ — then I will head back to Srinagar by the afternoon flight which leaves at 2:30 PM — that is why I have bought an ‘open’ ticket…”
“This man seems to be a quick decision maker…” I said to myself, “it was almost 12 noon — and he expected a mutual decision in just two hours.”
“Sir — I will wait in the cafeteria…” Colonel ‘G’ said — and he left.
Then — Brigadier ‘J’ and Me — we talked.
Yes — the “matrimonial” conversation between both of us was held while we were standing on our feet.
Brigadier ‘J’ looked at me and smiled.
“You seem to be an okay chap — I don’t know why my wife had “apprehensions” about you…?” Brigadier ‘J’ said to me.
I was intrigued — and — I wondered what “apprehensions” she had about me.
“Apprehensions…?” I asked Brigadier ‘J’.
“Well — to be frank — my wife did not like you…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.
“I also did not like your wife…” I said candidly to Brigadier ‘J’.
On hearing this — Brigadier ‘J’ broke out into a laugh — and he said:
“Ha Ha — you didn’t like my wife…!!!
Anyway — luckily — you don’t have to marry her…”
I smiled at his sense of humor.
Then — Brigadier ‘J’ looked at me.
“You liked my daughter — didn’t you..?” he asked me.
“Yes…” I said, “But she didn’t seem interested in marriage.”
“She is a bit shy…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.
“Oh…” I said.
“Well — you seem to have scared them off — you told them that you drink heavily — you smoke — you won’t shave off your beard — and you painted quite a gloomy picture about life in the Navy…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.
“Sir — I told them the truth…” I said.
Brigadier ‘J’ said to me:
“Well — I like you — you are a straightforward boy.
And — the very fact that you have been selected by the Navy for doing your M. Tech. at IIT Delhi — you must be good in your job.
In fact — Colonel ‘G’ said that you were a “wonderful chap”
And — since you are in the Navy — your antecedents would have been checked.
So — at least — you won’t be a “fake” guy…”
I was impressed by Brigadier J’s logic and reasoning.
“Sir — I want to ask you one thing…” I said to Brigadier ‘J’.
“Sure — go ahead…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.
“Sir — why do you “Pongos” always travel in uniform…” I said.
Brigadier ‘J’ laughed and said:
“You see — unlike you bright intelligent Navy chaps — we “Pongos” are dopes.
So — in case we get lost — it is easy for them to find us if we are in uniform…”
“I like you…” Brigadier ‘J’ said to me.
“Sir — I like you too…” I said to Brigadier ‘J’.
“Okay — let’s go to Colonel ‘G’ and tell him to book me on the next flight to Pune or Mumbai — whichever is available. I will go and talk to your mother and fix up the wedding — you tell me a convenient date for your wedding…” Brigadier ‘J’ said.
My 2nd Semester ends on the 10th of May — and I have 2 months summer vacation — so any date between mid-May till mid-June is okay…” I said.
(I was sent by the Navy for the Two Year M. Tech. Course at IIT Delhi from June 1981 to June 1983 and the 2nd Semester at the end of the first year ended in May 1982.
While doing my M. Tech. I preferred to live in the Inter-Service Army-Navy SP Marg Officers Mess instead of living in the IIT Delhi Campus)
Brigadier ‘J’ managed a seat on the 1:30 PM afternoon flight to Mumbai — and he rushed to catch his flight.
I looked at my watch — it was not even 1 o’clock — the “matrimonial interview” had taken just around 30 minutes — and Brigadier ‘J’ had taken a final decision — despite his wife’s misgivings about me.
3 Days Later
SP Marg Officers’ Mess, New Delhi
1300 Hrs (1 PM) — circa March 1982
On Wednesday — when I returned to the SP Marg Officers Mess for lunch — I was surprised to see Brigadier ‘J’ and Colonel ‘G’ sitting in the foyer.
“Ah — there you are — I came from Pune by the morning flight. I wanted to meet you and personally give you the good news that your wedding has been fixed on the 30th of May with my daughter…” Brigadier ‘J’ said
Those days — the method of communication was letters — and I had not received any letter from my mother.
After all — it was only just 3 days ago — on Sunday — that Brigadier ‘J’ had gone to Pune.
So — I was quite surprised that my marriage had been fixed so quickly.
“Thank you, Sir…” I said to Brigadier ‘J’ — and then I invited him for a glass of beer and lunch.
“Thanks — but we will sit and talk some other time — right now — I have to rush to the airport to catch the 2:30 PM afternoon flight to Srinagar…” Brigadier ‘J’ said, “I just came to the Mess to meet you and give you the good news in person.”
We walked towards Colonel G’s car.
Just before he got inside the car — Brigadier ‘J’ delivered his parting shot.
My future father-in-law — Brigadier ‘J’ — he said to me:
“Please make sure you come for the wedding on the 30th of May.
I have paid Rupees 3000 as advance deposit for the marriage hall.
And — if you don’t turn up — I will lose my deposit money…”
I made sure Brigadier ‘J’ didn’t lose his deposit.
I turned up at the marriage hall on time on the due date.
And so — on the 30th of May 1982 — I got married.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
- This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
- All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
Link to my original post How I Got Married in this Blog: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/arranged-marriage/
Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/how-i-got-married-part-2-finalising.html
Links to my original posts in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/how-i-got-married-part-1-arranged.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/how-i-got-married-part-2-finalising.html
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
This Article is an extract of my Stories and Articles posted online earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/humor-in-and-out-of-uniform-how-i-got.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/how-i-got-married.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/arranged-marriage-guide-first-meeting.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/how-to-impress-people.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/arranged-marriage-guide-first-meeting.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/arranged-marriage-date-aka-matrimonial.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/arranged-marriage.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/humor-in-and-out-of-uniform-how-i-got.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/how-i-got-married.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/arranged-marriage-guide-first-meeting.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/how-to-impress-people.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/arranged-marriage-guide-first-meeting.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/arranged-marriage-date-aka-matrimonial.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/arranged-marriage.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/arranged-marriage/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/wedding-anniversary-story-how-i-got-married/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/05/29/how-i-got-married-wedding-anniversary-story/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2020/05/29/how-i-got-married-2/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2020/11/04/how-i-got-married-story-of-my-arranged-marriage/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2021/01/17/how-i-got-married-arranged-marriage/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2021/05/29/how-i-got-married-3/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2022/05/30/wedding-anniversary-blog-how-i-got-married/ etc
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.