At the ripe old age of 21, an institution for higher education, a Masters no less, made my option between love and arranged marriage and the justification for the same, the criteria for granting me admission!! I kid you not.
Wait. There’s more to tell.
2 minutes into the discussion, yours truly launched into a scathing and bitter attack on love marriages. Why, you may ask. Because, a couple of very bright pieces of competition had already made some very pertinent points in favor of the same. Now yours truly realized that, inspite of having absolutely no leaning towards either love marriage or arranged marriage, one could not possibly raise hand, say “Ditto” and settle down comfortably and expect to be admitted to this exalted and coveted institute of higher learning. No sir. One had to stand out. And that was possible only by being radically different. So one made very, very strong, original, statements like “ India is a society of traditions – here a marriage is a union of two families and not just two individuals”….yes,yes I said that. No wonder I sailed through. The competition was too busy stuffing handkerchiefs, dupattas into mouths and collapsing into heaps on the floor.
I forgive them. I believe them to be immature 21 year olds, who had come prepared to face cliched topics on economic liberalization, state of financial markets, export policies etc. Having to deal with a topic so mature, and even more a peer so sorted and correct in her views must have shocked and thrown the best of them.
Anyway, given the general merriment around and complete lack of discipline on the part of the other candidates (tut tut), the professor judging this entire circus ( and lucky for me, I realized later, with a quota of 3 to fill from each batch) had no choice but to let yours truly in. The two other bright pieces of competition who had had the good sense, and luck, to have opened their mouths before yours truly stole the show, were also let in.
It does not end here.
In this exalted institute, on the very first day, in the midst of being ragged, yours truly met a boy. 3 months later, as they say when they are 21, we were “going around”. And 6 months later, the pact to get married had been sealed.
All this, of course did not go unnoticed by the bright pieces of competition. And till date, dear readers, married to that same boy, this blogger has not been allowed to forget her sanctimonious stand against love marriages. The story is now a part of the legends that reverberate in the halls of the institute. I believe role plays on this kissa is a must during ragging time. New comers, with much merriment, are introduced to this story.
I, on the other hand, am awaiting collective alumni amnesia.