Share Your Story

Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

Now it's your turn to share your story. We want to know,
So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

There's A Very Nice Boy...

In this week's Summer Re-Run selection, the author of multiple women's fiction books,Shobbhan Bantwal, shares her unusual "how we met" story. Read about this arranged marriage that resulted in love, partnership, and commitment.Ms. Bantwell has also recently published a new book...just in time for a fun summer read.

THE RELUCTANT MATCHMAKER is the sixth "Bollywood in a Book" by Shobhan

There's A Very Nice Boy...

Imagine meeting your future husband two days before you become engaged to marry him. If that is the stuff of storybooks, then I should consider myself the heroine of the story.
My husband and I met in India two days before we were engaged. And ten days later we were married. No, it was not love at first sight, and it was certainly not a shotgun wedding. What we had was an old-fashioned arranged marriage. In a conservative culture like ours, back in the early 1970s, marriage by arrangement was the norm and not an aberration.
It is not so much the quick engagement and wedding that seem to fascinate the average American but the idea of marrying a stranger... just because your family tells you it is the right thing to do, just because everyone else you know is married in the same fashion.
After being happily married to my husband for 37 years, what still amazes me is how my mother picked the guy who was just right for me. How perceptive was it for a middle-aged woman to recognize that daughter number four, a renegade and hellion compared to her other four daughters, needed the steady and sensible companionship of a slightly mature man. My husband is nine years older than me and has indeed managed to curb my reckless impulsiveness with love, forbearance, and tenderness.
Of course, it was not an easy task for my mother to find this man. But my late mom was a master of "arranged marriage." As is common to our culture, there was a network of relatives and friends looking around for an eligible bachelor. Then my aunt discovered him through her connections. Naturally there was a lot of discreet inquiry and research done into his family background, education and career, and social habits. Later our horoscopes were matched by two individual astrologers.
It was only after the two astrologers gave the green signal that my mother sprang a surprise on me in November 1973. "There's a very nice boy coming to India from the U.S. to get married. You'll be meeting him in two days." At the age of 22, my big moment had arrived.
The day of the bride viewing was nerve-wracking for me. I was dressed in an appropriately elaborate sari and given instructions to behave myself. In other words, "don't talk too much, answer questions politely and positively, and don't ever express your silly, feministic opinions." The potential groom and I met in my uncle's crowded living room, with both sides of the family present. Not a moment of privacy was to be had.
Miraculously the young man and I liked each other right away and agreed to the marriage. Needless to say, it was an interesting way to discover each other and then start a lifetime of togetherness.