#MyStory: How My “NRI Rishta” Actually Turned Out…
I was introduced to this guy who lived in the USA by my sister - you know how the whole arranged marriage set up works. This was the second time I was trying my hand at this; I’d had a very bad experience the first time. So, naturally I had my reservations, but still gave in to my sister’s insistence.
After the initial process of sending and accepting a friend request on Facebook, we started chatting. I’ve always believed that for a relationship to work you should be able to have a conversation with your partner. When you meet a boy in such a set-up, talking only about marriage and stuff doesn’t help. You need to know each other first - there is so much to know about an individual before you decide that you two can spend the rest of your life together.
Luckily, with this guy, the conversations took the right direction. From our taste in music, movies and books to our opinions about various things in life. We both liked slam poetry and talk shows; I even recommended my favourite show to him and he totally liked it. I felt positive about this and convinced myself that I should give this a sincere effort. We would chat every day...and the whole marriage topic was never a part of our conversation.
Our thinking matched on many levels – I’d always been saying to my friends and family that I wanted to settle in a hill station, and one day he said, “You know what, one day I would like to own a farm at a hill station and settle there.” I was totally amazed to hear this. “Is he the one?” I kept thinking. While I still wasn’t much convinced about the whole arranged marriage set up, I felt like I should not give up on this one.
However, this feeling did not last long. The first signs of doubt crept in when I realised that the guy had many, many plans in life, but wasn’t so keen on taking action. Once, I even asked him when he planned to shift to the “farm at a hill station”, and his reply was “Someday”. That word became the go-to answer every time I asked him about his plans in life.
During one of our earlier chats he had mentioned that he was a very indecisive person. Slowly I realised that this was not just limited to simple everyday things but actually extended to life decisions… including marriage. The arrival of his sister in the USA led to the unraveling of this aspect of his character. He went into panic mode when he found out that his sister was there to talk to him about us. I knew something was off when he started the conversation with “I am drunk” - everyone knows that that is the standard excuse when you are about to say something drastic. (BTW there was not even a single typo throughout the next 45-minute long conversation.)
He finally summoned up courage and told me how unsure he was about marriage. His exact words were, “I am so lost and confused… this marriage thing scares me. I don’t know what to do.” This did come as a surprise to me - why would a guy spend so much time talking to me and sharing things about himself when he clearly had no interest in even getting married?
I told him to come clear with his family and tell them exactly what he felt. But he kept insisting that they wouldn’t understand… He just didn’t want to talk to them. For the next 45 minutes, I tried to convince him to share his feelings with his sister at least, since he thought his parents would never understand. But all my efforts were in vain - he was just not ready to do anything about it. I knew it was a lost cause when he said, “I just want to live my life in auto-pilot”.
I stopped talking to him after that, but he kept sending me messages. He even started sending stupid jokes - I guess to ease the tension, but I didn’t respond. I was done wasting time and effort on a guy who didn’t even have the courage to stand up for himself to his family.
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Published on Nov 18, 2015