I had a love marriage. So it was more like Arjun* and I arranged the meeting between both our families. However, this was not the first time that I was meeting my prospective in-laws. But that was when I used to be young and wild, and marrying Arjun was really not on my mind!
I once bumped into his parents at a friend's cocktail party. Dressed in a mini dress and a drink in my hand, a “good evening” was all I said. And his parents did come from a sort of a conservative mindset. The second time was at his brother’s engagement. Now this was when things between Arjun and me were a lot more serious. His brother’s engagement was in Mumbai but since Arjun insisted, I flew in for the special day. And I have to say, although his parents were extremely cordial, they did seem a little surprised (or shocked!) that I had actually flown in from Delhi, all alone, during my final year. And also that I had checked into the room just next to Arjun’s!
It was only two years later that we both decided to take our relationship to the next level. When Arjun broke the news to his parents, they were a wee bit skeptical. They came from a traditional mindset and were not sure whether I would be able to fit in. Girls in their family, though independent and well educated, were not as outgoing and “free-spirited” as they thought me to be. But Arjun and I both knew it was just a matter of time before his parents realised that just because I drank, was independent and wore short clothes, did not mean I lacked basic values of love, care and respect.
The date was set. The first meeting between the families was at my place. Without my knowledge, my over-excited mother invited our entire crazy and overly enthu Punjabi family. We are talking some 15 people here! My to-be in-laws were this sweet simple Marwari couple who were already a bit apprehensive and I knew with the entire ‘jingbang’ things would only get worse! The bell rang and all our family members gathered to greet Arjun and his parents with loud cheers and big hugs. I swear I could see the discomfort on their faces! They were just expecting 4-5 people and here we were, all of us!
I had worn a pretty, yellow kurti and palazzo pants, and greeted my in-laws with a formal “good evening”. I didn’t know any other way! Thanks to so many people, the meeting was not at all awkward for me. In fact, we hardly got a chance to speak! A little later my friends surprised us with a cake and a bottle of champagne, and the night was just a lot of fun! Arjun and I were having such a great time (he loved my family!) that we just forgot this was a rishta meeting and not some get together!
Before leaving our house, my mother-in-law presented me with a gold chain. She asked me to sit down and delicately put it around my neck. I had seen in the movies that you’re supposed to touch the elder’s feet in situations like these! But since my family always taught us to do things as we like, I just gave mum-in-law a hug, a sweet smile and a big “thank you”!
Our wedding date too was fixed in that 2-3 hours meeting. Both the sides agreed upon a shubh muhurat and the deal was sealed! We had a wonderful wedding, but my crazy family did manage to freak them out!