We invited you, dear readers, to share your love stories this Valentine's Day.
Here, Hemisha Shah shares how she found her happily-ever-after.
They say 'jodiyaan uparwala banata hai' (Matches are made in heaven).
Well, this couldn't be any more true for me.
I've always believed in love or rather I've always loved love stories.
Fairy tales formed a major part of my life.
You may call it phobia or something else, but when it came to an arranged marriage set up, I would prefer staying away from it.
So, when my parents asked me to meet this guy, I went nuts and fought with them every single day.
I told them I did not want to get married so soon.
Obviously, that didn't work out and I was done trying everything in my capacity.
My parents made arrangements to meet this guy.
We travelled from Mumbai to Pune to meet the guy and his family.
This short distance felt shorter than it normally does.
When we finally met, it wasn't like 'Oh the girl is so pretty' and 'wow her dress is so cute' at all.
I looked sick; my face looked dull with all the crying and trying-to-change-their-mind' drama.
I kept quiet as both sets of parents talked to my sister, uncle and aunt who had accompanied us there.
The guy in question was still inside his room getting ready.
I looked at the snacks they served us.
Suddenly, I heard everyone invite someone to join us.
After some shuffling of seats, a new voice asked how we were and how our trip was.
I looked up and saw him seated on the chair.
He looked like a baby to me, not someone who was three years older than me!
A few questions were thrown my way asking me why I looked unwell, which forced me to speak up.
He smiled at me and I returned the smile, blushing.
Soon, we were pushed into a room for a private talk -- typical of an arranged marriage set up.
We sat awkwardly for some time after which we loosened up and talked more.
It so happened that someone had to come inside and pull us out of the room.
People said I looked 'fresh' to which I only smiled.
My inner voice said I would get married to this boy but I was reluctant.
He was cute; we could talk and relate to a lot of things but still, I wasn't convinced enough to get married to a stranger.
As destiny had already planned my life out, things worked out somehow and we got together soon after that.
The long distance relationship got sweet and sour.
Meetings got sweeter due to the limited time and long interval.
As days passed, we got to go on numerous dates.
Things kept getting better and better.
I always wanted a love-and-arranged marriage kind of a set up and though it wasn't love first, love did happen and kept growing as each day passed.
Fairy tales may not exist, but you do find your happily-ever-after -- at least I did.
I'll get married this February and I cannot ask for anything better.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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