Saturday, January 23, 2016

Marriage Bureau

A Story

36 years ago – in the year 1980 – I went to a “Marriage Bureau” in Pune.

All my attempts at finding a suitable bride through the “love” route had failed – and I decided to go in for an “arranged marriage”.

The Proprietors of the Marriage Bureau were a “made-for-each-other-couple” – who seemed to be in their early 40’s.

The man and the woman sat side by side in the same office as true partners.

They seemed to be a most compatible couple – and the harmony which was visible in their demeanour indicated that they were true “soulmates”.

Seeing this “ideal couple” at the helm of affairs inspired confidence in me.

I knew that I had come to the right place – only a truly happily married couple whose relationship was rocking would know the “compatibility aspects” required for a happy marriage – and they would surely find the right bride for me.

Both of them asked me a number of questions – regarding myself – and also – about my “expectations” as far as the bride was concerned.

Within a week – they had lined up 3 girls for me to “see”.

I liked the very first girl I “saw” – and we both said “yes” to each other.

For the sake of courtesy – I “saw” the other 2 girls too – and I liked both of them – but then – legally – I could have only one wife – so – I got married to the first girl to whom I had said “yes”.

The fact the all the 3 girls the ‘Marriage Bureau’ had suggested were “perfect match” for me was “proof of the pudding” that the ‘made-for-each-other couple’ who ran the ‘marriage bureau’ knew what marriage was all about.

36 Years Later

01 January 2016

It was a grand event – in the best 5 Star Hotel in town – to celebrate the Golden Jubilee (50th Anniversary) of the ‘Marriage Bureau’.

Yes – the ‘Marriage Bureau’ had been started 50 years ago – was still going strong – in fact – they now had a global presence – and operated online through their website – and – today – they had launched their ‘Mobile Matrimonial App’ too.

It was a huge event – and the crowd must have been at least a thousand strong – maybe even 2000 – and – it seemed that most of the couples whose marriages had been “arranged” by this “marriage bureau” had made it a point to attend.

They had even tracked us down to our present address in New York – and since we were in India for our annual Christmas Vacations – we – my wife and I  made it a point to attend the function.

The proprietors of the ‘marriage bureau’ – who  most probably  were now in their late 70’s – still looked a very “made-for-each-other couple”.

Both of them were in perfect harmony with each other – like “soulmates” – a “perfect” couple  and they acted like perfect hosts.

Dressed in matching colour-coordinated clothes, the two of them stood together at the entrance to welcome us – and – later – after they had cut the magnificent anniversary cake together – both of them moved around to personally greet us and ensure that our glasses were topped up, our plates were full and we were being well looked after.

During the party – many couples expressed their gratitude to the “made-for-each-other couple” proprietors of the ‘marriage bureau’ – and – I too made it a point to meet them and thank them for finding me a most suitable bride.

After the event – we – my wife and I – walked to the foyer of the hotel – and I asked the concierge to get me a taxi to Aundh – when – a male voice suddenly said from behind: “Why Taxi…? I am going towards Aundh – I will drop you in my car…”

I turned around – it was the ‘proprietor’ of the ‘Marriage Bureau’ – our host.

Soon – his chauffeur driven limousine arrived.

“You two sit on the rear seat – I will sit in front with the driver…” he said.

“Sir – but what about ‘madam’…? Isn’t she coming…?” I said.

“…‘Madam’…? Which ‘madam’…?” he asked.

“Sir – your wife…?” I said.

“My ‘wife’…? Well – I don’t have a wife – I am a bachelor…” he said.

I was stunned.

Seeing my bewilderment – he said: “Don’t feel embarrassed – it happens quite often – many people think that my ‘business partner’ is also my ‘life partner’…”

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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