The year was 2007 when I went to Mysore for my training. I was finding it hard to make friends in the short duration of two months in the campus. I felt alone and wanted to talk my heart out with someone. Girls were interested in boyfriends gossips and I had none. Boys were interested in girlfriends and I was not playful enough to be one. The introvert in me like always convinced me that people does not find me interesting enough to talk. So, one day when I was bored and in need of a good friend, I went to her room. Chaya Srivatsa's room, the life coach at Infosys. Not to discuss any stress issue, or relationship issue but simply to talk. As I knew she had to listen to me for the nature of her job. And she did listen. I went to her many times during my stay just to talk and in my few fond memories of the campus, the time spent with this wonderful woman is one.
I still had not needed her for any serious advice till the end of my hectic training unlike many others. Until the day when my father fixed my marriage. Arranged marriages undergoes a scary process especially when parents are like mine who don't want to take risks. Just a 15 minutes meeting and my parents were convinced of a match to my astonishment. Everything was good, the family, the guy's job almost everything except one - I was not convinced with my 15 minutes encounter. I didn't like his dressing sense, the way he pushed me to talk and the whole family staring me the whole time. Enough, I told him that I don't approve. But nobody in my family budged, scared of social stigma attached with broken marriage prospects. I remember crying incessantly in the washroom of my office wondering how could this happen to me. That I was going to get married to a guy without my consent. I felt betrayed unable to understand why my family that always loved me and listened to me, was not supporting me in the biggest decision of my life. I couldn't fathom whom I loved anymore. I was depressed and desperate when I dialed her number.
Sometimes, when nothing works, all you need is a calm voice to clear all the clouds in your head. Sometimes you don't need to believe in magical powers when real people show you the way. Chaya Mam, as I fondly call her, didn't advise me anything but put before me two choices I had. Either I bow down to my family wishes and marry the guy or being an independent woman, break my ties, and live on my own. I was silent and started thinking rationally, from my mind and not from my heart. Can I live without my family? Yes, I am a grown up, self-dependent person. I realized I am not a victim to my family's wishes. I have a choice. People can try to force their decisions but we always have a choice to walk away and get lost in this world. So the question remained, should I walk away? And I decided against it. NO. I love my family too much. Moreover, I did not want to runaway from what life was bringing on my way. Hence, from that day on the decision to marry that guy became mine. No more I could blame anyone so no need to hold on grudges. But what about my heart. Another call to Chaya Mam and she asked me exactly what the problem was? I tried to give her some now-I-think-them-ridiculous reasons and she understood the main issue. Ours was a 'rab ne bana di jodi'. She rejected all my points and asked me to mail her 10 good points about him. I did that and in the process realized how stupid I am. How can I be sure if I can get a better husband and won't regret rejecting a decent proposal!!
From that day onwards, I resolved to work on my relationship and stopped blaming others for my life and its decisions. I own up all my decision as my mentor showed me the way.
Chaya Mam, I want to tell you this that I have always believed in an omnipresent, omniscient power, the giver of life but because of you I started to believe that power is amongst us, in us. There is nothing supernatural about it. There is no need to follow any saint or practice any religion but to look within and in each other. Sometimes as a father, as a mother, as a friend, as a child, as a well-wisher, as a stranger, or even as nature that power connects with us in small gestures and show us light when all we can see is darkness. We just need to search around for signs for it. You were that light in those dark hours of mine. And whenever I say thanks to God for making me love that guy as my husband, for believing in him to be my soul-mate, for caring for his family as mine, I always think and thank you for speaking with me that day :)
As I can feel my soul connected with yours I pray for your happiness. Happy Birthday!! Lets catch up sometime very soon :)