Lalpatti village was 5 miles from Raju’s Rampur. A Raghuraj Singh lived there with his wife Kusum and daughter Vimala. Raghuraj Singh was a bulk trader of wheat and rice. His business ran well. Raghuraj Singh and his wife Kusum both were educated. Kusum raised her daughter Vimala carefully. Besides education, Kusum always worked attentively to make sure that mode of Vimala’s life, attire, airs and graces were of high class. Although Vimala was average by appearance and probably below the average at studies, the mother was proud of her creation.
When Vimala was scribbling her pen in examination hall for the last year BA exam, her parents were discussing about her marriage at home.
Kusum was preparing her daughter for marriage whole life. A lot of parents raise their daughters in this way. As if, only to prepare them to find a good husband someday.
Kusum wished for a well-educated man with good job for her daughter. When they began their groom hunt, they found there was a severe lack of bachelors in their area who possessed the desired qualities. They managed to find some suitable to-be-brides too, but they did not find Vimala suitable.
Meanwhile, Vimala remained curious but effortless about this search, which is normal in Indian culture. Traditionally, responsibility of finding a life partner for her was on her parents. Vimala was educated but traditional after all. However, Menaka, her closest friends encouraged her to take part in the parents’ hunt for her husband.
“If I was relying upon my parents like you, I would have been tied to some idiot at the end. How can you let your parents solely decide which man is suitable to you, when you have to live with him the whole life?” said Menaka.
“B.. but yesterday you said you and your husband fight all time…” Vimala said innocently, “And parents are our well-wisher. They always do what is good for us.”
Menaka knew her efforts were not going to make any difference so she gave up.
3. The Mediator
Becoming the link between bride and groom seems to bring some kind of divine pleasure to Indians. Many people, especially women, are always keen to get two people married. A part of their brain is always scanning the surroundings for a possible match. These enthusiastic people are actually responsible for considerable number of marriages.
Rajaram was one of such people. He was a farmer to say, but most of farming was done by his two sons. Rajaram claimed to have helped arranging hundreds of marriages. Although there was no way to verify the claim, it was still believed that he did help arranging a good deal of marriages. The brain of Rajaram contained database of all eligible bachelors in the area. When his brain found a match, his feet began walking towards the doors of associated homes.
He was looking for a match for Raju for years. And for this he was entitled to special graces of Harilal and Ramdei. Rajaram presented many matches as well, but none of them worked.
It was a fine evening of February when Rajaram’s wife Yashoda met Kusum at a wedding ceremony in neighbourhood. The two women chatted away abundantly as it is the way of women. Kusum told Yashoda about her groom hunt during the chat. Yashoda promised her to help. Next morning, Rajaram was sitting in Raghuraj Singh’s drawing room devouring biscuits while waiting for the tea to become cool enough. He enquired about the family, business, and Vimala. Then carefully fed information to the database in his brain. His brain notified him a match instantly. It was Raju. In truth, it was not much of a match, but Ramdei and Harilal were beginning to lose faith in him, so he was desperate to find a girl for Raju. After leaving from the house of Raghuraj Singh, he went direct to the house of Harilal Patel. Raghuraj was to visit next Sunday on marriage business.
Harilal was not very pleased to learn that Raghuraj Singh was landless, but yet the girl fitted in the criteria Raju had set. So, the three family members waited for the Sunday. Rajaram had brought a photo of Vimala. When Raju first laid his gaze upon the photo, he decided that he was looking at the photo of his future life partner.