By Tulika Jha:
It was 2014 winters , when I was travelling from my hometown to Delhi. I always opt for a side lower seat while making reservations in a train and I was happy that I got one. When I boarded the train, I found a guy (probably in his late twenties or early thirties) sitting on my berth. This guy’s reservation was of the berth above mine, so I allowed him to remain seated as there is always enough space on a side lower berth for two people to sit comfortably. Furthermore, he said that he will get down at the next station which was two hours away and so it was not a problem.
I came to know that this guy (let’s call him Vishnu) did his B.Tech from Bangalore and then went to US to work and now lives there. He has come to India to meet his fiancee. I congratulated him and opened my Jeffery Archer novel, which I was looking forward to reading.
Little did I know, Vishnu had other plans for me.
He voluntarily shared his experiences in US, the cultural difference there, his grad life stories and also about his first heart break. I assessed the situation and realised that there is no escaping now. So I stopped making any attempt to read, closed my book and kept it aside. Now that he realised that he has my full attention, he began telling me about his fiancee whom he has never met. Yes folks, he has never met his fiancee and no, his was not an arranged marriage setup.
Apparently, he met his girl online, started chatting, then Skype-ing and now they are madly in love.He told me that its been two years since he has been chatting with her. Now at this point he has my full unwavering interest and I couldn’t help but ask, “So you guys have never met, not even once and you claim that you are in love, isn’t that strange?” To which he replied “It is. But we have Skype-d and chatted almost everyday and she has been with me through thick and thin. So yeah, I am in love and what is love if it is not a bit crazy.”
Powerful words and I concur!
But what I have mostly observed is that people do chat and Skype to further romantic liaisons with someone, but for the most part, they have at least met that person once. But on a second line of thought, isn’t that what happens in an arranged marriage set up or whenever you go in search for a partner? You chat or talk with someone followed by arranging a meeting with that someone followed by reading vows in front of the holy fire.
A jolt from the train put a stop on my rattling thoughts. Vishnu had a smile on his face, probably thinking about his fiancee. He turned to me and asked, “Um, do I look okay? I mean, do I look presentable?” I laughed and assured him that he looks fine. One can certainly see a mix of anticipation and eagerness on his face, the same kind of elation and zeal that we all feel when we go to see our loved one.
The next station arrived and he rose from my seat. I wished him good luck and we parted ways.
I hope that they get married and continue to love each other in the same way they did online or maybe more.