This is about a journey, that took place 60 years back, which can never go out of my mind, but keep popping up once in a while. Let me go back to that day and take you through that unforgettable journey of my life.
My father was not rich in money, but was very rich in moral values. He was a respectable school teacher. Getting daughters married is a big thing in life. My father set out with proposal to get me married. His first visit itself was fruitful and my would be father-in-law said ok at first instance, and he had no demand for anything. No horoscope matching, no demand for any jewellery and no demand of any sorts. My would be father-in-law said "It is your daughter and whatever you give her is fine with us. We are looking forward to your daughter coming to our house". He wanted the marriage to be celebrated at his house (which is not common those days, and even now). At that time I was 16 and my would be husband was 19.
None from their house came to see me or my house. My mind was worrying about it. How is going to be my would be husband? Will he like me? How will be his parents? Will they like me? How will be his siblings? I have heard that it is a big joint family, and from a small family I am going to a big joint family. Will all they accept me with open mind? A fear was growing in my mind, and the fear kept coming up and down like waves in the sea. The marriage day was fixed.
Our houses were almost 30 miles away. We have to travel that much distance to reach their house, where the marriage will take place the next day. My father arranged a bus for us from the state transport department. Two people came from their house to take us there. That place was an interior village, where there are no good road and no electricity. We have to get down from the road and walk for about 30 minutes to reach their house.
Our house was near the main road and also very close to sea. My parents, my four siblings, neighbours and relatives, all are waiting for bus. Finally the bus arraived from the nearby town bus-stand, which is moer than 10 miles away. As the bus came late, we are already late to start. The driver was taking reverse to position the bus in the opposite direction, so that we can all board. The rear wheel of the bus got down in the loose sea sand, and it was not coming out. Half an hour they tried their best, but in no vain. Then they send a person to the nearby town bus-stand to inform the matter and for getting another bus. After one and hour, another bus came and we started our journey, a very important journey of my life.
We were helpless that we could not inform anybody at my husband's house, as those days there was no telephone facility in nearby areas. We knew that they would be very much worried. On the way we picked up flowers for the marriage. Also picked up my elder sister and family.
We reached the place at 12 midnight. With two petromax lamps (many young people these days would not have heard about such lamps) some people were waiting for us at roadside. It was January month. Outside was very cool, but my mind was filled with tension. Everyone is looking at me only. My mother put her hands on my shoulder and kept me close to her during our 30 minute walk in the middle of the night, that too on the eve of my marriage. We walked slowly. When we reached the house, we felt the tension of everybody there. On seeing us everyone got relaxed. Every one who came to attend the marriage came to see me, but except my husband. Of course, those days are not like today, where bride and groom spend lot of time together and understand before marriage.
How can I forget that journey! That journey was indeed a beginning of many things. Last 60 years of married life... saw difficulties and happiness of life... But we, me and my husband are very happy today to see my children doing well, my grand children doing well and also my great grand children growing well.