Sreenath's World

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Short Story

I know many of you have gone though this old story of mine many-a-time. I am just reposting the story because my life seems close to the fictional character Karthik I created two years ago. Call it foresight or coincidence. Your choice!


Meenakshi was a successful television journalist for a popular channel in Mumbai. Love happened to her very unexpectedly. She was 25, and marriage was nowhere on her agenda for at least the next three to four years. On a rainy evening of June she got a call from home. Her father wanted her to be home quickly. He had a bad news to break. Her mom was diagnosed with a severe illness. Life suddenly came to a standstill, as her father, sister and she coped with the fear of losing a loved one.

On one of those painful days, he father asked her to consider marriage 'for mom's sake'. "It would be nice if mother could attend at least one of your weddings and see at least one of her daughters settled before she succumbs to her illness," he reasoned. He then suggested that Meenakshi register herself with any matrimonial web site. She wasn’t prepared for marriage. She had just reached the best phase of her career. However, not having the heart to disappoint her parents, she did register her profile.

Being a journalist, she was so sure that it would be tough to find a life partner who could cope with her erratic hours, high stress lifestyle, and the like. Would he be able to give her the freedom required to grow professionally?

In her online profile, she mentioned exactly what she looked for in a partner. It read: "My profession requires me to travel to all sorts of places in tough conditions. Odd timings are a work hazard. But I love my job and the challenges it poses, which is why I want someone who understands what journalism is all about. He should be broad-minded, educated and a self-made man. He must carve his own niche in life and his wife must be his equal." All her friends commented: "No man in his right mind would ever respond to your profile!"

Well, so be it. There were some inquiries but nothing remotely exciting. One day she received an e-mail from a chap called Karthik. He was in search of a partner for his friend. But, when he stumbled across my profile, having found it unusual and bold, it immediately perked his interested and he decided to write to her -- for himself. For this, he had to pay up and register with the matrimonial web site.

In his first e-mail he clearly mentioned, "I am not interested in marriage. But I could not resist writing to you. I would definitely like to get to know you better."

His honesty touched Meenakshi. She got to know that he had passed out of IIT-Chennai and was working as a software engineer at a popular MNC in Bangalore. They corresponded regularly, but no mushy stuff. They would pick any topic related to current affairs and share their views on the same. After about two weeks of writing to each other, she got an e-mail from Karthik: "Meenakshi, would you consider marrying me? If yes then maybe we should talk on the phone and take this forward."

The thought of marriage was scary but with Karthik, Meenakshi was ready to give it a shot. She spoke on the phone and he decided to come visit her the next weekend.

Meenakshi confided in her father about Karthik. She told him that he was coming to meet her but she wanted their first meeting to be just them, without any involvement from parent’s; the latter would only add to the pressure. Her father agreed.

The night before his flight to Mumbai she wondered what would happen if things worked out. Who would relocate to a new city? After all, both of them were thriving professionally in their respective cities. The good thing was that he did not expect Meenakshi to shift. In fact he was ready to make the move, if that worked better for both of them.

They finally arrived at a solution: if they liked each other and decided to marry, then they both would give themselves two months -- during this time they would both look for a job in the other city. Whoever gets a better offer would make the move. If things did not work out within two months, they would part ways.

They had not exchanged photographs so she didn't even know what he looked like. They met and Karthik turned out to be tall, dark and handsome with a great sense of humor – a killer combination. Yes, they liked each other in person too. But they decide to stick to the two-month deadline and not be hasty.

Nonetheless, Meenakshi convinced Karthik to meet her parents. Her mom post her operation was recuperating at home in a nightgown with tubes coming out of her sides, amidst visiting relatives. In-between all this chaos, Karthik met her family. There were no formalities; no trays of tea and sweets and no dressed up relatives. He felt very much at home.

The next day, she went to see Karthik off at the airport. He gave Meenakshi a DVD of a movie called “Love Actually”. Handing it over he said, "I want you and my DVD back in Bangalore with me in two months". It was a proposal! She was left speechless. Her family was surprised that she did not jump at the offer. Well, she was torn between Mumbai and Bangalore, career and personal life.

Finally Karthik agreed to make the move because he wanted to be with her and see her happy. That's when Meenakshi realized that with him next to her, her career would never take a backseat. They tied the knot. She took a job transfer and moved to Bangalore and did not lose out on her prestigious position in the organization.
posted by Sreenath at 5:03 AM

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