It is said that marriages are made in heaven! When I look around at some of the couples I know, it has to be God who has put them together and keeps them together. Destiny really does have a role to play in our lives, sometimes upsetting every single premise that we have believed in. And thus unfolds this real life story.

April 7, 2000

It was 9 pm on a balmy Friday evening; Avni used her dial-up internet connection to log into her email account. With a ping, she saw a new message in her inbox. It was from Gaurav who had seen her profile on soulmate.com and had responded with a polite “I liked what I saw and would love to interact more” message. Right, this is how all the first emails went, she thought. She quickly checked out his profile on the website; it was as evasive as her own. She smiled to herself. Alright, let’s find out more about this guy!

With a sigh, Avni copy pasted her standard reply telling him a few details about herself and asking him some cursory questions. One more guy! She had been interacting with a few guys since 3 months when she had put up her profile on a mad whim on this newly started matrimonial website. It seemed like fun to meet with guys and who knows she might stumble upon a gem waiting to be discovered. But, it had become a boring exercise once the novelty had worn off!

She still could not get over her last meeting with a Gujju guy from US. One look at his blond locks and fake accent, and she wanted to run away. Then he started bragging about his Lexus back home and a big apartment, and her mind went in a tizzy, not with dreams of a lavish life in the US but because she felt a really bad headache coming on. Bhavin rambled on mistaking her bored look for one of interest. It was not too hard to know that she disliked the man sitting in front of her. She suddenly remembered that she had important work to do at office and offered to drop him off on the way in her beaten down Maruti 800. He accepted the offer. When she waved him bye, he asked to meet again for a movie in the evening. She declined with a vehemence and drove away. That was the end of her first boy seeing encounter.

All of 25 and out of B-School, Avni had a plum brand management job that she loved. She was a simple city girl with middle-class values. Her sister had recently married and lived in the same city, Ahmedabad. Her brother was away doing his MBA. She lived with her parents and her dog. Her father was in the Indian Civil Services. A fiercely independent girl, she was the strange combination of a shy, confident woman who almost knew what she wanted.  Slim, of good height, Avni had sharp, attractive features and an easy smile.

Yes, now that she had been working for some years, her parents wanted to see her settled. She was dead against finding a groom that daddy dearest chose for her. Nothing wrong with that, but she wanted to be in love with the man she married. After all, she had always dreamed of a prince on a knight who would sweep her off her feet. Okay, she hadn’t dreamed of that! She was too practical. Yet she wanted someone who could make her heart flutter without pesky relatives breathing down her neck and deciding how many meetings she wanted before saying a yes!

This matrimonial website route was more of a casual experience than something extraordinary. She really did not know if it would culminate into something substantial.

The Beginning

So, she wrote a smallish reply to Gaurav telling him a few things about herself, her job, and her family. Gaurav got back to her next day continuing in the same vein. He was working in Hyderabad in a software company. He had been an IIT Delhi alumnus and did his MBA before beginning a job. Impressive! Education mattered to her. She knew the trouble with being an independent, intelligent woman in a traditional patriarchal society. She was not giggly or overtly silly like other girls. Not overbearing, she was never apologetic for her intelligence, her values or her thinking mind. Will she find a man who could take that day in and day out? And how will she find her Mr. Right? The whole process of doing fact finding was making her feel gloomy. Why couldn’t a proverbial bell ring from the heavens like in the movies for her to know that this was the right guy for her, she mused?

***

Gaurav and Avni shared their family profiles. Unlike her, Gaurav’s parents were of mixed lineage. She found that intriguing; her own parents had similar backgrounds and even shared surnames. What appealed right away to her was Gaurav’s honesty. He openly appreciated her work and the fact that she enjoyed working. That was good. Check!

Then they moved to hobbies. Music – he loved rock; she loved romantic Hindi ditties. Reading – she loved reading; he read only if a gun was put to his head. Movies – he was a fan of cheap comedies; she preferred sugary romances. They moved from non-controversial topics like family, hobbies, work to stereotypical ones like “What do you look for in a girl/guy?” Each was ready with their done-to-death replies. Avni said, “She wanted an intelligent understanding partner who would support her in her career as well as in life. Looks did not really matter to her.” Reality — She had dreamed of a 6 ft. tall partner who had the good looks of Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Tom Hanks rolled in one. If he could cook like Sanjeev Kapoor and be adept in household chores, she would rush and put the varmala around his neck. It would kill her if he was fat or picked his nose or farted in front of her. She wanted sense of humor, wit and intelligence, of course. Damn! That would mean marrying 10 guys!

Gaurav gave similar answers, “A nice, independent girl who was intelligent and modern in thoughts and could support him in the highs and lows of life.” Reality — He wanted someone who looked like Angelina Jolie and Madhubala, who could cook like his mother, be a tigress in bed and be a quiet, obliging life partner who acquiesced to his decisions. Only in my dreams!

To be continued…

P.S: This is inspired by my own story!

Read Part 2 here

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88 Thoughts on “The knight in shining armor — Part I

  1. You are on a roll with fiction. But is this really fiction 😛
    Awaiting the next part

  2. the story is so much on familiar grounds, waiting to see how this one progresses…

  3. Really nice.. 🙂

    Like your fiction posts the best.

  4. You have a classic sense of narration – simple, honest and matter-of-fact. Reminds me of Dickens and company. LOVE the ‘reality’ in italics. Rings a bell in our heads too. 😉 Looking forward to more.

  5. What a coincidence. Though different, my latest post is also on the same lines. Movies and novels create this unrealistic image of your dream man that sometimes, it takes a while to come to terms with reality. I could identify with Avni. Look forward to the second part. Easy yet beautiful narration. As always.

    • I read your post, Alka! I felt an instant connect with it. Indeed, there are crazy stereotypes that thrive around us. I am sure you can identify with Avni because she is based on me :). Thanks for reading and for your kind words as always.

  6. Oh! So you know why I never married? 🙂 I never grew up – and am still stuck with those actresses rolled in one (the actresses keep changing from time to time 🙂 ) and all the rest of the jazz – cooking, cleaning, tigress in bed and all 🙂 Never yet found one with all those qualities and, huh, that is too bad for a man who encapsulates all the qualities a woman looks for (the direct opposites but then THAT too is perfection 🙂 ).

    Lovely narration Rachna – the story flows rather smoothly and keeps you intrigued. Yeah, I know, it is inspired by real life but writing it still requires talent.

    • See I read your mind there, Suresh :).Thank you for your kind words. I had a lot of fun writing this one. It is inspired from real life but it is still fiction :). You must have guessed that this was my entry for HC contest.

  7. Interestingly written.looking forward to the next part.

  8. I am guessing.. is this your story? 😀
    And what a coincidence! I met my husband through bharat matrimoney. The first thing I replied for his mail was ‘ I do not want to leave my job, and I have to do night shfts probably. If you are interested, you can reply!’
    Then I got his reply after few minutes asking for me to send me my photo :-). We met the next weekend and few other weekends and we spent time in KC dass bangalore and within a month we got engaged. 😀

  9. I like this! And this comes at a time when I was planning to pen my own adventures while being on the marriage market. 😛 I know your story had a fairy tale ending and continues to be so but I am still looking forward to this series. Loved it! 🙂

  10. I waited to read this was your own story as your reply above:) Now eager to read further!

  11. Interesting narration, Rachna! Your blood must be pumping up while writing this!

    Waiting to read more!

    Tell us what your husband feels, reading this, esp. the italics!!!

  12. You’ve shared bits of your story before, Rachna, but I’m enjoying the fictional form..Waiting for part two!! 🙂

  13. Your description of an un-giggling,practical careerist did sound pretty much like you Rachna.This is going to be interesting.

  14. So far so good…damn I did try out many ‘guys’. Loved and married the first guy who presented himself in front of me. Should have experimented 😀

  15. I’m all ears. Waiting eagerly for Part II. 🙂

  16. Tripti Chetnani on September 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm said:

    You seemed to have mind mapped my thoughts. . It was a gr8 read would be waiting for the second edition

  17. Oh wow a little peak into your story, eager now to read the next part 🙂

  18. I will not read the next part if you don’t make it x-rated! Did you wink at him, did he check out your :ahem”? Did you kick him in the shin for doing that!

    C’mon Rachna, go wild 😀

    • X-rated? You want me kicked out of my own house :-P! It is a sweet story that I penned. I haven’t really written romance before. You will only know once you read the next parts :).

  19. Nice. Part two, please!

  20. LOL….yes, I know we would need 10 men to get all the qualities we are looking for.

    PS: It’s good to know you got yours 🙂

  21. Go ahead, Rachna. These pre-marriage stories really interest me 🙂

  22. Waiting for part 2… 🙂

  23. Rachna, your story sounds like a romantic Hindi movie story. Very interesting. Waiting for part two.

  24. jaishvats on September 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm said:

    Interesting 🙂 chatting with some unknown guy when on a soulmate hunt could be really interesting or down to earth boring 🙂 awaiting further updates

  25. Really nice. I wonder how it feels when meeting guys through matrimonial sites. Your story seems intertwined in this fiction 🙂 waiting for the next part.

  26. This is interesting . One can find their own experiences at one juncture or the other
    waiting for the next 🙂

  27. I knew it was based on your story the moment I started reading it 🙂 and lo I see the confirmation in the end. Waiting to see how the story unfolds 🙂

  28. Oh, that’s nice. The story is getting interesting. I’ve seen people around me go through that phase and it’s kind of cute to see them walk through the conversations and find similarities and differences. Apart from speaking and chatting about qualities, what matters is how one feels by spending just a few minutes with a person. That would give one a pretty good idea!

  29. Cant wait to read Part 2

  30. Oh cant wait to read the next part.My own love story is true copy of “jab we met”(the movie) .Now that you inspired me,i might try my hand on FICTION…winky

  31. Now I am waiting for next part. When is it going to be published Rachna? 🙂

  32. Very Interesting Rachna. Eager to read the second part.

  33. Knew it, had to be inspired! Whoo, looking forward to reading the next part 🙂

  34. Hi,Rachna..sorry, I have been away for sometime.
    In this case,shall wiat for oart 2

  35. Looking forward to the second part. Your post has inspired me to write about the first webchat Geet and I did. It was completely weird. 🙂

  36. Muses of the Heart on September 28, 2013 at 1:07 pm said:

    Hi Rachna!! The post is really interesting. Looking forward to part 2 🙂

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  40. Whoop Whoop.
    Nice start, Rachna. Off to try and find Part two now.
    P.S. I wonder how much of it is fiction and how much of it truth 😉
    Sid recently posted…Dad at the playgroundMy Profile

    • All the emotions in there are true. Most of the settings too. There are many real happenings that I skipped since this was written as a short story with a word limit. 🙂 I enjoyed writing this one especially because G was the first one to read it. 😉

  41. Good, good…these Avni and Gaurav sound intriguing!
    But of course I have to go now and read part 2 🙂
    Beloo Mehra recently posted…Unearthing the Road: A Photo EssayMy Profile

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  43. This is so interesting, kinda like what I went through but I ended up with an arranged marriage 🙂 I am off to read part 2
    Inderpreet recently posted…CARTHICK’S UNFAIRY TALES Cover RevealMy Profile

  44. Ah ha! This was written before we met on the blogging world. And what a delightful story it is. Knowing ‘Anvi’ and ‘Gaurav’ in reality, this is even better 😀 Off to read part 2 soon.

    I love how you chose this post for the flashback friday thread. So much to love about it and Happy Anniversary in advance 🙂

    And hey, you should write romantic fiction. I think you’d be good at it 😉
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently posted…How I’ve gone without yelling for over 800 daysMy Profile

  45. This is the cutest ever. And now I just have to go read part two. How did I miss this one. You haven’t done fiction in ever so long Rachna.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Eat Seasonal, Eat LocalMy Profile

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