A Preface (to be added………)

Many marriages are being settled through Kalyaanamalai. Once, a gentleman asked me how I got interested in helping settling marriages. I had put this question to myself a number of times. My mother was doing service through horoscope exchange. She became popular to the extent that people believed that their son’s or daughter’s marriage would surely be settled if they approached her for horoscopes. But my mother didn’t have to take much effort for the marriages of her children. She used to say that it was because she had been helping people in settling marriages. I might have been influenced by her in taking up this responsibility, I don’t know.

From my sixteenth year itself, I was involved in all the marriages that took place in my town. After I settled down in Chennai, for the past twenty-five years, I have been doing marriage contract service. This has brought me closer to marriage matters. Kalyaanamalai is the identification card for my close association with marriage since thirty-five years! Through ‘Aahaa’ series, I share my experiences that happened through my association with various parties. I am going to write my experiences of yesteryears as well as of today.

It was a Saturday. The time was 5 o’clock in the evening. A middle aged lady came to my office. She was Mrs. Kamala, holding a responsible position in the government. “My son is employed in a bank; he is in a high position. We saw a girl for him three months back and the alliance was settled. The boy and the girl also met and agreed. We fixed up a date for betrothal. But now, the girl’s party has retreated. That girl’s marriage has been fixed with another boy now. I want to celebrate the marriage of my son before that girl’s marriage. I want your help in finding a suitable girl,” she told me. I asked her for the reason for the girl’s party’s retreat. “There was no suitable reason. That girl was adamant and withdrew. I had purchased a pure silk sari and jewelry weighing ten sovereigns to be given as gift to the girl on the day of betrothal,” she replied.

‘Nobody would cancel a marriage without some valid reason. There must be a strong reason. Mrs. Kamala would tell me that in course of time,’ I believed.

“That girl’s parents live in Thirunelveli district. Her father was a retired postmaster. He had put his savings in a bank. He had to celebrate his daughter’s marriage with a portion of that saving and keep the balance for his maintenance till end. He had indicated that he couldn’t exceed his budget. Kamala had asked him to give a diamond stud for his daughter and celebrate the marriage in a grand manner. She put this condition to establish her status among her relatives. She had volunteered to give her own jewelry to the girl to make up the shortage. Kamala was keen on a grand celebration and diamond ring to prove to the society that after the demise of her husband, she had brought up her son and got a good position and wife also for him. But the girl’s parents had allocated Rs. 3 lakh for their daughter’s marriage. Out of this, they had already purchased jewelry worth Rs. 75,000. They couldn’t meet the demands of Kamala as their budget didn’t allow it. The girl did not want to proceed with the alliance as she was against Kamala’s behavior of putting demands. She informed the boy about her decision. When the boy conveyed the news to Kamala, both of them had thought that when the girl was that adamant and strict, she couldn’t be a good daughter-in-law. So, they had also canceled the betrothal.

We cannot renew the talks between these two parties as bitterness has already crept up. But if only both the parties had handled the situation with some thinking on their parts, the necessity wouldn’t have arisen to call off the betrothal. Both the parties seem to be good people. But the way they handled the problem had not been proper. The girl’s marriage has been settled with a boy of nearby town. Mrs. Kamala is now on the look out for a girl.

About thirty years back, Gopal, who belongs to my own native place, had rejected about fifteen girls. I had gone with him to see around ten girls. Many of those girls would come in my dream and threaten me saying that I would incur their wrath! I had lost my sleep because of Gopal on many days!

Whom did Gopal marry eventually?