When people are in their mid to late twenties, they get a huge pressure from their family (at least in Nepal) to get married, settle down with someone they love, have a car, house, bank balance, stable career, kids and whatnot. List goes on and on. I was no exception. I started getting this pressure from my family once i turned 24. It was few years back. Since i had passion for film-making and was travelling around the world, i kept pushing it.
‘Sure, i will get married, soon enough’ used to be my response. My mother knew, i was not planning it anytime soon. Since my both brothers had chosen love-marriage route and one of these was inter-cast relationship, family environment was friendly when it came to marrying someone you love. They didn’t care about cast or creed, as long as the boy and the girl loved each other.
Once or twice my mother had asked me ‘if you have someone you love, why don’t you get married my son ? we have no objection whatsoever, or let us find someone for you’ she was kind enough to say so but i wasn’t sure if i really wanted to get into it, not yet. I had a girlfriend. She was living in States and i was in Nepal. We used to meet once in a while. Later i came to United States to see her. Stayed for a while and returned back.
We ended our relationship in early 2012. She was a wonderful girl but things didn’t work out. We had our differences and decided to end it graciously. Since then, its been 4+ years, i didn’t try to find someone. Sometimes i missed her but i had started to accept what life offered me. I was happy. I involved myself more into study and work. I put myself into learning paragliding and flew a lot. Flying was ecstatic.
During these 4 years, my relatives and family suggested/encouraged/pressured me to get married, arranged meeting with girls, their families but it just didn’t click. Sometimes direct face to face meeting, sometimes indirect such as Facebook or Viber. They were beautiful, educated and kind girls but somehow i felt, i am not right for them. I felt, i won’t be happy with them, neither they will. I didn’t go against my instinct despite family pressure. I have always followed my heart and have done what i felt right at the moment.
Life went on.
Couple of months back, i flew home for my brother’s funeral ceremony. I cried alone like a 5 years old boy when i realized i will never ever see my brother again. I regretted for not being a brother i really wanted to be. I regretted for not expressing how much i loved him and missed him. Life had to go on. I accepted his death. I accepted he is no longer with us. I hoped, he was at peace somewhere.
Relatives visited, consoled mother and family. They were kind to offer their support during the time of great loss. Later when situation became normal, there was little murmur about my marriage. I really didn’t know what to say at that point. I wanted to get married but off course i just can’t marry someone without first having feeling for each other. Pressure was high enough for me to reschedule my air ticket to travel early. I cancelled some of my pre-scheduled meetings with my friends in Kathmandu.
Silently,I flew back to Texas.
‘Oh ! we thought, you were going to be here until Tihar (Deepawali)?’ question(s) popped up.
‘Yeah, i was but something changed, i have to go early’ i said, without much explanation. My mother looked at me, didn’t say anything, asked if there is something i want to take with me to States. I said ‘No momma, i have everything i need’. I don’t know when but, she did manage to put a small package in my suitcase. When i opened it in my apartment in Houston, i found it had some eatables, many of my favorites since childhood.
I brought some stuffs for my sister who lives in Dallas, 5 hours drive from Houston. In one of the weekend i drove to handover those gifts to my sister and brother-in-law. Had a delicious lunch together and some chit chats. Drove back.
Usual week started, work-home-study-sleep-work~
During one of the weekdays, after long day at work, i am driving home. There is medium traffic on highway. I am listening NPR Radio station. my sister from Dallas calls me and we talk about family for a while, she asks me- if i have talked to mother in past few days.
‘yes i spoke with her yesterday’ i say.
‘Dai, There is my Bhanji, she is truly beautiful and is a wonderful person, i want you to marry her’ she says. I wake up from my half sleep state.
‘I don’t know Sangita, i haven’t found someone i really want to be with’ I genuinely answered.
‘I think, you will like her’ she responded.
‘I will send you her photo this evening, check and let me know’ she said. I hung up the phone. Went home, since semester is ending soon and i had traveled to Afghanistan and Nepal during this semester, i had hardly anytime to study, so i spent my evening to go through the lessons.
Later at evening, a message popped up on Viber. Since i knew it was my sister, i thought she probably sent me a photo of the girl she was talking about. I checked, it was a link of a profile in Facebook. I clicked, it took me to a profile of a girl.
There she was, and her eyes..
I don’t know what happened but i liked her. without even going any further, i stopped right there. When i looked at this girl, something happened deep inside. It was unusual. Never happened before. I closed my book, i was reading, walked to the community gym and ran 2 miles on treadmill. Came back sweating, took shower and slept.
Next day, i looked at her Facebook profile. She had that decent look, which reflected that she was from a good family. Feeling i had yesterday didn’t change. One thing i was sure of was: i liked this girl. At this point, i thought: okey i like this girl…what do i do now ? may be it is just too early to say anything. May be it is short lived infatuation i am going through which eventually will fade away. My heart asked me questions, mind didn’t have answers.
Well, i waited for my sister’s call. That male ego didn’t let me call my sister and tell her that i liked the girl she sent me. Couple of days later, she called me and asked
‘what you think about my bhanji?’ by her tone, i could feel, she was not expecting any solid answer.
‘well, your bhanji is beautiful, i think i liked her’ I said honestly.
‘You sure dai ? should we talk to her family ?’ she asked hesitantly.
‘I am not sure yet about talking to her family, i would rather talk to her on Facebook or Viber first’ I said. At this point, i was not in favor of involving family members because i didn’t know if she was ready to get married yet or may be she has a boyfriend she want to be with or whatever other reasons. I liked her, that is one thing but it didn’t mean, she liked me. She even has no idea this strange man is looking at her Facebook profile. My sister was not sure if talking to her first was a good idea, so she said ‘let me talk to him’
I am sure she talked to her husband that night. He called me next day and gave me a moral lesson of ‘why it is inappropriate to talk to a girl before marriage’ i listened to him.
‘If we are going to spend entire life with each other, what is wrong to speak with her to see what she thinks?’ I asked.
‘I know, you are right but american thinking doesn’t work in Nepali society’ he said. It was pointless to convince him. I thanked him for his effort and hung up.
a week passed.
I received a call from my brother-in-law in Dallas.
‘i think , you like her brother, let me talk to her family ?’ He said.
‘Okey..’ my neutral response.
I don’t know why i was not so positive about talking to her family before communicating with her. All i wanted to make sure was, she is fine with my liking. Also to ask if she had other plans. if she had, we could have ended this whole thing without involving families. Anyway, i received a call that evening.
‘Brother’ i spoke to her mother…’
‘She said, her daughter is at college so she can’t marry now, she still has 2 years to complete college’ He said hesitantly.
‘Oh well…brother, but people do not have to stop their college once they are married’
‘I know….i know dai but her mother is against the marriage’ he said. I should have appreciated him for the effort he made but somehow i felt disappointed, i said ‘bye’ and hung up.
Finally i liked a girl and her mother is against the marriage. I didn’t know what to do. Next morning. I thanked my brother-in-law.
It was such a frustrating experience to like someone and not being able to talk to her. For a while, i thought, let me add her on Facebook and talk to her directly but i was not sure if it was the right thing to do because she will see my sister and brother-in-law as mutual friends and probably would ask them about me, or may be not. May be she would ignore me completely. Thoughts drained my energy. I decided not to stretch it any further.
but trust me- i liked this girl and felt like i was in love- briefly.