Arranged to Love

Grandmother and granddaughter, New DelhiWhen I was younger, I asked my grandmother, I dearly called “mamang”, if her marriage to my grandfather, who passed away years before I was born, was love or arranged. She said it was both as her eyes twinkled and became teary, I saw that after all these years, she still loves my grandpa. However I was confused with her answer so I nagged her to tell me her story. 

“On the day that I was born, a man has already loved me. He told my parents that he will take care and look after me on a condition that he’ll marry me when I grow older. Since my parents were poor and they already had 6 children, they welcomed his offer. He was 15 years old and I was 5 days old. Every day, he visited my house, brought food, clothes, and toys. When my parents were out in the rice field, he looked after me . As I grew old, he had become my playmate, guardian, and tutor.

On the day that I turned 15, my parents told me the agreement they made with him. I was angry, at my parents, at him. How could they? My parents wanted to honor the agreement, and I was just a child who must obey her parents. I wanted a way out, I thought of leaving, but going where? I thought of ending my life, but was afraid of the pain from taking it. I felt it was the end of me, they betrayed me. I stopped eating and talking, and I just stayed in my room not wanting to see anybody.

One day, a letter was slipped under the door of my room. It was from him. The letter was asking for forgiveness. He said he was selfish for doing the thing he did and he was setting my parents free from the agreement so that I can continue to live the life I want. He said goodbye; he didn’t want to see me rejecting him as he had already fallen in love with me. On that day, his took a bus to the city. After reading the letter, I didn’t know what to do, part of me was relieved but part of me was confused. I was hurt because of the agreement but I didn’t want him to leave and not see him again. Weeks and months had passed, I missed him.

One afternoon, coming back from school, I noticed a visitor. He’s back! I didn’t know what to do, I was just standing on the doorway and staring at him. He smiled and asked me how I was. I instantly ran to my grandmother’s house. I cried on her lap while she was trying to probe what had happened. While sobbing, I told her that he’s back; my grandma angrily announced that she’ll speak immediately to my parents and won’t allow me to be arranged to someone as she had the same experience which resulted to divorce. I meekly told her that there’s no agreement for marriage. My grandma, confused, asked me again why am I crying then. I told her I don’t know. She then smiled and told me to wipe my tears and that we’re going back home.

My grandma talked to my parents and him while I was still sulking in my room. After long hours, they called me and my father announced that I must get ready for the wedding as I will get married to him next month. Totally angry, I ran to my room and slammed the door. I heard my father shouted that I must follow their wish whatever it takes. I felt that it’s all coming back again, and I couldn’t understand why but this time, a small voice in my head agreed to the wedding plan. The days just passed by so fast and one day I just saw myself in front of the priest saying the wedding vows.

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After the wedding, I moved in to his house. He gave me a separate room and told me to do what I please. He was still the same caring man I knew since I was a little. Since he was older, he had so much patience in me. He was so matured and intelligent. He taught me how to be wiser in life. It was after six months before we had our first night, he asked me if I was sure. That time, I knew I was sure. That time, I knew that I already love him. “

As soon as my grandma finished her story, we were both in tears. I asked her if being arranged in a marriage is good, she told me that it is not for her to say. She said that she had been lucky to be arranged to the man she learned to love and who loved her back. There are people like her grandmother who hadn’t been lucky as her.

I think that how two people begin their marriage, arranged or love, doesn’t matter. What matters is that we all want love inside the marriage, so love or arranged marriage will only be successful if the husband and wife work on it. It takes two to tango, right?

This is my entry to Indiblogger’s contest, Love Marriage ya Arranged Marriage!

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