I am very close to my grandmother. I visit her as often as my busy life permits me to. She always treats me like a queen. We talk about our experiences, we fight over modernisation. We are just like buddies with a huge age difference.
I never really knew about my grandfather. I asked my mom and granny thousands of time but nobody ever gave an answer. This has always been a mystery for me.
This time when I reached granny’s place I had a mission. It was to know more about my grandfather. I asked her permission to check into her things. She allowed me to ransack her house. I did the same, but could not find any picture or letter or anything connected to him not even his name.
I sat dejected on a sofa. She came to me and asked “How do you know, he even existed.”
“I know.” I retorted.”There is that picture on your wall .”
“Bring it to me.” she said sitting in her arm chair.
I came to her with the picture.
“Now tell me what do you see in this picture?”
“It is a silhouette of a bride and a groom in the fields. It is one perfect wedding picture, two people in love, looking deep into the eyes of each other, the beautiful sun setting behind them. They are committed to be together for life.” I told her.
“How do you know they are bride and groom? “ she questioned again.
“I can make out from the silhouette. The bride is wearing a dress; she has a tiara and a veil. She is also holding a bouquet of flowers. The groom too is in his tux. There is no doubt, they are bride and groom.
May be you are right, I thought so too.
What are you saying? This is you.
Again a short laugh was the only answer I received.
She stood up made some tea for herself and me.
I will tell you a story. Now that you are big enough to know the truth
There was a girl. She was ambitious and had dreams .She wanted to have a great career. Also she wanted to fall in love and get married. She was well educated, with a good satisfying and well paying job. She had her share of crushes, lovers, boyfriends and breakups. The only thing left was to get married and settle down. That girl was me.
In Indian society, if you do not get married at the “right age “it is difficult to find a match. My parents never gave up, on finding a groom for me, but they passed away in the middle of their search. My relatives too got tired and gave up. The only thing I wanted was, to marry for love and not marry some random guy because he earned well and can fulfil my requirements. I was capable of paying for my own needs. People too, wanted to marry me for my status in life but nobody wanted to marry me for myself and for the sake of love. A few times, I fell in love, and ended up hurting myself and my feelings.
“Thus, my dream of happily ever after, never really happened. “
At the age of 40, when I was still unmarried and no future prospects of some miracle to happen, I made a decision. I adopted a girl child, raised her, educated her and loved her. You may think that after all this I had stopped believing in love. That is not at all so .I still believes in true love. For instance, when your mother met your father I knew it was true love. They were meant to be together.
You were never married? I don’t have a grandfather? I asked again.
So whose picture is this?
This is not a memory that I savour. This was my dear dream that never came true.