Only yesterday someone told me with quite a heavy heart that he did not get to indulge in pre-marital and post betrothal romance owing to physical distance, absence of cell phones and conservative values of girl's family and timidity, which must have emanated from orthodox ambiance, of girl herself. He did not let his face from expressing a deep sense of loss. And according to his research on the topic which came from his post marriage experience, comes the conclusion, though partly non-sequitor and partly confounding, 'once wife, even girls behave like wives' and he did not want me to miss out on these days when I am alone but not alone, when I can afford to be romantic but not in an all out affair and when I should begin to decipher the meanings of a new relationship but avoid any relationship.
But question arises now, that you are neither married nor wholly bachelor and nor even can claim to have a girlfriend who you have won by your own charisma then what is the best way to bring the best of these days! Should one go to his parents and thank them for at last endowing him, with a feeling and yes, a girl, he yearned for so long with the request to stretch the quasi-bachelorhood for at least two years so that he can forget he had been betrothed and pretend being in a hard earned relationship to feel worthy of being someone's glad eye or if not parents, should he ask the girl to forget that they had been betrothed and continue this parents propelled and arranged romance as if it were as natural as it would have been minus or before the intervention of parents. Though in former option both boy and girl runs the risk of knowing each other too well and deep to, God forbid, keep the relationship going and to horrors of parents, let the marriage take place as scheduled. In later case though girl might concede to boy's request but what if she takes the request too seriously. So in both cases it might boomerang and jeopardize the ultimate culmination.
So what are the ways to romantically leverage these days when you are single but still possessing a number to call to? I wouldn't have paid too much attention to this question had that world's best marriage-films director Sooraj Barjatya not made a film like 'Vivah' and kindled this sort of unbaked but not any less tasty, arranged but not any less authentic and locked but not any less open and out romance in the hearts of betrothed couples. Prem and Bitto may not have been able to talk on cell-phone but those who can comprehend and then forget also what betrothal is, own cell phones also.
But my question again comes back to haunt me. Should we let these days pass quietly like a winter day snuggled in quilt of fog braving buffets of cold wind? Should we not let these days find out their difference from those days when no name was there we could utter unabashedly and write on the pages of our lips? These questions have their answers lurked somewhere in cockles of our hearts and though eager to come out and solve the riddle but tangled in groves of a forest of freedom which runs the risk of getting wiped out soon. So before the forest gets wiped out, we had better if we plan for an excursion that has its notes in complete harmony with gurgling water of a river of this wonderful period. So what we should do and to what extent, to give these days the kind of reverence, naughtiness and moments they so yearningly deserve. Talking (though I really don't understand what connotation does this word refer to) on phone, arranging for rendezvous, strolling about or if possible ambling about pavements of streets with fingers entangled, tea-sessions in restaurants or if nothing else sending SMSes may be few of the clich'd answers this question can come up with.
But does that really account for the days whose significance is sung to such praise in 'Vivah' that their memories are worth cherishing even decades later. A little talking, little hand holding and some tea rendezvous; are they enough to make these days realize their true worth or are a little too much to make these days feel a sense of ennui. Questions and only questions make a beeline before me. I am not competent enough to be able to claim the answers.
And here comes the discordant note in an otherwise mellifluous symphony. Sooraj Barjatya completely forgot to add this angel to his story but that was only a film. He could afford to do so. In these post 'Amnesia' days when self proclaimed prophets and upholders of Indian culture are running amuck through the streets of India muddying every speck of ground beneath their feet, would it be a prudent decision on my part to hold the hands of my future wife let alone take her to a pub or restaurant? Who would want to be beaten even before becoming husband? So in the wake of a new India emerging out of right wing politics now all the young couples betrothed-but-yet-to-be -married had better keep a Betrothal Certificate that will not only have them feel official but also help them ward off any pernicious cicada floating in the air.
I had begun with the predicament of having someone 'now' to hang out with who is a gift of parents rather than achievement of self. This wrangling leads to one another heart piercing question. With what measures do we gauge the 'yeses' and 'noes' of our would-be better half? Any vociferous proposal of mine will be met with a possible 'yes' and any gaze will bring a bovine smile in return from her. Like an Indian good girl she would merrily accompany me to any pub much to the chagrin of those who consider pub going an un-Indian act or any temple or any bookstore. The possibility of being a tag turned boy friend turned soul mate and shameless uxorious husband is something that has my heart hurtle towards the ambrosia of what in the days to come may be a new beginning of life. Mr. Sooraj Barjatya who I have constantly referred to ends his film giving us a glimpse of the wedding night of Prem and Bitto and a surmise of 'and-they-lived-happily-ever-after' note. I am yet to zero in on a pub or restaurant I could take her and safely get her back home. Obviously she wouldn't want me to send her a list of 'does' and 'don'ts'.