I have known Shaloo for about 18 years. Around that many years ago we had shifted to the locality where she stayed with her parents close to our house. Her father, JK, became quite close to me as we used to be on morning walks at the same timings. We both had our dogs with us during that time. They have a son, Ajay, who is 2 years elder to her. That time she must have been around 7 years as she was in 3rd standard while her brother was in 5th. Her mother used to visit our house frequently to spend time with my wife. The children also used to visit regularly though our children were elder to them. After about 5 years stay there we shifted to another close by locality. They kept in touch and children or rather Shaloo used to visit couple of times every week. She kept in regular touch with us inspite of our moving to another locality. JK too used to call up often and we used to meet may be once on a couple of months. In due course of time she graduated and went on to do MBA in HR. She joined a MNC thereafter. Ajay completed engineering in Electronics and joined a leading IT company.
About 3 years ago she confided to us that she has fallen in love with a boy, Sanjay, in her office. He is their Marketing Manager and about 3 years elder to her. They both wanted to get married soon. On asking she told that she had not yet told her parents as she was afraid because he is from different caste and region. She told that even he had not spoken to his parents till then. I advised her that in case they both were sure of their love and felt that they would be happy together, then it was time to take it further by involving parents of both side. I offered my help, if needed. A few days later she came over our house in tears. Her parents had refused to accept this match while her brother was on her side. Her mother was more against it than her father. Even from boy’s side, father did not have much of an objection but his mother refused to accept this. I tried to convince JK, though he seemed to be willing but was afraid of his wife. Sanjay told me that there would be no use of my meeting his parents as his mother insisted that he marry a girl of her choice who was her cousin’s daughter as she had promised cousin that she would take her daughter into her family. I advised both of them to give a little time as it was quite possible that both side parents may agree after some thinking. But then Shaloo called me up after about a month to inform that his mother had set a date for his marriage to that girl and was going to send invitations soon. She told that Sanjay and she are going ahead with Court marriage in a day or two and wanted me to be there. She told me that his father would be there but would not sign anything. He would maintain later that he did not know anything. She wanted me to bring her father along without telling him the reason.
So on the appointed day I took JK with me to court on some pretext. On reaching there, Shaloo met us and she told him the reason. She further told that she would not go ahead if he objected vehemently. Sanjay’s father told JK that he was there to give his blessings but would not acknowledge that in front of his wife. JK hugged me saying thanks. He too agreed on same terms as Sanjay’s father. So they both got married with their friends signing as witnesses. After that they moved to a friend’s house for a few days hoping that his mother might relent but it did not happen. So they moved into a small flat on their own.
Next one year though fathers did keep in touch on the quiet and visited them whenever they could but Sanjay or Shaloo could not visit their parental homes because of their mothers not accepting the marriage. Ajay was married to a girl of his mother’s choice. Right from day one she made it clear that Ajay should move out of parent’s house to live separately. The situation became so tense that Ajay took up an offer for job in USA and they moved out to that place. JK and his wife were left alone. Though Ajay kept in touch but did not visit even once after moving out. In the meanwhile Shaloo was blessed with a son. JK and Sanjay’s father kept visiting on the quiet off and on to spend time with him but no one else from family did. Even Sanjay’s parents were alone after his sister got married and moved out. Sanjay and Shaloo made repeated attempts with some veiled help of respective fathers to diffuse situation but their mothers did not relent or give an inch.
A couple of weeks ago Shaloo’s mother had suffered stroke. She was taken to hospital and put into ICU. JK told Shaloo and also called up Ajay. His wife had attended the call and told that her parents had come to USA for a two month visit only a couple of days ago so Ajay or she cannot come to India immediately. Sanjay and Shaloo rushed to hospital and had been of support to JK throughout. On her discharge from hospital a couple of days ago she has been advised full bed rest for at least a month, so Shaloo took leave to be there. Her mother was in tears when she saw Shaloo taking care of her. When Shaloo’s young son sat next to her on bed giving smile, she in feeble voice asked Shaloo to forgive her. Sanjay’s father managed to somehow convince his wife to visit JK’s house to enquire about her health. She agreed as she too was feeling very lonely. When they came the little boy ran to his grandfather shouting with joy DADU DADU. Sanjay’s father picked him up handing him over to his wife who after taking him started crying while hugging him close.
So all is well that ends well but may I ask why do we not live with changing times and accept happiness of our children instead of getting egoistic?