Arun and Kamla fell in love during their grand and chaotic arranged wedding.
We never really met each other before our wedding day. When we were 21 and 17, our families decided we should marry. The first words we spoke to each other were at our wedding when I asked, "Can you please bring some water for me? I'm thirsty."
The ceremony had just finished, and a storm raged outside. We were soaking wet, and strangers. The wedding felt like a Bollywood movie: grand and chaotic. Monsoon rains pelted down, and winds battered the building while our families tried to find the priest. It turns out he never made it to the venue because of the weather! Eventually, Kamla's father decided to marry us instead. The ceremony was so hectic there were no photographs or a reception.
Although our wedding was chaotic, our marriage was always simple, calm, and full of love. I remember doing rituals after our wedding and finally noticing each other's looks. I can't describe the experience in words.
We barely had any time alone for the first few months of our marriage. We didn't live together yet but used to look forward to the days when our family visited. Our early days of marriage were a struggle that we referred to as the "golden era" because of the fun that often accompanied those hardships. We spent most of our time working. But those moments of free time were fabulous. We spent lots of time with our siblings, a gang of four of us who were nearly inseparable. When our siblings died, it was tragic. But our mourning brought us closer together. We have always had each other's back. Our marriage is built on supporting one another. One thing that often surprises people is how little we argue. We've never had arguments between ourselves; it's always regarding a third person. Overall, our marriage is simple and easy. We cherish each other deeply.
Together we've raised three children and now have four grandchildren. The last twenty years of our retirement have been our new golden era. Full of learning and grandchildren, and love. It's been 54 years since our grand, chaotic wedding, and we are looking forward to many more years together.