Monday, October 3, 2016

8th bday guest post 1: When Kolkata Met Mumbai by Lakshmi Ajoy

The first story of the birthday month starts with a post from my school friend. A very talented, bubbly girl Lakshmi and her husband Ajoy. Lakshmi is a jewelry designer and a mother of two beautiful daughters.

Lakshmi says

Where Mumbai meets Kolkata...
The year of 2005 saw me turning into a young, dynamic, confident, educated and bold young lady- all of 23! I had a great job, was about to appear for my graduation finals in March and already had a degree in Hotel Management. 

The Tamil festival "Pongal" was round the corner and the family had the opinion that the birth of the harvest festival would usher in some good news. Thus, began the soul-mate hunting for me without 'My' knowledge. 

A trip to Shirdi later that month revealed the secrets in my parents' minds. They had begun hunting for an ideal "husband" for me.
This revelation was shocking and I, being a rebel, fought with my family for days end before a sick bedridden grandma and my overtly emotional parents convinced me that the hunt that had just begun would take no less than two years to finalize a match. That sounded a bit convincing to me, two years is enough time to set my career.

A few eager parents of the prospective grooms made random calls to try and match horoscopes and exchange pictures. Nothing seemed to be  working and I was secretly feeling elated. I had better things to focus on; a job as a duty manager in the hotel industry and the finals of my Bachelors in Arts that was round the corner. 
Amidst serious preparations and the exams lurking around a week ahead, the phone bell rang one lazy afternoon with everyone else tucked in bed enjoying a post lunch siesta and me buried with my head in one fat book.

With no one else to pick the call, I reached for it and a sweet voice on the other end went: "Hello! Is this the residence of Mr. Radhakrishnan?"
Me: "Yes, it is. How can I help you?"
Voice: "We have found his daughter, Lakshmi's horoscope matching out son's. Actually, we are from Kolkata and a trip to Mumbai is soon on our cards. Would it be convenient for us to visit your place anytime next week?"
Me: (pausing in shock)" Hmm... I guess I could note your contact number and pass the same to my father. He will get back to you by evening today"

What followed was a series of fast forwarding events. The return phone call, the visit from the parents of the prospective groom-to-be with their elder daughter in law, exchanging photographs, some songs, long conversations, evening snacks and then email ids, my final graduation exam papers, our visit to the groom-to-be's aunt's house at Andheri and done!
The match making was finalized by the parents of both the parties without the groom to be and the bride to be meeting each other face to face.

Way back in 2005, India was still way behind in technology and Yahoo! was probably the only most popular mailing site and Yahoo! messenger was probably the only chat option available with voice hearing technology. The video calling, Skype and chats were a distant dream.

From the first mail that I sent out to the prospective groom whom I hadn't met him and only seen a couple of his photographs on the 2nd of April, 2005, the return mail acknowledging the receipt of my mail, from the first phone call on the 5th of May 2005, to several hours of International satellite calling every single day thereafter, the Cupid had already struck!
By the end of June, both Ajoy(the groom to be) and me (Lakshmi- the rebellious then; not so rebellious now bride to be) were head over heels in love. All without even meeting each other in person.

The dates for the D- Day was fixed, the venue was booked, advance payments made, shopping had fervently begun, decorators and caterers were finalized and yet, both Ajoy and me were waiting to meet eye to eye. The long wait of this long distance love was finally set to break when the dates of Ajoy's arrival was fixed. The company had booked his tickets and his sign off dates were decided from the ship on which he was sailing as a third mate at that time.
His parents had booked tickets to Mumbai from Kolkata as Ajoy said he wouldn't fly Kolkata directly without meeting the girl he is planning to marry.
PC: Pintrest

Eager preparations were on and the day arrived on the fateful month of July, 2005 when Mumbai was drowning in its monsoon floods. Nevertheless, no calamity could keep at bay the love birds longing to catch sight of one another. 21st of July, 2005. Ajoy's flight from Geelong, Australia to Mumbai landed at 19:45 after hours of delay owing to rough weather conditions. The family of both the parties were all set to welcome the groom to be. I was dressed in a royal salwar suit with minimal makeup but a natural glow on my face and sparkle in my eyes. The announcement of the flight's arrival was made, passengers had disembarked and crowd from the flight had begun to thin out. My sailor boy was no where in sight. I was nervous, hands had turned icy cold in anxiety and every second seemed like an hour. Finally, from far, I could see a figure emerge from the corner. My heart was quite sure it was "him" but my mind refused to accept. As the figure drew to a close, Ajoy headed straight towards me and just pushing his suitcase and jacket he had in his hands, his majestic frame and muscular arms enveloped me into a warm, comforting bear hug. The moment was frozen and their dreams had come true at last. The love birds had met.

My note: I loved the narration, so heartfelt, gives this warm feeling all through. Thanks Lakshmi for sharing your story. May God bless you and your family forever. Amen!


  1. Lovely love story in the times of match fixing. Is it somewhere your love story?


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