Belonging to an affluent family in Jabalpur, she was born into a fairytale life and literally fed with a silver spoon. Blessed by good genes, she was not exactly breathtakingly beautiful, but with all the designer clothes and fine jewellery, she definitely commanded a second look. Pampered, rich and spoilt silly she was living the life every girl craved for. Her parents couldn’t have another child due to complications during her delivery and they made their peace with this fact and bought up Aarti with all the love and affection they could bestow on her. They never differentiated with her being a girl and raised her as an equal. She was sent to the finest school and later to the college of her choice. They never invoked their will on her.
Aarti was a bright student and learnt the ropes of business along with her dad in her free time. She had sharp business acumen and loved to help her father at work. Her mother was a beautiful and happy soul. She was a contented woman who loved being a homemaker and showered her love on her family. The three of them together were a perfect bunch. They sat till late nights discussing everything under the sun and the laughter from their home could be heard by passersby on the street.
Due to their growing and expanding business, they travelled from one city to another, and lived the life of nomads. They never missed home, as home for them meant being together. Their acquaintances and relatives were at times jealous of the camaraderie and happiness in their family. They often reminded her father that he didn’t have a son and who was he going to leave his sprawling business to and besides Aarti was also a ‘Manglik’ and would have a hard time getting a groom for herself. Her dad smirked and gave them smiles of pity, he laughed at their judgments and poor thinking in this 21st century.
Aarti was offered many proposals from her hometown Jabalpur, but ultimately nothing ever clicked when it all came down to matching her ‘Kundli’. The ‘dosh’ in her Kundli, as they called it, was really heavy and would’ve resulted in the death of her prospective husband within a year of marriage. Nobody dared risk the life of their son, for all the money offered in the world. Aarti and her parents had come to terms with this rejection spree and laughed amongst themselves when any matches came her way. They probably knew the answer and the outcome. They reserved a private smile for each other at the end of the meeting, when all the prospective grooms and their family had the same answer.
Somehow, they all decided to get over with this ‘Manglik’ phobia and look at life positively. Aarti immersed herself with expanding her father’s enormous business to new heights. Plus, their jet setting lifestyle from one city to another didn’t let them dwelve in the past. Aarti made friends very easily wherever she travelled and was extremely likeable due to her happy go lucky nature. She had quite a few friends of the opposite gender, many of whom pledged their undying love for her. They even suggested eloping and getting married in case her parents didn’t agree due to caste or social status issues. Aarti was too often tempted, but her love for her parents was far more than any guy could offer. She wanted to marry with their permission and wishes. She thanked her stars for such amazing parents, who never pressurized her for anything against her will. She owed them so much. Her parents scoffed at the outrageous solutions and rituals offered by the innumerable pundits and so called relatives for mellowing her “Manglik Dosh”, which would be the only way to get her married and provide their pioneering empire a future heir.
Meeting Nadeem at her management course was a blessing in disguise. He, with his full on happy go lucky attitude and positive take on life, was like a breath of fresh air. Being a Muslim, he didn’t really believe in Kundli’s and told Aarti that everything is prewritten, “Whatever has to happen, will happen”. She had tears of joy on hearing this and fell even more in love with him. They dated for nearly 3 years and kept in touch after College thanks to social media. Her changing cities and the physical distance couldn’t diminish the fire of love burning within both. He wanted to be someone on his own and then approach her parents for her hand the old fashioned chivalrous way; she couldn’t wait for him to meet her parents knowing they will love him.
Away from all the hues and cry, in a small quiet temple, Aarti took her seventh phera. Her groom put the customary vermillon and tied the mangulsutra around her neck. Her parents smiled tearfully at their princess. Their beloved daughter was finally married. Post all the customs, the pandit smiled and put his hand on Aarti’s head and announced that now she is free from her ‘Manglik Dosh’.
The groom called out to his friends and broke into a celebratory dance with the clapping of hands, as they always did. They were elated on receiving the insane amount of money, in exchange for a wedding ritual. They had no high hopes and had accepted and were contended with their life. This marriage only meant money and that was surely welcome.
Aarti stood there dumbfounded. There wasn’t even a single tear in her eye, just a glazed look. Her Parents, her God whom she worshipped, ultimately were mortals who couldn’t accept a Muslim boy for their daughter with a ‘Manglik Dosh’.
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The above story is an entry into the writing event(Feb. 02nd – 20th) hosted by ArtoonsInn: #PullTheRug #UniK-3
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Photo by Pranav Jain