Man Proposes, God Disposes
by Vaman Acharya
Bengaluru- Mumbai Udyan train was moving at a high speed in the midnight. Most of the passengers were sleeping. A young man and an old man were moving in a bogie number S-5 from one end to the another. Their movement was closely observed by a young woman, who was in the middle berth. Both were stopped near her berth.
“Who are you? Why are you standing here,” she asked the young man.
“Madam, I am searching for the ticket examiner. Somebody has occupied my berth,” said the young man.
The ticket examiner arrived and checked their tickets. He asked for her ticket. The official realised it was a mistake of the Railways. The young man was provided below her berth and the old man was given opposite to him in the lower berth. In the morning after the sunrise, the middle berths were pulled down. The young man and the young girl saw each other. To their astonishment, both were known to each other.
“What a surprise Mayur? If I remember correctly, I think we both met five years back.”
“Yes, Mayuri you are right. I remember even the occasion. You met me in the cinema theatre. The movie was ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge,’ said Mayur”.
The old man was keenly observing their conversation. He was smiling after seeing the girl. Mayur introduced his father Sadanand to Mayuri. She got up and prostrated to him as a token of respect to elders. He blessed her by laying his hand on her head.
Sadanand intervened in their conversation and said, “Mayuri, during that year Mayur was studying in PUC 2nd year. The final examination was fast approaching. He asked my permission to watch the movie. I gave him permission with one condition that he should not waste time afterwards. He agreed.
“Mayuri, during the same year my father beat me for gossiping with friends,” said Mayur.
They were laughing loudly.
During the course of their conversation, it was revealed that Mayur and Mayuri were childhood friends. Their parents were bank colleagues in Pavanpur town. Sadanand left Pavanpur and settled in Mumbai after retirement. Mayuri moved to Bengaluru along with her parents. One year back she was married to Sudheer an employee of National Bank of India. Just three months back, her husband died due to a massive heart attack. She got employment in the National Bank of India on compassionate grounds. Mayur was working as a software engineer in Mumbai. She was going to Mumbai to join the bank job.
Both Dad and son felt very sorry for the untimely death of her husband.
It was her first visit to Mumbai. Mayur requested her to stay in his house till she settles down. She agreed and stayed for two days. Sadanand was very kind towards her. He treated her as his own daughter. Mayuri moved to a single bedroom apartment in the same area Mulund. After one month she went to Bengaluru and brought her parents.
Mayur and Mayuri failed to meet for a long time. Mayur wanted to meet her and express his desire.
What was his desire?
He had sweet dreams of meeting Mayuri in historical spots, hotels, famous parks, temples and museums etc.
One day, Mayur expressed his desire before his father.
“Dad, I would
like to seek your blessings before taking any decision.”
It didn’t take much time for Sadanand to know his intention.
He asked, “What is the matter my dear son Mayur?”
“Dad, I am seriously thinking how to begin the matter?”
“Don’t worry. You know my nature. After the demise of your mother, I am a lonely person. I never go against your wish. Tell me your wish without fear.”
“Dad, I like the nature, attitude and behaviour of Mayuri. If you say okay, I would like to marry her.”
Sadanand recollected the memory of about four decades back. He was a 20-year-old young man and just joined the bank service. One day his father Janardan told his son to be ready for marriage with a girl selected by him. The date of the wedding was fixed exactly after one month in a Hanuman Temple. Sadanand didn't ask his father to arrange an interview with the girl. He saw his life partner only on the marriage day. But now his son Mayur said he wants to marry Mayuri. Sadanand thought it was the effect of the generation gap.
Observing his dad’s position, Mayur said, “Dad, if you don’t like this relationship I will drop the idea.”
“My dear son, I always think of your welfare. I know Mayuri since her childhood. She is the daughter of my close friend and colleague Mahesh. I can say she is a simple, sober with fairly good complexion. My stand is very clear. Before conveying my decision, I would like to tell you the most important issues connected to her. Firstly, she is a widow. Secondly, she is two years older to you. Thirdly, she belongs to a different caste. In spite of all these, if you want to marry her, I wholeheartedly approve your proposal. Let me know have you met her?"
“Dad, I have not yet met her. I am confident that she would accept my proposal. I know she is a widow. It is not her mistake to become a widow at this young age. She may be elder to me. It doesn’t matter. I am not particular about the caste. Moreover, I am doing great service to uplift her life."
“I am proud of you my son. Your thinking is really praise worthy. Widow remarriage is social reform. I am with you my dear son. Go ahead and start a new life with Mayuri. I bless you and wish you all the best,” said dad.
One day, Mahesh invited friend Sadananda and his son to visit his house on coming Sunday. Mahesh purposely kept the reason for invitation secret. Sadanand thought it was the best occasion to reveal his son’s desire.
On Sunday, dad and son visited Mahesh's house. It was a surprise for them to see the other guests. The occasion was the bride and bridegroom interview. Mahesh introduced all the guests to his friend. Makarand was a groom and Mayuri was a bride. His parents were also present. After the conversation between Mayuri and Makarand in a separate room, both had agreed to tie the knot. Mayuri introduced her childhood friend to Makarand.
Mayur could not achieve his desire. Both father and son were very much disappointed.
‘Man proposes, God disposes’ said his father, with a sigh. ***