Author Ramendra Kumar steps back into memories and recounts his own love story that bridged two states in a “special, special story for Valentine’s Day”.
I am sure many of you would have seen the movie 2 States and enjoyed it too.
Well, let me tell you my love story which kickstarted more than two and half decades back and had all the drama, twists and turns which made 2 States so engrossing.
I had always thought instant love was as impossible as instant nirvana. This notion was shattered when I joined Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) and was asked to report to the Discussion Room of the Training Chief. When I entered the room I saw a girl sitting on a sofa.
“Are you also a management trainee,” she asked and smiled. “My name is Madhavi.”
I looked at her and was mesmerized. I had never seen any girl so devastatingly pretty.
At 11.05 on 23rd October, 1986 I fell instantly, insanely in love. At that moment I knew I wanted to marry Madhavi, ASAP.
I went about achieving Mission Madhavi with a dogged determination. I had always been an incorrigible flirt. However, earlier my flirting had been a kind of aimless indulgence. But in this case it was with a purpose: to somehow impress this angel and make her mine.
If it took me slightly more than six seconds to decide that Madhavi was my soul mate, it took her exactly six months and six days to make up her mind to be mine.
A day after her ‘confession’ she left for Bhubaneswar to tell her parents. I too wrote to my father.
Three days later I received a telegram from him: “Congratulations to you and Madhavi.”
When Madhavi came back she looked utterly drained out.
“What happened?” I asked.
“My dad seems to have gone completely berserk.”
“What do you mean?”
“You know we are Telugu Vaishnavite Brahmins.”
“Ya, I know, and I am a Marwari – that too hailing from North India!”
“Y…yes, I mean – father doesn’t mind me marrying anyone as long as he is from our caste.”
“But Madhu, surely you could have reasoned with him?”
“You think I didn’t try. I cried, I wept and I ranted. It was of no use. He simply refused to listen.”
For the next couple of months things continued in the same vein. Almost every week she would go to meet her parents, make one more desperate attempt and return in a state of further emotional ruin.
Then finally one day she dropped the bombshell.
“Ramen, I am sorry. But I cannot get married to you. My father has threatened he will go on a fast unto death. The condition in which he is, I am sure he won’t survive. And we cannot build our future on his pyre.”
I was dumbstruck. I could never imagine the every smiling Madhavi whose basic mission in life was spreading sweetness and sunshine would go around like a modern day Mary Magdalene.
I resigned and went back to Hyderabad, but we kept regularly in touch.
A few months later I received a letter. “Dear Ramen, there is no point in continuing a relationship which has no future. So let us say goodbye forever and move ahead.”
This was the last straw. I went into a deep depression. I started writing like a maniac, like a man possessed. In a space of two weeks I wrote 21 poems. On an impulse I bundled the poems and sent them to her, without any letter or even a note.
A week later I got a two line letter from her.
“Can you come to Rourkela for one last time? If you are too busy I’ll understand.”
I boarded the train the same day.
“Ramen, I can’t stay without you. God knows how much I have tried. But it is impossible. I cannot survive without you. ”
“Have you told your parents anything?”
“No, of course not! If I get married to you my dad will obviously be very upset but I’m sure he will come around eventually.”
“Then let us get married right away.”
I approached the management of RSP and was told that I could join back but only as a fresh entrant – that meant I would be around two years junior to Madhavi and the rest of my batchmates. I agreed – after all it was a small price to pay for getting together with my life, my love.
On 26th March 1988 we got married. Obviously only my side of the family was in attendance. Her parents were informed the next day. There was a lot of drama which continued for close to three years.
How did the impasse end? Well it took a 3 kg wonder and her pristine smile to demolish the wall of fury that existed between my in-laws and me. The moment my daughter Ankita was placed in her grandpa’s lap there was a transformation. He probably realized that any person who had contributed to the ‘creation’ of this angel couldn’t be that big a devil!
Now we are one big happy family. And though Andhra Pradesh has been fractured our ‘2 States’ are in a state of unity and near bliss!
More creative expressions from Ramendra Kumar
Musings: Papa Scheherazade! – a recount of the challenges of parenting a baby daughter
Poems: My Best Friend – a love poem dedicated to the most important woman in his life
More to read
Book review: 2 States – Kahaani Poori Filmi Hai
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