July 3 - this was it! The day had come. Would I pass the acid test, and would he?!?! I was going to meet 'the boy' to see if we wanted to take this forward. I had already made up my mind, but no one needed to know that. My friends got engaged the night before at Bangalore, so I was taking an early morning flight from there to Hyd. Ma and my Uncle were flying down from Delhi to Hyd. We booked our flights in such a way, that we'd meet at the airport and head to the Guesthouse together. The itinerary for the day had been pre-set. I was going to meet the boy around 11am and we'd spend a little time together. We'd then head back to our respective places and tell our parents if we thought we should go ahead. If it was a green light, the two families would meet in the evening. So I just needed to stick to plan and take every moment as it came. Sigh!
Ma and My Uncle landed in Hyd before me. We found each other, got our bags and headed to the Guesthouse. We didn't have too much time. I had enough time to get ready and have some chai, before heading out to meet the boy. (I've decided to refer to him as 'the boy' until the end of this post - depending on my verdict of whether or not we were going to take it forward :P).
So, the boy was waiting for me at a popular mall in Hyd. We had to choose a place that was easily accessible to both of us in terms of distance and familiarity. I reached the place and gave him a call and came out to meet me. He wasn't much different than what I'd imagined. After all, I had seen a couple of pictures of him before. Also, we'd added each other on Facebook. So, there was no room for extreme surprise or shock. He looked the way I thought he would. We found a coffee place and sat to chat. It was weird for the first few minutes. Maybe finally being able to attach a live face to the voice I'd been hearing for three weeks was the reason. So most of the first few minutes was just an exchange of pleasantries while we were actually stealing looks every now and then.
We talked about what we though of each other. We talked about where we may be post-wedding. He asked me what I thought of living with the parents and living alone. We talked about working after marriage, what my preferences were, where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do.
He struck me as easy-going, casual, fun, very easy to talk to...much like what I drew him out to be on the phone. I liked him. His smile was refreshing. So yeah - I think I'd made up my mind way before and I was right. I was very happy and relieved to know I was right.
We didn't spend too much time..just a little over an hour, before we decided to head back to our respective places. I got back home and told Ma I was good to go with this. I called my Dad and let him know the same. We had a brilliant chat about what to do next. Then, I called my Gran, she wanted to know everything..every detail. Once that was done, Ma got a call from the boy's Dad. We were all going to meet at a restaurant in a couple of hours. So we all got ready and left for the place.
We got there and they were there too. The meeting went well. The parents were sweet and so was his sister. I think everyone was at ease. The Father was pulling the boy's leg from time to time..making sure we all laughed. It was nice, pleasant and comfortable. And it felt good to feel that way. We had our coffees and heading our own way. My Uncle, Ma and I headed to the airport, to fly back to Delhi.
We reached Delhi and Gran and my sis were filled in with the details of the day. The next day, the phone just wouldn't stop ringing! Congratulatory messages, planning for the Nischyadhartham (where the boy and girl are deemed committed to each other for marriage), etc...Everything was going in 'overdrive' mode! I wouldn't say I enjoyed it a lot. It was getting a little too much for my comfort. But I guess that's how it is.
That night, I was lying still in bed, trying to absorb everything that had happened in the last couple of days..the turn of events, and how things may turn out to be. And then it all made sense. All the hullabaloo was just positive, happy vibes. The family was obviously extremely happy that their first daughter was going to be married soon! It was something they were all waiting for. The friends were ecstatic, because they knew how crazy the man-hunt experience was, and how much crazier it could've been. They were happy that it ended happily for me, with a wonderful person. Things started to fall in place, in my mind. I was beginning to accept the noise around me as happiness. Sigh! With that sigh of relief, happiness, uncertainty, nervousness, and a lot fo other emotions....I drifted into a peaceful zone..something I hadn't had enough of. I slept like there was no tomorrow...almost like in a coma, but a happy coma. And yes, I did wake up the next morning. (For those who were worried if it was an actual coma).
P.S - The boy's name is Vijay. Better get used to it. Going forward, it won't be 'the boy' anymore..it'll be Vijay. (I need to get used to it!)