11 November 2018
Ours was an arranged marriage. We were made to meet each other by our families in June 2018. I had gone home for Eid holidays while Talia had been in Kashmir for the past few months.
Manan: I was told in the morning that the meeting was scheduled for the same evening. I wasn’t keen on getting married at that time. So I left to meet the girl without checking her photograph or social profiles (that we all do.)
We met at a restaurant in a hotel in Peerbagh (Heritage luxury). Talia came with her sister and mother, while I went with my mother and Halima Ji (the matchmaker)
When Talia and I chatted for mere 15-20 minutes, we could sense a spark between us – even though we had different personalities. While she was a talkative and fun-loving person, I was a reserved and sober kind of guy. Still, our short conversation was filled with jokes and laughter.
Talia: As he has already described me as talkative, so can’t resist from sharing this story of our first meeting.
So, one fine morning I was asked by my parents to meet a guy the next day. As obvious, the hunt for the suit began. After shopping and getting it stitched in just a day, I was ninja ready to meet him.
When the important day arrived, I was suggested to talk less and not to laugh much. They wish! Anyway, I reached the hotel five minutes before him. When he arrived, he was in casuals and I was all decked up. That made me question my decision of meeting him for a second.
We asked each other some questions. I can’t forget him saying sentences like ‘I didn’t come prepared.’ ‘I had no idea whom I am about to meet’ (however, I had at least seen his profile on FB).
The time just flew while we were talking. While he was leaving the restaurant, he looked at me with a huge smile on his face. I had that filmy moment ‘Is he the one…?’
Manan: After the meeting was over, we were made to exchange numbers through the matchmaker. After two days of chatting and just a single call, we both agreed. Maybe it was the persona of hers or her bubbly nature that made me go ahead, I am not sure. But in my heart, I felt she was the one with whom I can spend my life with – and that too happily.
Talia: The most amazing thing was that, ‘I was just myself’ throughout every bit of our conversation which happens with very less people in your life. My mom and sis were wondering what made me laugh so much while I met him. I was sure that, we had clicked. I felt as if there was some positive energy that got transferred after meeting him and suddenly everything appeared to be in full bloom. While he appeared to be very decent, polite and reserved kind of a guy, yet I could sense an inner child within him. I just liked everything about him. Positive vibes!!! So, it was a YES for me…!
Manan: We married the same year in November – 5 months after we met. Just a week before our marriage, Kashmir received the untimely snowfall. Everyone thought it was a bad idea to have a wedding in mid-November and that it will be too cold and all. But eventually, with the grace of Allah, all went well. Here we are sitting together and writing our story.
Talia: We witnessed this untimely snowfall together sitting in a café in Srinagar. We went to Dal Lake and when I got home, everybody was so tensed because of snow. But, somehow I knew that just like the autumn and winter had mingled together, no matter how harsh the weather will be, we will unite on the fixed date. And thus, the radiance of the sun witnessed our union and November was good to us!
Manan: In my nikkah, when I had to say “Be niman yi ani zavjiyatas manz” I could not pronounce the word zavjiyatas..
Talia: For me, it wasn’t awkward but scary. I lost one of my gold bracelet when I came down for the main ladies function at my place. Thankfully, someone found it and handed it back.
Manan: When I said Qabool hai during our Nikkah.
Talia: There were two. First, the same thing he mentioned. The other moment was when I left my house holding my father’s hand while he accompanied me to Manan’s car. Instead of crying, I was happy with a smile on my face knowing that the person he is taking me to, will take care of me and love me just like my father did.
So, it has not even been a year since we met for the first time and here we are, already married, sipping a cup of chai (his favorite) together while writing our beautiful story.