It has been ten+ wonderful years, since I first met Vythi. I was undergoing a training at the Planning Commission, New Delhi, as a Class I Officer, after clearing the Indian Statistical Services examination, (similar to the IAS exams) during the year 1998. During the Navarathri holidays, I thought I will take my much needed vacation, to meet my parents, as I hadn’t visited them for a long time. My only brother was working in the US which meant my parents were alone at Chennai in our house. As usual Navarathri was fun-filled with daily visits to all known relatives and friends’ places, returning back with different varieties of delicious Sundal packets. Those were the days where there weren’t high publicity to marriage portals like Tamilmatrimony, Shaadi.com etc. The Mahalingapuram Temple charts and similar temples were the places where horoscope repository of prospective brides and grooms were found. As with any other parents, my people were also interested in marrying me off to an appropriate guy and several horoscopes were considered. Vythi’s horoscope matched well with mine, and my Mom called up his mother to proceed further. It happened on November 5th, which happened to be the birthday of Vythi’s neice, Kavitha. So, his mom said that the following Sunday, November 8th, 1998 would be the nearest convenient day for a meeting of the two families. We had planned to fix the meeting at my maternal Uncle Ravi’s place at Kodambakkam, which was closer to Vythi’s family. Vythi’s mom had told my Uncle Ravi and his spouse Sumathi that Vythi was looking for a modern girl. She even suggested that let your girl be dressed in the modern Salwar rather than the traditional saree. I prayed to my favourite Gods, then took the electric train from Sanatorium to Kodambakkam, and reached my Uncle’s place well before noon. We were expecting a convoy of cars, as Vythi’s mom had told that there were three cars in their family and his son, daughter and son-in-law all wanted to travel in their own cars. The scheduled time was between 1:30 and 2:00p.m. Vythi came by 1:35 p.m. and said that he alone had come, as he first wanted to get convinced about the girl he wanted to marry. We both had a looooooooong chat at my Uncle’s balcony, the place where we decided that we will get into wedlock. Our voices were so loud that my mom was worried that I was having a fight with Vythi. When we came out, and said we were OK with each other, everybody looked pleased. We got engaged on November 22, 1998 and the wedding was fixed for March 5th, 1999. The period between Nov. and wedding was unforgettable and romantic.
Love brings in creativity, I remember writing poems to Vythi. Wish I could relive those wonderful days!!!