Contributed By: Dr. Raghunath Boradkar
Narrating the story of my marriage is like reliving those moments again. Even as I think of it, the drama associated with it and the thrills and tensions come alive in my mind. As she is no more, I am quite emotional and sentimental about her memories that have been deeply engraved in my mind.
My father's sister was married to a Khare. Khares were a well to do family in Mumbai. But prosperity is notoriously fickle and it so happened that one of the Khares took to gambling and lost everything. So the Khares came to Khadki to one of their relatives for shelter. Later my father's sister shifted with her husband and children to our house, which was big enough to accommodate all.
The house had now two families living under the same roof. The children mixed freely and there was a lot of fun playing and growing together. Meera was my father's sister's daughter a very close cousin. She was as we call in Marathi my, 'Atebahin'. We liked each other. Soon enough this liking grew into fondness and then inevitably as it happens always, in to love. We started being together more and more and our house had enough places to hide us from others. It was not that, our families did not notice this but we paid little attention to those subtle warnings. Neither Khares nor Rondes liked what was going on. We spent a lot of time together resulting in my neglecting my studies and I failed in my examination. It was then that my father called me and explained everything and I was advised to concentrate on my studies first. I followed his advise and in due course I completed my B.E. [Electrical]. I remember I built a radio for my father then.
I had a job in Delhi so for some time I was in Delhi and later shifted to Mumbai. In Mumbai, I stayed in Parsi Colony. I was happier in Mumbai because of its proximity to Pune. It was now easier to meet and be together. While in Mumbai, I got a scholarship for further studies in England. I decided to go. Before my departure I met Meera and we went to a temple. I told her that I was keen on her and would wait for her for any length of time but as I will be gone for some time, I would like to set her free to choose someone else if she feels like and finds someone to her liking. She disliked the idea and we decided to wait for each other.
I duly completed my studies in England and rather than coming back immediately accepted a job that was offered to me and stayed on. I collected enough money for a passage to England and then wrote a letter to my father. I wrote to him that I wanted to marry Meera and I would not return to India if he and others objected to it on any ground and in that case, I would bring her here and marry her since in England nobody would say that it was not permissible.
Soon I got a letter from my father telling me that I should return and that he would find out a way. I returned to India and he was happy to see me back.
I was waiting and one day we three came to Mumbai. I had no idea what he was to do. We just had to follow him. What he did was he took us to a Kazi whom he probably knew. The kazi then converted us to Islam and we were given new names. Then The Nikah was performed and we were married and pronounced as husband and wife. After completing the procedure, we left and he took us straight to Shri Masurkar Maharaj ashram where we converted back to Hinduism and regained our original names. As we were husband and wife as Muslims, we were converted as Hindu husband and wife.
We returned to Pune expecting a lot of trouble but to our surprise, we were welcomed home as if nothing unusual had happened.
In today's world no one would bother about such a thing but when I think of those times when orthodoxy ruled the minds of most I am amazed by the courage shown by my father and his foresight. It is something unforgettable.