Grace walks into her study; a large well-lit, furnished richly, no clutter; just one chair, a mahogany table, one solid walnut chest carved beautifully with the scenes of nature in one side. In the other corner of the room, there is a high bed with a bold and classic design. The lower sashes of the window had been raised and the sweet and heavy scents of jasmine and roses waft in on the warm air. Books and magazines peeked out of the large wood shelves. Today was the last day of her first year final in her MA in Psychology. She was relaxed. Her right cheek rested on the palm of her hand and head tilted slightly she was thinking about a far future. Then she heard her mother from the kitchen, ‘Grace! Will you come here.’
Grace adjusted her lilac dress and sailed into the kitchen.’Yes mom.’
Her mother was trying to arrange some delicious snacks in nice plates and said,’ Go change into something nice, put a little makeup. One family is coming to see you today.’ Then she glanced at Grace and looked down to the snacks and said’, ‘He is a doctor and you are almost done with your first year of the MA and they will agree to continue your study even after marriage. But we will see how it goes.’
Grace looked at her mother blankly, her mouth dropped. She was not expecting this to happen so suddenly. She turned and walked into her room. Grace leaned heavily against the apricot wall with shock and a heavy suffocating blanket of reality began to sink in. Her family was very conservative who never believed in love before marriage. She remembered how her grandmother used to say that ‘ Love just blooms after the marriage even if you are two strangers. It is a custom in India that parents choose a groom for the girl, marriage takes place and afterwards she goes to a new family with a stranger and starts a new chapter of life. The story of Grace happened in thirty-two years back.
Grace was in love with somebody else. Her love was very different from the modern love; there was no romance, no physical contact but just pure love. Grace was in a puzzle. Her parents, grandparents loved her a lot, the reputation of their family, their status was very high in the society. If she chooses to marry her lover then her family ‘s so called status will be destroyed. Her forehead was shaded with a heavy cloud, lips were sealed in an expression of unspeakable sadness. Grace could not decide ;’ she has to choose between her love or to marry in a rich family to keep up the family name and status’. She opened the door and walked into the garden in a pensive mood….