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An Arranged Honeymoon

Go to Mount Titlis, they said, all honeymooners go there.

Well, here we are at Mount Titlis. This whole idea of Switzerland was Arjun’s family’s. They are part of the clan that loves to see snowy mountains in Bollywood movies. They clearly didn’t realize how cold it would be during the winter.

I would definitely not recommend anyone to go to Switzerland during the winter.

Our trip will only be for four days. We landed in Geneva yesterday and roamed around a little. Switzerland is so different from Delhi, so sparsely populated. The air is also disgustingly clean. Arjun and I didn’t speak all that much.  You see, we don’t know each other too well.

My marriage is arranged.

Now, now. Don’t go thinking that my parents are oppressive, and they didn’t let me marry the person I love or something. My last relationship was four years ago, I’m thirty years old now, and frankly speaking, I wanted to settle down and too lazy to meet someone new. I made them create online profiles on several matrimonial sites. Out of the hundreds of proposals, Arjun was the most decent. He had a senior job in a bank, and so did I. We had quite a few things in common. So we said okay.

But there are still those awkward silent moments that you spend around a somewhat stranger.

We haven’t consummated our marriage yet since we’re taking it one step at a time. Things were going well in our marriage.

Until our honeymoon two weeks later.

“It’s so bloody cold,” I said

“Yeah Meena, it is. What shall I do about it?” He asked, in an annoyed kind of way.

This was the first time Arjun got so defensive. “We should have chosen somewhere else,” I said.

“Yeah. Now that we’re here let’s try to enjoy at least?”

“Okay, fine.”

The stream leading up to the base camp was pristine clear. I think you could even drink out of it, and nothing would happen to you.

“Meena, look! Vegetarian Indian food!”

I looked up from the stream at this small stall selling pav bhaji, vada pav, and other tasty snacks. Although we’ve been away from home for only one day, there is a certain novelty in eating these things abroad.

“This is so good,” I said, my mouth stuffed with vada pav.

“Maybe today will be a good day, after all, huh?” Arjun suggested.

We held hands, bought tickets to the rotating cable car that was to take us up to the top, and went inside.

The view was gorgeous. Icy snow caps surrounded us and pine trees were below us. Arjun and I took several selfies en-route.

When we reached the top, we were greeted by a large cut-out of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. We posed with that as well.

Masala tea was available at a tiny stall next to the cut-out.

We bought chai and sat down. I was enjoying the serenity around me. The gorgeous snow-capped mountain peaks showed themselves over a sea of clouds.

“So Meena, tell me more about your previous relationships. I want to understand you better.”  Arjun said.

I look at him.

“I’d rather not,” I said.

“Why? Why not?” He asked.

“Because I don’t feel like. Okay?”

“Why because he was better than me?” Arjun said. He was angry, but his voice was steady.

“No Arjun, it’s nothing like that. I just don’t want to tell you about him okay? We don’t even know each other for long for crying out loud.” I said. I was angry, and my voice was super loud.

“Okay. If that’s the way it is.” He said while sipping tea.

There was silence for a long, long time.

“I think I’ll check out the attractions,” I said, and without waiting for a response, went ahead.

It’s not that I don’t want to tell Arjun about my relationships. I just can’t. Especially about my relationship with Nikhil.

It wasn’t turning out to be a great honeymoon.

I went to an open area where there were several joyful activities. Children and adults alike were frolicking around, making snowmen, throwing snowballs.

I headed towards this massive slide made of snow. I was given a toboggan to sit on and flew down the slide. At one point I felt I might fall off the mountain, but fortunately, I didn’t. That felt good.

Next, I went to a cable-car that takes you further up the mountain. I had never been on one of these before. It’s the same type of cable car that you get in ski resorts. My feet were hanging below with no support. It was scary yet thrilling at the same time.

Even though I felt the adrenaline rush through my every pore, I was also melancholic. Arjun wasn’t here. It was supposed to be our honeymoon.

I got off the cable car and headed back to the tea shop. Arjun was still there.

“Where were you?” He asked with a wry smile.

“Thinking. Playing.” I said.

“I thought about it, and…if you don’t want to tell me about your past it’s fine. It will take time for you to open up, so it’s fine.” Arjun said.

Something about what he said touched me.

“Well, Nikhil and I were in a serious relationship for two years. During the final few months before our break-up, he started abusing me. Slapping me. Calling me names. It was horrible.”

Arjun didn’t look at me with pity as I thought he would. He simply took my hand and looked angry.

I started tearing up.

“I will beat this guy up.” He said.

“I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t want you to pity me. I didn’t want you to think I was weak because I was in an abusive relationship. I stayed because I thought I could change him.”

“Of course, I don’t think you are weak. I think you are so strong because you went through that. I like you so much Meena.  You are beautiful, talented and amazing. Even though we will have our troubles, I will always treat you with respect.”

I gave him a hug. I was so glad I told him.

We went back to our resort and went to sleep holding hands. This may not have been the perfect honeymoon but which marriage is perfect?

I’m certainly looking forward to spending my life with Arjun.

Source of keychain: Souvenir Shop, Geneva Switzerland



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