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My second marriage and after

After a year of taking care of the children by me pressure started mounting on me that I should find a spouse to share my life and also look after the children who were orphaned by the untimely death of their mother about a year ago. Now this is a rare happening in our family. My grandfather and father both of whom lost their wives when they were still young did not remarry for reasons of their own. Incidentally they were widowed when they were in their forties, the same age I was when Raji died. Several years earlier my uncle Rasappa Mama lost his wife a year after marriage but he did not remarry and remained a recluse for the rest of his life. My cousin Ramani lost his wife when he was quite young but did not remarry. But then he had his parents and sisters living with him to look after him and his only child. Another cousin Sethuraman was also widowed early in life and he remained a widower till his death at the age of 82. If I agree to remarry it would set a precedent but then many relatives and some friends pressurised me to do so and that too without waiting too long. I laid one condition though. I would prefer a newly widowed girl to whom I can give a fresh lease of life. My father was in agreement and wrote to a few friends/relatives in this regard. Except for a girl from Calcutta who was considered too young for me there was no other response. Then father identified a girl through his cousin in Koduvayur (Kerala). He went over to that place and had a look at the girl and being satisfied with what he saw proposed to the father of the girl (she had no mother) the marriage of his recently widowed son to the girl . He agreed to the proposal and it was finalized. Father informed me by telegram about his choice and wanted to know if it would be alright if the alliance was concluded. I made sure that my children who were majors had no objection to my taking a second wife. I replied to father that he could go ahead with the proposal although the customary meeting of ‘the girl and the boy’ was dispensed with. I left for Guruvayur after informing our close relatives in Bangalore. My sister in Secunderabad was sore that I did not inform her of the developments and invite her for the wedding. The time available was too short for making elaborate preparations. The marriage was solemnized on the June 1978 at the pilgrim town of Guruvayur in Kerala on a modest scale. Jaya impressed me with her demure disposition and stature and rather ordinary looks, very fair with flowing hair. She was very young. There was a difference of nearly 25 years between us and I had apprehensions about how she would jell with me and the three grown up children in the family. I was hoping that things would work out smoothly in due course as she got to know the family better. There was no hint of her not liking the alliance and even if she had any she hardly expressed herself. She was the first of two girls and a boy to her parents but the mother did not live to see her daughter married having died two months earlier. The family was of modest means and the children did not have much of an education by today’s standards. I met her friends and relatives in her village after the ceremonies before we returned to Bangalore after paying our respects to my old grand mother at Calicut and on our way back weg spent a day at Mysore.

There was the usual welcoming party consisting of my father, daughters and son and a neighbour’s family. Although Jaya was coy and shy she easily adjusted to the new life. My children also took great care that she felt at home and was among loving people. The lady in our neighbouring house was a great moral support for Jaya and they became very close friends. The lady was very close to Raji also.

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