Saturday, August 3rd, 2019
Before I start, I’d like to remind you that there are men as fabulous as Bradley Cooper and as funny as Ricky Gervais and I am supposed to meet, marry and settle with a bloke that the family choose? But, then I’m hardly Katy Perry, Krish’s perfect lady.
So, from a young age, I knew the best looking boys came from our community. We are cobblers, leather workers or untouchables to many, so many prejudices exist around our caste and not many people would be bold enough to say they are from our community. Yep, the best looking boys at school came to our temple and when you are young, let’s face it, looks are very important. So, it was pretty much a given that I be happy with my parents to choose a suitable boy. How wrong was I?
So, we met once on a bank holiday, Monday 27th May and married less than ten weeks later on 3rd August. It wasn’t special, bumbled together in the little time we had with my parents’ focussing on the areas that mattered to them.
I agreed to marry Krish because he is special, I knew he could read our holy book the Guru Granth Sahib and that mattered to me back then. Wanting to live by God’s word with no alcohol, meditation and a vegetarian lifestyle were my values at the time. He was very quiet and I thought his name was Resham, not Krishan. So, that’s how well our only meeting before we were married went.
Fast forward 23 years, I believe my religious ways were cultish and I am only accountable to myself. So, we commit to a marriage, to promise everything to each other, when we don’t even know what the future holds. Krish and I have very little in common but we promise to try to keep harmony in our peaceful family life. Our day-to-day lives are fairly peaceful and we respect each other. Krish is a very caring and considerate person and has values that are rarely seen in people, let alone men from my background. You see, men are considered superior to women, ironically it usually starts with their mother. Krish is very supportive of my business and he still has a very strong faith and I no longer believe in religion.
My first and foremost value is to keep our family life peaceful. I had a very sad childhood and a dysfunctional upbringing. Peace, harmony and love are priorities for me and my home in my adult life, without compromise. Our family life starts with home cooking and mealtimes. I don’t judge what anybody decides to eat or don’t eat, or whether you choose to prey, each of us are on our individual journeys. I’ll respect you, please can you do the same for me?
From an innocent, uneducated young girl to a wife, mother and business owner, how I have changed, evolved, as we all do, hopefully, for the better. We are expected to stay faithful to one person, whom we might not even find attractive. Arranged marriage no longer fits in modern times, but, did it ever?
In my marriage partner, I was very, very lucky to have “bagged” such a nice bloke, the greatest father to our child, but by gum the path hasn’t been smooth. Each and every marriage will have its’ fair share of challenges, ours more than most. I just choose not to share these publicly but I absolutely do not believe in arranged marriages. The union or commitment of marriage is so great, it’s two individuals coming together to become a family. Way too big a responsibility for my liking and an arranged one just adds extra pressure that does not need to exist.
My advice to Sam, my lovely 21-year-old son, that only when he meets a person whose happiness becomes before his, should he consider marriage. That’s absolutely right, their happiness and needs should be more important than your own.
My greatest gift to the world are my spices and teaching cooking and I cannot thank my housemates enough to support me with my dreams.
Thank you for reading my blog and I wish each of you peace and good health in your life choices.
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.