Meri Kahaani – Sunaina

Hi, I am Sunaina. I am a PhD student at JNU. It’s just been a year since I started my PhD and it has been fantastic. For the first time in my life, I am living all by myself, deciding everything by myself. This was not the case three years ago.

I had just completed my masters back then and I would do nothing but laze around at home. I had made up my mind against a normal job so I spent all my time at home, reading books, watching TV and sleeping. I would sleep A LOT; a compensation for all the nights when I stayed up studying.

Looking at this, my parents asked me if I was ready to get married. They were receiving calls from relatives asking if I was interested. I usually did what my parents asked me to do. As usual, I agreed. Now that I think about it they never really asked for my opinion. They told me it was the right thing to do and I went with the flow.

A lot of relatives and acquaintances started to come by. I got hundreds of photographs to choose from. I zeroed in upon one. He was smart and handsome. We met with both our families at my place. I had already made up my mind about him and had started to like him. After weirdly looking at the family, smiling continuously and politely denying all the offerings of dry fruits and sweets, we were asked to go to the balcony and spend some time alone to ‘get to know each other better’.

He questioned me about my daily schedule. On hearing about my mundane day, he was curious to know if I had any ambitions or dreams in life. I casually told him that I wanted to do a PhD, but I brushed it off as a stupid little dream.

He insisted that I should pursue it but, I kept changing the topic. We talked about films, music and much more except for my PhD dream. I even praised him falsely to keep him distracted. Haha!

The guests left. Papa later got a call saying that he had denied and called off the marriage. I received a text on my phone, “Go, live your dreams”. I thought that it was very stupid of him. My parents were worried as to what went wrong. I recounted our conversation and his text message to them.

I was surprised when Ma and Papa shifted the concern from my marriage and talked about my dream of further studies. They were in fact upset that I had not shared it with them. They encouraged me to take up the entrance test and I got through. I don’t know what went right and how things fell in place but I haven’t been happier. I still watch a lot of TV and sleep more than I should. But I think that’s okay.

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