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A Marriage Made in Heaven - Extracted Chapter 7- Sailing the Backwaters

Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum
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A Marriage Made in Heaven


 
 
 

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On the morning of 19 October, Anna, Ramakrishnan, and I drove for two hours to Fisherman's Cove, the hotel where Ehud was staying. As we negotiated our way through the traffic and reached a sparsely traveled highway by the seacoast, I noticed a "what-if" ghost stirring lazily in my head.

What if . . . this person I am about to meet-Ehud-to whom I have poured out my heart with all honesty for these past months-is not the real writer of his letters? What if he has hired some writer to do this job . . . after all, he meets hundreds of authors all over the world . . .

What if I find Ehud-in person-very different from his letters and the photos?

My panic on encountering these what-if ghosts brought tears to my eyes, and my palms grew sweaty, even in a car air-conditioned to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. I secretly wiped my eyes, and tried to look out the window into the sea. If there is God . . . truth and goodness shall prevail . . . I heard these words in my mind, as if the sea were trying to reassure me and chase off the ghosts with his mighty roaring waves.

When we reached the hotel, Ramakrishnan suggested that we relax for a few moments before seeing Ehud. We sat on the porch overlooking the sea. The salty, humid breeze passed through the coconut groves and gardens bursting with all sorts of brightly colored oriental flowers. I took deep breaths, wiped the moisture off my glasses, and looked over at Anna and Ramakrishnan. These two men seemed unusually nervous.

Soon, Ramakrishnan knocked at Ehud's door. Within seconds, the door opened and Ehud stood in front of us, his hands folded in a customary namaste and a bright smile on his lips. He wore a red T-shirt and black trousers, and was as handsome as he had looked in his photographs.

I returned his namaste. Anna and Ramakrishnan hugged him, and we all stepped into his room. As I settled comfortably into a chair cushioned with beautiful leather upholstery, Anna found a seat close to Ehud. Ramakrishnan wandered around the room between the fridge, phone, bathroom, bed, counter, Ehud, Anna, and me as if with his steps he was trying to connect people with people, people with place, and place with place.

Ehud asked me some polite questions like, "How are you, how is your work at the hospital, how is Amma," and on receiving short, polite replies from me, he got busy with Anna and Ramakrishnan chatting about weather, travel, job, politics, business, dollar versus rupee, his company and books . . .

Anna took out a small album he always carries and showed Ehud some pictures of our family. And then Anna told Ehud how precious I was to him . . . his darling little baby sister . . . and how he wished me to be happy.

Throughout this conversation, Ramakrishnan continued rolling his curious eyes from Ehud to me and back to Ehud, trying to detect the presence of any romantic flame, and to determine whether we were stealing any glances at each other. Ehud was very focused on his conversation with Anna, and his eyes did not wander restlessly. I liked his focus. I also liked his calm, humorous, friendly mode of conversation. I could easily follow his English-I did not have any problems with his accent-and he had a very gentle, assertive, confident way of carrying himself. Even though I was not being addressed directly or often, I liked being an audience in this room.

Ehud ordered some coffee over the phone, and the room service boy brought it in within minutes. In between sips, Anna asked Ehud what his plans were for marriage with me. I did not see Ehud swallowing hard at this question, or showing any other nervous clues of a sudden confrontation with such a serious question. He remained calm and answered, "I will have to think about it and tell you tomorrow."

More information about the "A Marriage made in Heaven" book by Vatsala and Ehud Sperling

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Harish Johari
 
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Aum Gang Ganapataye Namah Aum