The next morning our story was in the papers.
“Baba-Ji caught in Uma’s love trap”
“Uma Devi seduced Baba-Ji to a worldly life with her Kayal-eyes”
Once again, I just can say:
We shot to fame in town and could not walk even two steps without people stopping us waving with the newspaper in their hand and asking us when we would throw the big party for everybody. Strangers congratulated us and people who intentionally ignored us before were suddenly extremely friendly and invited us for a cup of chai. In accordance to Indian tradition, Baba was still distributing sweets to everyone. I think he had bought the entire stock. Down to the present day I still wonder which part of the crazy shot the medias showed on TV; We never got to see it, but received phone calls from all over India and even Nepal from people who did.
I know people in the west who feel having lost part of their freedom after marriage. In my case I was exactly the contrary; I felt more free than ever! No more creepy comments from passing men and the looks I received were nothing more but confused or simply curious as their gaze fell on my sindoor, the red vermilion mark which in Hinduism indicates that the woman wearing it is married. I generally received much more respect than before the marriage.
But still, the guesthouse manager did not let us share a room, as the official papers were still missing. He advised me to go to the police station and ask directly there for permission. How embarrassing… as if the police were my parents and I had to ask them if I was allowed to sleep over at someone’s place.
But isn’t there almost nothing that one would not do for love?
So, a little nervous, I indeed walked to the police station. As I stepped in, I could feel the grin behind the police officer’s straightfaced expression. I was sure that the entire police station had already read the newspaper or seen the news on T.V. Timidly I spread the newspaper cuttings and the temple marriage certificate over his desk.
“Sir, I wanted to ask you if it is okay now that I share a room with my husband. Yesterday we got married, but we still do not have the official marriage papers”
He called his colleagues and his boss, who gathered around the desk to eye up the cuttings.
“Congratulations. Where are the sweets?”
“Excuse me? Oh… actually I completely forgot, but I can come back and bring along some sweets later on”
“Good! Fine, you may share a room with your husband. But get the papers done as soon as possible! It’s important! Have a nice day, Madam”
Relieved I left the police station.