Justice Markandey Katju-
I believe that after reaching a certain age most girls want a husband. But I was struck by the novel the way Mona, wife of film actor Dev Anand got hers. I was reading about this in Toronto, having little else to do when it was snowing heavily outside.
While reading Dev Anand’s autobiography ‘Romancing with Life’ I came across this passage ( at that time they were only friends, and shooting ‘Taxi Driver’):
“You don’t want me to be lost to you?” she asked with a smile
“Certainly not “ was my answer.
“Then give me a commitment and I will not accept any more film offers,” she said.
I looked at her, trying to figure out what she meant.
“Make a commitment—and I am yours, not only for now, but forever “ she repeated.
I pondered, and then said “Give me a little time,”
“Now” she insisted.
We went for a drive, parked the car by the seaside, and stood outside, looking at the setting sun. My decision was still not forthcoming.
“How long will you take to decide?” she asked.
I came back and sat in the car. She followed and sat beside me. I was contemplating. She was waiting for my answer, and put her head on my chest, listening to my heartbeats.
“ Your heartbeats are getting faster” she teased me.
“ For me it’s a lifelong decision—let’s go” I said.
“ No, we decide, and then go “ she was adamant.
“ What if I don’t decide now?” I asked.
“Then I won’t let you drive.” And she clung to me. I raised her head and kissed her, a long lingering kiss. She yielded herself to me and cried.
“Mona” I said, but she did not stop crying.
“Mona” I repeated lovingly louder. She stopped crying and looked at me.”
“ I have decided “I said.
“ What?” she asked.
“ We are going to be together forever. We are going to get engaged tomorrow.”
“ No” she said, “There will be no engagement”
“ But I have a beautiful ring in my mind for you”
“The ring will be worn the same day we are married” she said.
“And don’t tell the world we are married?” I asked
“No. No fuss in our marriage” she said.
“No guests and no party?” I asked.
“You shall be my guest and I shall cook” she said.
Next day we registered a date for our marriage with the Registrar of Marriages. The notice hung on the wall of the Registrar for two weeks. Exactly after two weeks, while on the sets of ‘Taxi Driver’, we took a short break, went to the Registrar’s office alone, and signed the register. We were husband and wife. But the world was ignorant as to what had happened.