I was once travelling from Mysore to Bangalore on a train. Beside me, there was a man. We both struck up a conversation since 3 hours of the ride can get boring.

He was a resident of Mysore but often travelled to Mecca and back because he was the Sales Director of a well-known group of Hotels. He was very insightful.

We were talking about everything. He told me a lot about the Quran and how so many people misinterpret so many things written in it. He then said, he really liked me as an independent woman with a mind of her own.

He only gave me one advice: If you marry someone, make sure you can live with the guy for the next 30- 35 years of your life. Trust me, that is a long long time. Don’t take the idea of being married to someone so lightly. It can change your life forever.

Don’t fall for his bank balance. Don’t fall for his looks. Fall for his heart. A good heart goes a long way to sustain your self-respect and will improve your life ten folds. That is because good-hearted and happy people believe in giving back. Money is not all unimportant…but it is not the thing that will make you happy. I own a flat in a high rise apartment in Mecca and every morning when I wake up, all I need to do is push aside my blinds and I can see the Kaaba of Mecca (The Shrine). I pray every morning. There is one thing that I am very thankful to Allah is, for having me given a wonderful wife who is my best friend and takes care of our kids. Every time I am away from home, I miss my wife and my kids. Make sure you end up with someone who makes you feel happy when you wake up in the morning. Make sure you end up with someone who values your individuality and pushes you forward in life. Don’t marry an anchor.

So, spend some time out with the guy and see what makes him tick and then decide. If you don’t like him, then don’t marry him irrespective of what your parents and relatives have to say. You have to live with that guy, you will need to share a room with him, not your parents and relatives. So, find someone worth being around with. Find a friend in him before you find a life partner.

Those words have never left me.

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