Thursday, December 24, 2015 0 Comments

Dreams and reality
When I was 23 and it was a day before my wedding, my mom stopped by me and pulled me into a private conversation. Her gyan, I heard half hearted, impatient and did I dismiss? No! I could not have dismissed, it was there and still there reverberating in my ears, I can still recall the exact words she spoke.
Mine was the "arranged marriage", typically Indianised way. I had few of my friends asking me how I can start my life just like that with a stranger? How can I even think of going to a bed with a stranger? How could I even think of spending a lifetime with someone I was introduced barely a month before?
It was a private corner in the store room of the wedding hall, I chose to hibernate. There was still a day and half for the wedding and the wedding hall was filled with few close relatives, kids running around laughing. The store room gave me the privacy to cry my heart out. My mom caught me crying, it was then she pulled me to listen to her gyans. She asked me why I was crying?
Mom: As a bride, you should be happy. Did we not get your consent before the wedding got finalised? You got second thoughts? Do you love anyone?
I negated; nodding my head. My first crush on a cousin of mine and a colleague from office who proposed came to my mind. Am I doing a mistake? I bit my lips and told my mom, "I am too young Amma and I think I am not ready for wedding yet." Mom said, "At 60, if you are unmarried, you would still not be ready. I wasn’t ready, when I married your dad too and I was 25. Trust me you will never be ready. But, 'these’ things should happen early, only then when you retire, you will have a grown-up son to support you."
I looked at my mother with new respect and to my eyes she was like Lord Krishna preaching Bhagavadh Gita to Arjuna.
Mom: What are you exactly worried about?
Me: What if he is a violent person? What if he doesn’t allow me to visit you all after wedding? What his family doesn’t like me?
I paused then added, what I thought I dreaded the most, " What if I overslept? I should cook, clean and it frightens the hell out of me."
Mom: He looks like a fine chap to me. He respects elders. You will get used to cooking and cleaning.
Mom: (Wicked grin)I told you several times before, you should have learnt cooking and you could have helped me cleaning. If you had, you won’t have such fears now right?
Me: hmmm…
Mom: I would like to warn you about one more thing. Whatever you dreamt about marriages won’t happen. The reality will be opposite to what you have dreamt.
Me: hmmm..
Mom: If you thought he will take you out everyday for a movie or for a dinner, then drop such thoughts. If you are lucky it might happen once in a month or two maybe.
Me: mmmm…
Mom: Remember dad is spending so much of money to get you married. Think twice before you talk back to your husband or in-laws.
Me: Mom, on the contrary I am planning to give my salary to you after marriage.
Mom: Don’t even dare to think such things. For us, self respect is more important than money.
Me: (heads lowered, tears started to flow)
Mom: But, they have daughters, so they will understand. I am sure they will put up with you.
Me: Put up with me? What do you mean?
Mom: Before I forget, you know what wedding involves, ahem! You know what I mean… Don’t throw any tantrum.
That was the last straw and I rushed out of the room and locked myself inside a rest room and puked.
Between tears, doubt and hope, if not radiant, I glowed time to time at the attention people showered on me and at those hasty exchange of shy glances with my fiancee and at the camera flashes, and while exchanging garlands. We finally entered the holy state of matrimony, with so much of doubts lurking inside, it was like entering martyrmony and not matrimony.
Did these fears last?
It did till the next day. Till the embarrassment of bearing with relatives, ushering me inside the decorated room where we were expected to spend our wedding night. The fears lasted till, I saw my husband, standing there embarrassed, eager, tired and ready to bolt away at a slightest chance. I felt confident and the motherly protective instincts raised inside me and I smiled at him and in a while, 'things' took its natural course and my son now is 19. Retirement is not far away and whether I expect him to support me or not, my mom’s Gyan proved right, I would still be a young mother, when he gets married.
Needless to say, we grew to love each other, while those of my friends who married for love drifted apart.
My mom’s final Gyan proved right. She said, "expectations leads to disappointment".
I do sense few raised eyebrows.
But, arranged marriages are an experience unto itself.
If I am given a chance to travel back and choose between love or arranged marriage, I doubt I will have that Dutch courage I had then and I am sure, Suresh, my husband would have ran the other side.


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard. Google

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wisdom comes with experience

At one, I learnt crawling was fun. At forty one, I still feel crawling is fun #blamemykneesnotme