Monday, August 6, 2012

Marriage Majboori!

This blog article is inspired by Sony entertainment Television's upcoming fun serial
Love Marriage ya Arranged Marriage.

My cousin and I got married at the same wedding hall, with the same band playing, with the same dinner menu (to different men thankfully) for an identical reason- our grandmother!!  Like every Indian matriarch, our grand lady wanted to see us wedded "before she died" (she is still hale and hearty, mind you)! Apart from doing the unending shopping together, we had to manage flying cameos to each other’s special functions- with our statuses being "just married" and "would-be-blushing-bride" respectively. That is where the similarity between our marriages ended (or so I thought)!


You see, my cousin’s was a typical "loads-of- inlaws-come-to-see-they-like-and-the-wedding-is-fixed" type of arranged marriage, whereas mine was "dating-for-five-years-inlaws-don’t-have-choice-and-the-wedding-is-fixed" type of love marriage. I knew my man for the past six years and it was almost a complete stranger that my cousin hazarded to wed, as she did not get a chance to fix herself a man. The post-wedding whirlwinds like honeymoons, settling downs, new houses, old-jobs, new husbands etc. kept us very busy and it was only during some mandatory family gathering a year later, that we finally got to compare notes. Much to my chagrin - there were vast differences in our married lives. She was all decked up, smiling at everyone; kept grabbing stolen views at her brand-new husband and was strategically blushing at the very mention of her "worse half" (read husband)! The ceaseless discussions about her fifteen-day long honeymoon, at some grand resort abroad, were exasperating. I remember the social media being loaded with cozy romantic and almost censored photographs with equally cheeky comments. They had to get to know each other, you know!

As for me, I somehow managed to wear something civil, just wanted to hog food cooked by someone else (other than me), had no intention to know what my worse-half was doing and just managed not to wince at those impertinent leg-pulling that my cousin was busy giggling at! Mine so called honeymoon was just a long weekend, when we both managed to convince our bosses about the social urgency of a getaway. Not to mention our holiday destination, which was a just a three hours drive from the main city. Our scanty photographs were far from romantic. We had had one of our terrible fights (of course about the honeymoon spot) that arose mainly due to six-year old familiarity that so famously breeds contempt at the wrong time. To top it all, I couldn’t complain about my spouse to either set of parents!!!!!

Throughout the time of the family celebration, my cousin’s husband- the "fresh-suave-so-much-in-love-new-groom" showered her with naughty attention.  Mine was roaming around (unshaven), trying to be the useful organizer who really wanted to keep his distance from me to avoid being teased! Our romance had perhaps yielded, prematurely to the famous seven-year itch?

It was another year later, when we shifted jobs to my cousin’s city and lived within shouting distance of each other that we got the opportunity to compare notes again. It was a little difficult to imagine the bright cousin that I’d seen a couple of years ago, at the threshold of an enthusiastic married life. To start with, we had started looking similar again! That is, similarly careless worn-out dressing, similarly irritable, similarly longing-for-breaks, similarly tired-of-shopping-grocery-in-long queues and similarly reeling under the pressure of in-laws, family and careers. Very soon we discovered that we were also sharing the same marital status boat- the growing financial pressures of monthly installments, the intense peer pressure around every aspect of basic living,  the daily scrutiny of our married life by  inlaws (did their sons get enough to eat, were they taken care of properly), the inadvertent negligence by husbands (ineveitably late from work daily with numerous career problems of their own) and of course our own dwindling personal attention to ourselves.  Married life had arrived!

Our lives have gone back to being similar again. Now when we meet, our husbands wander off together for their "men-to-men" (essentially discussing falling stock prices and growing bank interest rates) and we girls would start discussing deals in spas, discounts at malls, on-line shopping etc. Of course the major part of our conversation revolves around our "worse halves"- how the socks/shoes/soiled clothes never find their way to the right place, how electricity bills keep mounting becoz of their manly amnesia, how getting ready for office is a gargantuan task  with a constantly cribbing, careless male, how well cooked recipes only stay good at one thing- their intention, how it is impossible for them to get romantic these days etc. etc. etc. I’m sure the men do discuss other girls- girls similar to what we were, some years ago!

When we were kids, we used to scorn our grandmothers, mothers, aunts for their topics of discussion. Had they nothing to talk of, but love or arranged marriages- their own or that of other? Who married whom, who eloped with whom, in-law sagas, how some marriages stood the storms of time or the invariable conduct of husbands. Grotesquely similar topics have been discussed through generations over all these years with their modern variations (human psychology is similar over time, after all). Consequently, any matrimony- be it self-arranged or arranged by the family, after its initial differences metamorphoses into being just the same.... a typical marriage!

My grandmother has a new complaint. She says she will die (seen no signs of physical degradation so far) without seeing her great-grand children. My cousin and I are nervously gearing up for another set of similarities...

If this article piques you, visit the serial's FB page & "Like the Concept"  and make sure to put forth your views on it!! Watch the promo here & decide :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqlQIHDR8IQ&feature=player_embedded

29 comments:

  1. hahahaha nice read!
    All d best :)

    You can read my entry here- http://perceptionsofaconfusedsoul.blogspot.in/2012/08/love-marriage-ya-arranged-marriage.html :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Mr. Confused Soul :)
      Your article is very comprehensive & sincere. Kudos!

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  2. Hilarious. Very well written di

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    1. Thanks Shivam... Married life introduces God's sense of humor into lives- want it or not! ;)

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  3. nice write up :) All the best for the contest Swati.

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    1. Thanks a lot Ramya. Loved your article, as well..best wishes for you too :)

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  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Farooq. I guess, its experience that gives wings to the narration :)

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  5. Terrific Comparison Swati! Laughing my head off :)

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    1. Thanks a load, Ankur!! So many Indian women wud have similar or even funnier stories to tell...only they sound funny in retrospect, not otherwise ;)

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  6. Fabulously written! And so darn true. Good luck.....:)

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  7. Loved this post! Good Luck for the contest :)
    Will be back for more.

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  8. This is definitely better than mine :D Too much humor :P

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  9. lol..all the best for the contest.. :)

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  10. Very well conceived, I liked the real life comparison :)

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  11. very well written :) you have used both examples to show how each type of marriage can work!

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    1. PS: do check out my post on this topic too :P

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  12. I second evey line of yours... its love marriage or arranged.... at last its just marriage and it goes the same way :)

    Nicely written!!!

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  13. nice post :) check this one out too if u get tiume :)

    http://saurabhchawla2345.blogspot.com/2012/08/its-all-written-up-there.html

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  14. very well written. Loved every bit of it. Best of luck for the contest.
    http://indulge-ashscorner.blogspot.com/2012/08/shadi-ka-ladoo-matrimonycom.html
    Love Ash.

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  15. Thats sounds realistic..

    after some years pf marriage, everything gets dull and routine as we have buisy mechanical lives.

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  16. It is a real-time marriage experience from India.
    Marriage is a hot blow but once one gets into it is not as warm as expected, what an irony.

    Read an argument on Love Marriage or Arrange Marriage on http://plusminuswhat.blogspot.in/2012/08/love-marriage-or-arrange-marriage-what.html

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  17. Haha...Hillarious really..!!!! :-D

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  18. Lovely post - I liked the phrase 'shouting distance'

    God Bless,
    Mukesh

    Here's my entry - http://mukeshrijhwani.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/love-ya-arrange/

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  19. Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

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