Happily Unmarried

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Update 2 from the Them planet

Happy Womens Day, whatever... The only thing that I am enjoying today is the free lunch that our boss is treating the women to and an assortment of gifts - candles, chocolates etc - that some men have taken the trouble to get for us.

Married life has developed a routine of its own. A juggling act of sorts, the one thing that suffers is my sleep. And not to mention the cheesy dialogues I get when I complain that I am sleepy. "Didn't Jiju let you sleep last night?" (accompanied by batting eyelids) "Hota hai, hota hai... all part of newly married life" (topped with a smirk) . Is there any point explaining that playing daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, wife, daughter and employee requires approximately 40 hour days, not 24?

Then there is the initiation rite - long, detailed cooking lessons on making phulkas, theplas, Gujju dal, etc. They are fun, but I only wish I didn't get these lessons at 6 in the morning when I am comatose.

Sleep becomes highly coveted. The half an hour more you can sneak in when you are making rice is priceless. And... I sound like a total cow. Mooooooooooooooooo. Maybe the Them planet is slowly seeping into my bloodstream. And before you know it, I will be matchmaking for my single friends and telling you the fastest way to make upma in the mornings. Good heavens! Anyone out there who wants to take a supari to get me??

- I

Monday, February 27, 2006

News from the Them Planet: Mooooo

Glossary:
Us - the unmarried, the footloose and fancyfree, the ones who swear not to have circuses for weddings, complete with morphed photographs and red thrones for the reception

Them - the married, the ones who have had circuses for weddings, complete with morphed photographs and red thrones for the reception and are now dying to get their revenge against the unsuspecting

A long time ago, I used to be Us. For the last 10 days, though it seems like 10 months, everyone has been telling me I am Them now. Ignore the fact that you feel like Us now, they say. You are a married woman now, they say. And some inexplicable reason I am staying at someone else's house when "my home" is not 10 minutes away.

Reminds me of what someone had once told me: Get married when you are 22, when you are still idealistic and not too set and comfortable in your world and ready to put in the effort in a marriage. I am 5 years late and rooted in my world like a banyan tree. So whether it's calling the man's parents with more intimate terms than uncle and aunty, living in a different house, playing the wife and bahu, having a half-the-city-invited wedding or dressing up like a cross between christmas tree, flower pot and jewellery store, my first reaction to everything has been "No!" and then a defensive "Why?" and finally a tired "Ok, whatever."

I did all that, red thrones and Kanjeevaram saris included, but not without a fight. And now that it is all over, makes me wonder why I spent so much energy fighting everything that happened in any case. Because, frankly - and this has been vouched for by all my Them friends - a wedding is rarely for the bride and groom. It's for the parents, the relatives... everyone who will tell you how things should be done.

I'm not sure about shoulds and shouldn'ts... but I strongly suspect, all that they make you do in the name of a wedding is Them getting their revenge for what they were made to do. They put you on a swing and call it a ritual... they make your parents give you away like a piece of furniture and call it a ritual... they make you wear a noose and a toe-cuff, make you a cow and tell you how that's tradition. Maybe inwardly, they are telling themselves, "Ha ha, congrats on getting our revenge on another of Us."

But it's not all bad. Sex is legitimate. And you have another person whom you can rightfully bully or crib to and expect to be heard. And... 10 days into a marriage and terribly home-and-old-life-sick, can't really think of more perks. But there will be more updates from my new planet, the Them. And H... stay as my reference point in Us. I will need it for sometime to come yet.

- I