Genesis

Well, that is what it said on our wedding invite!  No prizes for guessing, ours was a love marriage. It really was a simple love story. Boy meets girl. No sparks fly. He is her boss. She has no choice! But then again, in a nation such as ours, where a marriage sounds like a ‘family and friends talk plan’we are all in this together, for better or for worse. Marriage is really more than just two people, well, getting knotty!

My ideology of marriage stemmed from my parent’s rock solid one. With an age difference of 10 years and bridging two different communities, it was no less than a roller coaster ride. Mind you, theirs was a love marriage too! Dad wanted a homely girl, mum wanted a teetotaler, they met and the rest was history. Any argument between the two and dad would say “When I was giving my board exams, she was learning to write ABC. I have to understand because, only I can.” I was convinced about a love marriage and that my partner would definitely be older to me.

Salaam Bombay 2000

My mom was perfect marriage material. She was god fearing, well brought up, an excellent cook, a natural home maker and had silken long tresses to add to her homely avatar. Me, I was destined to be the wild one! God was more of a confidante. I was good, if I was treated well. I knew to cook (because mom insisted I learn) but hated it! I was too enterprising and thought a man has to contribute in making a house a home too and to top it all, I had wavy curls.  When girls were learning to be, er…. good girls, I had the most enviable collection of marbles and prided myself on beating the boys in a game any day. Mom was convinced I’d be left a spinster all my life.When I decided to finally take the plunge, there was no melodrama as such. My parents adored the boy for once. We were engaged to be married within a year. We had the shenanigans of a big, fat, white wedding and I happily moved house. Mother heaved a sigh of relief; her troubles now belonged to another home. God save them!

Namastey London 2001

Around the same time, my aunt who lived in UK, was looking for an alliance for my cousin. She’d had an arranged marriage and hence wanted a nice Indian boy for her daughter as well. As luck would have it, we were to meet one ‘nice boy’ and figure if he was ‘good enough’. All this while, I kept asking my cousin if she was nuts? She was willing to get married to a guy who she had not met, let alone dated in this day and age. Well, she too idolized her parents and yes, my uncle was a gem and the sweetest person I’d ever met. So, I knew where she was coming from.

So. well the boy came home; my parents were polite while I grilled him for an hour and a half! I asked him all sorts of questions that probably you don’t. Was he willing to relocate to London? Would he let my cousin work post marriage? Would she get to keep her earnings for her family? Would she be expected to drop all and adapt to a culture that she knows of but hasn’t lived in? What were his expectations of this marriage? Why was he marrying a girl he had not met?

At the end of my questionnaire, much to the relief of my parents, the boy still wanted to take this further.  I wrote a detailed mail to my cousin summarizing the flow of events to the colour of the shirt he wore and his mannerisms.  They got married in December that year. They met for the first time on their wedding day, though they had connected over mail and phone before that.

2012

11 years odd since then. Both of us are still married to the two respective men! Perhaps, the fact that both the men in question share their birth dates might have a tad bit to contribute to it, I’m guessing. So between love marriage and arranged marriage, here is what both of us cousins have come to conclude. The key word is not love or arranged…it is MARRIAGE. The problem lies therein, because no matter if the food is home cooked or a takeoutit will give you gas eventually!

Things our marriage taught us.

  1. A healthy marriage is a myth. Just like how you never fall sick, ever!
  2. There are no exchange policies or guarantees in either case.  The advertising usually wears off within the honeymoon warranty period of 6 months.
  3. Marriage is a decision that you make and not a wedding party that you throw. Bear the consequences along with the bill.
  4. There are good days and bad. Sometimes you contemplate suicide, at other times murder. More often than not, it is murder….
  5. Every marriage goes through ‘put the toilet seat down’‘must you have so many shoes?’ and ‘I have a headache’ phases.  People are known to celebrate jubilees when they tide them.
  6. Families are to a couple, what a directory means to tele-marketers. Always a phone call away, will call when you least expect them to and will always have a solution that you think you don’t need.
  7. If you don’t raise the bar with a ‘perfect daughter-in-law’ tag in the beginning, the chances of a happy ending are higher.
  8. Kids play an important role. You now have miniatures of you in Dolby digital to take sides in an argument.
  9. You need to give each other space and keep room for open communication. Make sure both these venues are never under the same roof for added safety.
  10. Modern day marriage survival kits include Facebook, Twitter and TV soaps for the ladies with a capital M.A.I.D. BBM, Sports channels and Beer for men with regular boy’s night out is a fast selling product too.

Epilogue

So there you go. We’ve summarized our findings. But amidst all this, marriage has a one point agenda. It is known to rearrange love. Priorities change, people change and as time passes by, so do we. If you give up, you’ll never know what you missed.  If you don’t, chances are, you probably will have a hand to hold in the sunset of your life.

 

Image Courtesy : My dear friend Rose from  http://cakesbyrose.com.au/

Whether love ya arranged marriage, the key ingredients matter. Be ready to Compromise   on the not so huge battles and ensure Acceptance for situations, one and all. Work at this relationship for Keeps and let go of unrealistic Expectations. You can then have your CAKE and eat it toobe friends with the baker and a have a flourishing bakery. 

Now you know, why a bridal couple delves into a sweet beginning….

*This post is an entry to “Love Marriage ya Arranged Marriage!”, a contest by Sony Entertainment TV and Indiblogger. Follow them @ www.facebook.com/LoveYaArrange.

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