Apr 9, 2011

The Indian Marriage...

A marriage is something that I've tried long and hard to understand and make sense of, long before I even got into it.

I've gone through several phases in this process. Dreaming of being the perfect bride with my perfect prince-charming in my early teens, crushes - both serious and silly in my late teens, through dreading the very thought of committing myself to another when I finally reached the 'marriageable age,' I've been through it all.

I must say that Love has been very kind on me. Even though terrified at the thought of being married, love was not difficult to fall into. Serious Love - when it touches one's life, one cannot help but step aside and give way for it to run its course. It becomes the one and the all, and nothing else seems to matter, no fear seems big enough and all else becomes trivial.

That is, until marriage happens.

I must say here that once I got married, my fears did seem very trivial. Not because they were baseless. But because I didn't fear enough. I soon discovered that being married is not the same as being in love. It's not the same as dating. It's not the same as romance. There is very little that's romantic about a marriage. It's just a different way of life.

It's not due to a shortage of love. It's more due to the whole existence of 'ME' that is thoroughly and totally questioned. There's very little space for that 'me' in a marriage, and it's very easy to lose sight and focus of what you're doing and where you're heading when all your decisions in life now entwine the fate of another.

When you get into such a situation in your mid to late twenties, when most of your identities have been defined by you, and you have sort of 'gained' this sense of independence, it's very easy for a marriage to spell nothing short of a disaster.

And then you go and watch all those Hollywood chick-flicks and other such nonsense shows such as Oprah that specifically teach you to think of yourself, your needs, and getting what you want. Hmmm.. the first year of being married can be a rough one - even if you are not the rebellious, confrontational type. A storm of insecurities can raise havoc in your insides.

The second year of my marriage has thankfully been easier on me. It really does take a lot of time to get settled down. And the absence of kids really does help. Totally!

I can't say how or when it happened. But I'm thankful that it did. I'm happy to feel that it's okay if there is very little or even no 'ME' in this situation. I'm happy to feel that I love someone so much that I would much rather put them ahead of me. I'm happy to feel that I don't have as many expectations as I used to. And I'm glad to realize how ridiculous most of them were.

I'm happy to know that we're all just humans after all, every one makes mistakes and every one screws up. I'm happy to realize that I fell in love and married a man so I can take care of him and not the other way around. I'm happy to know that it's really better to ask for exactly what I want and get just that, instead of putting someone through the torture of just magically knowing what I need.

I think of the old Indian movies. When there was the 'sati-savitiri' type wife who would tolerate every nonsense meted out to her by her husband and yet never tolerate his insult at the hands of others. I used to think how idiotic she was.

Now I think, maybe not so much. Not when you have a reasonable, good human being for a husband anyway. No it's not that hard to be a 'sati-savitri' wife after all.

There something beautiful in putting someone ahead of yourself. There's something indescribably exciting in loving someone so much that you would put at their feet something that you hold most dearest to yourself - Your Ego. There's something extraordinarily beautiful in the Indian definition of a marriage.

There is no question of wanting out of anything, when you have the interest and well-being of another before yours.

Sure, the 'ME' still rears it's ugly head from time to time. But I now know where to look for it. I now know what to do with it.

I'm glad to know what it means to be 'happily married'. And even more glad and thankful to know what it's like when that feeling is mutual. :-)