its hard enough getting married to someone you like. what about when you marry a stranger? is it easier? more difficult? less of a hassle? more expectations?
our generation seems to be specializing in the independant life set up. i am me. you are you and together we have a life. the need factor is diminishing because both are actively involved in setting up a life. marriages of long ago functioned on a need factor…is that why they lasted longer? if the woman had had a choice, would she have left the stranger she married if they didnt hit it off?? or was the concept different altogether? did marriages just last because they were supposed to? does overthinking kill the concept of marriage which is, cut down to the basic, just 2 people sharing living space?
i know many people who married friends. and i know some who married strangers. people they had met a total of 3 times before they got married. or only gotten to know after an engagement. the success rate of the stranger marriages is higher. why? did they walk in with open minds and open hearts, ready to compromise on things for the sake of being part of a unit? and where do friends go wrong? why do sweet love stories sour? too much wanted out of what is a simple equation of 1 person plus another equals 2 living together. does love heighten our sense of life? do we want more? and how do we know even in love you havent settled for less?
one of the hardest things to do is know what you want when you are drowning in suggestions from well wishers all over the world. and while the good intent and help is appreciated, it manages to confuse me to the point of not being able to even acknowledge the existence of the gut feeling i have come to rely on as part of life skills.
the best thing ive realized is to step back and take some time out. even 5 minutes. there is no decision that needs to be made that immediately and taking some quiet time for yourself not only clears the clanging clutter in the head but also alllows the inner voices to pipe up with their opinions. and you know those little people usually know what they are talking about.
God made us all in pairs.
Having heard that since we were old enough to understand the storey of Prophet Nuh and the Ark, there was this settled faith somewhere inside of me that out there somewhere was my meant-to-be half. Its only recently that i realized that I had serenely accepted that I was a part of an equation. That I thought of myself as a half. Not a whole person. But a half. Did that mean that until I meet someone in life, I will drift through life feeling incomplete? Did I, on the outside, go though the motions of a full happy life all the while inside feeling that some jigsaw piece was missing?
Falling in love is soon followed by falling into a couple. Unless of course that preceded love. And it does sometimes. By force of habit, by routine, by chance. You just fall into someone’s pattern of living, being, thinking, and suddenly you no longer belong to yourself. You are connected by some cosmic connection to this one other person- without whom you will be at odds, waiting for their re entry to feel useful again.
Society conspires to confirm that feeling as well. With K having recently been away for stretches of time on work, I got used to the odd comment of how “listless” I was looking. Or “bored”. Funny how my looking bored and listless before never deserved comment. Or was it now because Im part of a whole that my being a half even for 10 days is glaringly obvious?
K came back tonight. And as I walked towards the door to open it, I was acutely aware of this sense of homecoming. Of everything suddenly being right in in the world. In the past 10 days, I had missed him yes, undoubtedly, but the sudden peace in my heart took me by surprise. Was it feeling relieved? Relaxed? Or…just whole?
This question I have dodged all my life because it has always been asked at points when I am most unsure what it is that I’m looking for. Many a times when I was asked this and obviously pertaining to a life partner, I wasnt even sure that I was looking. what do I want? ummm. A nice person maybe? Not an axe murderer? Where does one start? And more imptly, does one ever end? And if i were able to draw a clear enough picture, you mean to say that a kind soul will actually find somone like that for me? And if they found this paragon of perfection, wouldnt they rather just keep him for themsleves?
Upon hearing about me and k, an old aunty friend of the family’s exclaimed delightedly that he was exactly what I needed. So was I looking for something I needed when I was supposedly looking? Or is the need factor thrown in for good measure?
As a shopper, im compulsive and many of my purchases have precious little to do with need. I just look and like and buy and be happy. Is that an indication of the frivolity level of my decision making? Are my life choices just as based on some kind of gut happy instinct? Am i a compulsive-impulsive? Do I know I need what I look for? Or do i subconsciously look for what I need?
in our culture, i think weddings are designed to ensure that by the end of the allotted time, the bride and the groom have safely discovered sides to each other they wish they never had.
i love that line in FRIENDS when monica says to chandler that she doesnt want a great wedding but a great marriage. it made so much sense. in the 6 month period preceding the wedding, most brides and grooms tend ot forget the reason they were doing this in the first place, as discussion turn to show sizes and towels and bed linens and clothes clothes and more clothes.
the entire process of having found the right person in my opinion was exhausting enough, but not to be outdone, the process of finally getting to be with him, has suddenly become more taxing. days of endless rounds in the car to ashiana and never ending conversations on some irrleveant little detail become the focus and the bigger picture starts gathering dust.
after one such endless exasperating round to gulf or ashiana or one of the cloned shopping malls and after swimming through all the cloth in the world, i got back home with a headache from hell. and promptly picked up the phone to chew out poor k’s ears on how much im suffering doing these un-me things. not fair, i realize as the phone started dialling. this isnt his fault. why should he have to deal with it?
he answered with his usual cheer. i smiled.
pause. this moment would decide where this conversation could go.
up or down?
UP, i chose. and just like that i changed my day.
three resolutions i make today:
1. i will not hang onto the exasperation of these days. this is a means to a life with k.
2. i will not judge anyone from situations that arise these days. this is an adjustment period for all of us and all of are are allowed to be irrational, emotional, unreasonable, hyper and illogical.
3. i will not let random, stray comments control my moods or how i am with k and his family. this will set the pattern for the rest of my life.
I knew my wedding outfit had to be different and gorgeous, I just didn’t know how I was going to manage it. As my friends would tell you I’m definitely idea challenged when it comes to designing clothes. And I’m even more patience challenged when it comes to suggestions. I mean its not like I’m an embarrassment to be seen with, but I follow the less is more philosophy. The less the hassle, the more I like it. Which is why when I set out to search for the “right” wedding dress, high on top of the priorities was to find someone to help me who would humour my vague suggestions.
Apparently, most brides-to-be have an excellent idea of what they want to look like- some clipping from a magazine…some makeup pics…and a clear-cut vision. This bride-to-be on the other hand, had a clear idea of what she didn’t want. And although that might not be the norm, I felt most accomplished that it was at least a starting point.
Let me be concise. I have no clue what I am doing. Call it going by gut instinct, call it a panic attack but I decided to go ahead with the first person I met who seemed to at least appreciate my disjointed ideas of what I wanted. The rest, inshallah, will get taken care of on its own.
I am no closer to a dreamy bridal vision of myself dressed in all my finery but as I file my snippets of cloth and colour samples away in my wedding box, I smile, relieved that at least one person who knows what she is doing is now on board the wedding train.
A once-good friend of mine, male of course, after learning that i got engaged said this to me and I was like whoa where did THAT come from. And he said calmly, because that is the way it is. After marriage things change.
As expected that set off a whole series of random disconnected thoughts in my head whereby i started examining relstionships all around me, both platonic and otherwise to see how many of believe that nothing, not even friends will ever be the same again after we say ‘qabool hai’.
A guy friend of mine used to profess when we werent even old enough to know that, guys and girls can never be friends. Attraction of some sort usually ruins the equation, more so especially after marriage.
Another friend, female this time, said that remaining closely in touch with your guy friends after marriage meant that your husband wasnt enough for you.
Are we really that narrow minded in life that we cant see beyond the sex of a person to the human being underneath? Are we really that conscious of our sexuality that nothing, no meaningful contact can exist other than an awareness that infront of me is someone of the opposite sex? Are we that entrenched in what ‘should be’ that we are forgetting to consider what ‘can be’?? Today, I refuse to let go of my friends, both male and female just because I will be someones wife. I believe that the advantage of conversation and education has opened my mind enough to allow me to accept that when getting married, I am changing to involve another person in my life. Not forget who I was in the first place.
…the bride will think. i miss you k. i think you should come back now.