Sunday, August 23, 2009

My friend's blog set me thinking, as all her blogs do. She is truly a thinking woman's blogger.('woman' here stands for all of mankind,just like 'No man is an island').
Well, my marriage has lasted forty stormy years, and I do feel I am eligible to dispense words of wisdom.Ofcourse, you might say, ' It is not growing like a tree, In bulk doth make Man better be' etc. nevertheless I shall proceed.

The first thing to remember is that togetherness is highly pernicious to a marriage.It would be ideal if one spouse is a night owl, and the other an early bird.The less time you spend together, the longer the marriage will last. (just like King Vikramaditya's' kaadaru maasam ,Naadaru maasam') My husband and I have an ideal arrangement.He goes for a walk, after I return.He sleeps when I finish my afternoon nap. In the evenings, he goes for music concerts, I am busy with tuition.As the day ends, he watches tamil serials, I watch Hindi serials.It is imperative for a good marriage to have as many TV sets as possible.Channel selection has been the reason cited for so many divorces.

It would ofcourse be ideal to have pre-nup agreements on major issues. But in India this would have the man running helter-skelter out of the engagement. There is sure to be a great aunt lurking somewhere who is sure to say"My God! what kind of girl asks for this?".

This would be ideal, because it is never the big issues that cause rifts in a marriage. "Is Barrack Obama a good president?, Should Jaswant Singh be expelled from the BJP?", these things don't break up a marriage.It is the little things that do.
What are the little things? When I was a newly wed, Bangalore was a heaven on earth. Winters were very chilly. Our bedroom had , believe me, six windows.My husband used to open all six, and have the fan on, full blast. He never noticed that I was freezing .By morning, I would be an icicle. I had to stand near the 'venneer anda'(water boiler) for half an hour to thaw.Those were the days when parents were not so sympathetic.When I went to my 'maika' I complained to my father about this.He listened to me patiently and I was delighted. He got up thoughtfully, and I was sure he was going to call up my husband.Those days it was not so easy to make long distance calls.We had to call up trunk booking and the operator would answer only if she wanted to.She would say "Yes Moddom, I will call you back". If you were lucky, the call would come through by next week. My father was gone a long time, and I was a little puzzled. Then he came in and thrust a package at me. I opened the packet and found two extra thick blankets.I got the message, ofcourse.

Another thing that causes marriages to break up is snoring. If both spouses snore, they can snore in harmony, and even have snoring competitions. It is bad if only one partner snores. then you either use ear plugs, or just remember what I read in the digest -'Snoring is the best music this side of heaven, ask any widow'.

Food is again a contentious issue. Some husbands have the habit of comparing their wife's cooking to their mother's.I never had this problem as my mother-in-law had never cooked in all her life.It is best to practise selective deafness on these occasions-you might turn up the volume of the TV, bang a few dishes,hit the punching bag, count till hundred, but never ever fight.

Another major reason for fights is naming the offspring. I never had this particular problem, as my mother-in-law insisted on naming all her grandchildren.I had a friend who wanted to name her daughter Chetana while her husband insisted on calling her Sirisha. The child got so confused she ended up with schizoprenia. Just imagine, if the grandmother had insisted on calling her Indira, the child would have ended up with multiple personality disorder!!

Children's education is always another issue. Don't feel victorious if you get the portfolio. It has its pitfalls. Recently, my cousin's daughter,25, complained that her mother ought to have made her learn Bharatanatyam. "But, Diya, I wanted to join you since you were six, and you were the one who refused to " said my baffled cousin."Mother," came the irritated retort"I was too young.You should have forced me to learn".It is clearly a no-win situation.

The list is endless. But if you survive the first ten years, half the battle is won.I feel the government should institute Param Vir Chakra and MahaVir Chakra awards for people who celebrate silver and golden wedding anniversaries, Is anyone listening?