Sunday, March 08, 2009

Notes on matrimony and other grown-up matters

Last week, for a few moments, i found myself in a state of restricted motion and unable to react with anything more than a few incomprehensible syllables. And this, when there was not a hint of alcohol anywhere around or in me. The incident that caused me to enter such a state of immobility was the sight of an old friend staring away at me from a photograph with a tired yet glowing smile on her face and a slightly more conspicuous live infant in her cradled hands. Now, said friend is one i have known since she wore school uniforms, so the sight of her in a maternity gown had roughly the same effect on me as a well-aimed wooden club at the back of the head. And did i mention the baby in her arms? Thud!

Of course, once the stun-ray effect had worn off, i was all smiles and warm with good wishes for the newly-mommied friend, the sweet little baby and the new pa, who in another pic had that look of slight belief which seems to suggest, "Did I do that now?" - so perhaps a few extra wishes for the hubby-slash-daddy. What also occurred to me is how suddenly i seem to know an ever-increasing number of people who have just been married, or are in the last few laps leading to matrimony, and of course this friend already bearing offspring and what not. A college friend i am very fond of got herself bound in matrimony last month and at least two more good friends and a small army of cousins, close and distant, are scheduled to walk the proverbial aisle before 2009 sets. The only aisles i've been walking - and will be walking for some time to come - are those on buses (there was that one occasion when i got to walk the aisle of an airplane last year but the mind-numbing in-flight 'entertainment' ensured that that was no experience to store in memory).

The age at i am is one where the elders in a regular Indian family start assuming that it is their duty and service to society to hitch every human young and single and rid society of the evil that is the unmarried youth above the ripe age of say, 28. The first wave arrives in the form of the generation two levels over - the grandparents, the great-uncles and -aunts and of course the Seniors' Special - the unidentified, crotchety relative, generally found in family weddings, who pinches your father's cheeks, then yours, comments on how much weight your mother has put on, launches herself into a serious discussion on how it is vital for today's kids to realize the importance of an early marriage set up by the family elders and proceeds to rattle of names of families in the community who house eligible single members of the sex opposite to yours. The second wave, the mom-dad generation, joins forces with the first soon - more orthodox the family, the sooner the amalgamation of forces.

Thankfully, my family seems more relaxed in these matters. Either that or they are resigned to the fact that this son of theirs is what is not so kindly known as a lost cause and they should focus instead on rearing the younger son for matrimonial bliss. Not that i am opposed to marriage, really. Or am i? Weddings are fun, come to think of it – free food, lots of it, happy people everywhere. But then i pass this judgment based on the weddings i have been to, none of which were mine. It’s the parts after which seem to be what i am averse to. To be specific, i am referring to the parts from the next morning onwards, lest you comment harshly on my sanity. But maybe the daily dribble of marriage won’t be too tough either, will it? At least it did not seem so when i played house with my neighbour at age 7.

Eureka! I know exactly what i need to do. That’s what’s going to get everyone happy – me, the family elders, the guy who sells crockery articles which are gifted to newlyweds and which end up lying unused for the first 16 years of marriage when the couple decides to pass on the same unopened gift to another unsuspecting marrying twosome in an act of typical middle-class thriftiness. You know what i’m thinking about. Yes, that’s absolutely correct. I need to find myself someone to play house with.

11 comments :

narcissist aka Jay N Bathija said...

So wen are u getting married bro?

The Neverknown said...

ho gaya. kal tha. tu aaya nahi?

Gauri said...

are abhi 2 month toh ruk jata...i will be in Mum then..main waise hi bahut wedding miss kare hai.. :)

narcissist aka Jay N Bathija said...

Kahan se aaon....doston ko bulaya bhi nahin...kaisa hai yaar tu...wapas karle :-) loved ur post though

The confused one said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amita said...

Good Blog Ashray...

Energetica said...

Rib-ticklingly funny, AN. Love your blog! :)

Energetica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reshma said...

wow.... reading this just 2 days before ur marriage... and cant believe... u already are going to play house...wonderful post.. very very well written...

ExpressJodi said...

Great expectations

Life is full of surprises, particularly if you are a newly - wed . Expressjodi you a glimpse into the future and tells how to be prepared to face married life

Love is all about romance whereas marriage is a lot about responsibility. When two different individuals from different backgrounds live together, differences of opinion on things like spending habits, career, having and raising a baby, sharing household responsibilities etc, are bound to crop up, the key is to broaden your outlook and accept all the changes that marriage brings, and to remember that marriage is a momentous change for you and your spouse. And, fear not, over a period of time, you will find a way to make it work.

Responsibility

With marriage comes a whole lot of responsibility. "From the time you ger married, the decisions you make will not be yours alone, but your partner's as well. This is because your choices will impact both of you. But this doesn't mean that you're tied to a ball and chain. "It only means you have a companion with you for life. In fact, in your capacity as a spouse, you become your partner's caretaker, friend, confidante and even punching bag etc.

Finances

Arguments over money are bound to happen, so be prepared for it. And unless you establish some ground rules for dealing with financial issues, you will continue to have these arguments. Bear in mind that you are now a part of a unit, and no longer flying solo.

In - laws or outlaws?

if you thought that marriage is all about sharing your life with your significant other, think again, and this time, factor in your in - laws into the equation. When you're used to a particular lifestyle, moving in with your in - laws can be a rude shock. You will be required to make changes in your daily routine. Like waking up a little earlier to help around the house or rescheduling your plans on weekends or even modifying some of your eating habits. these might seem like an additional burden, particularly if you are a working woman. Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to handling your in - laws. They may be rigid in their ways, but there is always a way to work out a compromise.

Sharing space

Marriage involves sharing everything - whether it is sadness or glad tidings, chores or finance, which can be a difficult task. This is why marriage necessitates an equal contribution from both side. " Sharing is absolutely essential for a happy marriage,. Besides making it easier to run the show, it also brings you closer to your partner, and cement a bond in a way that only experience can.
Differnces of opinion

Shaadi brings two different individuals together, as well as two sets of arguments for everything. Remember that your husband is as new to the marriage and the relationship as you, and he is facing the same issue for the first time as well.Irrespective of the nature of the relationship, any two people are bound to have differences of opinion at some point of time, It is how you handle these differences that mtters. The best antidote for deviant interest lies in adapting to the situation. "Be carteful not to retaliate for the sake of it,"

Planning for the future

As a single independent working woman, you may be used to your lifestyle, going on holidays or splurging on the latest pair of Jimmy Choos. But married life is a journey and you need to plan carefully to get to your destination. "Planning is the key. Make sure you and your husband are on the same page as far as long - term goal are concerned," "Whether or not you plan to have a baby or deciding on investments for the future and are thing that you should discuss in advbance, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises in you married life,"

ExpressJodi said...

Brahmin Shaadi
Historically, the Brahmins in india were divided into two major groups based on geographical origin of the people. The Brahmin groups that lived to the north of the vindhyas were referred to as Dravida Brahmins. Each group was further divided into five sections according to the regions of their settlement.

Sagaai
The Sagaai or the engagement ceremony symbolises commitment However, the South Indian Brahmin do not lay stress on the presence of bride and the groom in their Sagaai, rather it focuses on commitment between the parents of the groom and the bride. 'Latto' i.e., 'engagement plate' Which consist of coconut, flowers, turmeric, betel leaves and betel nuts hold more importance, in their engagement ceremony. The Maithil Brahmin bride of bihar makes her wedding affair stand apart by receiving the blessing from the Dhobi's (washerman's) wife - a compulsory tradition in the Bihari Brahmin wedding.

Haldi
In Haldi ceremony turmeric powder is mixed with milk, almond oil and sandalwood and applied to the bride and the groom. In Kashmiri Pandit this ceremony has a twist becuase cold, white yoghurt is poured on the bride as an alternative to haldi. ritual is followed by a special custom called Shankha (shell) Paula (coral) in bengali Brahmins, where seven married women embellish the bride's hand with red and white bangles, the shell is supposed to calm the bride and the coral is believed to
be beneficial for health. Mehndi is also applied on every bride's hands during the Mehndi ceremony. However, a Bengali Brahmin bride applies alta (red dye).

Jaimala
After the ceremonious arrival of the groom, the garlands are exchanged between the groom and the bride, while the priests chant mantras. Jaimala is the symbol of unifying two souls into one. But in tamil nadu, "Oonjal", a unique jaimala ceremony is performed and could be best decribed as a tug of war. In this ceremony, the women sing songs to encourage the bride and groom to exchange the garlands while the uncles persuade the soon to be couple not to Exchange the garlands.Before the ceremony of jaimala, the bride makes a majestic entry in Bengali weddings.

Mangal Phere
Fire is considered the most pious element in the Brahmin weddings and seven circles around that fire holds the seven promises that the nuptial couple make to each other amidst the Vedic mantras. The Brahmin wedding is deemed incomplete without the seven rounds around the sacred fire. Unlike other Brahmin weddings, in Gujarati weddings only four pheras are taken which are called the mangalpheras where the pheras represent four basic human goals of Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Miksha (religious, moral, prosperity and salvation). Likewise in Malayalee Brahmin weddings, pheras are taken only thrice.

Post wedding ceremony vidaai
After pheras, the bride's family and friend bid her teary vidaai (farewell). The Kashmiri pundits make their vidaai even more special. their charming ritual, "roth khabar" is performed on a saturday or tuesday after the wedding. In Roth
khabar, the bride's parents send a roth (bread decorated with nuts) to their son - in - law's family. But the bride accompanies She stay with her parents and returns only when someone from in laws comes to fetch her back.

Griha pravesh
The new bride is greeted by her mother - in - law with Arti and tilak. The bride, who is regarded as the Goddess laxmi, enters the groom's house after the groom's house after kicking rice - filled pot. In Kannada Brahmin marriages, the groom changes the name of his wife in the name change ceremony where he decides a name for his wife and inscribes it on a plate containing rice with a ring. In Bihar, a very strange ritual is performs at the groom's place.

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