Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Red Marriage

Posted: October 1, 2016 in Laughing at life
Tags: , ,

It was the marriage season. Everyone was either getting married or getting an invitation card that carried an invisible demand draft of at least Rs 200. There was, of course, this new concept of “not accepting gifts”. Though taken with a pinch of salt, this was a sure hit with those who preferred to remain perpetually “out-of-station” during marriage season.

Even I was getting married. That was my first marriage and, despite repeated attempts, remained my only one.

I always wanted to marry a tall, dark and handsome prince on a white horse. The reality was a lot different, though. And despite several feeble attempts by me to sabotage a gala ceremony and go in for a quiet signing of papers, my marriage was gleefully red and traditional. I was guilty of being the first born of my parents and my husband-to-be, the only offspring. And hence we were sentenced to suffer 10-long-agony-hours of a red, red, red marriage.

Everything was so surprisingly red about the marriage that I even wore a red bindi to match with a blue sari, during one of my umpteen catwalks that I had to do throughout the auspicious day. I was smiling so much that I felt stifled with the sweetness of the occasion. Everyone was smiling more than I did. My relatives, who last saw me when I was a baby, repeatedly said: Look at you! You have grown up so much!!!

Of course I had grown up! That’s why I am marrying! However, they were too sunk in their self-created affection for me to realize that. Someone brushed a little hair off from my forehead while someone wiped a little extra kajal from my eyes.

The deadline arrived. I was wrapped in a 10-kilo heavy sari, bedecked with every kind of gold jewelery and finally, topped with a flower crown. I looked at the mirror and shrieked! “I LOOK LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE!!”

Everyone laughed. They were all so happy!

The bor finally arrived and everyone shouted! “Bor eshe geche! Bor eshe geche!“ (The groom has arrived! The groom has arrived!) As if he wasn’t supposed to. They ran toward the entrance. I was tempted to run too, only I weighed too much. Apparently my husband-to-be was looking like a prince!

Was it someone else? The last time I saw him he looked grumpy as usual. Did they make a last-minute switch? I was tempted to look.

Then they placed me on a very feeble square piece of terracotta called ‘pinre’ and lifted me in air. Some of my feminist, still-single friends clapped and joined in the fun. Not to mention, that was the last time I saw them feminist, single or having so much fun.

Even I was laughing. The bor was very glum.  (He later told me that he did not recognize me suspended in mid-air tinkling with so much jewelry and was tempted to change his mind). We exchanged garlands and ended our day of gold and red.Feb61995c

By Kaberi Chatterjee (Right after marriage in 1995. Originally appeared in The Telegraph October 10, 1995. A little edited.)

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People marry once. Get creamed in the name of law. Get clobbered in the name of God. Some actually manage to wriggle free by getting a divorce. Phew! The nightmare’s finally over. They become subject of my envy.

But hell, no!

They want to marry again!

I want to ask all those who are looking to settle down once again (or maybe a third time)—what are you guys THINKING?

Did you just hear ‘THIS IS IT’ bells ringing around your head, or are you just attracting punishment again? Are you thinking that this time, for sure, you’ve found the man/woman of your dreams?

That this time he’ll/she’ll not snore? That there’ll be a different smell coming from the kitchen? That the bathroom seat will be lowered?

That he will wipe your tears? That she will understand your need for space? That this time, since she’s ‘older’ and ‘wiser’, she’ll not collar you up against the wall when you come home late? That this time, since he is ‘sober’ and ‘mature’, he’ll not eye the woman next door or come home stone drunk?

What are you folks thinking? That this marriage of yours will surely work out and you’ll find eternal bliss… finally?

Run for your lives, guys, if you have opened an account with one of those umpteen portals declaring eternal happiness for all those who want to get run over by a truck a second time… RUN! Did you know that when a fairy-tale ends with the line, “And they lived happily ever after”,… the tale actually begins from this point?

Marrying a second time is like a murderer returning to the scene of a crime. If you are still confused, you are in luck! Sit back and keep reading.

Marrying a second time may raise your hopes of a “new beginning” all over again as you find so many beautiful things about your second partner as against your previous one. It’s natural for you to compare; you can never get over the first. He/she will always be at the back of your mind, so don’t even try to get over that.
Soon, however, begins the reverse comparison. How your previous partner would do things that your present partner never does. Honestly, this thought would cross a woman’s mind more often than a man’s. A woman’s mind is a tricky thing! And you already know about that.

Next comes altering habits you had taken for granted in your first marriage. Sticking up your hair in a bun, for instance. Or scratching your oversized paunch. You won’t be able to do these with the freedom you did earlier.

Then, of course, there is the sticky issue of the two, three, four families surrounding both of you—with whom you have to almost share portions of yourself to keep peace.

There are so many other things in life you can experiment with—jobs, for instance. You can try out a job, and if you don’t like it, you can quit. And find another. You don’t have to have babies, for goodness sake, in jobs! You can just resign and find a better job.
But you can’t resign from a marriage! Not again and again!

Women, may I suggest something? Get a cat. It’s so much better. You can snuggle up to one in the bed if you are lonely. You have a much less annoying, low-cost companion. Men, you can go for dogs. Big dogs that wag their tails whenever you return home. They are always so happy to see you. Not like your wife who remembers three things whenever she sees you: Money, money and money!

I mean, think about it. You can pull out your clothing from under a rubble of clothes without any high-pitched, hyperbolic objection.

I am probably the last soul on earth qualified to discuss second marriages as I only suffered (read: am suffering) it once.

However, whether you want to remarry before the seven-year itch or after a 16-year hitch, keep in mind that statistics indicate that though 75 per cent of people who get divorced the first time eventually remarry, 60 to 70 per cent of all remarriages end in divorce. So it’s an egg-and-chicken cycle.

This, when there are no children involved.

With children, evidently from both sides, this re-marital meal gets really delicious. Acting as constant reminders and as connection to the marriage that went haywire, you are now playing the role of a superhero/heroine. Now you technically have two husbands and two wives (or three) and several children. You are managing the emotions of two/three/four families with yourself sitting in the center of the pie-graph. An enviable job, indeed. Everyone should experience this at least once in a lifetime.

And people also do eight-hour real jobs on top of all this?

Kaberi Chatterjee
Published on Generation Next, 01 December 2011

A NOTE: This article does not propagate anything against second marriages. I might go through it myself, if I get a chance. 😛 It’s just that one should keep their hopes and expectations as low as possible for any relationship to work out. Particularly marriages, be they first, second or third. All the best!