By: Rachna Mimani, Associate Editor-ICN
KOLKATA: Before you start reading ahead let me tell you … It is just another story of another girl in some regular marriage but the learnings are different and ending …. oops life is still going on so difficult to say about happily ever after . So good way to enjoy this is to expect less and think more for what I write and see if somewhere it would relate to life and changing dynamics of the relationship.
I clearly remember the day when I was asked to get dressed up and meet the guy, who was to be my perspective groom and all I did was to run away to my friend’s house saying, “I don’t want to get married”. The journey from then to now has been a roller coaster ride and has changed a lot, from what we started with what we are today.
A love hate story of my life started in 2005 when my parents decided to get me hitched in a perfectly arranged Marwari family weddings. So like it is said in India, the marriage is not only in between the two people but also it’s between two families. So my wedding what seemed more like the family wedding cause I hardly knew the person I was getting wedded to and so was the case with my Fiancé then now my husband. Well, I still did not understand how come my parents, who were always protective towards me just wanted to settle me up with guy whom I just meet for twenty minutes and family they only knew for two days. I guess that’s how the destiny is defined and here the thought of SRK’s movies place so well “Someone Somewhere is made for you”. So moving ahead we got engaged and the calls of congratulation floated from all over and all seemed very excited for my wedding as I was the eldest and also the first wedding to happen for the next generation of the family. So with all the excitement and a beginning of whole new generation getting into the familial life. So at a naive age of 21 and my hubby 22 we both got married expecting (that’s me) the idea of marriage meaning more independence and interdependence.
Today, my marriage stand 14 years teenage and whole lot of learnings which I am sharing. The journey started with dreams, jolted with reality and came my learnings. So the idea of fairy tales and Cinderella stories come to end and we get our first reality check when we start living together as husband and wife hailing from two different planets. For the women back in 2005 it was still giving up of aspiration, education and career to settle for housewife role and accepting the men in the house as supreme power was must. Everything where priority was offered MEN were the first from food to opportunity of going ahead in career. There dies a silent death of my dream of having a career and the life opened doors of a course which eventually every female learnt back in seventies from childhood was household chores and life in the kitchen. For which clearly I was not mentally prepared. I had to change according to the norms of an Indian “BAHU” (daughter-in-law), from giving up jeans to getting into a saree, to waking up from late to early and to seeking permission for decision making.
In a marriage which is still running on 14years, there comes lot of variables which act otherwise for the couples to accept each other in life. It even more becomes difficult to bypass the patriarchy in the Indian Marwari society. Where for no reasons the efforts of homemakers were devalued. This not only made me feel less capable but I started leaving a life in constant self-doubt mode where I was using trial and error methods to make people around me happy and in the process lost my identity as self.
At young age of 22 and 23 both my man and I didn’t know what to expect from life. We had our ways of doing things. So we fought like cats and dogs and blessed by god we were not born with sharp tooth like that of carnivore’s animals. We lacked so much of understanding with each-other that our communications had become brittle like that of dragon fly wings. For the men to accept someone in life, who is constantly getting order in life by asking him to do things rather someone just doing it. The only bridge between family and the wife, couldn’t know whom to make happy and acknowledge. He was also walking on thin ice and was absolutely clueless between what was right and wrong. The personal aspiration went hey wired and now what are doing is trying to manage the gap. So, In order to fix self we were fixing each other rather fixing self. We were leaving separate lives in same house and for me it was leaving of different human beings in the same body.
We were making enough contribution in people surrounding our lives than investing in ourselves. We spent time money and energy to be only left alone to fight for freedom of ourselves with each other in terms of time, money and energy. (So now you may be thinking what, let me explain). We were moving out socially together everywhere however the time we spent we with each other was negligible and money was almost nil (so no gift, roses or naughty stuff) and energy was only enough to fight and sleep with our back turned on the two sides of the bed which seemed to have gaps deep as the canyons. The marriage grew in age only making us grow apart. Its took ten years of marriage and two daughters in the journey and we reaching our middle life crisis the wisdom dawned upon us as to what we are doing with our lives. Which was only filled with depression, ill health, anger and shaky trust and mountain high expectation which were never meet leaving us more frustrated and bitter.
The new life only dawned upon us when we paused and looked at what we were doing and what we wanted to do. Somewhere my aspirations of making a career jumped out and over powered the mother, wife and daughter in me to move towards real ME. So, when choice was made to move ahead and now was the question with what. So from confusion to conclusion I made a leap with two failed ventures behind and losing my savings I decided to re-educate and up skill was what I needed. So I went ahead followed my passion and today I am healing people and helping people develop as confident individuals.
Once I started to change and so did my surroundings, eventually people around me also changed and were able to see the new perspective in life. The environment was happy and we became friends and then happy individuals ready to give back what we were asking for and the universe sent it back to me.
So the shifts that I brought in me were many, below are few of them.
|What WE Were Doing||What we do|
|Disrespecting each other’s opinion and feelings||Acknowledge and Respect each other’s feelings and opinion|
|Not listening to each other||Listening to each other|
|Not giving enough space||Giving space to each other|
|Making others happy||Making self-happy|
|Nagging , complaining and blaming||Accepting, complimenting and accountable|
|Do things for others||Doing things for each other|
|Looking for other success as deterrent||Making things possible for each other so each one of us can success.|
|Do things right and fixing things||Doing right things and no fixing.|
|No time for each other||Taking and making space for each other|
The above have been few of my learnings and how I felt we could nurture our relationship. These learning may help us survive 15 years or 25years or 50 years. All of the above is only holding true if we are ready to give what it takes to make the relationship work on a two way path. And I still don’t know whether my husband will choose me or not all I still know is I love him with no “if” attached. So nurture love and respect and the age of marriage is just a number.