The Knotty-Naughty Affair
by Annapurna Sharma
(Nellore, AP, India)
In India, marriage is (or rather was) a sacred institution. Vows taken are fulfilled till the end. With time the very concept of marriage has changed. Indians have emulated the West in all aspects of their life. Hence, live-in relationships are the common trend. Candidly, marriage is like tying a cow to a post. One gets hooked to a never ending commitment. With growing awareness of parents and equality among sexes, women are better educated and independent than their mothers or grandmothers. They refuse to bow down.
In my 17 years of marriage, I had come across a myriad of confrontations and compromises. As an individual, I did want to quit impulsively at times, but didn’t. Not that I was a coward or didn’t have another option. It wasn’t the wise thing to do. Just as the old saying goes, ‘the older the wine the better.’ The circumstantial misunderstandings or coincidental spars are a part of crushing the grapes in the barrel. The more the fermentation, the better the relation between the couple is seen. In this era of readymade food, quick fixes and instant communication, we google for better adjustments among married couple. Instead of peeking at the WWW, have you ever taken a second to peep into the heart of your spouse?
Once upon a time, playing house was a woman’s domain. The condition is no longer the same. With both partners toiling to keep up the family finances, household responsibilities need to be shared. Still a larger section of Indian mothers keep their sons away from routine or mundane or trivial home tasks. Newlywed brides are expected to take complete charge of the household. If she is employed, that is extra bonus. Enveloped in a blanket
of new found love and with behavioral counseling from parents, the bride is all set to play the part of a dutiful homemaker. With time, the blanket is parted and the burden of playing housie is magnified. Parents from both quarters derive immense joy in keeping their children in the dark. Many children emulate their parents and regard them in high esteem for playing the perfect housie. Are all houses or marriages or relationships picture perfect?
When two stones are rubbed, fire sparks. Similarly, when two people in their youth make efforts to stay under the same roof, sparks fly. With added fuel these sparks can turn into ravaging forest fires or with guidance can become the ever burning fuel of the hearth. Indian families have a stellar reputation for strong bonds. Each time a fire bursts, it is the duty of kith and kin to maneuver and steer it away from doing irreversible damage. Who has the time in this Tech age? On whom then lies the onus of managing the fire? THE COUPLE!
The arrival of the babies keeps the members from dying down completely. ‘Papa know-all’ and ‘Mama know-all’ indulge in sweet spars – ‘This is not good for Bunty!’ or ‘Rinky caught cold because you gave her ice cream!’ Even before you realize, the neonates become toddlers, preschoolers, school going kids, adolescents, adults and ready for yet another KNOTTY-NAUGHTY AFFAIR! Do you tell them – MARRIAGE IS A BURDEN, DO NOT GET MARRIED!
My grandma’s words about marriage come to my mind – ‘Two young people who know not how to swim, need to be pushed into the ocean of bliss. With time they themselves will learn to swim!’
It stands true for all successful marriages. ***