One of the primary benefits of getting married, I suppose, is appeasing the doubts of all relatives about whether or not you intend to die alone. They are satisfied in knowing that you will also bear the same tribulations in marriage as they did. This will provide fodder for future communications, especially those recycled Whatsapp forwards in a family group chat.
With only 4 months of marriage under my belt, I am no pundit to belch out any advice about getting hitched. I can only share the changes within me, as an ode to the man who inspired them.
For me, there is great peace in knowing there is someone at the end of the day who is willing to hear my rants about, say, being too gaseous from the day’s meal (and at times, even be a witness to the toots without much fuss).
It’s magical how most, if not all, of the world’s woes are resolved on their own, when I am in his arms. When a saddening memory of my father engulfs me in the middle of the night, I simply draw him closer and place his arm over myself. Happier memories surface and my sleep is restored, without him even knowing of the miracle he can create.
Of course, not all nights are so happy-go-lucky, and we make it a point to never sleep over a disagreement; to both say ‘sorry’ and diminish our egos, and realize in the morning that there was no point arguing over what a chatty uncle or inquisitive aunty may have said.
Marriage has made me happy to know that I can explore the world with a constant companion who is very different from me; and that helps me understand more about myself in the process. And this companion gradually adopts your tastes and finds you beautiful, even when you haven’t had the chance to thread your eyebrows since the wedding.
As an Indian man, he is excited by the prospect of applying vermilion to my hair parting when I wear a sari to a relative’s place; and just as comfortably takes off my mangalsutra when he knows it will not match well with my western dress. It is this ease in his approach that makes him so balanced as a person first, then partner.
There are subtle things I have begun to do for my husband without much thought and vice versa. These actions are, at times, out of love, and at times, out of that throbbing vein or constipated look from your better half that begets you to change unruly habits, or adopt new ones.
Simple things like making him an omelette at 4am before he catches his early flight; or him taking a half day so he can bake me a cake for my birthday; or me learning how to use the poop shower and not just resorting to toilet paper (US citizen for the win!!).
Of course, there are plenty emotional downsides in the process of loving another soul, such as– being overly worried when they are away on office trip and cannot take your call; or disappointment when they are unable to make time for a weekly dinner; or the other extreme — finding crucial alone time from your spouse, so you may reflect upon your minute presence in the universe.
To give perspective to the latter, the only time I can catch up on my novels is during the flights to official meetings outside of Delhi, and the only time I really got a chance to write all of this is in between office lunch breaks.
But these are all achievable headwinds.
Because you grow a little bit more each day by means of loving and not so loving experiences. Tiffs seem ordinary after some time. And reunions after days of being away are akin to devouring the most intoxicating chocolate you have ever had the good fortune to taste.
I’m thankful for his grace, and his uncanny ability to adopt my mother as his own, and check up on her health more than I ever did on a daily basis. I’m thankful for his love, and his contagious kindness, the kind that makes you love his family as your own and feel like you already have a son in his nephew. Moreover, I’m amazed by his adeptness with sign language that he so comfortably uses with his differently abled sister and brother-in-law. I’m thankful for his patient listening and his innocent approach to solving any problem.
In the end, marriage is not for everybody. Sacrifice and compromise are necessary ingredients.
You can’t expect your partner to fix the issues that need to be resolved on your own.
But I can certainly say that marriage has been an exciting new chapter, wherein I have a fellow protagonist who is gradually shaping the narrative of my novel towards an end of comforting contentment.
And to savor a novel of such priceless sentiments, I will always make time.
Below is a photo of Chinu working his mojo, as he looks on at our pre-wedding shoot at Taj Mahal 🙂
(p.s. He’s wearing my late father’s suit)