Tag Archives: marriage

The dog collar

Each day I learn something new from my little one. Ok, she is going to be six (!!) and not so little any more. (But for me she will always be the helpless little baby that was thrust into my arms!) So I’m constantly amazed at the words and ideas she suddenly throws up on me. They catch me unawares and most of the time I blubber and blabber. But one thing is for sure – I always want to answer her honestly. As much honesty as she would understand that is.

It’s been decided, by the way, that she will marry in a Church. Because she prefers the Cinderella like white gown to a sari and more importantly, she loves the idea of a wedding ring. (Don’t ask me who has been telling her all this. Not me. We perhaps have to thank the Disney Princesses for this!) Anyways, we seriously discussed the idea of her marrying in a Church and have agreed in principle that it should be ok with us all. She can’t however decide between Kishan, Atul and Ananth! Sigh! Yeah life is full of tough decisions, right.

Ouch…I’m drifting away from the focal point of this blah blah.

First, a little background to the uninitiated. I have stopped wearing my ‘thali chain’ for various reasons ranging from feminism, freedom of expression to dislike for gold ornaments…but lets not get into that now. Despite entreaties from my mother – who thinks this is total blasphemy – I decided to stick by my decision.

One day, when we were reading one of those fairy tales – M turned to me and asked me why I don’t wear my ‘thali chain’. I said I don’t like it because it’s too heavy around my neck.

“But how will people know that you are married?” she asked me perplexed.

“Why do people need to know?” I ask back smartly.

“What if some uncle thinks you are unmarried and gets married to you.” She wonders, her eyes going round with concern.

“Hmmm” I pretend to think about it while my brain absorbs the question and decides whether to laugh it off as a joke or take this one seriously.

“And…then what if you have a baby with THAT uncle. Then what will I do?” she continues her train of thoughts, while I’m still trying to think of a clever way to answer.

I’m now aghast! I wonder who has been feeding her such stuff. We don’t even watch soppy soaps on TV at home!

“But sweety, you forget that I know to talk. I will tell that uncle that I’m already married!” I say deciding to put her alarming concerns to rest.

“But amma why can’t you just wear a thali chain?” she asks – still not convinced with my answer.

I mull over how to answer this one. From the balcony I see a dog on a leash, its owner pulling it one way and the dog trying to go the other way.

“Look at that doggie.” I point out to her. We both peep and look at the doggie for a while. Amused at the way the master and dog tussle with each other.

“Ah…I know amma, when you wear that thali chain do you feel like that doggie?” Asks M – startling me, as always, with her perception.

I grin at her and we both break into a giggle at the vision of her father and me having a similar tussle.

But jeez! The kid never fails to amaze me! How on earth did she get that dog collar thing?!

And they lived…

In the end life boils down to precisely that. This one is a reality check to all those who harbour romantic notions about life. There is no such thing as lived happily ever after. The sooner we learn this fact in life – the better we are. I’m not being a cynic here. Just realistic.

You think you love someone. In the moonlight you hold hands and get all romantic. As a girl you believe every little promise the man makes. But let me tell you while the man is holding your hand he is wishing that he were touching some other, more exciting parts of your anatomy. There is only one thing on his mind. He will do anything to make you as compliant as possible to achieve that end. This is not to blame men. It’s natural chemistry. That’s the way it is. While girls get all soppy, mushy and romantic. Men simply want sex.

So then you get married and then the initial year goes by in a blur while you get used to towels being crumpled and thrown around, toothbrushes in the living room, banana peels left on the dining table…sigh. But still you’re happy in the first year because it’s all very new, exciting and er…romantic!

Soon life settles into a pattern. Eventually you realize that the man is not living up to any of those things he promised you. He does not even care about anything else – like your headaches and your PMS – as long as you’re around to manage his home and his sexual needs whenever they arise. The reality hits you then. Women seek emotional satiation, while men simply seek physical satisfaction. A good meal. A well maintained home. Drinking buddies. A reasonably challenging job. Music. Sex. A little pampering and mollycoddling – all the time. That’s all the things the men care for. They just don’t seem to get what the women want! What’s life beyond all this – they wonder. It never strikes them that perhaps, the woman might want to be pampered too at times…??

Ah women, those incomprehensible and complex creatures that Nature has created – are looking for something deeper. They are looking for a Karmic connection. For a man who will understand their needs, wants, likes, dislikes, discomforts… without these being spelled out to him. For a man who is not uncomfortable with the silence while you watch the sunset together. For a man who can keep a hot meal ready when you get home. For a man who knows not to switch on the television when you have a headache. For a man who actually listens.

The most successful marriages I know today are those where the man is extra compassionate. The man who knows his wife did not sleep well the previous night and wakes up early to make her breakfast and tea. The man who will hold the door open for his wife because he realizes her hands are full holding their child and her things. The man who understands her little, yet important needs, like helping her find a clean toilet when they are traveling.

Sigh. Yeah I know such rare species of men do exist. And I envy the women who have found them. As for the rest of us – we simply amble along in life. We get used to our situation. We are at best compatible. We allow those many girly dreams to be trampled upon. We wait endlessly for a day when the man may perhaps understand what we really need. And yeah…we live…