Sunday, January 13, 2013

On Why I started this blog and the Rambles following that.

Note: I wrote this a long long time ago but have refrained from posting it. I felt it didnot go with the content my normal posts. But today I got a reminder that this is a part of my life. I may not mind it but it is. Hence I publish this.

Do you know the actual reason why I started this blog?  I was bombarded with how difficult life was going to be for me, because inter-religious couples apparently don’t fare well. There are too many differences and too much societal pressure, and without the family support a marriage was doomed to fail atleast that was the preview. I started this blog with the intention to record whatever happened so that I would know if it was true. In my case, it was not and soon I found that I was facing no more problems than any newly a married Indian woman does- maybe lesser. Our marriage was as interesting or mundane as any normal marriage was. Really sometimes I wonder if these things are overrated. But of course, both I and my hubby have extremely civilized parents who would not come to kill us for their so called honor like many other poor souls and I think the fact that we earn enough and are financially independent is a very important factor. I am not sure how it is important but I suspect it is.
Ya we face certain discriminations,yes we are judged, me more than my hubby sometimes but then …come on who doesn’t?
In the initial days of my marriage there were some who would show their stony faces to me, but I always ignored it. Like the far far relative who ran a boutique where my MIL took me. But their number was small compared to the loving faces which always greeted me; in fact negligible.  When the positive outweigh the negatives it’s ok is my mantra.
There was commenting too on how ‘wonderful’ son or daughter we turned out to be and how the younger siblings of my hubby and myself were warned never to follow my hubby’s example.  Now, for me, I am ok with bantering from people one loves. they can tease , it is ok, they have earned it( even though after 2 years it tends to get  a bit… meh! ;)), but when unrelated people  rant I wonder if I should take a stand and kick being diplomatic.

Anyhow I did take a stand at one time. I had opened a Facebook account just after I got married. Relations with long lost friends and acquintances were renewed. They would say hi and after the conventional questions would ask about my husband . Now my husband’s name reflects the community he is from perfectly and so does mine. There is no confusion there. Yup it is apparent that we had a “love” marriage from our names. As soon as I would say his name. Suddenly the chats would stop either for sometime when suddenly everything would go awkward, or it would stop completly. Just like that. After this happened two times I decided that I did not want to waste my time with such people. I changed my name in facebook to include my hubby's name (dead against the concept of taking hubby's surname  or name btw). In big letters my facebook name now reflected both my and my husband’s name.

Now there was no doubt at all.

It has served me well, that step, as it has filtered people who were anyhow not of my wavelength. and how did I know if it did so?

 Recently some months ago, I met this film maker in the flight. We got to talking and exchanged facebook profiles. When I wrote my facebook name, she looked at it and smiled. "I see You are making a point." she remarked. "Yes, that was the intention", I said. "Well point is well made" she replied laughing. Not only did I have a choice marriage ,But guess what, I was proud of it.

Are you wondering why I am emphasizing how proud I am of my marriage. I will tell you why.

Apparently ladies like me are supposed to a bit ashamed of having a love marriage. – atleast a decent level of shame is expected out of me. It’s not like they come and torture you with their mincing words but it is remarks like,”OMG, I don’t know how people can hurt their parents so much.” or ”I will never marry for love, I love my parents too much” or  “Don’t you dare bring a girl/guy  like your brother/sister did”. ”Ya we all know how good a daughter/son you are”,. “Hopefully she will get married to a good guy in arranged marriage itself( hopefully she will not fall in love ie ,hang the fact that she has had a lousy arranged marraige before) , behaving as if the spouse doesn't exist ,having two facebook accounts and sending friend requests from the one while all your other family members are in the other. etc etc etc.

It’s not that these remarks matter even a teensy weensy bit but ya, it is something one could do without. You would think that old fashioned people pass those remarks. But noooo . Actually I have seen many young married people themselves assert that they have had an arranged marriage when they have married by choice actually. I don't mind people not sharing it voluntarily but to assert otherwise so strongly,only among people of tradition thoughts is something which goes over my head.

 I don’t understand what’s there to be ashamed of???

Should I be ashamed of not only believing that all human beings are infact the same and acting on it. Or is it that I should tell outside that I don’t believe in religions and castes whereas I actually should. So am I supposed to be ashamed of the fact that I am not a hypocrite?
Or should I be ashamed of actually being committed to someone. In one hand the lack of commitment in berated, on the other hand, being committed is not a good sign either!!!
Or should I be ashamed of taking responsibility for myself – making informed decisions and sticking to it when I am sure it is right, even if it might be a bit difficult.   It’s not as if I was minor or uneducated or without financial independence.  
(Frankly speaking I believe that if a person can earn his keep and has lived in the real world for two years, I think that person has the maturity to take decisions for himself/herself.Btw i don't think educated has anythign to do with Degrees or Diplomas. The decisions may be wrong, but, people have the right to make mistakes. no???? But I digress.)
As far as beng ashamed of hurting my parents is concerned, Sorry, I cannot be ashamed of that just because I chose the one I wanted to marry. I am sad that the decision has hurt them, But I am not ashamed. How will things change then??? Who will change things??? Every child has parents. There was only One Adam and One Eve and they are long gone.(if at all there was i.e)

In my view there are three kinds of people who "sacrifice" their happiness for their parents.

1. Who go through what their parents want , and in the process are willing to sacrifice any principles they might have and are happy to do so. Good for them.

2. Who go through what their parents want , and in the process are willing to sacrifice any principles they might have however unhappy they may be. thus living a half life. Half lives are not good for spouses or the future generations. Not good.

3. Who go through what their parents want and then spoil everyone's life  with the resentment that burns in them, against their spouses, against the parents and worst, against themselves. Not at aaaall good. Infact Very Very BAD

 Giving instant gratification especially for all the wrong reasons(soceital pressure) really does not work that great for everyone and definitely not for the parents in the long run. Unfortunately both the parents and children realize that after the harm is done. (I have to add here that I am prejudiced. I have a friend who had to go through a lot just  because, her ex-husband wanted to please his parents.He was also the third kind. Made me downright thankful that I stuck to my guns and didnot spoil some innocent guy's life) .I cannot be ashamed of realizing that I am more the third kind and I cannot be ashamed of wanting to live a full life and following what I beleive in. If one really believed that parents love their children come what may..... one will also beleive that , if you do things right, they will understand and if one is happy, they will be happy.

What I have talked till now need not hold true for anyone else you know. It’s just what I have gone through, what I have experienced and my feelings on the subject. It is not well researched. It just comes from the heart. It’s not even inspired. But hey, it is honest.

But there are lots and lots of positive reactions too. For eg, I see people light up with their romantic souls all charged, eyes twinkling and imagining a romeo juliety type story. I love seeing their reaction though I have always had to disappoint them with my drab story. There is this one reaction that I am particularly fond of.
We went to give our wedding card to our transport coordinator.  When he realized that we were getting married he smiled beautifully and his eyes got misty. He said dreamily…. "Today I am very happy… Very".
That’s was the most beautiful reaction ever…Outweighs everything else….

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