All the vile things you heard about marriage are true

Gal Godot begins a fascinating new column on marriage.
Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

Growing up, I was obsessed with the lives of the adults around me.

I would often eavesdrop on my parents’ conversations with their friends and steal magazines meant for “housewives” at great personal risk.

With time, my obsession persevered in the face of many disasters, including house slippers and rolling pins that routinely flew into my face in the name of retribution.

I guess I encountered the concept of marriage for the first time was during those quests.

It was more like a case study for inexperienced ears:
‘Did you hear what happened on her wedding night?’
‘She and her parents must have done something good in their past lives to find such a handsome boy’
‘I felt so bad when I heard that so-and-so’s daughter was thrown out by her husband after just 2 months of the wedding’
and the clincher of them all… ‘He hates her so much that he can’t stand the sight of her… until the room is locked, and the lights are off.’

After I had listened to enough of these conversations, I started having nightmares, all centred around marriage.

In some, I was being mistreated by my husband and in-laws, while in others I was saddled with an overeager ugly duckling.

As I grew up, so did my anxieties.

I got over it eventually, which means I got married, “settled down”, when it became too much of a nuisance to fight my parents and societal conditioning.

And it is with great relief that I report to you — all the vile things you heard about marriage are true.

Maybe not in the form you suspected, but they are.

Look at me, painting myself as such an ingrate.

I don’t mean to scare you shitless.

There are some good bits too.

Like my mother-in-law is so nice and kind.

Whenever we’re staying with her, she lets me sleep till 7 am.

She is so sweet; she alerts me every time my dupatta slips off my head and makes sure everyone knows how fortunate she feels for being born in a Brahmin family.

My parents are so much happier now.

I still remember the day my father fought tears while telling a friend, “She has made me so proud today.”

It was the day of my wedding.

It made me realise that I hadn’t really accomplished much in life till I met a man who was ready to “settle down” at the same time as me.

Marriage has taught me many things.

For now, I’ll leave you with the most important lesson: Don’t listen to the cynics and naysayers.

Everything they’re saying about marriage is absolutely true.

Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/Rediff.com

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