25 April 2007

Made in heaven

'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.'- Irina Dunn

This article is dedicated to my wife, Reema
For being there, always!
- RL

The sad thing about experience is that it comes with age. So when you are full of experience it is almost time to leave planet earth. Intelligent people learn from other people’s mistakes and increase their experience. But some of the things you can not learn theoretically, like the experiences in marriage!

Now that I am really married my experiences are entirely different than the ones which I heard before marriage. Interestingly till the last moment I didn’t know that MARRIAGE COURSE is mandatory for a Christian marriage. Come to think of it, no other religion forces a marriage course! Being superior in animal kingdom, I don’t know why human beings need a marriage course when other animals simply follow their basic instincts!

Anyway I joined a marriage course conducted by a Goan priest. I was simply amazed by his comprehensive knowledge on sex. Is it possible for a person who is practicing celibacy to have so much theoretical knowledge without practicals? Of course it is difficult!

Nothing much happened during my marriage, except complete strangers taking some major decisions! My marriage was no different than other marriages, so as usual there was tremendous leg pulling between my side and my wife’s side. Long discussions and arguments on simple things like whether to have mango pickle or mixed vegetables pickle for the menu!

First thing that comes to my mind when ever I remember my first night is Henry Mathias! Long time back he had married on the same date as I was. He was celebrating his anniversary and I had an invitation. Henry Mathias is such an important personality, that you can not simply reject his invitation even if it is your first night! So I went to the function with my wife, thinking it was a half hour hi-hello-bye affair. God, how wrong I was! The function dragged till midnight with speakers after speakers giving lengthy speeches on successful marriage! The last thing you want to hear on your first night is speeches on successful marriage life!

I could not escape from the function because the stage was very near to the gate. It was difficult to escape without coming to the notice of many people. Also Joseph Quadras was standing near the gate. I had this feeling that he is noting every person who is leaving before time!

After finishing the function, when I was standing near the gate ready to go home, a sudden thought came to my mind. There used to be a guava tree near the gate. What will Henry Mathias think about me if he ever comes to know that I was one of the guys who used to steal guava fruits from his tree! That was long time back. Since then a lot of water has flown under the bridge. At present I can afford fruits which come with a quality sticker, but the taste is no where near the ones which I used to steal! Hope Mr. Mathias will forgive me some time!

When I reached home that night everybody was sleeping! Because of the Hindi movies I used to watch I had this strange notion of first nights. In all the movies I had seen the grooms drink a huge glass of milk, followed by an item number. Now that our cow was not well that day, milk was out of question and we were too tired for an item number. My wife could not sleep because she had hundreds of hai-rpins and flowers on her head. So till early morning next day I was removing hair-pins!

When I came out of the bedroom in the morning first person I met was my grand mother who promptly asked – “When is the good news?” Since I was hearing it first time I could not make sense out of it. But after that over the period thousands of people (some perfectly strangers) have asked me that question without shame, without presence of time and without politically being correct!

Those were the initial days. After that I and my wife have slowly started our marriage life. First Thing we learned in our marriage is cooking! Before marriage we were so deep in love we didn’t have time to learn trivial things like cooking. Also the blame goes to our parents, who in spite of being very good cooks never taught us a single thing about cooking!

Modern days are not like that of our grand fathers, where ladies used to spend their entire life in the kitchen. Time has changed and now everything is crack-jack! (i.e. 50 – 50). Early in our marriage I and my wife have decided that one will cook and the other will clean the dishes. I have taken the cleaning and realized to my surprise that cleaning is much more difficult than cooking! The complexity of cleaning increases day by day as you postpone it!

Also found practically that soft drink cans kept in deep freezer explode! This is because all the liquids increase their volume at a low temperature. Even though I had read this during my schooling, never gave a serious thought till I practically experienced it.

I came to know that Chapati’s come in many interesting shapes other than the regular circular ones! I was bit tired of my mother’s perfectly circular shaped chapati’s. My wife makes chapati’s in all possible shapes for e.g. square, diamond, parabola and my favorite amoeba shape! My mother could not do all these shapes, I think she was lacking creativity!

Before marriage I was a hardcore fan of Baywatch and fTV, now all my favorite serials start with letter – K. The challenges of modern day husbands have been increased by never ending Ekta Kapoor serials. All ladies get their state of the art tips from these serials. I hate Ekta Kapoor more than Hitler, who was directly responsible for the killing of 6 million Jews during World War II. She can expect physical harm if I ever meet her. Also I have a feeling that an Amoeba has more IQ than Ekta Kapoor! Interesting thing about these serials is that all house-wives blame these serials, but never forget to watch them everyday!

In the golden olden days, my grandfathers didn’t have the challenges of Ekta Kapoor. They were happy men. Both of them have more than 5 kids. Obviously they didn’t believe in contraceptives!

Married guys need to make unique compromises. For example my wife sleeps in such a low AC-temperature that can give cold to a polar bear! Since I am from non air conditioned black and white era I feel very uncomfortable with low room temperature. But all these things are part of married life and come in package!

Married men over the time develop an unique ability to alter the facts or politically being correct. Every married men during their long marriage period, face the ultimate question from their better half - Do I look fat?. Now if you are not married to former Miss India, It is a very difficult question to answer. This innocent looking question can make you sleep on the front room sofa or out side the front door for one week to one month, depending on how you answer it. Seasonal marriage counselors fail to give convincing answer to this age old question. My suggestion to all married men when ever you face this question is that – fall down to the ground immediately and act as if you have some kind of mental fit. Don’t come out of fit till the subject is changed!

Ladies and spinsters who never bothered to see me before marriage have started showing interest in me. Of course I don’t fall for it. This is a dog tied to the pole trick. How ever ferocious may be the dog, once it is tied to the pole, it can not cross the radius!

Marriages have their own advantage, like scientists have now proved that married men live longer than the bachelors, which anyhow they don’t want to!
Fruit sellers and fisher women who used to sell me their goods at outrageous prices, now make marginal profits because of my wife’s bargaining power. Sometimes I feel I have married the world’s best negotiator!

If you ignore the near fatal food poisoning incidents in the earlier days of our marriage, I feel my wife has become a super cook! She can now, not only participate in all India Konkani speaking women’s cooking competition, but also can give some valuable tips to Sanjeev Kapoor! Of late I have found that her chapati’s are becoming more circular, I think she is losing creativity like my mom!

Young couples ask me all the time what is the most interesting moment of my married life. Incidentally they are aware that I knew my wife much before my marriage. So they expect something romantic and filmy. I try to escape this question because they will not believe my answer.

Sometimes when I recollect my younger days I realize how stupid I was. How did my parents tolerate all my antics? If ever in future my kids do the same things which I did when I was younger, I will simply throw them out of my house! I think when you become a parent you will get this divine quality of unconditional love and forgiving.

Most romantic things of my married life are - cleaning fish, going to the market with wife, drinking tea together etc. Most of the beautiful things in life are simple day to day things. They don’t cost much. You just need to have an eye for them.

1 comment:

  1. Arey Lobo Mama,

    You did a great job. I like the way you explained the petty things in your life.

    I really appreciate your quality of writing.

    - Rajasekhar K