I have finally figured out why in India one is always invited to another’s “marriage”- The secret was revealed to me when I (not held aloft my mighty sword, fellow He-man buffs) tied the knot (or is it the noose?) a few months back. If you are an Indian or getting married to one, and think that the marriage is between you and the person concerned, perish the thought… It’s an open house for all and sundry to intrude and enquire and yes, you do marry the family. The cozy twosome universe is only for the sitcom galaxy; real life is altogether a different story. Hear my story out...
Everyone from every where in the family extending to the fifth cousins to aunt’s cousin’s brother-law’s sister’s son knows what you have been up to right from the moment you step into your marital house. “Oh so you went to the church yesterday and uncle’s place after that and to the city for a spot of shopping…how’re you liking it here?” asks one random gentleman who I have never seen in my life ( who I am appraised later is a neighbor-cum-relative!) before today! After that kind of intelligence on me doing the rounds, the visit just became decidedly spooky! And what takes the cake is that you are expected to know every one from everyone. Now those who know me would think coming from a family of bearded and turbaned Sikhs that shouldn’t be difficult, but dear friend, with names like Lijo, Jojomon, Bobbin, Jinni, and every second cousin or aunt being a Susan or an Annie, relatives’ names can be difficult to remember. “Hi Susan aunty, meet Susan chechi, Susan amachi’s grand-daugther and this is Susan ammayi, my uncle’s wife!” (Sathyam! This actually happened to me once).
If the run up to getting married to the husband was trying, what came after was a steeper climb up the marital hill. “Pennene malayalam mansallayo? Illa!?!…paddikanam!..(Does she know Malayalam? No!?! You should learn to, beta!” ) I am all for learning new languages but this kind of pressure kind of adds to the inherent difficulty imbibed in learning the mater tongue (yes my mom’s a Malayali too, and NO I don’t know how to speak, read or write Malayalam!)
“Cooking in north is so different than what we eat in the south…you will have to learn “(I can't cook ANYTHING! Duh!)
“Ummm….you mind wearing some more gold ornaments…that aunty may comment on how much gold you are wearing” (no kidding! The woman DID!)
“Don’t cross your legs when you sit there, they are old fashioned people, they will not like it! (you can not be serious!!!)”
“Only daughter, eh?” nudge nudge, wink wink, the poor husband had to bear… "Of course no dowry…but only daughter, eh…” you get the drift
These are just a couple of examples of incidents that happen when you invite people to your marriage.
I lived 28 idyllic years thinking, my marriage would be different- well, thought it would be an extension of jolly ol’ bachelorette days! Boy was I wrong! Last few months have yielded many a surprise….some funny, some irritating but all very interesting and entertaining. Stories like these (and then some more…) are what I plan to regale you with in the coming months…Comments welcome and awaited eagerly