Thursday, May 23, 2013

Marriage matters strikes back- Part 1

I thought we were done with marriage matters. The journey to the altar was witty and eventful and I thought that was it. When we started our life together, I thought everything would be different. Different it was from day one and witty when I think of it today though then, I literally cried. So I decided to launch marriage matters back again with my musings on my in-laws, their house and neighbourhood, their visits and some interesting snippets on life after marriage.

I blame the bollywood movies, in fact the film industry  in every part of India and Saas- Bahu serials for fooling girls with stupid notions on life after marriage. When I left my home in an Innova racing towards Kadampanad ( a place that is no different from Malgudi to me) after my wedding, I cried and I don't know why. I think there was so much pressure from everyone to see tears in the bride's eyes and having watched too many Ekta Kapoor serials in my college days I acted along.

 So here I was with my in-laws and hubby cramped in an innova all teary. I drifted off to sleep dreaming of my welcome at my new home, a home I had not seen before and had no clue how it looked except for the few pics WHO had shown me. I would soon learn that nothing can prepare any bride for what awaits at her groom's place. We reached Kadampanad when it was nearly 7.30pm and it was dark. My pop-in-law insisted that we light candles and pray at the historical church of Kadampanad before entering the house.My stomach was already churning and yearning for some soft earth to receive the undigested pork and beef I munched at the wedding banquet. I could wait no longer and vomitted right in front of the church when I got out of the car.
It was pitch dark and only when I got up did I realise what I had done. My hubby agreed to come back in the night to throw some mud over the vomit so that it would be concealed the next day ( which he dutifully forgot). The car then took us back to WHO's home where I was expecting a grand welcome with fifty plus people who would usher me in. At the gate I saw there was noone but my in-laws. The neighbours were all tired so they left for their homes said the photographer. But let the rituals continue he said and asked my mom-in-law to give me the lamp and the photo sessions continued. The photographer left immediately and what was left was a disturbing silence. I was asked to change and serve dinner which startled me because I was new to the place. But dutifully I went in changed and searched for the kitchen.

I was shocked to see a pile of unwashed vessels and plates from the wedding eve. I hope they have a servant I told myself screening my manicured, polished hands. The dinner was silent and I realised people seldom spoke in this house. We retired early to bed only to be woken up by the clanking of pots in the kitchen at 4 am. "My dad wakes at 4 am for coffee", said WHO and I could not sleep after that.By 5 am I heard a knock at the door and my pop- in- law came in fuming saying "with two women in this house I had to boil milk and make tea".
Few years later I would learn to relax at many such filmy dialogues but at that very moment I got up despite WHO asking me to chill down and marched upto the kitchen. I expected a helping hand but saw noone and despite my moaning hands crying to save their wax, I started with washing the unending pile of plates. I was soon introduced to a perennial problem of Aranavilayil house- " The ever blocked sink"- that got blocked after washing 3 plates. On asking a solution I was introduced to the age old standard method of using a curry leaf twig to clear the blockage ( this sink still exists and so does the method).
My pop- in- law suggested I carry the vessels outside to a tap near the washing stone and wash it down with ash that was far superior to a vim bar. "And make it quick we rented these", he said. Tears welled up my eyes for no reason. I expected some filmy royal treatment as a bahu(daughter-in-law) and here I was at 6 am washing vessels crouched around a washing stone with ash on my arms and clothes. WHO came out in his shorts and washed them with me showing his moral support. He could see I was unhappy." This is not how I grew up", I said. He listened silently. " I feel betrayed, this place is so dirty". He was silent again. " You got a stupid sink", I said. He hummed.

"Atleast we have cool breeze and chirping birds for company",he chimed."And is this all", I asked myself ? my newly wedded life? in the backyard of a kitchen washing utensils whole day with ash and clearing a sink with a curry leaf twig? I would soon learn there were more interesting rituals waiting to embrace me.........(to be contd....)


littleboatiris said...

Your writing is beautiful! I just stumbled upon your blog via a blind link in Blogger, but I love your choice of words and descriptions! I'll be back for sure! Such an interesting life! Blessings from Canada!

Anonymous said...

Nice writing. Natural and engaging!