I am an educated, employed, independent woman not caught up much with social mores and compulsions but I married pretty early by today’s standards. I married earlier than I wanted to because my parents were itching and whether I like it or not, daughters are a liability. It’s like owning someone else’s property and being shit scared everyday lest any damage come to it. I may not agree with it or see any logic in the thinking but I care to let a burden off my father’s shoulder. And anyway there was this person I wanted to live with and so it happened on a bright sunny morning in a beautiful old temple built of stone which shone well on my wedding album.
We were two people deeply in love with one another, or at least that’s what we thought. Before marriage we would eagerly and hungrily wait for that one hour and travel a long distance only to meet and smile and our day would be made. We had elaborate discussions on how we would live delving into every small detail. Every possibly issue was ironed out, it appeared. But a week into marriage, after all the initial excitement, we were tearing at each other’s hair and calling names. Now we loved ourselves and our ego so much more than the person in front. Quarrel would spring from nowhere and not one day would go peaceably. A lot of it was just compatibility issues. The irritants of living with a messy guy for me and the suffocation of living with a prissy-missy for my husband. In between all this we would still go to beaches, movies, dinners, lunches and ice creams. We were lucky to be able to go on with this everyday paradox. Cuddle and kiss one moment and yell and scream the other.
Sometimes when things would soar up for days on end, we badly wanted a break. I went to visit friends and family, my husband was only too glad I did. If there was one reckless volley of words, we resolved to stay away and not come back, at least for some time. Every time we quarreled we tried to escape the situation, to prevent future possibilities by dismissing each other from our lives. But that’s stupid. Our rational mind knew it but that supreme ego would not accept, it just won’t bow down, even for love. In fact, we had forgotten how we loved each other, how much we wanted to live together. There was no “living” happening. It was plain bitter existence.
Then came our lovely boy. Now our day revolved almost entirely around him. If we spoke, it was about him, most of the times. He designed our day, anew every morning. We didn’t have the time or space to fight, so we gradually stopped fighting. So much that we don’t even argue with a loud voice anymore. At the maximum, it’s only a civil expression of displeasure. I grew more accommodative of chaos and my darling husband developed sensitivity to 50 of the 100 things that annoy me. Just in case we have a bad day and I wish we could stay away, I dismiss the thought even before it can take shape because I know I have to be home for my son. Two self indulgent adults are now entrusted with a critical project of Nourish-and-Nurture. It’s not about I anymore but We and Ours.
Marriage and Motherhood have made me a much better person. I can now claim acquaintance with patience and tolerance. We laugh for no reason because our son enjoys it so much that he would laugh along making peculiar sounds of gurgles and giggles. Life is more difficult with a baby but it is immensely more joyful too. I didn’t plan my first child and I’m glad I did not. Otherwise I might not be enjoying this surprise discovery so much. How much time is enough time? Be it to make money, or build a career, or travel the world? The roller coaster is on no matter what choice you make but sometimes, just sometimes, it’s light and nice to just be and not think.