On marriage

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Hi people. I am in Kolkata since yesterday and the city has changed so much… for the better, of course. The roads are nice and mostly clean, weather is pleasant (right now), there are parks, food is good, metro is getting constructed, the city is expanding. It is a good time to be in Kolkata.

Today I will be meeting someone who was my boss and then my colleague. We did not like each other when he was my boss (to put it very mildly) but as colleagues we had a blast together. I appreciate his wicked sense of humour, mimicry skills, excel skills and his work ethic. Also, we had a common hatred for the guy who was then our boss. But it made me realize how equations with people can change… we can like people we hate and vice versa. Nothing in life should be taken for granted. Anything can change… anything can end… and a new beginning can be around the corner.

The other day a friend told me she and her husband have separated. This is the second instance I know of, where people who have known and loved each other for the longest time are parting. In her case, it is probably 15 years. I didn’t ask ‘why’. I am not sure we are that close. KC admonished me for not asking. I probably came across as ‘callous’. Who doesn’t ask ‘why’ when you are told something this important? But I felt like it was not my place to ask. And I would rather be considered ‘callous’ than someone who pries into people’s personal lives. But it got me thinking about my marriage… the fact that it could end someday. And I wondered if are we happy together. It is so easy to ignore unhappiness in life and continue with things because it makes life convenient. It takes guts to stand up and end something because you are not happy or feel like you are compromising too much. Compromise is not always good. Do not listen to people specially parents who say ‘Marriage is all about compromise’. No, it’s not. If it feels like ‘compromise’ something is wrong.

So I was thinking… KC is not the same person I used to know when we started dating. In fact, he was a different person then and now when I think about it… I barely even knew him when we decided to commit to each other. But then I realize, that the one thing I would not compromise in a guy would be that he let me be myself. When you are women being yourself includes a whole gamut of things:

– Don’t need to wear mangalsutra or sindoor or sarees or change surname

– Can wear what I want… eat what I want… meet who I want… travel where I want…

– Do not have to live with in laws unless I want to. I do not understand this one. Why does the women have to live with the guy’s parents? Why can it not be the other way round? In my case, I would not want live with my parents… ever… and same goes for them but it is nice to have a choice

– Can pursue my career and interests and if it means we may have to part for sometime then even that. It is such a restriction for 2 people to live in the same city together all their lives. I am so glad there are people who pick their career over the marriage and move cities if they have to. We did it… and it was difficult… and I decided to come back… but it is nice to have that choice. If KC ever wants to move somewhere for higher education (how can anyone want to study more is beyond me) I will always be open to it. Marriage should not restrict your choices

– And in general… just have the freedom to be myself

I have that with KC… so, yes we are good. Of course, whether he is happy with me or not has to be evaluated by him.

My parents would constantly tell me and my sis – ‘You can do what you want once you are married provided your husband agrees to it. Till you are our responsibility you have to do as we say’. Basically, as women we first obey our parents and then we obey our husbands. I was sure I would either run away or worse kill the guy if I marry someone who wants me to ‘obey’ him. I am not good with rules or authority, as any of my bosses will testify. Don’t get me wrong…. nobody follows rules like I do… I am the only person I know who always wears seatbelts and follows traffic signals. I like rules… they give my life structure but I don’t follow rules that don’t make sense to me. If it is stupid, I will call it ‘stupid’.

Marriage, like any relationship, is not to be taken for granted. People change… equations change… and relationships either evolve or fade away… that is life, fortunately or unfortunately.

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