Tag Archive | marriage

The ups and downs

Sheela dumped the clothes in the dryer and went and sat by the window sill. Ravi, her husband had said that she just needed an excuse to fight. Was it true?

But wasn’t he demanding… I mean he gets up late and then just commands, where is my coffee, my file, this, that …… why can’t he just do it himself.

True she is a housewife but does that mean she is a servant, always ready to  run at his beck and call.

Ravi meanwhile in the metro was lost in his thoughts. How dare she reply like that, the only thing that he had asked for his cup of coffee. She could have just said that she is bringing. Instead she bites. ‘ Don’t I give it everyday?’. ‘Did you say something to me’, the person sitting next to him asked and Ravi realized that he had spoken aloud. ‘No…’, he  smiled sheepishly.

‘How dare he insult me by saying that I speak too much and to keep my mouth shut. Male chauvinist, huh. Will the kids respect me if he treats me like that’, Sheela thought.

‘How dare she speak like that to me’, Ravi thought, ‘Am I not her husband, the father of her children, what will the children think of me?’

Shalu the ten-year old walked slowly. ‘Hurry up Shalu else we will miss the bus’, thirteen year old Ritesh said.

‘Bhaiya, do you think mom and dad will divorce’, Shalu said

‘Divorce…oh you are upset because of the fight. Don’t worry, Dad will get movie tickets in the evening and mom will cook his favorite food and all will be fine’, said the very wise Ritesh.

‘Really’, said Shalu.

‘Pucca’, said Ritesh

Meanwhile Sheela called her aunt Rukmini, ‘Are you free today, can I come for some time’, she said

‘Why do you sound morose, had a fight with Ravi?’, her aunt said.

Sheela could not say much other than, ‘uh huh’

Rukmini guffawed and said, ‘Sure, you can come in anytime.’

Sheela wondered what had happened to her aunt and why had she guffawed.

Sheela was just about to leave the house when the phone rang.

It was Ravi, She proudly said, ‘Huu….what is it?’, expecting him to apologise.

‘Sheela there was a meeting…the company has had huge losses in the last year, the management has decided to lay off some employees…..’, he said.

‘Why are you afraid, do you think you may be laid off’, she said.

‘Anything can happen…The school fees, the bank loan…how will we manage’, he said

‘Hey come on, you are good at your job, you have so many years experience, you will get some other job. I can work too, nothing will happen, don’t worry’, she said.

And so it went phone calls back and forth.

It was three p.m. when the phone rang. Expecting it to be Ravi, Sheela hurriedly pick the phone. It was Rukmini aunty.

‘Hey Sheela where are you? Have been waiting for you, I will be leaving for my evening walk at four…’, she said

‘Aunty I will not be able to come today, something came up’, Sheela said.

Aunty laughed out loud, ‘So all fine at your end’, she said.

‘Hmm’, Sheela replied.

Aunty guffawed and kept the phone down.

Sheela was wondering why aunty laughed.

Aunty remembered those times of fights with her late husband, the bickering and the making up and wiped a tear.

Moving on

As I checked my messages, I saw one from Diksha. It read please come in the evening.

I sat like that for long just staring at the message.

Diksha and me share a special relationship. We are sisters and yet not. My mother used to work as a clerk in the estates of the Mistry’s. Diksha was an only child and a lonely one too. So her parents encouraged my mother to drop me at their place.

And that is how we became sisters. We went to the same school and played with the same toys. The only difference being that I had to work harder at my studies and then for professional entrance exams, while she had everything easy. She was encouraged to study and learn the tricks of their business but she was least interested in all that.  She preferred going to a finishing school in Switzerland.

And so while she skated in the Alps I struggled through engineering. No studies were not a problem with me. Tuition fees was. Yes the Mistry’s would have funded me but I preferred to win a scholarship and did the odd jobs for some additional money. Odd jobs meaning giving tuitions to kids whose parents were too busy to teach them.

Meanwhile the Mistry’s were worried as to whom to pass on their legacy. Their daughter seemed to have no interest in running their various businesses.

Nikhil Awasthi was my classmate. We often confided in each other. No we were not in love but were in similar circumstances. He too was in constant need of money being the son of an ordinary ‘kiranawallah’. Their shop was rented and whats more they were heavily in debt. Nikhil used to dream of making it big, closing down the shop and of giving a good life to his siblings.

Once when we were discussing Thermodynamics, it so happened that Mrs. Mistry dropped in and took a liking to the young chap. But then Nikhil was handsome and quite brilliant intellectually too.

And it so happened that exactly a year after that the very next week that we graduated, Nikhil and Diksha got married.

Yes, Nikhil’s father retired and became the PA of the Director. The Director of course being his son Nikhil. His three siblings were sent to posh private schools while Nikhil himself immersed himself in learning the tricks of the trade.

While I struggled through jobs and juggled with a home. Yes, I too got married to a guy chosen by my parents. And eventually we had a son.

Diksha and Nikhil had three kids. Diksha wanted some more as she didn’t want her kids to be as lonely as she had been but nature saw to it that she didn’t.

TRING the mobile rang. I bent my head to see a message from Nikhil. Can you meet me at 3 p.m.,it read.

I sighed.

Nikhil decided to leave Diksha after 27 years of marriage.  The reason he cited was incompatibility. I mean after 27 years and three kids… don’t you just get used to each other??

I knew my day was ruined. I just called up my Secretary and told her that I was taking it easy that day.

As I  lay with a cold compress on my forehead, my son walked in. ‘what’s the matter ma, all’s well?’, he asked.

I just uttered, ‘Diksha’

He said, ‘oh’ and walked off after drawing the curtains.

Diksha has been on a self-pity trip since Nikhil deserted her. She has been moaning so much that her own kids have taken refuge in posh Hotels. And for that she pities some more. Every day for the past twenty-one days, I have been called to be with her and listen to her monologues.

But it was the first time Nikhil had called me.

And so we met at one of the cafes in the other side of town.

‘What is it Nikhil, please be quick and brief. I have to go and visit Diksha too’, I said

Oh, so she has caught hold of you now, is it?’, he said

‘You discovered that you were incompatible after 27 years Nikhil? Isn’t it a bit too much?’, I asked.

He took a long deep breath.

‘You know Anu when we got married, How the situation was? I needed money and I got ample of it. True Mr. Mistry taught me everything. And Dikha taught me everything else, like how to dress in formals, how to speak effectively, hell she taught me how to hold a knife and fork. But is that the only thing required in a marriage. What about love, companionship, understanding. For Diksha I was always a puppet which she wanted to mould and possess. She never took me as an individual’.

‘IS there any other woman in your life Nikhil’, I asked point-blank.

‘After Diksha, Mrs. Mistry and my daughter, I don’t need any other women in my life Anu’, he said.

‘So is there any man in your life’, I asked. I mean you never knew nowadays.

‘Shut up Anu, it is not about THAT. It is about understanding and companionship and……

‘I know, I know’, I said and walked off.

Diksha sat in a dark room with her hair all strewn and eyes swollen. Somehow she reminded me of Kaikayi in her ‘kop bhavan’. Only that there was no Dasaratha to listen to her demands

I was sick of both of them.

‘Till when you have decided to be like this Dikshu, ‘ I asked.

‘Come on Anu’, she said, ‘How can you be so heartless. my husband of 27 years has left me. The person whom my father groomed, the one whom I taught to hold a knife and fork has left me’.

‘So you are mourning the graduation of your student?’, I said, ‘He has moved on, you move on too’.

‘Anu’, she screamed.

‘For God sake, Diksha, there is a business to be taken care of. Three children who are yet to be settled. And here you are rolling in self-pity. Maybe you smothered Nikhil so much that he didn’t have any breathing space. Maybe you never were fit for each other…wahtever it be. Stop moaning and start living’, I said.

‘Everyone is ungrateful. You forget that it is my father who had paid your school fees, it was my house that you grew up in and….’, she said

‘Yes it was your father that paid my school fees but it was my hard work which brought me where I am now. Yes, I grew up in your house because you were lonely’, I said and then picked my bag and moved out.

I knew Diksha had some more fodder to moan about. I do not know who was right but I knew it was time for me to move on.

Truly alive

I banged the door and left. All the pent-up frustrations of rising costs,  mounting EMIs, blame game, everything was reflected in that bang.

I ran. Took a bus heading to Zallaq beach. I sat without knowing what I was going to do there.

But the sea beckoned me and I ran. Knee deep in water, soaking in the sunlight. embracing the wind, I felt truly alive.

The phone rang. ‘Thought I was dead, eh?’, I said in jest.

‘Nah, tell me where is the salt?  Junior wants some noodles to eat?’, he said in a tone which spoke relief.

_____________________________________________________________
Sometimes problems just need some space; sometimes the problems are ourselves.

Fiction written as a part of Write Tribe’s 100 words on Saturday. 

100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe
The prompt this time, Truly alive

J & J-expect the unexpected

Previously the why and the how

———————————————————–

When Jassy had said yes to Aunty, she had expected that adjustment would be easy. Her mother and aunty had been good friends and she remembered going to aunty’s house, playing with Jatin etc. And so she thought it would be easy but no. Is living with any person easy? No.  Particularly with a perfectionist like Jatin. Everything had to be perfect. The food that was cooked, the home, ambience, clothes, everything. For a person like Jassy it was difficult.  She was not that organized in anything. She was vivacious, Jatin was the strong silent types.

And the major problem was that both were not ready to accept and adjust. Two vital characteristics that is most important in a marriage.

Jatin would come home from work expecting the home to be spick and span. Dinner would be ready, the house dirty and Jassy busy chatting on the net.

Weekends Jassy would be all excited expecting that Jatin would take her out but he would go and start washing the car, then polishing it etc.

And so when Shaku Aunty returned she got a shock at the state of affairs. She could see that even after two months they were strangers living under one roof.

And she was devastated. After Jatin’s marriage she had hoped that she would now at least look after her needs and her interests but she realised that her job was not yer over. She could not take retirement, no, not yet.

‘Jatin’, she said one day while going out on her walk, ‘come with me.’

‘But ma, I have some work…’

‘You can do it later’.

And then she gave him the talk which should have been given before marriage and if possible by the father.

‘Jatin did you get married just because you wanted a maid for yourself, no, don’t say anything now, just listen. You have to learn to be a friend a partner for your life. You need to talk, spend time with her, look at her needs too…..’

‘But ma, I cannot tolerate that she is so disorganized. She just likes to have fun always, which is not always possible and really, she talks so much.’

‘She is immature Jatin and young too. She will improve, I will groom her.’

And groom she had too; not only Jassy but  her son too. Bu there was a major problem both knew what  and why she was doing and both were not ready for that. Both were not ready to change

Meanwhile Jatin got an overseas offer. He was to go to Italy but Jassy  had college.

‘Ma, come with me?’

‘What about Jassy?’, asked Aunty.

‘She can come with us or if her studies are important, she can stay here’.

‘She will stay here and I will stay here too’

‘But why…………’

‘When she got married to you Jatin, I accepted her into my life as a daughter. She may have many imperfections but still she is a person with a loving heart and clear conscience. Without her parents around, it is my responsibility to look after her. Not that she cannot manage alone but it is my duty to look after her. And while both of you will be far off, check if you really need each other in your lives, if not get separated’.

‘Huh?’

‘Yes, there is no need to carry on with an unwanted relationship.’

And so Jatin went on to Italy while Jassy and Aunty remained back to build a new future.

J & J-life’s like that?

Previously…….

When Jatin finally came to the bedroom, he was relaxed. It had been a good day. He had acheived his targets at office and at home, though apprehensive with is mother away, it had been pleasant. He smiled as he remembered Jassi cutting up roundels to make the prefect shaped roti. In fact the days had been surprisingly  pleasant.

But then he became sombre. Was marriage supposed to be like this? No he had never fallen in love, nor did he have any girlfriends,  he was not gay. Then what was he? He often wondered about that.

His parents had divorced when he was a teenager. They had been in the US for about 4 years then. When he had needed his father the most; he had not been with him. He had seen his mother defeated, yet taking his responsibility. Sometimes he had felt guilty  because if he had not been there, his mother could have been carefree, enjoyed her life alone but no. She had been in her 30′s single with a teenaged son quietly carrying on her roles as a mom.

It had not been any different when his father was staying with them. He had always  been out of the house while his mother had carried on the home front.

It seems that they had never been compatible. The marriage had been forced on them. While his mother had adjusted and accepted the situation and had tried to make a success of the marriage. His father had never been able to reconcile.

So, was his situation any better. Jatin thought. His mother had not forced him to marry Jassy. So why was he backing up now, were his father’s genes acting up now?

Jassy was in her own turmoil. Everything was so different here. Leave the outside world, everything was different inside the home too. In her place all spoke in hearty tones; cracking jokes, back slapping each other but here Aunty and Jatin spoke in such a prim and proper manner that sometimes she had difficulty in hearing them. And then everything had its place and had to be kept accordingly too. You just could not lie down on the couch or sit cross-legged on the chair. You just could not relax in this home.  And Jatin was such a mystery.  How was she supposed to live in such a place for the next 40-50 years.

And the worst part was there was no one to talk to. If only at this time, her mother had been alive…………………

 

to be continued

 

J & J-First Steps

Jassy woke up with a start.  Not that she had a good sleep. The whole night had been spent tossing and turning. Reason? It was going to be the first day that she would be handling all responsibilities of ‘her’ home. ‘Home’, it felt queer. Only one month at this new place and she was supposed to call it as her home. Wierd. A girl spends 20-21 years at her parental home and then she gets married and within seconds she is supposed to call the new place as ‘home’. But now was not the time to mull over facts; there was a lot to be done.

Jaswanti had been the darling at her home. Pampered yet taught the virtues of hard work, raised modestly yet taught to respect everyone, taught to be self-reliant yet be humble. And though she was self-sufficient, the death of her parents and her brother in an accident devastated her. She had managed to live alone for two years., finish her graduation, yet living in ah empty house pained her. And so when Shakuntala aunty their neighbor who had migrated to USA asked her hand for her son, she agreed. There were many reasons to her agreeing, the primary being that she knew them well and secondly she knew that she could pursue her education further.

Jatin had always been the shy types. She never knew what he wanted or what he thought of. Her ‘suhaag raat’ had nothing of what the magazines said or the TV show showed. HE had just muttered, ‘you must be tired’ and had switched off the lights and both of them had slept-separately.

And so when Shaku aunty said that she was going to meet her sister in London, Jassy trembled. She suspected that she had left so that both she and Jatin could spend some time alone. And today was the first day.

 

 

The day had went on well. She had manged to finish housework, and started on with her studies- yes she was planning to do a diploma in human relations.  And it was dinner time now. Now Jatin was a finicky eater. Everything was to be home made. While all the others could be managed, it was rotis that she dreaded. Firsttly her rotis would not be soft and melt in the mouth types and secondly they were never round.

 

Jatin came, he ate.. silently and when he was leaving he said, it does not matter if the rotis are hard- you will improve with practice but at least make them round.

Jassy sighed. She knew Jatins obsession with perfection in shapes. Even when they used to play in the yard as kids, the boxes in hopscotch had to be equal and perfectly squared.

 

From then on Jassy made perfect round rotis. Though small they were all equal and round.

The fourth day Jatin peeped in the kitchen just before dinner time to see how Jassy was managing to make such equally round rotis and smiled.On the kitchen platform were half a dozen oddly shaped supposedly rotis. Jassy would cut each  into rounds with the help of a side plate just before roasting it on the griddle!!

to be continued

 

 

How it happened

‘I am fed up,’ I screamed. My sister searched for somebody who could bail her out of this problem. Bhavaji ( my brother in law) had escaped, very well knowing that a volcano was about to erupt.

My problem was peculiar. I wanted to get married. Yes, you might be shocked, but that’s what I wanted to do. I had done my graduation, my post graduation and even started working staying in a hostel and now I wanted a home of my own with a partner.

Amma had been ready to get me married off as soon as I finished my MBA but I had asked for a year of full freedom. Yes, I had been away from family for long but I needed a year to have financial freedom too. A year in which I earned and spent it as I liked.

But no, not for me ‘that’ freedom. Living in a metro, facing the cut throat competition in the corporate world. I wanted someone to share my life with. 🙂 Yes, my sister was just a block away. But no, I wanted to ‘settle’ down.

I had met many guys but after a time all had lost their sheen 😀 Somehow no one measured up to my standards. I wanted a guy who was self-made, opinionated, devoted yet egoistic, family centric, looks; money did not matter but a person whom I could be proud of. Somehow, whomever I met did not measure up.

And so when I said I wanted to be married, everyone went on high alert. My horoscope was opened and we paid a visit to the Kuldevata (family deity).

The first person who matched was based in Mumbai and so we met one day and we disliked each other to the core. I stayed mum and rejoiced when his rejection came through.

After that there was a lull. Thats when I screamed, ‘I am fed up’

My sis in her exasperation got ready to take me to a meet of ‘eligible’ guys and girls at the GSB mandal, Sion. I went and hated it. I spoke quite arrogantly there. Two guys even came and told me that you should not have spoken like that, I smiled and said……’Get lost’.

After that for two days I did not talk to either my sis or my parents. Yes, it was not their fault but then being the youngest I am entitled for being a brat. On the third day, I got a solid lecture and I got on speaking terms. 😀 ( My sis knows very well how to handle me, it is she who taught me the first letter, the first of everything, so obviously she knows).

Around that time my mama (maternal uncle)called up and told my sis that a guy working in Bahrain was taking his flight on the 12th, he would be in Mumbai for a night and would meet me. It was already the 10th and everyone was frantic. I was cool. No one could force me to marry a guy whom I did not like, could they?

The meeting was fixed in a small restaurant near Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Mumbai. On the D day my pacchi(mother’s sister) called up to check whether I was wearing a sari or not. And so we started at the appointed time, when there was another phone call from mama. ‘Don’t be a threesome, carry a stone if your son does not agree to accompany you’, was what he instructed and so my nephew had to come along.

We crossed the road, ( my sis used to live across the temple), entered the garden, walked across and saw two guys standing, one with a green striped shirt. I looked at him and said , ‘this is the guy I am going to marry’. And my sis said, ‘You want to marry and so you feel like that’.

But I did marry him. Surprisingly we did not ask each other much questions, neither there was much courtship till the time we got married 11 months later. It was just acceptance. As soon as I met him, there was quite a change in me, the fiery me; calmed down.

It is ten years since we got married. And though these ten years have been like a roller coaster, we have met each challenge secure in the knowledge that each will be there for the other always.