Rambling #15

This is probably the first time in my blogging existence that I am plugging in multiple posts in a day! I’m lagging way behind the rest in this Rambling Challenge, am 10 posts short of catching up with the days I missed out. Or is it 11, considering I joined the  a day late? *Faints*  Let me try if I can make up till half way through the count at least.

Anyway, the last few days have been largely spent getting around with my parents in town, knowing the city a bit closer, visiting their friends, having some of them over to our house even.

Last few days have also been about grumbling to my parents about some of their friends for their annoyingly persistent ways to connect despite the reservations to meet them. Which made me realize that it can be tough to tolerate some people for their quirky ways, yet some relationships can manage to remain unharmed for they may deserve a better treatment than they get.

And then there are some ties which need clipping off despite your wish to hold on to them. Unfortunately last week saw one such snipping off of a relationship much against the wishes.

february ramblings

 

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The week where I learned to let go..

It’s not often that I get overly affected by people who disappoint me by their actions or inactions. Yes I do get hurt by people, but I dont let my mind brood over them for long. I move on. But when the people in question are those whom I consider close to me, then I feel terribly let down. Let down by the people I felt close to. Let down by my own feelings that put them in such high regard. Then again, I don’t like it one bit when the negativity inside me begins to fester. Which is why I make peace with them soon enough, either by reaching out to them or giving in when they reach out. No, I don’t confront them either or seek explanations for their actions. I know by saying this I may not be projecting a very strong trait. Call me weak or cowardly, but the fact is that I try as much as possible to avoid confrontations.

Confrontations make me uncomfortable. So when someone says/does something hurtful to me, I walk away or just keep quiet and ignore the person. If the person is an acquaintance or someone I barely know then I stop acknowledging his/her existence entirely. This is my way of moving on.

But if someone close to me hurts me through their words or actions, then obviously I feel the stab but something holds me back from cutting the person off. Then I just lie low and stop interacting with the person till I have made peace with the situation.

Lately I have been sensing some disappointing vibes from people I felt close to. The very process of getting hurt, feeling bad, being taken for granted, harbouring negative thoughts has been pulling me in.

The week gone by made me take a step back and introspect. It made me wonder why it was that people did what they did, why it was that I got affected by what they did. Did they even know that I was hurt? Was I taking them a bit too seriously, when I didn’t need to? In all probability, for them, I may not be as close a friend of theirs as I believe I am. In which case was it not best to let go of whatever binding I might have felt? Pondering further, I felt that I was probably wrong in giving so much of importance and thought to people who didn’t deserve that attention from me.

The week gave me some wonderful moments with people who mattered to me and that truly made me realize that it was THEM and those happy moments that I should be giving more importance to.

As I write this post now, I am telling myself to accept that that some relationships may not necessarily command the same level of sincerity that you expect. Which is why it is best to let go of them, of your notions.

To quote Hermann Hesse

Some of us think holding on makes us strong but sometimes it is letting go

Thank you Corinne..your post gave me the much needed push to organize my thoughts more clearly!

Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage?

There’s some fierce discussion happening on IHM’s post, with many commenters voicing their thoughts on arranged marriage vis a vis love marriage. Now I agree with some of what is being discussed.

I agree how ridiculous it is when in an arranged marriage the boy and the girl, absolute strangers to each other, are thrown in together on the day of the wedding and then expected to have sex on the very first night.

I agree its being gravely unfair to the girl mentioned in the post, when she is considered cruel for “denying sex and not actively participating in it ”  and not the husband who, in my opinion, is the one being cruel by insisting on having sex.

Yes quite a few arranged marriages are about this notion that a bride, for that matter groom too, is expected to remain clueless about what or who is she/he getting married into. And more often than not the bride is expected to adjust to the new surrounding, new family, etc.

Not all arranged marriages, mind you. Which is where I want to butt in.

I dont agree with the generalization that all arranged marriages are bad. I had an arranged marriage. And no I was not forced into it. I had every freedom to opt for or out of it as per my will. And I am very certain that if I had fallen in love with someone before I got engaged or married, and wished to marry him, my parents would have been as forthcoming. It was sheer chance that I didnt find anybody to my liking until my parents found a suitable boy. And when they found him it was again upto me to decide whether I really wanted to marry him or no.

We had a brief period of 5 months in which time my then-fiancee-now-husband truly realized that we did want to marry each other. And in those 5 months we discussed every possible apprehension, every possible anxiety creeping inside us, got to know each other well enough to get a better understanding of our relationship and also of our future. Believe me, if even one of us had had a slight doubt, we would have backed out and our families would have been just as supportive.

Love or arranged, a marriage has to entail certain amount of adjustments and compromises. It is just as possible for two people in a love-marriage to realize later that they are not compatible enough to live together as two people in an arranged marriage to realize how much they were meant to be together!

Its all subjective. We cant generalize.

In my opinion a marriage if arranged by the families needs to ensure that the bride and groom have enough time to meet, understand each other and gauge how accepting each one is to the other’s flaws and strengths before they tie the knot. I know its still not a guarantee that the marriage will work. But then neither is a love marriage, right? No marriage is a guarantee unless the couple involved takes equal effort and care to nurture the relationship, make compromises, adjust while respecting each other’s principles, help each other to grow. And yes I reiterate, this has to be mutual.

To me , my marriage holds as much importance as a choice marriage for the simple reason that R & I, although found for each other by our families, chose each other!

No I have nothing against choice marriages. I am very much for it and endorse it wholeheartedly. But I am not against arranged marriages either. I am all for an arranged marriage which is arranged keeping utmost in mind the interests and decisions of the couple-to-marry.

Does marriage change a person?

**For the long rant, blame me not, but PNA :D. Her post prompted me to write it 😀**

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Let me rephrase it and ask that question to myself. Has marriage changed me? Well, I’d say it will depend on the way I look at change. If it means change in the way I smile then I’d say no, marriage hasn’t changed me. I still smile the same. If it is change in the way I walk, then no again. I still walk the same- very fast! If it means change in my choice of clothes, then no. I like to wear my saris and suits just as much as I love to wear my jeans and tees. And I still wear them, albeit the size has changed though :D.

Thats the kind of change the society normally expects a girl to undergo as soon as she attains the ‘married’ tag, right? She is told, ‘Ok, now that you’re married, this is how you should smile, this is how you should eat, this is how you should sit, this is how you should talk to your husband, this is what you should be wearing,” ” What? Jeans? Nooooo, you should only wear sarees” so on and so forth. She has to endure piercing glares from them if she is heard addressing her own husband by his name and not ‘ettan/chettan** or A-ji, O-ji Sunoji. She is expected to change her approach towards her parents and give more importance to her in-laws. She is even asked to seek permission from them if she wishes to see her parents. Oh yes, I’ve come across households where such norms are practiced.

This is what bothers me. How can the society judge how a marriage should or should not work. Its for the people involved in the relationship to decide isnt it? If I choose to address my husband by his name, does it make me respect him any less? If I spend time with my parents just as much as I do with my inlaws, does it mean that I’m dishonoring my marriage? Or if I choose to put sindoor in my forehead can I claim that I wish for my husband’s well-being more than any other woman wishes for her husband? No. It will be so wrong on my part to even compare my love and respect for my spouse with anybody else. Its a matter of choice and understanding between the people involved. If my family and R’s family know what they mean to us and if R & I know and accept what we mean to our respective families, then I dont think any society can or should tell us how we should make our marriage work.

If thats what changing is then I can safely say I’ve NOT changed one bit. I’m fortunate and blessed to have grown up in a family which hardly paid any attention to these ridiculous societal norms as well as married into a family that didnt care for such norms either.

So when I was married some 10 years back I was accepted along with my giggly smile, my loud laugh, my brisk-walking style and much more. Not once was I made to feel as though I had to change myself. In fact R & my parents-in-law went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and welcome from day one.

My mother-in-law, who hated cooking, used to make my favorite dishes and wait for me to get back from work so she could surprise me! Imagine coming home after a hard day’s work, to the delicious sight of your favorite mutton-curry! When it was the season of mangoes, my father-in-law, who couldn’t stand the sight of the fruit, would go about in search of the ripest mangoes so I could gorge on them.

When my mother-in-law, an ardent follower of Mata Amritanandamayi, expressed a desire to take me to her ashram in Vallikavu, I agreed to go, despite having my own reservations about ‘Amma’ because I felt for someone who cared so much about my happiness, my likes and dislikes, this was the least I could do to make her happy. No I was not forced to change my beliefs, I still maintained my reservations. I went there out of my own will, purely because, to me my mother-in-law’s happiness mattered more than my staunch beliefs. A mother-in-law who cared about my happiness just as much. Believe me, when she was showing me around the ashram, introducing me to her friends there, the glee and excitement that I saw in her eyes is indescribable.

If this is what change is then I’ve no qualms in saying that marriage has changed me. I have become more understanding towards relationships, more tolerant, more patient, more giving. And I can confidently say the same for my husband too. If I, who was a shy meek girl, am molded and pushed by my husband, into becoming this strong bold woman who is much surer of herself and if my husband who was a blunt and rough person, is molded into becoming a more sensitive and thoughtful person, then I’d say this change is totally worth it. If marriage changes you in a positive way, if a husband and wife help each other to grow as a person, then the change should be welcome.Of course it has to be two-ways. You cant expect only one person to change. The other person has to put in just as much effort and care to nurture the relationship.

So if I ask myself again, ‘has marriage changed me as a person’ I’d say it sure has. For the better 🙂

** In many parts of Kerala, malayali wives address their husbands as Ettan/Chettan as a mark of respect, which in literal sense means big brother