In my family when you marry a man, you also marry his car. I married a recklessly dented Matiz in 2007. A questionable choice and a clear downgrade from the lustrous steel coloured Astra I was so used to driving. "You can do better," a friend told me. And yes, indeed I could have. I could have married a luxury sedan. But I didn't.
Photo Credit: Mona Singh
For I was hopelessly in love. Or blinded by passion. At 23, it's hard to tell the difference. And in that clouded judgment, I perceived the dented Matiz to be a testimony of my man's rather adventurous nature. His uncanny charm. His chutzpah. The chipped-off paint on the hood lent a certain character and a whole lot of authenticity to his persona.
I was smitten. And so was he. Hence we thought the most mature thing to do was to get married. And so we did. On a day's notice. We talked about it over the phone on a Friday evening. And on Sunday we were married. A lot of people were disappointed, including the two of us.
The societal pressure was excruciating. We felt buried under the load of marriage. Relatives started inviting us for fancy dinners. Partly to celebrate. And partly to find out the root cause of our hurried alliance. We didn't know how to behave like a conventional married couple. We were at best roomies with a sexually binding contract at that time.
We didn't have much in common either. First off, he was a man. In every sense of the word. He grew up teasing girls and pushing friends into mosh pits at rock concerts. Whereas I was an uptight, Convent educated prude who would not even cuss behind closed doors. So we had issues. Not like any other couple.
We had issues of our own. Of immaturity. Of gender-disparity. Of youthfulness. We fought over things as trivial as: Who would turn the bedroom lights off in the night? Or who would get that last piece of chocolate cake? We had a weird sort of chemistry that would come and go in flashes.
We were oblivious to the complexities and turmoil of a serious relationship. We always did a simple math: 50:50. And at some level, it did work. Or perhaps it was our innocence. And ignorance. For none us knew the gravity of marriage.
Like everything else, we thought we could wing it. And we kind of did. Except for a string of hiccups, some huge fights and massive misunderstandings, we are still committed. And over the years, we have found a solid common ground that isn't going anywhere until we die. Food! And of course, our precious child. We are both extremely passionate about these two aspects of our shared lives.
Now we are that couple that goes to a restaurant, orders food like two hungry hippos, talks about it relentlessly until it is brought to the table and then maintains radio silence. Save the chewing and moaning noises.
Isn't that what marriage is all about? Growing pathetic together and then rejoicing in it. And for those still wondering about my choice, my marital status has now been upgraded to a Mercedes Benz. Not bad, I'd say.