Friday, June 10, 2011

Soul Mate or Sole Mate?

My 38th wedding anniversary is just round the corner and I wanted to put down what life has been to me after I got married. Did I feel more secure? Less secure?? Ours was an arranged marriage so till date my heart refuses to skip a beat when I think of him. I think I really don’t have a romantic bent of mind. Parents got us married and after the initial hiccups we simply adjusted. I care a lot for him and he too reciprocates in equal measure. There are times when I wonder what if it had been someone else whom I had married? I suppose I would have taken my responsibilities seriously irrespective of whom or what my husband happened to be. I suspect that it is the same with my husband. Now that brings up my next question. In an arranged marriage like ours is the spouse one’s soul mate or sole mate.


Long back when my children were in their high school classes my husband and I would have our chat sessions while getting ready for work. I’d make him help with dicing vegetables and scraping coconut and we would have something or the other to talk about. It would be Lalu Prasad Yadav’s fodder scam one day or Jayalalitha’s foster son’s lavish wedding on another day. By then the children would get ready for school on their own and pack their lunch boxes too. I remember a particular instance when my second daughter who is normally quiet said-

How much can the two of you talk, mummy? You go on and on and find new topics to discuss every other day.”

Does it bother you in any way?”


“No, it doesn’t except when it gets a little loud. I wonder how our neighbor’s don’t protest.”


Nearly 20 years have gone by and we still chatter like school children. To be correct, I must add that he talks and I listen. But the timings have changed. He has retired from work while I haven’t. I ought to have superannuated this January but our retirement age has been increased by 2 years and I continue to work. It is something like this nowadays.


I am up around 5:30 in the morning and by then my husband has had his morning coffee. I rub my eyes and pick up my tooth paste and brush and my soul mate gets going-



“Do you know Kalmadi ………………

Or

“Ramdevbaba ……………….


Or


“Kanimozhi…………………


I have to tell him that I need to freshen up. Could he please wait a few minutes till I get done?



Otherwise I have just managed to climb the 52 steps that lead to my flat and slid into the sofa after throwing my purse and bag aside.


“Can you believe it? The spectrum scam …………”


I feel like asking him if it cannot wait till I have a wash and make myself a cup of tea? But I don’t. We are not only soul mates but sole mates as well. He is otherwise a very quiet person and takes time to make friends. He gets invited by other senior citizen to join their group but I am the only senior citizen he feels inclined to interact with. Like children that expect the mother to give them her attention once they return from school my husband too would like me to give him my time and attention. He has been alone all day and this is one thing he expects of me. Very early in our marriage we had mutually agreed that we would not discuss each other’s family. All families had a good side and a bad side in their set up. So it has to be national and international news that we discuss. And what do I get in return?


I am dragged for my morning walks since it benefits my health. Were it not for him I would sleep till seven in the morning. May be I wouldn’t but I would not religiously go for my walk.


He religiously wipes my car each morning. When I ask him to get someone to do it he refuses saying that they don’t do a good job of it. True, but prying eyes and wagging tongues do not keep quiet. Mr. Cha, the short one mentioned in an earlier post got into my car one morning asking to be dropped off at the market. For the favor I do to him he gets started-


“R does a good job of wiping the car each morning. He does it with a lot of care and concern”.

I wondered if he was being sarcastic. He then continued-

“He doesn’t drive does he?”

“No” I replied.

“Happy to be escorted by you, ha, ha!”

I felt like dumping him midway. When I reported this conversation to my husband he laughed it off saying-

“He is plain jealous that you can drive while his wife and daughter in law cannot. He has to wait for his son to take him anywhere in town. Poor man you should understand his predicament”. He is otherwise a sensitive person but when I am in the picture he has no complex and I love him for his simplicity.


Apart from this there are a hundred ways in which he makes himself useful and I do the same. He is technophobic and cannot handle ATM cards, internet booking/banking or even the mobile phone. And I’ve stopped making beds ever since I started working. I think that is what marriage does to one. A sole mate becomes a soul mate or is it the other way round? The two seem interchangeable. These days he takes up for my brothers and sisters while I defend his. The distinction has blurred and ours is one big family. We are planning a visit to Chennai and he has started accumulating ghee for my niece (sister’s daughter) who is expecting a baby!

I suppose arranged marriage is as good as love marriage if ‘soul’ and ‘sole’ become complementary as it does in most.






28 comments:

Phoenixritu said...

I simply loved this post. This is true partnership, much more enduring than any other. Its immaterial if a marriage happens due to love or lust or is arranged by parents. What makes the marriage survive is partnership

Amrita said...

Best wishes for Happy Wedding Anniversary. I wish your life to be full of love and understanding forever!It is a very heart warming post. Ours was also an arranged marriage and my husband and are are not only sole mates but also Soul mates :)Although my marriage was "arranged" I was not "forced" to marry the boy of my father's choice. The final decision whether or not to marry was my own and of course my husband's, because he wanted to marry me as well :)At the end of our first meeting, we were confident that we wanted to marry each other. I can today say without any doubt that it has been a good marriage. Sometimes I do feel that it was a huge risk that we took... we were strangers after all. We did not actually know each other. And yet we trusted our instincts on this. Maybe this was what is called the "Love-at-first-sight" I think that Richard Bach explains this in the following quote...



Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years

Ardra said...

This feeling that builds up and grows with years, the care, the concern, the blurring of yours/ mine...this is what are marriage are supposed to be I think...
A most heart warming post.
Wish you both many more years of loving, caring and sharing together...

R's Mom said...

Wishing you a super duper 38th anniversary...38 years of togetherness..awesome!

I have an arranged marriage and I am praying I have the same kind of bond with RD just as you have with your husband..thanks for sharing the journey through the years...its a lovely post..the one which you would want to read after a major with the husband :)

Aathira said...

This post got me thinking... marriage is all about adjustment and being equal partners. I hope I remember that when I reach my 38th wedding anniversary :)

Happy Wedding Anniversary!

Anonymous said...

Lovely lovely post. I think this companionship is what we look for in the marriage isnt it?

38years?! :-) *Bow down* - We just had 6 years...

RS said...

Oh! How did that come as Anon? :-(

Ugich Konitari said...

HHG,

What a lovely post ! I wish I had met your husband when you guys were in Mumbai last. Next time we will make him part of our blogger lunch. Or maybe I will simply come to Jamshedpur !

Best wishes for your Anniversary .....

Hip Grandma said...

Phoenixritu:I guess it is a viable partnership that sustains a marriage through thick and thin.

Amrita:Thanks for your wishes. Your quote was very apt.I think arranged marriages are less risky because the ground work and background check is conducted by parents. There is no coercion these days and parent at best do the shortlisting. And when the final decision is that of the couple it is all the better. Glad to hear that your hubs and you are soul mates as well as soul mates. Cood luck for a long and fulfilling relationship.

Ardra:Thanks. If basics are taken care of it is easy for a relationship to build. I think the head heart co-ordination is important.

R's mom:Saturday fights are not just your monopoly. We have them too.I think your suggestion is good. I'll make him read this post after a tiff.

Aathira:I remember my MIL advising me to wait to get to know my husband better before taking the liberty of criticizing him. "You have to grow old together" were her words. I found it annoying then i realize its importance now. Being formal initially helps one to adjust better.

RS:Marriage should be a right blend of many ingredients for it to work. Companionship will autimatically build.

Suranga:Come over to Jamshedpur. We can have a great time together. I am sure my husband would love to know your views on the many things you blog about.

Sands said...

I have been a lurker for a bit now but had to comment on this post. Beautifully done. Mine was an arranged marriage too and I can see much similarity to our lives here in your post. I am not anywhere near retirement and neither is he, but somehow I can picture us just like you when we do get there! Except I would be the one chatting away :)

Arundhati said...

Lovely post. Best wishes for your wedding anniversary

Clueless said...

Such a beautiful post! Happy 38th wedding anniversary!! I create a lot of trouble around the house about who does what around the house, in the hopes that we reach the sort of compatibility that you have with your husband - a joint effort. I hope it pays off. I do see a huge change in my husband who started off with the attitude that cooking and upkeep of the house was my job, being the woman. But we are working towards sharing responsibility - but I tell you, its not easy making the man do his share.

Deepa said...

Happy 38th Anniversary dear HHG !!
LOL at the national and international news discussion :) Now I cannot get upset with my husband when he discusses office news/ world news ;-)
But as you rightly said, in many cases I have seen the ones who maintain a slightly formal relationship have it easier than others who take it too casually...

Renu said...

happy wedding anniversary and wsh you many more like this!!!
its a heart warming post and encouraging me to write my experiences:)..may be...

dipali said...

This is such a sweet post! I see so much true love, loyalty and companionship here! All good wishes to both of you on your coming anniversary.

The Brown Vagabond said...

Congratulations HHG! This is such a beautiful post. Not all arranged marriages work like yours. It takes two to tango and in your case, it has worked well.


I love the part of each of you taking up responsibility for a chore and discussing current affairs. It is safer to talk of current affairs than about family and friends.

KADMANIVASI said...

Wishing you togetherness on your anniversary! Loved your blog!

Hip Grandma said...

sands:Welcome here.I am the chatterbox usually but when we have a 1 on 1 conversation he opens up. hope your marriage grows to be a beautiful experience.

Arundhati:Thanks.

Clueless:Welcome here.

'but I tell you, its not easy making the man do his share..'

Do I need to be told? Sometimes I feel like saying 'No thanks. I'll manage'

But let me assure you that with time an amicable arrangement will be reached.

Deepa:Thanks.

'Now I cannot get upset with my husband when he discusses office news/ world news ;-)'

No you can't. But you can lend a whole or half an ear as it suits you. I do that when the information gets repetitive.

Renu:Thanks Renu. please go ahead and share your experiences. we'd love to hear them.

dipali:Thanks. I think after 38 years we deserve this much don't we? We means people like you and me ha!ha!

the Brown Vagabond:Thanks and welcome here. Some marriages work and some don't. It hardly matter whether it is a love marriage or arranged. There are times when I feel that I should do the churning of butter and other such stuff but he does a better job of it and I find it messy. Similarly I've tried making him handle ATM cards but end up doing it myself because he needs to be helped at every step. So while it may not be the conventional role of man and wife in a household it works well for us.

Kadmanivasi:Thanks Geeta. But don't let Ramani read it. Anna doesn't and I am safe.Ha!ha!

Anonymous said...

A simple, honest post that translates into a beautiful poetic interpretation of what a lovely and successful marriage could be! Vazhthukkal!

Priya

Shachi said...

Gmom, LOVED LOVED LOVED your post. I'm the chatterbox in our relationship and in many areas we have the role reversal that you are talking about....so I can relate to what you have written.

Truly something to read after a tiff ;)

Shachi said...

Oh, and happy happy anniversary! 38 years....WOW!

hillgrandmom said...

Happy Anniversary HHG! I love the title :-)I also think that when two people are together for a long time, they grow more similar. [I've been married 39 years]

Hip Grandma said...

Priya:Thanks.Success in a marrige depends on one's interpretation of it.

Shachi:I am glad i am not alone.Thanks for your company. i can imagine my Ma in law frowning at me for making her son do 'auratiya kaam'. Honestly he does it out of interest. I have no role in training him.And thanks for your wishes.

hillg'mom:susan, would you believe that I thought about you this very morning and wondered what your reaction would be. And you are right. after so many years together we tend to get similar.

Just Like That said...

God bless both of you with many more years of love, HGmom. It may not have been there in the begining, but now it shines thru every word. :-) Please pass my best wishes to your soulmate.

Hip Grandma said...

JLT:My soul mate does not read what I write and I don't want him to get puffed up.However, I'll convey your wishes to him.

Tassu said...

Well you started off with a question but ended up answering it. Uncleji sounds to be a very supportive spouse one can dream of having.You both are soul mates!! You guys share a very beautiful bond difficult to get it described in words. I have always read that with age a couple should be able to converse better with each other and you guys just fit in so well.:-)

asian dating said...

Amazing love story! I can say that you are one of the survivors who became happy after the arranged marriage concept. I can say that 2 out of 5 couples became successfully happy and satisfied because as you could realize arranged marriage is following the order of your parents even to the point that you don't like or even love that person.

Anyways, I'm so happy for both of you. You inspired us that arranged marriage can be successful if both of you will cooperate.

Blogger said...

Searching for the Best Dating Website? Create an account and find your perfect date.