I came to Mumbai just after my marriage some 15 years back. As an introvert, a bit reticent small town girl I didn’t know what was my new life going to be like. I was of the breed of girls who weren’t much ambitious, didn’t even ask how much the husband earned or what properties her in-laws had. I was not the street smart, confident young woman who was focused and sure of what she wanted. At that point of life, I simply wanted to focus on my new chapter, with a tall lanky man whom I had just met 6 months back in an arranged marriage setup.
I still remember we arrived late in the night in Mumbai; me, my husband, his close friend, and our luggage traveling through the dusty path from Baroda. The express highway wasn’t in existence then. I landed in a 1 BHK flat which was going to be my new setup, the beginning of my new life with my young new husband. I didn’t know cooking, I didn’t know how to wake up in the morning without my mother waking me up, I didn’t know how to manage a home.
Call me silly, but I got exposed to credit and debit card thanks to my husband. I didn’t know how to operate an ATM card. I didn’t know that Andheri was compartmentalized into East and West like the other suburb stations. I didn’t know which BEST bus would take me to my new office. I didn’t know how much rice would be sufficient for the two of us.
But that tall lanky man held my hand, guided me at every step. He would calmly without complaint take the half burnt rotis that I prepared for him every morning. He didn’t watch the shape or taste, he only saw the love and feelings of a young naive wife in it. He calmly explained me that ATM slip was not to be left but torn and thrown in the bin before leaving the ATM. He lovingly taught me how to make rajma and kaali daal.
I, who never could hear an alarm ring, used to wake up religiously every morning and try to learn and do things that I had never done in my life. No, there was no compulsion; it was my own choice. We would order pizza in the evenings when both felt really tired. We would share a bottle of coke in that 1 bedroom-hall-kitchen which had no fancy furniture or gadgets. His 6-foot frame would lean over my 5-foot frame to give a hug of warmth, assurance and love.
Isn’t it or shouldn’t be that marriage should be all about? You give some, he gives some, you learn some, he ignores some. In all these years, we both have never ever dragged our parents or siblings in any fight. I have seen things turn ugly when couples drag their respective families in fights. Too much scrutinizing on the girl’s “beauty” or the boy’s “salary” doesn’t assure a happy marriage. When two people accept each other with all their flaws and instead of changing them appreciate what’s good in them does a marriage become successful.
Often people claim that we are “lucky”; yes we are lucky to have found each other but it’s not that we haven’t had to work on our relationship; only we never felt that we needed to make “adjustments”. He doesn’t eat fish, I do, but I have never forced him to eat neither he has forced me to give it up! A simple example but it makes a lot of difference.
I always say more than religion, food, caste, beauty, salary; its the compatibility that matters the most; it is what makes a couple the eternal friends.