Marriage? It’s a truly great thing. If you are married to another man’s wife, that is. A lot of people ask me what it’s like to be in a happy married life. They think I was born married – some kind of a child groom, a male version of Balika Vadhu. Frankly, I bring the same heft and vast experience to the marital field as Arvind Kejriwal does to politics or Kunal Khemu to Rs 100 crore film club. So, let’s take one step at a time. I’ll start with the definition of marriage. It’s no different than a sibling relationship. Your wife is, to put it crudely, just your sister with whom you are mandated by society to have official sex. I am no Freud but I can assure you that marriage is a beautiful union of two previously happy people coming together, by the end of which one of them will die before the other, mostly under unnatural circumstances.
As Indians, we pride ourselves on the idea of marriage. There’s a lot of pressure on us to marry. Moreover, there are other ways in which parents think of marriage as a solution. If a wayward boy is causing grief at home, parents think, “Let’s marry him off before he gets completely out of hand.” It’s the same approach as catching hold of a bull in musthand tying him to a pole. I am not saying marriage is like being tied to a pole. Though that wouldn’t be so bad considering that poles are not given to frequent bouts of anger in which they throw you out of the house on a rainy night and then ask you suspiciously the next morning, “Stop shivering. Where the hell were you last night?”
Related reading: Happily married: A contradiction in terms
What I am about say is enough to convert any hard-core cynic into, um, an even more hard-core cynic.
The first few weeks of marriage are marvellous. Yup, they are. Because, usually, around this time you are honeymooning somewhere in an exotic European village or Imagica Water Park, depending strictly on how many cash envelopes you received at your wedding reception.
In many reported cases, cash envelopes are known to disappear mysteriously. So, if you want the first few days of your marriage to be memorable, employ a trustworthy Man Friday to look after the cash envelopes department at your reception.
Real conflicts begin once you are back from the honeymoon and into the ditch that is reality. The first big difference in your life is ‘how you once lived versus your current life.’ The day that you were away beer-binging with your friends the woman used that time to rearrange the house in a way that is now conducive to human living. Every single memory of your singledom is cruelly wiped away. The living room has Fabindia curtains, hanging lamps and paintings and artefacts. Walk into the bedroom and where there once hung unwashed jeans and undies with bullet holes you find a wind chime. And look, there’s sunlight!
The truth is, the fundamental difference between woman and man is that the man loves to draw the curtain, shutting sunlight out as much as possible because, let’s accept the truth, he prefers a dark room conducive to IPL binging, while the woman, every time she is in the room, wants the curtains wide open to let sunlight pour in. And yet, the good doctors always complain of calcium deficiency among the opposite sex! This is a primary point of conflict between married couples.
In fact, just by looking at how drawn the curtains are you can tell the whereabouts of the current occupant of the room.
The other conflicts are purely psychological. Like, at night, a marriage becomes an endless game of waiting and watching to see who will get up to switch off the lights, the TV, WiFi, lock the door, lock out the husband, etc. Here’s a little secret about wives. Once tucked in bed, wives lie there in a semi-vegetative state until a medical emergency arises, such as their wardrobe’s on fire or if they smell hazelnut Nutella! When it’s night, you must be thinking ‘sex’. Let me be completely honest here – sex is raunchy and hot. Married people are having more sex than single folks. Just that they are not having it with their own partners.
Related reading: The trick to a happy, joyful marriage
Now excuse me, will you? I am exhausted, what with all the sex! Might as well slip out of bed before my neighbour’s husband busts the party.