of the Year
This is the season to get married, that is, if one had been
optimistic enough to have booked a community centre or needen
pokkhe an open park last season.
of people are uttering the kalema, swapping saffron
garlands and tying the wedlock (lock as in fix in place, fasten
and security device) after watching each other informally,
then formally, then getting consent of the parents by receiving
a ring, then going through paan and chini,
and spoiling a beautician's half-day labour in holud
just received a message from SMS, the Society of Married Spouses.
They are asking 'why?'
is this story of a man who rushed into his house to inform
his wife of three years that he has invited his friend over
for dinner. The wife was aghast in disbelief.
you seen the house? The bua is not back after Eid.
The children need to be given a bath. I need to do my hair.
The clothes need washing. The washing needs ironing. I am
yet to start a report my boss wants in first thing tomorrow
morning. There is nothing in the fridge…' She was interrupted.
is precisely why I invited him. The poor fool wants to get
married', said the husband.
occasions these days, a couple would select each other if
the mutual family environments permit. If not, the boy and
the girl may pretend to be strangers, and orchestrate their
affair as an arranged marriage.
are marriages where the couple have actually never met before.
How exciting and perilous too!
may have witnessed happy, chawley, unhappy and broken
types in both kinds, in the union of the known and the unknowns.
For ages it has remained enigmatic which is better. In truth
neither is. Both are equally good or bad, depending on when
you had your last fight.
happy marriage it is the wife who provides the climate, the
husband the landscape', so said Maltese-born British writer
and novelist Gerald Brenan.
novelist and critic Robertson Davies said, 'As a general rule,
people marry most happily with their own kind. The trouble
lies in the fact that people usually marry at an age when
they do not really know what their own kind is'.
in trying to reach that optimum age people wait. Then they
discover they cannot decide on a suitable partner. Within
a few years they are paid back in their own coin and no one
finds them suitable.
also wait because they are scared of marriage after seeing
so many disasters and bruised bodies and ego. They perhaps
believe in American writer, journalist, and humourist Helen
Rowland, who defined husband as 'what is left of the lover
after the nerve has been extracted'. Cruel thought that.
are famous lovers, so we hear, and we know why because of
the French writer Honoré de Balzac, who explains, 'It
is easier to be a lover than a husband, for the same reason
that it is more difficult to show a ready wit all day long
than to produce an occasional bon mot'.
setting up a marriage ceremony is relatively simple, if one
has the means. Marquee, food, décor, flowers, band
and service if one is willing to see his bank account deplete.
The most difficult and financially unobtainable task is invitation.
a guest list is arduous. The list of the bride's brother,
who wants to invite even someone he befriended at the shopping
centre three days back, is usually longer than that of the
father, which is understandable because both know who is paying.
is to pre-empt who will come and who will not, and for how
many the arrangements should cater to.
is not uncommon to see dyags of unspent cooked food
being loaded on to vehicles for taking home or sent to the
new beyaee bari. Worse still is the sight of people
waiting with wet hand and a pretentious wry smile as the murgee
is given the jabai. No one is to blame. The task
is tricky and has always been a mathematical wonder.
days of traffic mayhem, inviting everyone in person is impossible.
But that is what is still expected and inability not easily
forgiven, hardly every forgotten. Improvisation, such as a
note accompanying the couriered card seeking forgiveness for
not going in person despite the best (ha! ha!) of intentions,
is to some extent practised and acceptable.
be lucky not to find home the people you have gone to invite.
That saves time and is easy on the tummy. The skill is to
find out when they are not home.
the next time you come home and find a card, or if someone
invites you by mail, or if you find arrangements are not in
complete order. Just pray for the newly weds, seen or unseen.
allow me to quote American writer, comedian, and pianist Phyllis
Diller as a piece of advice to all people wed, 'Never go to
bed mad. Stay up and fight.'
(R) thedailystar.net 2005