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'But why do you want to marry me?'
Don Jawan

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December 08, 2006

I love you.

Three massive words.

Overwhelmed as you may be in a relationship, the comfort level is hardly ever enough to bring in the big L word with absolute assurance. Will you scare her off? Will she say it back? It's the murkiest of terrains, and debuting the word is a crazily loaded bungee jump.

But once you're past it, you're Gold. After a while The Word slips out effortlessly, casually dousing verbal flames in an instant. It becomes routine, after which it becomes near impossible to stop tossing {heart}s into everyday conversations. Truly, we never sound as stomach-turningly vile as when our L-words are being favourably received.

And while The Big Three are make-or-break words for a relationship, they aren't the biggest. Try the Fatal Four. Ah yes, le question. Despite all the linguistic pyrotechnics you may embark on, the question must inevitably (knee-optional) boil down to WYMM. Will ya? As simple as that.

Gulp. Take a deep breath lad/ lassie, this one could sting. (Have I popped it, you wonder?) Suure, a few times. (And then?) Oh, settle down. Bullets ricocheted safely off serendipitous refusals each time, mercifully leaving a briefly-misguided rogue to his regular ways.

Not merely life altering, this is a question double-edged in the most lethal of ways. The No, of course, is instantly devastating. You're expecting her to leap through a hoop like an ecstatic dolphin, slipping on the ring with shrieked glee. In actuality, she's looking at you like a particularly repellent accountant at a fashion show: unwanted and completely out of his depth. The relationship hara kiri is obvious and absolute. You have altered the course of your collective history, and will be more of a doormat than ever. 

A Yes, usually directing the evening straight into a bubbly magnum, often results in as heady a rush as inferior champagne. You wake up slightly giddy with a 'Did-I-really' feeling throbbing behind your temples. Depending on your natural optimism, 10 minutes later this either subsides or you find yourself looking pensively, suicidally out the window. You inevitably feel you've jumped the gun.

Yet, let us attempt to be academic, looking at this as an ideal pairing wherein the man wakes up smiling, clutching his Yes triumphantly, feeling very chuffed. All is well with the world, is it not?

Not, chump. Over a latte next afternoon, she giggles at you with a coyness you don't recognise at all. The conversation seems deceptively regular, till she makes allusions to The Impending. 'Hang on,' you think, trying to frown hard enough to choke the sweat glands on your forehead into giving away your panic. 'Wasn't this going to be, you know, an eventual thing?'

No way, Jose. You asked, and now her every waking conversation (except perhaps the ones where you trail irrelevantly behind her as she expands her shoe collection) will be laced with generous helpings of 'When?' Within a week of your asking, she's already thinking up venues for a date you can't help but feel is ridiculously soon.

Yet, while the above situations are admittedly both brutal and inexorable, they have the benefit of clarity: there is no ambiguity involved in Yes or No.

But that isn't the worst, for at least there is an answer. You ask, looking on eagerly, optimistically, moronically at her waiting for a reaction. Sometimes, they perplexingly ask you to ask again, give them something more cliched and filmi they can consider romantic. Or they could look gravely at you, patting your hand as they decide they need more time to think.

The complexities really arise when they answer even The Question with one of their own. 'Why do you think we should get married?' All men are instantly stupefied, reacting with The Three Words words in reflex. 'Yes, darling, me too,' she says patiently, 'but why marriage?'

Welcome to hell, brother.

The worry is not in the fact that it's a trick question. Of course it is. She's gauging your reaction, your justification -- but having dated for a considerable while, you are somewhat used to that. The problem is that she's just posed an extremely pertinent question, one a lot of us try not to think about.

A pal was recently thrown into a funk by that counter Q, accompanied with the compulsory smile. After much deliberation, he assessed the situation as her being suspicious of his motives. 'What if she thinks I'm doing it only to salvage the relationship, as a way out?' Are you, I quizzed. 'Maybe,' he admitted.

However, sitting back and inhaling, we failed to find anything wrong with that aim. The beneficiary is the relationship, is it not? If marriage is the only way to take a relationship forward, then why is this proposition considered even remotely selfish?

Because, ladies and germs, the popping must be done only and purely out of The Three Words, and no other reasoning need ever be applied. If you are indeed unfortunate enough to get the third degree (though lucky to have found a mate as frustratingly cerebral), put back to wall, smile, and keep repeating The Three Word chant, ad infinitum.

Don Jawan is undeniably young and definitely single, besides being what you might call a 'metrosexual'. 

Don't miss his earlier columns!

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Number of User Comments: 11

Sub: what is he talking about???

dude has no idea what he's blah-blahing about. lots of words but just one strong message- BLAH...BLAH...

Posted by S Madhusudan

Sub: But why do you want to marry me?

this is an extremely stupid article. the article writer is just indulging in verbal masturbation

Posted by rajasekhar

Sub: Reality is the core

great article!!!!! specially when u ask the girl and she questions back the exact feeling that any man has for the particular women is 'shit ...

Posted by sumantro

Sub: nonsense

this is one of the worst articles on rediff so far. moderators pl set some standards

Posted by ajit

Sub: Well written!! want more of this!!!

In an age of dumbed down media..this is a well written article!! reminds me of the stuff I used to read in the UK...the language ...

Posted by Rajkumar


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