'Where's the time to hate, when there's so little time to love?'
It’s been just three weeks since I got married, and given the frenzied schedule, there is no sign of teddy bears or heart- shaped cushions, even in my dreams, says Divya Nair.
Is love already out of the window? Will Valentine’s Day be just another day or will it be special? I wonder…
For all those who believe that love is blind, let me tell you that marriage is an eye opener.
In fact, life after marriage is the real test of your love.
It’s been a little over two weeks since I got married, but it already feels like a year. Sure, the love is not any less – we still seal our conversations with mushy ‘I love yous’ and ‘I miss yous’- but that has always been the case, even when we were a long distance couple for four years.
I still remember our first Valentine’s Day, in 2011. He was studying in the US and had sent me a cute teddy bear, a cake, and a bunch of flowers.
Although it was a predictable gift, having come from a reluctant gifter, it was quite overwhelming.
Since we had met each other for the first time only a few days ago, it made me miss him much more.
The next year, 2012, he had returned to India for good and took me for a candlelight dinner – the first ever in my life.
With him for company, the music, food and ambience seemed just perfect.
In 2013, since both of us were working, we celebrated Valentine’s Day a week later with my birthday dinner and after party with friends.
Given the gradual progress of our relationship and corresponding V-day celebrations in the last three years, it is expected that we do something special for each other this year. But our frenzied schedules over the last two weeks have ensured that we keep our fingers crossed.
In fact, barring the five days we spent in Sri Lanka on our honeymoon, most of which of course was spent travelling and exploring new places, we have not really had the time to have a romantic conversation.
While the whole experience of the last two weeks has been immensely overwhelming, what with all the newfound attention and showering of love, it has also robbed us of making any private plans as a couple.
Since the time we landed back in the city of dreams after our honeymoon and switched on our cell phones, the device hasn’t stopped ringing.
We have been inundated with calls from friends and relatives inviting us home either for lunch or dinner over the weekend.
Given the overflowing list of relatives with whom we patiently posed and smiled at the wedding and reception party, even if we had to visit them only on weekends, we’d pretty much have the next six months’ lunch and dinner sorted.
However, the menu - as one of my brothers-in-law pointed out - will essentially be non-vegetarian – chicken/mutton biryani, fish curry/fish fry and/or chicken curry/lollipop.
For a vegetarian like me, it’s depressing to hear your folks ask you to alter your preferences. As if all the pre-marriage gyaan wasn’t enough, the food gyaan post marriage is like that song the mosquito sings when you’re fast asleep.
Much as you want to swat and silence it, you don’t want to wake up at the cost of your precious sleep. I politely pull over the blanket and concentrate on sleep.
When I was single, I feared Mondays; post marriage, I fear weekends.
I cringe when I have to answer a phone call on a Saturday morning because I fear I’ll have to dress up in fancy clothes and travel all the way on a hot afternoon just to have lunch.
I’m already missing the weekends when I could just eat, sleep and lazily watch a movie with family. The reality of a working Indian bride is anything but exciting.
On weekdays, even without the alarm, I wake up at 5 am just like my Amma used to, and after making breakfast and lunch, I return from work to make dinner for dad-in-law.
I sometimes miss the company of my mom-in-law who has been away in Delhi attending to my brother-in-law’s two-year-old kid who is unwell.
After a day’s work in the kitchen, by the time I crash in bed, it is past midnight and I’m in no mood for a romantic conversation.
Post marriage, even teddy bears and heart-shaped cushions have abandoned my dreams and been replaced by nightmares of dysfunctional cell phone alarm, overflowing milk on the stove, and lost home keys. I wake up several times in the night to check the water tap and reconfirm the time of alarm.
Besides my supportive parents-in-law, one of the few good things about our marriage so far is that we've graduated from being a long distance couple to a weekend couple – yes, he still works in Pune and I in Mumbai.
But the silver lining ends there.
The lack of sleep has not only taken a toll on our love life, but it has significantly affected my presence of mind. Last Saturday I switched on the washing machine only to realise after a good twenty minutes that I’d forgotten to add any detergent.
Every weekend, I really look forward to grab the sleep I lost over the week, so that I can go on a long walk with my husband, holding his hand, and catch up on the life we lost over the last few days. But I’ve realised that it will have to wait for now.
So, when I told my friend that I had no plans on V-day, she teased me: Are you already hating married life?
And I sang to her in true Bollywood style: Where is the time to hate, when there is so little time to love?
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Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/ Rediff.com