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Nikita Agarwal | January 22, 2003 11:22 IST
Prince Charming, where art thou?
Two-and-a-half years of marriage and one baby later, a friend of mine said, "I still don't know why I got married."
At the threshold of a new chapter in my life, at age 25, the 'M' word haunts me. While family members frantically advertise to find the right guy for me, I wonder what he would be like. Or rather, I wonder how married life would be.
"You lose your identity," some friends told me. Others said it was the best thing that ever happened to them. "Don't let your ego damage your relationship," warned yet others.
Am I ready to let 'me' turn into 'we'? I really have no answer, and that frightens me.
I have high expectations. Hopes, fears, dreams, nightmares all crowd my mind and create a muddled mess in there. I am aware he may not have the same tastes as me. After all, we would barely know each other when we commit. Is this the right way to choose a life partner? I have no answer, and it scares me.
I have seen friends through their first year of marriage: the roses-and-chocolates phase. Glowing with the joy of newfound love, companionship and all the attention that is generally showered on a newly married couple. Wedding gifts, a house to turn into a home, scores of little functions and ceremonies colouring your life. And the romantic magic behind slowly falling in love.
But soon the honeymoon is over. What then?
I don't know. It worries me.
I have seen perfect marriages falling apart. It seemed like a fairytale romance. And now they can't stand the sight of each other. Will that happen to me? I wonder.
I have heard of problems between spouses, read about marriage counselling and divorce. I hope to god I never need a lawyer or a counsellor.
My worldly counterparts tend to question the very principle behind marriage. Especially in today's world, when every individual is self-sufficient, marriage is a non-requirement, they claim. I mean, there are no separate roles anymore. The gender divide has vanished. So why get married?
I have no reasons, and that bothers me.
Despite all my fears, I look forward to finding my Prince Charming, the one who will sweep me off my feet. I dream of dressing in red, decked with gold jewellery -- of becoming the traditional Indian bride. Yes, that's me, as old-fashioned as you can imagine.
I have even decided what songs I want played at the wedding reception. I look forward to being a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother, a friend. I long to build my own little corner in this big world, a cosy little place to call ‘my home'.
I want to experience the delicate nature of a multitude of relationships that are forged when two people unite. I want to look proudly at my wedding ring and remember the times we have spent together. I want to have someone to come home to every evening, and talk about the smallest things that happened during the day. I want to be able to confess all my feelings to him. I want him to understand me, adore me, spoil me, pamper me. And I want to be able to do the same to him.
I want to have my own baby and argue over blue or pink, though the thought of pregnancy is very intimidating. I want to hunt for uncommon baby-names. I want to be responsible for a miracle called ‘birth'.
Typical woman? Well, what else did you expect?
Marriage conjures up myriad images before my eyes. Some delightful, some scary, but all in all, I think it's a risk I would like to take. The very uncertainty that I am afraid of lures me.
I can't help thinking about this stranger who will soon become a permanent part of my life.
Illustration: Lynette Menezes
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