How have you all been?
I have to give a huge thank you to everyone who responded to my last post. I had initially thought of disabling comments on that post since I felt it was more like a private conversation, but then I changed my mind. It was heartening to see the kind words, even if in response to a blog post.
Yes I’ve been guilty of writing very little on this blog in the past 2 months. Just been very busy setting up the house. Let me explain.
6 months of long distance marriage, right after the wedding. That’s our life story.
It took until 6 months after marriage for us to get settled in one city. And long distance right after marriage sucks, IMO. Well, I’ve also been told that after a few years of marriage, one will “long” for the distance, but let’s not go there now!
For the first month after marriage I stayed with hubby in Cochin where he was working then. I was on leave for that month. Then we both worked in two cities for 2 months. Then hubby dear came over to stay with me while he took a break between jobs. He had to get a new job since his existing job did not have vacancies in my city. So finally he got through new job, took a transfer to my city. And in December, we finally set up home together. So yes, since most weekends were spent in travelling, and the rest in hunting for a place to stay, finalizing on one, then setting it up, all the while working full-time, it left little time for anything else.
As for the 6 months shuttling back and forth, I treat that as an on-and-off live-in relationship!
In fact for almost a month into the wedding, we had not yet registered the marriage. I kept telling everyone in delight, just for the heck of it, that I was in an illicit relationship which was not yet made legal!! MIL laughed, amused and convinced that she had got a DIL with a screw loose…and my mother, well, she was scandalized to say the least.
So for this MM episode, let me leave you with a few incidents and snapshots accumulated over the months and dragged to the front through my memory.
* * *
Like it is with many astrologers who predict what an awesome twosome a Jodi is once a marriage takes place, two of the astrologers whom dad consulted once our marriage was over, unanimously declared that hubby dear and myself knew each other in our pichle janam. I did remember hearing something similar from another astrologer around the time of this proposal getting fixed, but I chose to ignore it for the sake of sanity.
This time, right after marriage, when dad called me up to tell us about the fresh predictions, I could not resist taking a dig.
Dad: Oh, and he also told us that you two were connected in your last birth.
Me: Oh really? So were we lovers or husband-wife in our last birth too?
Dad (after a pause): That I don’t know. They just said you knew each other in your last birth.
Me (seeing an opening): Oh yes definitely! He wooed me for a long time… I became his fiancée. And then in the end, he dumped me because…well…he didn’t want to commit long term to me. So I chased him and killed him. And committed suicide myself! And in this birth also, we have been brought together to fulfil our destiny!! I have become his wife to making his living life hell in this birth! I want revengggge!
Me: Now, isn’t that a fancier and descriptive version than what that astrologer told you?
I think my dad won’t be telling us about any more predictions any time soon!
* * *
Barely 2 months into our marriage, we had a cousins’ get-together at one of my cousins’ place in Kerala.
Hubby dear had just got his new job offer and we were thrilled about announcing it to the rest of the family.
Me: Attention ladies and gentlemen!
10 pairs of eyes turned towards me expectantly. The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.
Me: We have a good news to announce!
The rest seemed to happen in slow motion. 10 pairs of eyes widened in shock. Jaws dropped, as if to say, “so soon??”! Too late, I realised my choice of words were all wrong.
Two of my cousins who got married a few years before me and were yet to plan a family looked shocked even, with an expression that seemed to say: How dare I overtake them!!
Hubby and I burst out laughing.
Me: No no no nooooooooo! Not THAT!! I meant he has a new job offer, so we should be soon together in one place.
10 set of shoulders slumped in relief, as if to say, Bas??!! Phew!!
I tell you, it all lies in the presentation Life is always entertaining the way you choose to say it!
* * *
I generally do not wear sindoor on my forehead…except on rare occasions. We do not have the custom of wearing “choodas” – not that anyone would stop me if I wanted to though. However I do wear my wedding ring and mangalsutra. Not because I am particularly about wanting to “look married” but generally because it does not inconvenience me. You wouldn’t even make out it is a mangalsutra, it looks like an inconspicuous simple gold chain – anyone who knows the Kerala thali would know what I am talking about – as opposed to the heavy mangalsutra I have seen in some communities. Why am I explaining this? Simply to say I do not “look” married from any angle. When I turned up at work after my wedding leave, wearing the same kind of western clothes, no sign of sindoor, choodas or anything else, my friends were looking at me suspiciously: “Did you really get married? Koi farq nahi dikh raha hai! (There seems to be no difference)”. I just laughed in response.
The result came when I walked into the gym right after work, to take membership. The guy who was taking down my details, stopped at the column: Single/Married and looked up at me hopefully. (Although how it matters in a gym, I do not know. Which he later explained that they have a separate scheme for couples etc. hence he was taking down the details. Ok whatever.)
Then before I could say a word, he started filling out S-I-N-G-L…when I interrupted.
Me: No no I am married!
The guy paused and looked up at me suspiciously as if to ask: Are you sure?
I bit back an amused smile and nodded ‘yes’ emphatically.
His face fell and he went back to writing drawing a huge line over the S-I-N-G-L and noted M-A-R-R-I-E-D.
A huge grin formed on my face then. I think we have loads of scope of MM series here, don’t we? Let me go check out some of the hunks. Will keep you posted, folks!
* * *
Undakannan has a general habit of nudging and poking near and dear ones (and generally being restless). Usually he takes it out on his family. So his dad laughingly said that after our wedding they are free now coz he has someone new to irritate.
On one such day, hubby dear and I were at my mother’s place when my MIL’s call came. We were talking to her when I suddenly went:
Me: Your son is a menace! He is now pulling my hair!
MIL (laughing): Oh his dad is just as bad!
MIL: So what’s stopping you?
MIL: Slap him back!
MIL: He pokes you, you push him back. Simple. Don’t just sit there…do something!
Wow! Now I have official permission. In case you see a beaten up Undakannan anywhere, NOW you know what caused it!
Talk about forward thinking mother-in-law! I’m loving it!
* * *
My dad can take the cake for (lack of) subtlety. He doesn’t even TRY. Really.
This happened exactly ONE WEEK after my marriage. No, I am not kidding you.
Dad’s sms reaches me: “Did you hear about Aishwarya Rai’s pregnancy?” This was followed by a huge grin smiley , as if to say, take a hint * wink wink *
Me: “She got pregnant AFTER 4 YEARS OF MARRIAGE. Good example to follow, don’t you think?”
* * *
Oh, and for the record (many of you might be aware as well), we took a blissful honeymoon to compensate for the difficult phase we had right after marriage. We had a tussle with the resort people who were initially saying they won’t give us a honeymoon package because it is valid only till up to 6 months of marriage.
Pah! Haven’t they heard of life-long honeymoon? Anyway…whatever. Finally they agreed. Next was the problem of getting a water villa on the beach. Every single resort was sold out because of the Chinese New Year. Finally some kind soul cancelled out at the last minute and we got one water villa for ourselves. All set in place, we had a wonderful trip.
And I coined the phrase: ‘honeymoon bliss, thy name is Maldives’. Hubby and I heartily agree.
Leaving you with a single picture from the many we took at Maldives…to summarize the paradise it was.
P.S.: Don’t ask me about the riots and political revolution that happened in Maldives after we left. We had NOTHING to do with it. * Innocent look on face *