A Marriage Gay
By U. Mahesh Prabhu
“This is a great match for you” Aditya was told by his dad, adding “she shares your profession and there is a perfect match between your status, height and, even, complexion.” Every time he heard this he stayed unconvinced – as usual. His parents had raised him up with loads of love and even greater affection. Every one of his “blood relatives” was confident that his parents understood him well. Aditya, however, was completely disapproving of it.
He was over thirty, now, and there was a sense of deep despair in minds of his parents. “This is not done.” his mom stated while at dinner table, “you got to agree with us or you will never get married.” “You may even have to die alone.” His father stated while agreeing with his wife in toto. “Yeah, right!” he said to himself, before quietly slipping away from them. For him it was a totally “dunning” state of affairs.
He had stopped attending any kind of family functions – especially nuptials. “Ghastly affairs!” that was his definition for marriage ceremonies. When his parents returned from some nuptials or spoke to their marriage broker(s) he would prefer to shut down his mind as they won’t let him plug his fingers into his ears.
Aditya’s frustration rose to phenomenal heights when a member of the family asked his parents to check – if or not – he was a “GAY”! He went furious. “NO WAYS! I am not GAY!” he yelled to them on top of his voice. “Then what’s the problem with you?” his mom retorted even more furiously, adding “why don’t you even consider the proposals we put forth you?” “You don’t understand” he said. “Then make us understand” she reprimanded. As a man with virtually no narrative skills he would prefer to run away from them.
“Is our son ever gonna marry a girl?” his parents would ask themselves, thereafter. They didn’t have to wait long for the answers. On one fine day Aditya came home with a smile on his face. Mother was pretty surprised. “Is everything fine?” she asked. “Of course, actually fantastic!” he said holding his mom’s shoulders.
Soon when he entered the drawing room and began to untie his shoe lace his mom queried the reason for his joy. He blushed. She was confused. “Come on, now kill the suspense.” she pleaded, while her husband joined her.
“I found my soul mate!” he said blushingly. “Is your soul mate he or she?” That wasn’t the question he was expecting and he just went furious, again. “What the hell on earth do you guys think I am?” he screeched this time. “What’s your problem in answering that simple question? Why do you yell at us?” father countered.
“Of course it is he… err… sorry… she” he answered. “Make it very clear… is that person H-E or S-H-E?” He couldn’t believe himself. “SHE” he said, adding “S-H-E”
The parents looked relieved. “That’s great news!” they rejoiced with a smile on their otherwise perplexed faces. But soon they had several more questions to ask. “Who’s she? What does she do? What about her parents? Is she also an engineer like you? What’s her height? Does she have a salary to sustain in case you lose your job in your company tomorrow? She should be at least 5’ 8” else the pair will look awkward!”
“Not again, dad!” the boy was frustrated, again. “Ok. Ok. Sorry” he apologized, “you can breathe easy and let us know about her.”
He took a long breath before embarking on the following description of the lady he had chosen to be his wife – for life: “She’s a journalist. She’s beautiful, but not fair. Has good personality a little shorter than you expect her to be. She’s, frankly speaking, 5’4”. After marriage she prefers to be a housewife and I am fine with that idea. And the reason why I chose her to be my spouse is because she shares my views and values.”
“You have gone MAD!” the old man yelled, “You are a BLOODY FOOL! What on earth do you think you are doing by marrying a lady who’s not going to earn even a penny after marriage?”
“I am gonna be happy!” he insisted.
“Grow up, boy! This is not an age for petty idealism. You are 6’3” and she’ll appear as if a dwarf forth you. People will laugh at you guys!”
“I am not marrying for others, dad. I am marrying for myself – for my happiness.”
“And what do you think will happen to us? You are the only son we have!”
“Don’t worry she’s gonna take good care of you!”
“Yeah, I can see that – without earning any money.”
“Well, dad I think you are obsessed with money.”
“And you are obsessed with that lady.”
“Yes, indeed! Because I know that she can keep me happy!”
“Damn your happiness; first think of logic.”
“You have no match – whatsoever! Neither your heights don’t match nor your complexion. Not-even-profession! And over that she wants to sit at home DOING NOTHING!”
“You forget something dad: SHE UNDERSTANDS ME.”
“Are you suggesting that we don’t understand you?”
“If you did you wouldn’t have bothered me with those countless proposals with senseless ‘MATCHES’.”
“You forget we have an experience beyond your age.”
“This is not to hurt you, but tell me what is that experience for?”
“For leading a life filled with grace and happiness!”
“And you want me to believe that?”
“So what do you want us to do?”
“Just agree with my point and let me marry her!”
“You have grown too old to take your way. FINE! DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT TO DO!”
And some three months from then Aditya married the lady of his choice. The “people” still gossip about them. They had termed them “matchless-couple”. However, today this couple has proved them all wrong – beyond comprehension.
How do I know this story? Because the lad is my friend and I have witnessed his marriage succeeding.
Many, if not all, of you are bound to wonder as to what made this marriage succeed. Honestly, even I wondered if this would. I met him over the chat today – a couple of minutes before embarking on this column. He’s amongst the most honest person I have ever come across. So I should trust him when he said to me that he’s “very pleased” with his “wife and life”. That his wife is taking good care of her in-laws and the wonderful baby they have been blessed with.
“So what do you think was the winning formula in your marriage?” I asked. His answer was pretty simple “I had a very caring, emotionally as well as physically understanding wife.”
Sounded like a clichéd dialogue from those boring Bollywood movies of the ‘70s. But then, I chose to comprehend. What is a marriage? Is it a fashion-show where you walk on the ramp with the lady who appears as if “made-just-for-you”? Is it a business deal which you strike with the person with whom you have a financially “win-win” situation for the rest of your life?
I am no scholar of nuptials but whatever I have heard of it is all about “soul”. In Hindu wedding rituals marriage is considered as a bonding between two souls for eternity; in Christianity it’s a bonding which is “until death does them apart”.
Our faith speaks of three essential characteristics in a marriage: compassion, love and understanding. Compassion is not where you marry looking at the lucrative financials, Love is not when you both look gorgeous while together & have a strong physical attraction (read lust) and Understanding stands not for an arrangement where you assess each other financial assets and liabilities. It’s beyond those materialistic logics.
Yeah, many may think of such weddings happen nowhere and that it’s “day dream”. Well, the point is if you don’t get the right kind of person who can show you that quintessential compassion, love and understanding then why marry – at all?
If happiness is what you look in a marriage then you can’t have it without those aforesaid three essential ingredients in your “soul-mate”. And if you are marrying for your financial riches, then, maybe you should call it a “business-deal”.
Happiness lies within us. But we can search and amplify that happiness when we have just the right spouse. That’s the essence; it’s also the truth.
Postscript: Word “gay” also means “full of or showing high-spirited merriment”.
Columnist is Editor-in-chief of Folks Magazine and Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, London (UK).