Friday, August 31, 2012

The ‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ Contest

Eversince I came to know about this contest on YOEN's blog , I have  been thinking very hard about some funny incidence in  early years of our marriage .It was fun recalling many incidents of past which had been lost in the labyrinth of  time(I have been married for 2 decades now) .I read some wonderful accounts of newly married people . The stories of  newness , discovering each others(their idiosyncrasies) , new place , new life has such mesmerising appeal that each story feels very close to heart . while i immensely enjoyed reading all these stories , here's mine
A Date which was quite an Antidate.

It seems like yesterday  when Hubby(yet to be)  and I were sitting before Havan and waiting eagerly to be pronounced as husband and wife.The Panditji asked S to chant Gayatri mantra and he candidly confessed "I don't know" and I registered the first -Oh ,  so he doesn't know this . Next day  we were invited at my mother's place for  Satya Narayan Pooja  where again the same panditji had come to direct the pooja  and when  once again he asked S to chant Gayatri Mantra, S just murmured something under his breath which got passed as Gayatri mantra and, I was thinking -----
Oh my God! This man is faking Mantra.
 If love is blind then  marriage restores the vision .
But I did not know that  envisioning happens so instantaneously  , like , within a day of marriage?
And from then on a journey called -discovering each other began . Although before marriage we both thought that we knew each other pretty well  it was only later that we experienced  the fair share of surprise in the deal .
We both almost instantaneously started making our  secret mental checklist of - 'to be changed', in each other. While he thought he married an immature , incurable romantic who was  domestically impaired I was bemused (in fact, flabbergasted is the right word) to find  him romantically challenged ( before marriage I thought I was marrying Richard Gere + Pierce Brosnon combo.)
while he was put off to see me hanging my duppattas on door ,shoes always outside the shoe rack , I found it a big surprise that my man -mechanical engineer by profession could not use a single domestic gadget , Gas stove  lighter included.

Before marriage he conned me to believe that he was working  in a place  very close to Mumbai and I assumed it was a big city with all the advantages(read - availability of stuff for setting up new home) and I was suitably disappointed to find  a satellite township for stay , some 150 KM from Mumbai.
The real incident is our very first " DATE" after marriage. I was stuck in the township for almost 4 months now and was longing to go have some urban ,polluted, sky scrapping experience.
So , one day when   hubby got this one day tour to visit some industrial area in Thane to inspect some part of some machine used in his  plant and asked me to join I was in raptures. I imagined walking with him hands in hands, in a big city where nobody recognised us ,buying things for the household, eating in a decent hotel, not having to cook , if possible watching a movie and returning in the night .All this with the basic assumption that he just had to inspect some stupid part of some useless machine in his darned plant which would get done in a jiffy.
Next day when we were getting ready he told me that he preffered to go by company bus rather than company car so that after the inspection he did not have  to bother about car or driver and we would rather have our freedom to  roam the streets of Mumbai at own will. How Romantic! I instantly thought, I wasn't so wrong about him after all (in the hind sight ,I really wonder what was I smoking to believe in his words).We boarded the bus and took the seats on 2X2 side . I took the window  seat and he took on the aisle side. Just when I was contemplating holding his hand , I saw him  exchanging  smile  with an  elderly man  who boarded the bus  with his wife and young daughter .They took the seats adjacent to us with the fatherly guy sitting on the aisle seat . My husband introduced me to him as his Senior manager in his plant  .Husband and his boss chatted animatedly ,passionately ,engrossedly about the plant , the inspection , and how the indigenously made part was a huge saving to the company . I of course abandoned the idea of holding husband's hand in presence of 'local Father in law' and kept looking outside from the window. I was only at 2 on 10 ,on disappointment meter and was anticipating great time together for the whole day. Sometime later I saw the local FIL doze off, hubby started reading Indian express .I lost hubby's attention to some  unnamed ,non descript  leopard which had entered the Borivali suburb and was caught by the  guards of Sanjay Gandhi abhayaranya.
We got down at a station closest to Thane and caught an auto Rickshaw ,some 100 potholes and 50 speed breakers and about 39 rumbling strips later we reached a  place called Thane Industrial Estate .It is a huge premise with hundreds of small scale industries set up inside . The auto stopped at the gate and we walked inside . Husband promptly took out the map which he had got from someone who had already visited the place before and, like a true self-respecting man , he marched purposefully according to the directions on map. I was  ambling with disinterest and looking around. There were  small factories which made -God alone knew what and why, the workers were mostly wearing dirty , torn vests and wrapped a chequered towel at the waist .Husband did not ask the way to anyone and walked resolutely while I all the while hoped to reach the place fast and get done with it faster.  Many left and right turns later I decided to eat the humble pie(ask someone for direction) ,obviously Hubby did not want to concede defeat in his superior mental  GPS .Hunger , thirst , disappointment ,anger, humidity had taken its toll on me and teary eyed I told him  I did not want to walk any further.  we suddenly found a man walking towards us .He was  in charge of the factory we intended visiting .Thankfully , he recognised my husband and took us to the inspection site. It was a very noisy workshop where  many Lathe machines  were kept and a strange shaped part was shown to my husband . He checked it in his hand , looked at it as if it was a piece of art work . To the Factory incharge's disappointment Hubby found some  major  problem in the piece and rejected the part . The man tried to convince him in vain . The more he tried to convince my husband , more arguments he put forward to reject the piece. The man looked at me helplessly ,I gave him a sympathetic and understanding nod as if to tell him that " I know this man is very fastidious , he can instantly find faults but it is not his mistake , what else do you expect from a man whose mother and mother in law were teachers?" .Finally  it was agreed upon that in next two hours they would make changes in the part and get the design approved and fresh piece will be made according to new specifications.
We decided to stay on till the time part was made and approved . They served us  kerosene flavoured tea in small glasses . It was already 2 pm and rumbling sound of hunger was competing with the noise of machines in the factories around. One guy from factory  showed us the canteen where they served vada pav and tea. I summoned all my guts to eat that vada pav which tasted like -burning charcoal covered  in soggy newspaper. We loitered around the place  and  husband educated me about all the machines used in various factories.  My disappointment was 4 on 10 , at this juncture.
I most probably, being the only woman in the entire Industrial area got many eyeballs darting at us which discouraged me enough to hold my husband's hand .He of course was not even toying with this idea . All he was praying was to hold the cold , black, odd shaped metal piece which  right now  seemed to be the sole source of his happiness. By this time my disappointment was 6 on 10 with the Date.
we reached the factory again , the work was in progress, we (?) watched the metal piece  , husband looked at it once again carefully and wrote some instructions, drew something to explain , waited some more while I shifting my  weight from   one leg  to another . Finally , the job was over and we were out of the mechanical madness .
Hubby dear was still talking about his assertion , his experienced eyes to find fault( despite my disappointment ,I could not have agreed more).
After we were safely out of the factory influence , I had some axe to grind with him about wasting our together time .The romantically challenged man in my life looked all confused and said: "but weren't we together all the time?" the score on disappointment meter was 10 on 10 .

On our return journey , we both were dog tired , annoyed with each other . I called him inconsiderate , he called me demanding .
 I  being prone to motion sickness just decided to sleep keeping my head on his lap , not bothering about his embarrassment or anger (or the premonition of dealing with  wife who was ready to throw up anytime). I thought it was a fitting reply to this man.
 

13 comments:

  1. "If love is blind then marriage restores the vision." Loved the post and especially these words, very wise indeed.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Lilly . I am so glad you loved the post.

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  2. I read this post in my office and my accountant was wondering why I was smiling so consistently while staring at my laptop. I have realised today that more or less all newly married ladies have same thought process. (As my wife also thinks I am romantically challenged.) I realise how it is so difficult for ladies to leaving their homes and shift to totally stranger place with a stranger and then we guys are not so understanding. Though even I can’t stand duppata on floor or door, I don’t support ‘S’ for that infamous industrial area tour. Beautifully recalled and written. Loved the Gere / Brosnon, local FIL part and I am still smiling imagining both of you walking in that IA.

    Haven’t read Yoen’s blog (though I think foreigners can’t have such ‘Indian’ experiences) but after reading your post I wish to spare some time for ‘these stories’. Years back I too wrote my experiences, just in case if you are wondering. http://praneysnivedan.blogspot.in/2007/10/my-first-lady.html

    Lots of Luck !

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    Replies
    1. Hey Praney!
      You too? Romantically Challenged?
      Thanks for the kind words, I am indeed pleased to hear from you and am glad that you feel like writing a few posts on yr experiences .
      BTW- Haven't you been back to blogging?
      Why dont you post some pictures of your city in different mood? (it must be raining there ,rt?).Please do tend to your blog ,you have nurtured it so well. All the best!
      i am surely gonna read your -first lady post .thanks for the link.

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  3. Loved your post and had a gala time reading it. I could visualize whole story, so powerful was your narrative.

    The terms "Romantically Challenged" and "Domestically Impaired", were just fantastic, whoever has coined them. Having read these terms, I could see many RC people around me.

    So many points and small details mentioned had an instant connect, like the Mental GPS and the pride which guys take in it, the innate capacity to find faults (with anything) and associated assertion and Newspaper often winning the attention contest are superb observations. Also the concept of invisible instrument called "Disappointment Meter" was quite interesting.

    Looking forward to many such fantastic posts.






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  4. Dear Anon,
    Thanks for the kind words . You actually made my day.
    I am glad that you felt the connect with some of the details in the story.
    While the concept of'disappointment meter ' was not originally mine, I would like to take the credit for terms like domestically impaired and romantically challenged because even I don't know how and when I picked them up , did I come across them or have I thought of them myself.
    Keep visiting. It matters.

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  5. local father-in-law lol! enjoyed the post. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hey arunima!thanks. How have you been?
      yeah the local FIL.There were one too many in the township ,where everyone knew everyone.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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