Tuesday, May 22, 2018

From a patriarch to...

Its been 5 years now. On a hot and humid day of may, in the breezy town of Pondy our wedding happened in a crowded hall surrounded by well wishers, friends and relatives. 5 years have evaded leaving its fragrance and imprints on us. Like most other families i was also groomed in a conventional patriarchial household. Conventional not orthodox is the key. After my father left the world when i was 8 years my mother brought me up single handed. She had to face my father's debts, had to source income, importantly as a young widow she had to face the world full of opportunistic men. I grew knowing  her difficulties. Under her stewardship we drifted away a bit from patriarchy, but not wholly. I grew in a small town, reasonably good schooling and then moved to chennai for college. Lived there for 6 years. Urban life was something new and fresh but when i wanted to leave chennai i didnt have any qualms. 

Manasa grew in a family of working parents, completely urban. She lived in Pondy and then studied in Chennai. Surrounded by family members at Pondy amidst cousins, brothers and sisters. While i grew as a only child and without any peers to share my resources. She is radical in some aspects while i stay practical. While at times I surge with radical thoughts she will handle practically. We had our shares of fights and misunderstandings, loosing cool. But we moved on. She made me realize how much of ego i had got. She grounded me, while my impractical dreams swept me. What is more surprising is she has her own artistic attitude. Sometimes I had to hammer down her dreams citing practical reasons. She has an obsession for tidiness  and takes it to extreme level. Where as I scarcely care for neatness. Infact the only assurance she sought was something regarding cleanliness and which I have miserably failed. 

Being a Writer's wife it is expected of her to be his first reader (a bad precedence set by jey, probably). Whenever someone asks the question to her, she feels embarrassed. She even tried reading herself couple of stories. It doesnt matter whether your better half is the first reader or not, what is more important is she/he has to respect your pursuit of truth in the arena of art/ literature. More than everything else this has happened to us. 

Problems of Patriarchal upbringing reflects subtly in day today lives. When you expect your things to be done by others, worse is when you dont even realise these things can be done by oneself. Manasa has remained not just as a adorable life partner, she remains as a constant challenge. A challenge against our own untruth (false is too big a word), pretensions and prejudices. For a wedding relationship to be successful it mus go beyond the area of adorable love. The enigma of perfect love in constant evasion. A moral and mental challenge. Manasa exposed me to myself that I am far from perfection. She identifies me easily when i try to evade responsibility. 

And then Sudhir happened. People speak of personal spaces. But there is always the choice between space and lovely. they are in a way inversely proportional. I have encroached upon her space at times, and she had also reciprocated. Then we revert back to our places. These things happen in a family. Sudhir is the creator of time for us now. Sometimes one of us has to relent so that the other can continue creative pursuits, more often it was she who reverted and allowing some creative time for me. 

Some point of time people get disillusioned, accepting our imperfections and may be good relations i believe started loving these bits and pieces of imperfections as well. Better relations realize that but at the same time there will be constant strife to upgrade and inch towards a better life. Hope we have entered the better relationship phase. I wouldnt say i am a transformed person blah blah. But yes, the relationship has moved me and continues to move me, may be at a snail's pace, out of my comfort zone. Even now I am a patriarch, mostly patriarchs are the same for lifetime, but yes a self realised hypocritic patriarch (whether that makes things better or worse, who knows!)

In these days, a marriage lasting 5 years is itself a positive sign, that too without a moment of thought of breaking away and regret (atleast its the case of mine). So what can you expect, for anniversary as a gift, other than a reflective piece from a writer husband whose financial fortunes as you know is average. Thanks for being with me. Hope we have a perennial life of togetherness with more fun and colour. Happy anniversary Manasa. Long shall it last the fragrance of our love.     

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