The better half


The sun was a bright orange orb, already quite low in the sky and sapped of most its intense heat, as I walked home yesterday. Silhouetted birds were already heading back to their nests.

My muscles ached, and I was eager to get back home and take a cold shower, but the last leg of my walk still remained. As I cut across the beautiful park, I saw that a wedding photography shoot was underway.

The bride’s gorgeous white gown was beautifully arranged on the lawn, as she looked up at her life partner with a smile. The photographer asked the couple to move this way and that till he got ‘that’ perfect angle for the shot; a picture that would be talked about and remembered for many, many years.

Courtesy – http://www.clipartlibrary.com

The bride and groom were lost in their own magical world, as they navigated the photo shoot in the real world. They caught me staring, and I waved out and wished them. They waved back with huge smiles.

And as I walked back, I thought about what a beautiful journey this young couple was about to embark on, and all that this journey would entail.

This also made me remember another very sweet old couple in their eighties, who visited our condo last year. Every morning, when I stood on the balcony to catch my breath after my kids and husband had left, I would watch them as they ambled over to the small exercise park that is directly below our home.

The sweet old lady would usually sit down on one of the benches. Her loving husband would then help her settle down, and also help her roll up her sleeves to allow the morning rays of the sun to warm her bones. He would then start walking around the park. Once he was done, he would join his wife. On some days, they would just sit in companiable silence, while on other days they would talk and laugh. Once the sun moved away from the park, the couple would slowly head homeward.

I come back to the now, and compare the two couples – one pair which is just beginning married life, while the other is enjoying the many memorable years together.

And between these two points, life happens – love, romance, petty fights, the big fights, hugs, cuddles, kids, milestones, vacations, hospital visits, ageing parents, laughter, grey hair, compromise..and lots more.

Each couple’s journey is different, but in the sunset years, I would consider it a blessing to have my spouse next to me, on a park bench, sharing the golden silence of a beautiful life lived together.

Love engraved


I was doing the dishes earlier today, when my fingers moved over what appeared to be some sort of small stain. I scrubbed hard, but it seemed to remain. On closer inspection, I realized that it was an inscription in the steel.

I smiled. Why? Read on…

We Indians, especially down South, love stainless steel. Most of our kitchens are filled with stainless steel cookware – spoons, ladles, forks, knives, glasses (steel ones, we call them tumblers😆), plates, pots, pans, cookers – every single item in steel.

When a girl gets married, her mom typically gives her a basic set of kitchen utensils and cutlery to take with her to her new home.

Back in the 70s and 80s, most Indians lived in joint families, and if a home had many daughters-in-law, each with her own kitchenware, how did they tell all the utensils apart?  So, the moms of these girls usually got the girls’ initials engraved on their utensils. No confusion. All one had to do was look closely for the initials, to know which was yours.

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Though people moved away from their homes, and families became nuclear, this practice of monogramming kitchenware was in vogue even when I got married.

I still remember the days before my wedding, when my Dad and Mom, had the utensils engraved with my new initials NN. I remember how they came home, and told me, happily, that the job was done.

The days before the wedding were filled with fun and nostalgia, for all that I would leave behind and for all the things I would embrace in my new home.

I come back to the now and look at the engraving NN ….parents’ love captured forever. Miss you Dad and Mom. Thank you for everything

Marriage in a Coffee Mug


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In the early days of our marriage, my husband and I went out one evening to a home exhibition and sale, as we were setting up our new home, and wanted to buy stuff for the house.

There was a sale on,  for porcelain kitchenware. I was drawn like a magnet to a set of coffee mugs, that looked like pieces of tree trunks, with gnarled knobs and ring patterns. They looked unique, and so inviting.

My husband did not like these mugs at all. He wanted something simple. We argued (must have been one of the first arguments, me thinks).  Finally, we agreed to disagree; and the coffee mugs came home. All six mugs are still intact and have lasted us many, many years. My husband has grown to like them over the years.

While the lasting love, commitment and promises are the foundation of a marriage, it is these simple things and moments that form the bricks of any marriage.

Be it about making up after an agreement, or letting go ‘for’ your spouse without allowing ego to walk-in to a situation.

It is about his choice versus yours many a time, and having the wisdom to disagree without malice. It is about the small joys of reading a book together or shopping for grocery. It is about egging each others’ fitness goals, and then also indulging in a huge dollop of icecream together.

It is about seeing yourselves in your children, and also realizing that your children are not you. It is about being able to laugh at yourselves and being able to cry together. It is about doing everything together, and then doing nothing together.

It is about watching movies and munching popcorn together, as much as it is about who will clear up afterwards.

It is this and that. It is black and white and all colours. It is about being a team, as much as it is about being two individuals.

It is also definitely about having strong filter coffee from coffee mugs that have witnessed all these moments in your marriage.

A Bride’s Journal


Journal entry #1

The  date for my wedding has been fixed. In two months, I will move to my husband’s house.

Sid is a nice guy, in as much as I could glean from the three meetings we have had.  After all we have known each other only for the last week, five days to be precise.

Am I freaking out? You bet I am.

Journal entry #2

My parents and brother (who has no choice) have had their thoughts programmed to only one word, you guessed right, my wedding. The intensity overwhelms me….my two aunts are visiting us next week. Should I take on an extra project so I can come home late from work? Worth pursuing.

Journal entry #3

Not sure if the term ‘arranged marriage’ talks about the craziness involved in the arrangements. Flowers, catering, shopping for my trousseau, jewelry, invitations, menu choices, make up, hair dos, I am unable to leave the house without my parents thrusting a few samples of ‘this or that’ for me to choose from.

Journal entry #4

Today, Sid called me at work to ask if we could have lunch together.

Was I excited?  Yes, a  bit…hmmmm….actually,  a lot!!!

Journal entry #5

The lunch was good…yeah more than good. He has a great sense of humour. We captured our first selfie. We kinda look nice together. He gave me a chocolate…

Journal entry #6

The craziness at home continues….things seem to get finalized one moment…and new checklists are being made the very next.

Today we went shopping for my trousseau (read my family of four, plus my four aunts and their spouses, my two cousins, a brood of nieces and nephews) plus Sid’s family, his two cousins, three aunts and their spouses.  Thankfully pets were not allowed in the shops.

Observation #1
30 odd people screaming their choices is embarrassing

Observation #2
Getting a reservation for so many people in a restaurant is a challenge at such short notice……

Journal entry #7

The bride, that’s me, is ready with her sarees and jewellery.  Sid & I call each other frequently – the family indulges me….Once we get off the phone we are on chat mode on our phones. We are both doing a crash course on understanding each other after all….

Journal entry #8

Did I tell you that in India it is not only the couple that marries, even the families marry? So I am now being introduced to Sid’s  first cousins, second cousins, great uncles thrice removed, to the aunt who is a great singer, to the aunt who is a style icon and to the uncle who was just two steps away from making it to the Indian cricket team, among others

Sid has also met my great grand mom, my third cousin who happens to be related to Sid’s family, my  first cousins, the three bad boys of our family, the talented singer aunt, the dancing sensation aunt, the rangoli cousin and the chef-in-the-making aunt.

Our families have outdone each other….huge resource pools of talent!!!

Journal entry #9

Sid and I sneak away for a midnight drive and an icecream. ‘Twas wonderful.

5 more days to go…

Journal entry #10

We are married. I get to show off my new dresses at the many family lunches (on both sides) that we are invited to almost every day.

We are on an eating orgy here. I applaud and over eat at his cousins’, he does the same for dinners on my side. We are extravagant in our compliments….everyone is happy.

Journal entry #11

We are back from our magical honeymoon.

Entering the phase called ‘digitally yours’… repeatedly looking at the wedding albums, uploading videos and pics & enjoying all the gifts.

Journal entry #12

The calm is restored…it is just the two of us now…starting our life together, bit by bit. Planning the move to our own apartment

Fully focused on transforming the apartment into ‘home’.

Journal entry #13

We had our first guests over for dinner. Received two invites in return. Our social life starts….

Journal entry #14

We had our first argument….I was right, of course…!  We are well & truly married.