We are stuck at home, and there is no denying that. A bit of grocery and ramen here and there, helps us cut through the monotony and the constant supply of banana bread is doing more than it’s fair share of placation. In the hustle-bustle of our daily routine, all in PJs, all day and everyday, we have been married for almost 5 months.
There is a whole lot of love in the air, with a generous sprinkling of hugs and kisses. We laugh a lot, lounge about with intertwined fingers and just enjoy the bliss of warm hugs. The world is still rosy and we don’t want to kill each other yet.
Its not all pretty though, everyone knows that. We are seeing issues that are not even directly related to us, and that is quite unfortunate. People are sweet, they are nice, but not everyone necessarily induces the feeling of ‘family’, right? There are expectations that look like normal in a certain cultural setting, but feel like burden to me. These expectation have somehow turned into a ‘need’ that I am unable to wrap my head around. I end up feeling quite overwhelmed. Perhaps, because I am a single child, or perhaps because of certain incidents in the past, or more because I am quite strongly and selfishly individualistic.
I have been wondering how are people suddenly supposed to develop love and affection for another family and feel like they have belonged together for decades? How can you just start thinking of another set of parents, like your own? Why is it such a huge deal to call in-laws like your own parents, even if you feel nothing of that sort? Most of all, there is a need to actually show that the love does exist, by calling or texting with the right frequency and the correct gestures, and what is that right frequency? Why is there even a comparison between how you treat your parents and your partner’s parents? Why can’t you just be friendly and carry on with it?
Expectations breed problems. Would you rather have genuine emotions and friendliness that gets built up over years or the fake show of affection?
To all the married women here, and specially who have married into a different culture, how have you dealt with this? If you have had issues in the past, how have you moved on? What do you call them? Do you ever feel overwhelmed and burdened by the expectations? I would appreciate any insight and advice on this.
This is a whole new ball game for me, and hopefully I don’t end up retired hurt.
Tonight, two years ago, we met on our first date. Many words, and a lot of laughter later, we fell in love. In December 2019, Miss PB turned into a Mrs. Mr. PB wanted to mark his debut in this space, and we thought, why not today. I have spoken about how we met, and he wanted to tell you all about how he asked me to marry him. So, without further ado, raise your glasses to the man of my dreams, and the best company during this weird quarantine time...
It was probably early in the winter of 2018, just before my trip to India and about eight months since our first date, that I’d made up my mind – I was going to propose to Princess Butter, the cutest, quirkiest, most knowledgeable girl I’d ever met. In my quasi-planned ways, I came up with a three-step procedure.
Step 1 was to get the daddy’s permission, as is fairly common on our side of the world. Supported by the best brother one could have ever asked for, SB, I decided to spend a day in Pune during my 2018 India trip and take the challenge head-on. “The” conversation went quite well, I thought, and it was definitely eased by the fact that her dad and I shared several interests, most notably watching cricket. After several hours (and countless cups of tea!) of discussing how Virat Kohli had changed the face of Indian cricket, I declared to him that PB and I were very serious about our relationship, and wanted to go all the way to marriage, but that we would do so at our pace. I explained to him that both of us had lived in the States for over a decade, and the idea of a surprise proposal was really attractive to me. He graciously agreed, and at the same time, breathed a sigh of relief that her daughter had finally found someone to spend the rest of her life with ☺
Step 2 was deciding when, how and where to do the deed. I took suggestions from several friends, both mine and hers, and woke up one morning with a clear thought that the proposal venue had to be where it all started – Kindred, San Diego. Both of us had had a great time (and one drink too many ☺) at that bar on our (extended) first date, and every time we’d been back there since, it was memorable. March 21th ended up being the date as soon as my brother finalized his travel dates (I wanted him and a good photographer around ☺), and all our friends confirmed their availability for the after-party. The ‘how’ was done based on a suggestion by two of her close friends, K5 and AG. I’d “trick” PB into date-night at Kindred to check out the release of their special Spring menu.
Step 3 was easily the hardest and the most fun – buying the ring! Thanks again to the girls, who guided me throughout the process, I spent late nights at work for a couple of weeks and researched the hell out of the subject. Every time I’d learn something new, I’d try and test my learning at a jewelry store. I was cutting my research really close to D-Day, but with the backing of several friends and family members (thank you SB, RB and AB!), I had a very clear idea of what I wanted (and what I hoped PB would like) – a solitaire with a specific ‘rope’ design to depict how our lives would be intertwined going forward. I found the perfect team and the perfect store in David & Sons, ended up spending slightly more than I’d budgeted for (isn’t that every guy ;)), but was very happy with the final product.
D-Day arrived before I knew, and I had little-to-no anxiety, to be honest. We’d allowed our relationship to grow slowly and organically to get to this point, and this felt like the obvious next step. SB and I had met with the staff at Kindred the week before, and the day before, and they were totally on board for the occasion. As the weather gods would have it, though, it started to rain that morning, and the forecast had rain until the late evening. If that wasn’t bad enough, I was told to “wrap things up” by 6 to avoid being crushed by the crowd who’d come to check out the new Spring menu. SB and I got to the venue around 4pm and requested PB to be there around 5. An hour of eating and drinking before I “pop the question”. Sounded like a good plan…
As it got closer to 5pm, the rain Gods showed no signs of relenting, so the patio was closed and the area inside was already close to capacity. I kept looking for corner spots inside where we’d find some privacy but didn’t find any good ones. I considered moving the proposal to another date, but it’d taken me a while to find an evening that worked for everyone, and SB was flying back the following Sunday. PB decided to stop by the house and was running late by 45 minutes, so we decided to stick around a little bit longer. Around 5.20pm, as if to bless the occasion, the rain suddenly stopped, the clouds cleared, and weather.com showed 10% chance of rain in the subsequent hours. I asked our server to help clean the picnic table outside for the two of us, and she gladly agreed.
PB arrived just before 6pm, and I had been given until around sunset at 6.45pm to pop the Q. We ordered drinks and food as we normally did at Kindred, but since the place was packed that day, it took the server 20 minutes for the server to bring the food to us. Around 6.30pm then, we were eating, drinking and chatting our evening away, when SB texted to remind me that we had only 15ish minutes left. I texted him back – “I got this!” Except PB couldn’t stop eating…and she ate slower than usual that evening, or so it felt! Around 6.40pm, SB texted me again, “Light’s fading…You have to do it NOW”! PB was still going hard at the tofu skewers, and SB kept popping up from behind different cars to capture the moment! I couldn’t stop bursting into laughter, so I had to take matters (literally!) into my own hands. I grabbed the food away from her saying that I also wanted to eat some of it, later. She looked at me curiously, wondering why we couldn’t order more later. Within a five-minute window, I started to remind her of all the good times we had had that led us there, and then around 6.45pm, went in for the kill with my prepared speech of sorts. I remember little of the speech (check out my Facebook post for deets), but I ended up on my knees with…”this may come as a shock, Princess Butter…will you marry me?!”
She rose, turned sideways to shed a tear, and then said yes, and picked me up. We kissed and hugged for what seemed like eternity, until I realized that I had to slide the ring through her little fingers. AG and I had guessed her finger size perfectly, and she could not stop saying “I love it” while looking at the ring. Our wonderful server got us a fine champagne to celebrate the moment, and we had a few minutes with each other before SB popped up to congratulate us followed by Kittu, who’d done a great job of capturing the final moments on video. More friends and family members followed, we cut a delicious tres-leches cake and we drank the night away.
As I relive these moments by writing them down, I cannot believe that it’s been four months since I called Princess Butter my wife! We’ve had our ups and downs, as most relationships do, but we’ve taken a pledge to celebrate the future ups and learn from the downs.
Hello from a very married Princess Butter! December 2019 was a blast with us getting married in India with our friends and family and then honeymooning. I will post snippets about it and our life here and there. As you all know, we were already engaged, but to keep up with Mr. PB’s parents’ wishes for a customary ring exchange, we had a faux engagement with wedding bands. I wrote a lil toast/speech that I surprised my parents and Mr. PB with. To preserve that memory, here it goes:
They say that special memories are etched deep in our minds. Some can explore them, and some remain untouched till something triggers them out. I have been blessed with a brain that has a good holding capacity for relatively pointless things. But that storage has many small things tucked away in safe corners. Those small things, peek out every once in a while when I am in a reminiscent mood and make me giggle. Some rushes of those memories involve pretty yellow frocks bought on mummy’s paydays. Some have papa cooking up a storm in the kitchen, specifically toop-mith-bhaat, which is plain but hearty rice with salt and ghee. Some involve both of them pretending to be Santa putting cash in my stocking, because I asked for something at the last moment. Some are memories with more embarrassing results, like the one where they searched for a ‘golden’ sword all over the city, for my Rani Lakshmibai fancy dress outfit, only to have me tell them the wrong date, and subsequently make a fool out of myself. My childhood has been lush, happy and full of mischief. There were books everywhere because my parents inculcated the love of written words into me.
How can I forget the day, when our favorite member entered our lives! Right away, we turned into the sort of people who go “don’t call him a dog! His name is Moony!” He stole our bread toast, my baby blanket, papa’s socks, our bed pillows, and our hearts. His love and his happy vibe got us through the gloomiest of times. His big blueberry eyes gave us hope to be the people who he thought we were. He gave a life long lesson to us about compassion. Mummy and Papa have been and became semi-parents to many roadies around, case in point, Bhoobhdi, Chintu, Kaalu, Champi and I am a volunteer with a rescue foundation and hope to open our hearts and homes in the future to more furry paws. But, Moony is around us, and will live forever, hopping around happily by the rainbow bridge. Until we see him again….
There were bouts of loneliness, which didn’t matter because our tiny family unit remained strong. There was bad kind of mischief, a little travelling down the strayed paths, and some incidents that I am not proud of. Some were dealt with strictness as they deserved, but most were dealt with a caring ear and emotions that mattered, and that made me feel understood.
My parents grew up as parents with me, while I grew up into a moody teenager, and a stubborn woman. I stretched my wings, took off from the nest, and they let me be. We had our ups and downs as every parent and child does, but not once, they made me feel that I was alone. We were upset together, we were patient together, we were hopeful together, and we rejoiced together.
And then came that age, where they thought I should have a life partner. After a few hits and misses, Mr. PB came into my life. Like the ray of sunshine, that he is, he lit up my world. The most beautiful part was, that my parents could tell that something was up. When I finally broke the news to them, I still get the giggles when I remember how my dad went from room to room clapping his hands and screaming “I knew it!” They were elated, and pretty much fell in love with him, right, when I showed them his picture. I mean, have you seen this guy?! He met my folks, took their permission and decided that this crazy girl needed a ring on her finger. I got my fairy tale moment, with my prince charming.
I want to take this moment, to hopefully, give him his… I want to create an incredible memory for you, with this little poem, Goob.
That first date When you dropped me home, I somehow had a feeling, I was done being alone.
Those many cocktails, Spread out over time, Didn’t hold a candle to your charm, And you looking so fine.
Words spoken and touched, Your eloquent feelings for me, Opened up my soul, To just feeling so free.
When the moods came over, And I got the glooms, Your rushing over to care, Made my heart just bloom.
The deal was sealed, The long wait bore it’s fruit, We fell deep in love, As our raw emotions took root.
Our love takes us back, To the warm-fuzzy teenage days, Yet there is a sense of forever, Deep in it’s crazy ways.
The many happy surprises, that you sprinkle about, Your love warms my heart, Without a single doubt.
I may frown, I may cry, Yet you bring that smile out, You never cease to try.
As we look forward with hope, Into our future so vast, Let passion and friendship rule, With all the love in our hearts.
I promise to love you, Beyond our twilight years, To cherish your support Through insecurities and fears.
As I call you my husband, And I’ll be your wife, But best friends we hope to be, For the entirety of our lives.
It’s happening you guys! If you look my name up on Anuroop, you will find it. Well, not Princess Butter, but my real name. D-Uh. Not just Anuroop, but Bharat Matrimony and I suppose Shaadi.com too. I have given my go ahead to the Mother and Father and have told them that I am going to keep my search on too.
For the non-Indian audience, yes I am putting my name down for an Arranged Marriage scenario, and no, I will not be getting married without seeing them/meeting them, and also, I am NOT being forced into this. This is not very different than Online Dating where you match with someone, meet them, date them and maybe say yes for a long term relationship. It just is a bit faster leading towards marriage and you have a goal. There are pros and cons. Just like pros and cons in online dating, or meeting someone at the bar, or through friends. You get my drift, hopefully.
I told them about my dating scenario and Mom was a little scandalized but alright and said try and do your shenanigans on Matrimonial Apps rather than Tinder/Coffee meets Bagel or whatever. Haha! Also, she wants me to send her a picture in a ‘mod dress’ so the guy and his family will have an idea what they are dealing with.
When we were talking, Dad asked to give him a broad idea with respect to what I want. I went really broad and said, I want a male. He said, okay, I will keep that in mind. 😀 Then I said that you know my personality so make sure the guy matches that. At that point, my dad said in these exact words, “We have tried! But we have failed to understand you! God knows what you are now. YOU ARE AN ENIGMA!” We were all in fits of laughter for the next 10 minutes. Although the crux of the matter is that my parents have left it on me to filter out the guys and are not going to interfere. They are cool like that.
So, I looked up the Anuroop Sanstha website and the registration website and have a lot of doubts in my head about it.
1. Chashma/Spectacles seems like an important point. I think my soda glasses are going to buy me a couple of years. 😀
2. What the hell is my built from these options(translated into English from really funny Marathi words) : Slim, Medium, Like a stick, Plump, Delicate?? What the F#ck is delicate!
3. Am I fair or wheatish? Can I write MAC foundation shade NC37? Wait! I am NC35 in concealer. Will the 2 shade range make a difference? OMG!
4. For Groom’s expectation with regards to food habits, I prefer vegetarian(eggetarian), but will adjust with meat eating as long as it’s not cooked in front of me. But can I write that I am not going to kiss him right after he eats it?
5. Again for Groom’s expectations, I need to mention if I want someone who can cook or not. Can I say, I don’t care, but must know how to do dishes?
6. There is a question about how do I spend my spare time. Is “Sleeping, youtube, or youtubing while lying down” an acceptable answer?
7. I will have to rank my time between these options: Family, Relatives, Friends, Guru-Satsang, Others. If my past few weeks are anything to go by, 100% of my free time is going to Abhi-Nisha-Madhuri! And ‘Would you want your spouse to partake in these activities?’ Hell yeah! 😀
8. Do I play any games? I play baseball in a tiny city league with a bunch of drunk people and my team name is ‘Happy Hour’. Are mind-games during flirting/courting counted?
9. I am supposed to tell if I smoke, drink, club etc. and for the weirdest reason ‘hoteling’ is included in it. First of all, I hate the word. It’s stupid. And since when is eating out being clubbed with these ‘must-ask’ questions?
10. The form asks if our family values are traditional, modern, free-thinking or flexible. FLEXIBLE. I thought of something entirely else when I read it. It was awkward.
11. The best for the last. Options for the past: Serious relationship, relationships or just friendship. Why will anyone write down just friendship? I could put down 200 names and counting, for all my friends. Sheesh.
My dad said he is already tired. My mom yelled at him and said that it’s been just ONE day. I said they are looking at atleast 2 more years of madness.
So, to end it, my mom has summarized me as “Liberal, broad minded, modern girl who values her friendships and relationships.”
I am such a catch on paper.
PS: Convinced the folks to not pay up for their annual registration till January. I don’t have time till December and don’t want to waste 2 months’ fee. Top-of-the-line cheapskate I am.
I have something very special to present here. My father saw the movie Queen two days back and told me about it. He was telling me what he felt about the movie and I told him to jot it down. He very kindly agreed to write down a guest post about it for my blog. I have told him that I shall convey to him all the comments and critiquing he receives.
THE QUEEN OF HEARTS.
Yesterday I watched a movie titled “Queen”. It was a very pleasant experience.
It set my thinking rolling at a furious pace. I was thrilled to see the metamorphosis of a young girl from a timid, obedient daughter (meek submission personified) into a grown up liberated, confident woman and behold! With the help of totally unknown roommates.
I now fully agree with Chetan Bhagat when he wrote about this movie that every single girl or woman has a “queen” hidden inside and they must discover it and liberate themselves.
My mind started thinking about marriages in my community and in relatives. In most of the cases if not in all, the parents marry off their daughter without any specific reason. I am sure they do not have any clear reasoning in their mind except perhaps the age old traditions. If you ask them they will come out with one of those points like she is now grown up, all her friends have got married, what will people say if we don’t marry her off now etc. etc. There is no thought about what the girl thinks or what is the thinking level their future husband possesses.
The girls also being obedient daughters, as they are taught to be, go along with parents’ wish and get married. Again without any clear thoughts. They feel happy to fulfil their parents’ wish and land up in a state of long term slavery called married life. They analyse very superficially about the boy whether he is worthy of being called the life partner is true sense.
The boy has been given authority by our society to be a psycho supported by his parents. The modern looking boy and his progressing thinking parents suddenly take 90 degrees turn and become very conservative while selecting a girl for marriage.
Most of the new age boys start pointing out shortcomings of their wives and autocratically imposing their likes and dislikes on the hapless girl ruining the most sensitive and precious time in the life of young couple. The in laws of the girl put all the responsibility of our great culture and traditions on the newly arrived daughter in law. There are numerous cases around us of women giving up their earlier free life, their hobbies, their passions and leading a wretched, oppressed life. A mere mention of their earlier likes or hobbies by anybody makes them depressed.
I am not sure whether majority of the boys understand the meaning of equality, partnering for life, individual freedom or woman empowerment leave alone practicing these.
It’s time to think whether to subject our daughters to this kind of married life or to train them and allow them to think differently and independently. Why not to leave this all important decision of life to them? Why not to allow them tread their own path by brushing aside the ever lingering thought of “what will people say!”
As responsible, educated parents we owe this to our beloved daughters.