What makes a marriage work?
This is a question that has kept humans busy, especially those humans employed at the Cosmopolitan magazine, because almost every third issue of it you have articles of the kind:
‘30 secrets for a successful marriage’
’72 ways to keep your spouse happy without using the credit card’
‘108 ideas to kill your in-laws and keep your marriage intact’
One of these days, I hope Cosmopolitan cracks the puzzle and moves on to focus on other interesting areas of interest that will still allow them to maintain their high standards of journalism in publishing pictures of beautiful women in various states of undress.
As a married man myself, I have been pondering over the marriage question deeply and for long, say between deliveries in an over at an IPL match. My first and foremost thought was, they take a long time to complete an over in modern-day cricket.
Oops sorry! Actually there are no secrets, but only practical examples for successful marriages.
So here I will recount two major areas of conflict between man and woman in marriage. I can guarantee you that these slice-of-life instances will help you to spend a few minutes uselessly in your pursuit of a happy marriage.
What you’re going to read will be from the perspective of a man, as I have been one all along in my life so far, and don’t intend changing in the future too.
Also, there will be sweeping generalisations all along. If you’re a woman and get offended you will be only confirming my generalisations.
Let us face it, women don’t bring in the same passion for technology as much as men folk do.
For example, during our recent road travel between Delhi and Chandigarh, which also involved a few other friends, we men were totally glued to the GPS thing on our cell phones. We were on a well-paved highway with bold signboards at almost every kilometre telling us where we were. But we were happy to realise where we were by looking at our cell phone screens, rather than just peering out the window.
(For the uninitiated: the GPS is a handy invention that helps you to know where you are. Suppose you are sitting at your home and talking with your friends, the GPS will indeed point out your precise location to be your home.
When you are caught in a rambling forest, totally lost for directions, all you have to do is to check the same GPS. Voila, you will realise that the signal from the service provider is long dead.
A GPS is, by definition, a device that works amazingly well when you don’t need it and doesn’t work when you need it the most. Just like our government, you can say).
As I was saying, as we men were drooling over the GPS, our respective spouses were showing a distinct lack of interest in this modern technological innovation, and were involving themselves in mundane things like taking care of a young one who was throwing up and another one that had incipient fever.
Quite fed up with this, we guys moved on to the more sensible topic of how effective and helpful the GPS will be when fitted in our cars during our daily commute between office and home.
Commitment and conviction are hard-wired into men and many of their allegiances are life-long. In matters of sports, that is. But when it comes to family, men adhere to a practical, laid-back policy, more precisely known just as: Don’t care.
Women, for some reason, are just incapable of understanding this particular warm facet of men that allows them to be religiously steadfast to a team, which technically may not even inhabit the same continent that they are in.
But a woman’s total disregard for a man’s finer feelings for sports can tear apart a marriage. As it almost did in the case of my friend.
This is his story: Last year, in the month of March, one fine morning, he was sleeping deeply after a night of hard work of watching the re-run of India’s triumph at the Lord’s in a one-dayer against Nasser Hussain’s England. For the record, India improbably chased down 309 runs successfully from the verge of certain defeat. Also, for the record, this is a match a typical Indian man never tires of watching again and again and again.
If there were a channel telecasting just this match alone for years together, there will be more committed viewers for it than NDTV-Hindu has ever seen in its life.
Ok, I am digressing. Just as my friend was sleeping, he was woken up by his wife with the words: ‘Wake up! Remember today’s date and its significance? ’ Mind you, my friend was still groggy and bleary-eyed. But pat came his reply: ‘How can I forget? After all, it’s the day of great importance. It’s the 25th year anniversary of India’s triumph at the World Series Cup in Melbourne’.
Needless to say, the date was March 10.
Of course, it also happened to be his wife’s birthday.
Rather than appreciate that he managed to remember a national event, his wife flew into a rage over the minor fault of not recalling her birthday.
The friend, for the record, also knows the precise scores of Sachin Tendulkar in each of his innings in the 1996 World Cup, but has trouble remembering his own blood group.
Little wonder some women find a stuffed Teddy bear to have better emotional quotient and strike a life-long relationship with it.
So folks, these two areas clearly establish the biggest truth behind a happy marriage: Never leave it in the hands of men.
PS: Just remind me to wish my wife this Friday on our wedding anniversary. Yes, it’s the same date that Chennai Super King’s Albie Morkel was born.