Day 115: And yet we never support our girls

Any trouble in married-land and we are already ready with our guns pointed at the girl. H and her married life has proved to me that marriage is invariably a union of two dysfunctional families, one that makes your own weirdeties seem like the better of the lot. It’s also a union where one party invariably makes more sacrifices than the other and they spend the rest of their lives either making up for it or being morose about it.

What is critical for them to realize is that sacrifices are expected, and are justified as long as they are balanced out. I’d like to see the man live in Bangalore for a month, working from here, while building his social circle here. He would understand exactly what H is going through after moving to KL to start her life with him.

Invariably, the woman is expected to make the grand sacrifices, of her economic, emotional and social stability, and is expected to fit in seamlessly into the newfound circles. Any inability or trouble in doing that is automatically deduced as the girl’s disability and poor upbringing. Any leniency or support from the man’s side is seen as him being a pussy or wife-whipped. He himself walks with the superiority of having done a favor, while a relationship is equal work from both ends.

What got me thinking on these lines today was the conversation with dad, when he almost seemed apologetic for his daughter’s temper and the trouble in the marriage. It’s funny how little they had made an effort to see what might be causing the ill mood, the trigger from the other end. I dared him to tell me one instance where the mother of that son would have accepted his flaws openly. To her, he is the unspoilt unpolished diamond from the lines of South Africa. And on the other side, we let our daughter take the stab for everything, even something like marriage that takes a village to run the show right.

The patriarchy was evident when he justified himself by saying, ‘How can I say that the guy is at fault when I’m sitting in his house and eating his food?’ What happened to the part of the meal that his daughter had paid for? I thought the house automatically became ‘their’ house because what is his is hers. No?

That’s why I say the girls should stay home with their mummies all their lives, S. Then you have the comfort of the same bed all along. Aaah those pleasures.” Scotch

Day 73: When boredom strikesĀ 

When boredom strikes, we snooze and snooze some more. Scotch is great company for that as you’d have already seen by now. Great inspiration. When I woke up at 6, and saw her sleeping cozy under the sheets and the rain pouring outside, I pulled the sheets up and went back to bed. I was reminded of my two-year itch with work; happened with every work assignment so far.

The first year is invariably the honeymoon. The negatives of the work and the people seem trivial compared to all the fun and excitement that the novelty brings in. There are late nights and early hours full of exciting and challenging work. The people seem wonderful and self-motivation is at its zenith. No work is beyond me and I’m ready to consume any new knowledge that comes my way.

The next six months are a slow and progressive slide down to misery. The 14 to 20 hour shifts leave me drained and I’m left questioning every decision you’ve taken that landed you this misery. The family has given up on me by now and plans, where I do not feature, pop up. And the people, they fall down from the high and holy towers you placed them, and show their true, dirty colors.

The final six months are a painful struggle, where my principles battle the realities of the job and each day is almost soul sucking. It’s these final six months that push me over the edge and I start questioning life’s entire journey. It’s this pattern that took me through 2 years each in Mumbai, New Haven, Richmond, Minneapolis, Bangalore and out to my current life. Year 1s dedication meant that even a wisdom tooth extraction couldn’t stop me from doing my 20 hour shift. But year 2s lack of motivation means a small sniffle and it’s sick day.

I’ve just gotten into my 2nd year, and the honeymoon is over. People are turning faces and their true colors are slowly emerging. The bureaucracy and the sluggishness of the chosen path is becoming more evident by the day. And I have the sniffle today.

Life is a struggle, S, and every step is an uphill climb. But you have to fight it through. And when you have family right behind you, catching you if you fall, then why worry?” Scotch