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My husband and I look at life through different lenses. Despite that, there is domestic harmony. So what is our secret?
It was an arranged marriage for me and my husband. The match was finalised by our parents after scrutinizing various aspects such as religion, caste, education, career etc.. But I never realised that even within the same caste, community and religion, we would have so many differences in customs and opinions.
Firstly, I am a career woman. I cannot imagine life without a career. Cooking, household chores, babysitting are all part of my world balancing my career. So in order to reduce my workload at home, I have maids to help me with the cooking and cleaning.
But my husband’s side of the family has seen only housewives. They all have exceptional skills in making exotic dishes and hosting a crowd of guests, drawing lovely kolams in the month of Markazhi and being the perfect homemakers. Naturally, our topics of interest differ immensely. While my sister-in-law may be interested in a new recipe, I would be busy with an Amitava Shah novel or blogging.
My husband welcomes guests with a ‘Vanakkam’ (both hands clasped in front just as we do during a prayer). I greet people with a casual ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’!
Women of the family follow certain rules while serving food to guests. For instance, a sweet is to be served first, vegetables such as bitter gourd are to be strictly avoided and serving should be done with the right hand. I have absolutely no clue about all these customs. In my family, we share the same table with guests, pass dishes around and help ourselves.
Wearing saree, accessories such as toe rings, anklets, bangles and sindhoor in the centre partition of the hair are some of the few standard elements of the female members of my in-law’s family. But my day-to-day wear is salwar kameez and I would love to slip into my pair of jeans on weekends.
I wear no toe rings, anklets, bangles or sindhoor, partly because I did not grow up seeing my mom and grandmom wearing any of them and also because it did not go well with my professional attire. I even remove my mangalsutra when it feels too hot and sweaty after a workout!!
My husband is a very pious person. So are all the members of his side of the family. Family get togethers and tours are usually planned to visit a temple. While I had nothing against God or religion, the recent loss of my father made me totally immune to spiritual feelings. I detest visiting temples. And I prefer to believe in myself to gather courage and face the odds, rather than believe in an external entity called God!
Despite so many differences, my husband and I do get along harmoniously. Our marriage is a success for the past 13 years and there is peace and love in the family. The fact is that we have learnt to accept each other as we are.
My husband does not expect me to change according to his family traditions and I do not expect my husband or in-laws to change either. I get my own ‘Me’ time and he gets ‘His’. My husband and in-laws read and appreciate my blog, while I relish, enjoy their savouries and compliment them for the same. This blend is the secret formula for our happiness as a family.
Image source: couple sitting back to back by Shutterstock.
Software professional turned business woman. Interested in travelling, reading and Bharatanatyam.
Very well written article – a heavy topic treated with a light touch
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