I’ve written about a lot of things on my blog that I felt were important (and unimportant too) to me, so it’s something of an uncanny feeling to know that I’m writing about the one that’s the most important thing I’ve ever written. I got married, yeah I know I’m late in writing this… its been over a month that I got married. I so wanted to write this post but couldn’t do so earlier.. thinking that its always better late than never.. here it starts..
My hubby’s name (yeah hubby!) is Saurabh Tuteja (I call him Tutu as many of his friends) Many of you who know me in person have met him and know of him.
It’s hard to find words to describe something as amazing as what this past month and half was like for me. The funny thing about life is that the most profound things are often the most banal. Our story is unique and at the same time exactly the same as every love story that’s ever been. Though this was the most personal thing I’ve ever been through, it’s one of the few events so universal that almost everyone understands it. And I wish everyone could have the happiness we do, and could have as much fun as we’ve been having.
But there are the parts that are uniquely us, maybe even some ideas that might inspire other people who wrestle with the everyday details of relationships, commitment, family, friendship, and marriage. I don’t intend to write about what he means to me, because some things are just for us.
So how did I get to this point? Growing up, I didn’t understand marriage in the same way as my peers. My parents basically had an arranged marriage, which gave me a vastly different perspective on the path to commitment. (Arranged marriages aren’t quite as exotic as most people seem to think: Being set up with someone who shares your economic, cultural, religious, and social background is pretty much a universal tendency, whether the setup happens through one’s parents, a temple mixer, or on any shaadi.com.)
The defining trait of marriage in these contexts is that the commitment comes first. It doesn’t occur to most people to get upset that they don’t get to choose their siblings; You just love your brother or sister, or you try to, and you fight sometimes and you disagree, and then you get over it, and that’s what family is about. And in some ways, marriage can be like that, too. There’s a liberation in knowing you don’t have an easy out: You know you’re going to make it work, and you’re not going to give up.
So one of the great things about having had the perspective of another culture’s look at marriage was realizing that there’s a freedom in knowing you can always count on the commitment as a framework that you work within. The absence of that immutable commitment was the thing I most lamented and was dismayed by in so many of the marriages I saw growing up. And it made it easier to know when I was ready and that I’d found the right person who shared that desire, even in a thoroughly Indian context.
Once you get to the point where you know you’re ready to get married, though, there’s a lot of logistics. And I think it’s probably stressful for most people. Everything I’d seen on television or movies or magazines seemed so much more focused on people getting “weddinged” than on getting married. If you tell people you’re engaged, they start talking to you about that one day, and almost never about the other half century you’re signing up for.
The sad truth is, when it comes time to get married, people talk about arbitrary (or tacky!) traditions and what kind of dessert you’re going to have and who’s sitting at what table. But they don’t talk about whether the couple really tells each other the truth, whether they share the same opinion about family and things. If those things don’t sound romantic to you, then maybe you’re not doing it right.
I’ve been married of just one and a half month; I won’t pretend that I can give anybody advice on married life. But I’ve already seen what’s worked to get me to a commitment and a love I never thought I’d find. I’ve learned that, when you’re doing things right, starting a life together as a couple can be fun and enjoyable and downright simple.
And perhaps just as importantly, I learned that you can define love and life on your own terms. Our families and friends came together to bring us together. And in the end, that inspiration is what we’re trying to honor by making this step together.
Among the many things that were said, some of the words that a dear friend shared struck me as the best lesson I learned in getting married. And like I said, it could seem simple, even obvious, when you read it on a screen, because it’s so universal. But when you live it and make a public commitment to it, it becomes downright profound.
What he told is that, in the end, only love matters. Success and fame and wealth and even health all fade in time, and in the end all you have is love. And love is what matters. I hope everyone in the world gets the chance to discover that in the way that I have. I love you, Tutu.