Sunday, April 24, 2016

Why Do Girls Marry and Why Do Boys Marry

I like to read Agony Aunt” columns.

It is interesting to see the variety of problems people have  and the interesting solutions suggested by Agony Aunts”.

Maybe  you too have similar problems  and you can try out the solutions suggested.

Here is the gist of an interesting “apocryphal” question from a lady in her 50s that I read this morning in the Agony Aunt” column of a newspaper:

“My daughter got married at the age of 29 to a fellow IT Professional. Since she was concentrating on her studies and career, she does not know how to do housework. Also she is not accustomed to doing housework since I did all the housework. Now after marriage she lives in a joint family (with her husband and in-laws) and they expect her to do all the housework. This makes her feel depressed and unwell  and to escape the housework  my daughter comes to live with me from time to time  and she tries to avoid going to her husbands home on some pretext or the other. My daughters frequent leaving him to come to live with me annoys my daughter’s husband  and this is causing marital strain between them. What should I do?

I am sure you can guess the typical conservative answer of the Agony Aunt” – that the mother should tell her daughter to “adjustand learn housework etc.

However – the moot question is: “Why do girls marry? (and also  “Why do boys marry?”)

All this reminded me of a story I had written around 9 years ago during my Aundh days after a delicious meal in one of my favorite restaurants in Pune – Polka Dots.

So – let me delve deep into my creative writing archives and pull out the story for you to read...

A Story

I like playing Agony Aunt.

It is good fun.

I love to talk. I am a good listener.

Listening to others’ troubles seems to make my own troubles go away.

I love to talk to anyone who wants to talk to me.

Yes, talking to someone who needs comforting seems to make my own troubles go away…!

So I am quite happy when Alka calls up, “Are you free today…? I want to speak to you…”

“Sure,” I say, “in the evening…?”

“After work…?”

“Okay…I’ll wait for you in Polka Dots…at seven…”

At seven I sit in the veranda of Polka Dots Café in Aundh sipping Iced Tea waiting for Alka to arrive.

There she is…Alka gets off her company bus which ferries her from her workplace in the IT Park at Hinjewadi to her chummery in Aundh…she spots me, waves, walks briskly and sits on the chair opposite me.

“Thanks for coming,” she says.

“You are welcome,” I say, “But first let’s order…then we’ll talk…”

We order…Fish and Chips for me and a Chicken Teriyaki for her…and then I say, “Tell me...what’s bothering you…?”

“Ashish…” she says, “he wants to do his MBA... ”

“That’s good…”

“I know… I have nothing against his doing MBA… but he wants to postpone our marriage…”


“We’ve been seeing each other for seven years now… we’ve been going around since our first year in engineering college…we’d decided to get married the moment we completed our B.Tech. and got a job…that was okay… I was getting much better offers but I joined the same company just to be with him… then he said let’s finish our training… then he said let the probation period be over… the he kept dilly dallying… every time I ask him let’s get married he says let’s wait, be secure in our careers… and now this MBA bug has bit him… I said let’s get married and you can do your MBA here in Pune… but he says no… he wants to go to IIM… concentrate on his CAT… then focus on his MBA studies and come on top of his class…”

The food arrives. We start eating. 

There is silence for a while and then Alka starts speaking, “How long can we continue like this…? I am almost twenty five now…so he’ll study for CAT for a year…then two more years of MBA…then he’ll say let me settle down in my new job… I feel very insecure in life by his indecision… Isn’t it high time we got married and settled down…?”

“I’ll speak to Ashish…” I say

That night I call Ashish over for a drink at our favourite watering hole in Baner. 

I talk about the conversation Alka had with me in Polka Dots and tell him that Alka’s afraid that he is going to dump her.

“Dump her…? What nonsense… I love her… I want to marry her… but how can I explain… I want to be secure before I marry…? Ashish says.

“Secure…?” I ask.

“You know that a mere B. Tech. isn’t enough these days – I barely managed to hold on to by job during the recession. I don’t feel secure in my job. I have to get an MBA… from a top-notch institute like IIM… get a good job… do well in my life. That’s why I want to focus on studying for CAT and marriage at this stage will disturb my focus on studies. I must get into an IIM... study hard… top the class... get the best job.... I am only twenty five now... there is plenty of time for marriage... I want to feel secure in my career before I make a commitment to marriage so that I can give the best to Alka and our would-be kids…”

So this is the basic marriage dilemma:
A girl wants to get married to feel secure
A boy wants to be secure before getting married 

Do you agree...? 

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This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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