Thursday, 25 August 2011

In Sickness and in Health:)

A close friend had once narrated an anecdote.
Once long back, her mom was diagnosed with some illness which required complete bed rest. The doctor and the elders in the family had advised her happy-go-lucky dad to take leave from work, stay at home for a couple of days and look after her. The well meaning advice backfired. Happy at getting leave from work out of the blue, Mr. Dad went ahead got himself crates of beer and called the friends who were available on a weekday to give him company. Besides creating ruckus with his male bonding act, he also managed to irritate aunty by waking her up from her medicine induced sleep every hour to ask “you are doing fine, right?” He would then vanish before she could muster a reply!
Her mom had finally bolted the bedroom door from inside after being woken up thrice and the next day she freaked at the doctor and her mother-in-law who promptly took back their earlier advice and uncle was requested to “not look after aunty” and get back to work with immediate effect the very next day!

We had all laughed hysterically on her dad’s twisted Florence Nightingale act! Little did I envision at that point, that once married I will land in similar territory.

What is it with men and tending to the sick? Why are they so completely at a loss? I am sure they mean well, just that while executing the kindness, somehow they land up doing exactly what is NOT required. Let me share my own very recent anecdote.

Last Friday, 8.00pm IST:

Being unable to walk for last 2 weeks because of swollen feet accompanied by excruciating pain, I finally decided to take medical help. The GP + the ortho (two different docs, if you please) asked me to get a series of tests done. One of them was to check RA (rheumatoid arthritis) factor. Being a Google addict; on reaching home post check up and tests, I promptly read up on RA and discovered that it is incurable and although medicines do regulate the pain, one basically lives with pain and side effects caused by the medication rest of his/ her life.
Overall, not present a pretty picture, at all.
I pondered about this and visualized myself as a stick/crutch dependent person, shunned by society, not able to work, in dire consequences etc (my imagination has a habit of running wild) and since there was nothing else to do except croak in pain, I decided to get depressed.
Suitably depressed, I rang the HUSBAND. On hearing my grief /panic stricken voice on phone, he for once did not say something irrelevant (Ex- I forgot to have my lunch today; I just saw two MIG’s flying over my tech park etc. Yes they are not co-related AT ALL, but then you don’t know my husband).
He actually came back home early to offer me his shoulders to cry on.  Pouring himself a large peg, he advised that till we actually find out what is wrong, it is no use getting worried. Logical and sensible advice, after all the evening had just begun.  My pain was manageable at that point.
The second drink, of course brought out the emotion. He claimed that no matter what happens to me, he will be there. He also assured full support on behalf of our fat four legged friend. Furry friend of course, looked the other way round and yawned, he did not seem very keen on supporting me in my illness.
Then as the third drink made its way, he mentioned that science is taking giant leaps, a possible cure will definitely find its way in the next couple of years. Which effectively meant that by then even he believed that I may be in for some trouble which totally contradicted his statement post drink No. 1.
By then the pain had increased manifold and I decided to have my dinner.
By the time the fourth drink was over, I had dozed off. I was tired and sick and wanted to sleep it off. I was suddenly shaken awake; THE Husband looking at me with a confused expression. Anyone who has had four large pegs in quick succession knows the expression I am referring to.
And I was informed, “I think I am little high, can you please serve me dinner?”

There you go! Who was ill? Who needed looking after? Who needed TLC? Who should have served whom dinner? These thought provoking questions never get a satisfactory answer; my friend….and life goes on.

At the Hospital though, we were confronted with a different side of the coin.
A couple was sitting with their back towards us waiting for the same doctor. The woman kept whining that her shopping time cannot be compromised on. The man replied “I have never stopped you from going out”. Woman cribbed, “But you promised you will accompany me”. Man sighed; deep, sad sigh. And then as they got up to leave, we realized that the guy in question had crepe bandage over his ankle. The HUSBAND stated gravely, “Man, having a wife who insists that you accompany her for a shopping spree while semi limping is a real sad situation.”
Was that the moment of truth/ acknowledgment that there are real pain-in-the-wrong-place kind of wives on this planet and that he is lucky NOT to be associated with one?
I am yet to know.

PPS: Oh by the way, in spite of four pegs he was up on time the next day to accompany me to the doctor.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Why Don Juan will never make a good husband!

FYI: This blog is not an online version of ‘comedy store’. Seriously! I have been getting feedback that junta is finding it funny, LMAO, ROFL etc. You know how everyone talks in acronyms these days, which if you ask me is very weird. Anyways, the point I am trying to make is this is a forum to discuss and decode a very, very serious topic like ‘marriage’.
Do read the rest of the entries with a somber expression! At least try. I mean if you guys can’t take something like marriage seriously, what hope is left!!
LOL. Now that I am done, let’s proceedJ

An old friend visited earlier this week. We were meeting face-to-face after a long period and hence there was a lot of gossip that needed trading.
Conversation veered to old friends who are still unmarried. Yes, we sounded like protagonists from Ekta Kapoor stable; discussing very aunty-like, boring and nothing-better-to-do-with-life topic. I admit, am a bit embarrassed to broach the subject but definitely not ashamed, mind you. While at it we realized that all the common friends who are nearing mid 30’s (God, we are indeed getting OLD) and are single and available and not happy with the single status are the ones who always had a penchant for the quasi Don Juan types.
They somehow had this tremendous self belief that they could convert Mr. Cool-and-wild to Mr. Responsible-and-domestic. Nadan bacche! I am not being patronizing; I truly think that it was one of their biggest miscalculations while they got into one relationship after another presuming it to be the “THE ONE”.

Description of Quasi DJ: suave, charming, kind of intelligent, well dressed, well read (some are), earns enough dough to take GF’s for dinner/ lunch at fancy places, some are fancier and actually offers international vacations, tad bit over protective (at least they definitely enact that part) can flirt, a little wild side to them, drives car/ bikes faster than usual, thrives on being impulsive, experimental in bed etc etc. In a nutshell, lots of qualities to sweep you of your feet!

Point is, while these types may seem very attractive during ‘dating’ phase, they invariably back out when it comes to finally tying the knot. Various reasons – commitment phobia, hypocritical, does not have the balls to stand by their decision are a few that I can think of, right now.
I know quite a few, who eventually stated while dumping their GF’s that while going around with girl / s who are smart, attractive, a lil wild on the side like them was fun,  but ‘shaadi ke liye to papa-mummy ke choice ko bhi include karma chahiye’. Papa-Mummy of course had a very different idea of what ‘bahu’ should be like. Tch, tch. Unfortunately, by the time this wisdom struck these guys, the girl in question was already heartbroken. Of course, there are a few who went ahead and got married but more often than not news of their still being wild and attending convenient business meetings at wee hours in the night in the company of women does its rounds! Bigger joke is that their wives actually pretend to believe them!! And it not hearsay, I actually personally know such couples.

Looking back, my selection criterion for my first boyfriend was – tattoos, bike and well...he did have a noticeably good physique. I was 21 and one has every right to be vain and like guys because they look delicious. But never in my dreams did I think of marrying him. OMG, he was nice, sweet, bought me chocolates etc but very irresponsible. Trust me, even he used to admit he is irresponsible! And that is a hell of a criterion while one selects a husband. You may want a hot guy as your husband but you would rather if he is responsible!

What we both concluded is that there needs to be different criterion for selecting a boyfriend vis-à-vis husband. And unfortunately a doting boyfriend does not always convert himself into a doting husband. I agree it is the IDEAL situation, but alas ideal seldom takes place in real life. Women need to get a grasp and understand that while making choices they need to be a bit more practical.
Our respective husbands may be a bit of a goofball, semi forgetful (does confuse birthdays, anniversary etc), refuses to go for a manicure (in other words not always well groomed) and have given up riding bikes (except while visiting Goa) but well….they are around when needed. And yes, they do remember to pay the electricity and phone bills on time and does massage your feet if you are terribly fatigued at the end of the day, albeit with a sulk!

So here is our pearl of wisdom. Girls have fun, while in your 20s. Be with the Don Juans, let them woo you, check out ‘how to have fun” road. But know when to back out. Life is not about “Lived happily ever after”. Life is about making choices that help you lead a meaningful life. So if you want a regular marriage (watching TV in the evening, going grocery shopping over the weekends etc) then opt for the sensible, responsible men in your circle. Don’t keep waiting trying to convert Mr Juan to someone he cannot be. Learn to move on, there is definitely someone who may not be able to fulfill all your crazy fantasies but will definitely try to make you happy in his own way!