Temptation of the ludoo
There is a sweet Indian cookie called the ludoo. Marriage is like the ludoo. It's tempting to eat it, and it's tempting not to.
Many single people like myself look upon marriage as the finishing line, the trophy at the end of the rat race. Married people are healthier and live longer than unmarried people. I read that somewhere and it stuck like superglue.
The notion that marriage is healthy and good for people is reenforced by Operation Wedding. Everybody celebrates at weddings. No one celebrates at divorces. There is no divorce banquet or divorce honeymoon.
Women show off their engagement rings but no about-to-be-divorced woman would flaunt the discarding of a wedding ring.
Entire industries cater to wedding celebrations, beginning with the engagement party and ending with the honeymoon. Marriage as a business feeds thousands of professions. Divorce? Just relationship counselors and lawyers.
What tempts me about marriage is putting a closure to deciding upon on a relationship to which I would commit for the rest of my life. The damsel in distress would be rescued by a prince on a white horse and live happily ever after. Question marks in that department, the choice of a life partner, would vanish.
What tempts me about not getting married but remaining single is that song "It's sad to belong to someone else when the right one comes along." This only makes sense if you believe there is a right one for the rest of your life. On the other hand, if you believe there is only a right one for each period in your life, then you will continue to be a serial monogamist.
How does one live "happily ever after" ? My married friend tells me that I've only tasted the icing on the cake but I have no idea what the cake itself tastes like. Perhaps "happily ever after" only exists after conflicts are resolved similar to that exhilarating sensation at the end of a concert. To taste the cake, you have to cut through the sweet stuff and get to the not so sweet. To reach the "high" after a concert, you have to practise the same passages a zillion times. Is married life routine then?
Married readers are probably laughing as they read this journal entry. "Stop contemplating. Stop speculating." I can hear them shout. "Just get on with it. Either get married or don't."
The ludoo awaits. Should I eat it? Or should I just watch it expire like all the other temptations that have passed their sell-by-dates in my closet of memories?
19 August 2004 Thursday