Friday, January 18, 2008

The Golden Age

If there is anything harder than watching your kids grow, in my opinion, it is watching your parents grow older. Throughout your life, your parents have been the foundation that held the structure of the family together. One day, out of the blue, you discover that the very same foundation has started to develop cracks. The signs were there for you to see, but you only see what your eyes want to see. So you go on ignoring it, hoping that like everything else, it will just fade away.

Its not like my parents are as old as dinosaurs already. But to my alarm, I know that very soon they will be. I have never concerned myself with or obsessed over something as trivial as age. As a kid, I did want to grow up really fast, but those were for different reasons altogether. As an adult, I have never foolishly wished time to stand still. But now, a strange selfishness has started enveloping me. I like the present. I don't want it to change. Change, which has always been my biggest enemy.

If there is one very valuable lesson that I have learned from my parents, it is the value of compromise. It is a value which almost everyone in their generation learned without being explicitly taught. Two total strangers, agreeing to spend the rest of their lives together, bound by nothing but a few rituals and the society's rules, all for their parents'/family's happiness. Arranged marriage - the biggest compromise of them all.

Why did I suddenly veer towards the topic of marriage? Recently, my maternal aunt and uncle celebrated their fiftieth marriage anniversary. 50. Five zero. Going by the unrest amongst the people of my age group, a silver jubilee would call for a nationwide celebration. Every one wants life on his/her own terms. Nobody is willing to change themselves but expect others to change for them.

I have never had the opportunity to watch an old couple up close, all four grandparents passed away by the time I was six. That actually isn't a good sign, but as I said, who cares about such things. So watching my not so old parents age is quite fascinating. The comfort zone that they share, the tiffs and the disagreements and the nonchalant way in which it is handled, each of it seems part of an oft-practiced effortless ritual. I remember spending a day at my friend's grandparents' place. At noon, both of them used to sit in front of the tv and peacefully doze off. I had remarked to her then -"If forty years from now, I can share this kind of relationship with my husband, I would call my life a success".

I still stand by it.


  1. :) is a never ending debate about which is better... arranged marriage or love marriage... in the former, love happens after wedding... and in the latter, marriage happens after falling in love... many argue that the first is better... coz, there're no expectations from the spouse immediately after marriage... u start discovering things slowly... but in a love marriage, u know most of the stuff about the other person before getting married... so there're a lot of expectations, which if not met would lead to uncomfortable situations... both the sides have their merits and demerits... each one to his/her own...

  2. "If forty years from now, I can share this kind of relationship with my husband, I would call my life a success".

    Dat does it! All the best! :D