The most common comment that I have been getting since the day I got married is that I don’t ‘look’ married, right from Day 2 of my marriage. What is with ‘looking’ married? Do I have to wear a board round my neck stating that I am married? Well in India…Yes!
Acceptable ways of ‘looking’ married in India: Sindoor, wedding ring, wedding locket, toe rings, blingy clothes in bright colours, couples of extra kilos preferably and sitting coy at public events! All of the above applicable only to the female, none applicable to men…(they are still ‘khulla saandh’ :~D)
Day 2 after the wedding, the Man and I attended my friends’ wedding anniversary. When she told her mother ‘Ma this is Ann…the one whose wedding V and I attended last night‘, there was a collective gasp from the heavily decked up aunties in blingy sarees who saw me in a khadi silk kurta and churidhar..that too in beige!!! (No red!…another gasp!) Me thinks the aunties looked more ‘newly married’ than me.
Day 5 after the wedding, the Man and I started cleaning our new house and I could not bear the sight of the wedding band getting tortured by the metallic scrub and soap solution. Also the Man and I could not come to terms with the yellow shiny metal on our respective fingers and I could never come to terms with the thick gold chain I had to wear because on it hung the ‘wedding locket’. So out went the rings and the chain! The Man and I were very happy from that day!! But society clearly not!
My best friend has this game where she loves watching people’s reaction when she tells them that I am married. Apart from the standard reactions of ‘ooh u don’t look married‘ we also get obnoxious ones. One of the most obnoxious comments I received was from a lady who is highly educated and working in a very high post with a government undertaking. She asked me ‘so how come you both decided not to wear anything…too much confidence in each other?!?!!‘ I stared at her and said “Yes absolutely!” (although convenience is the real answer ;~) )
The principal of one of the schools I studied in is the famous Mrs. Y.G. Parthasarathy. This cheerful woman at the young age of 80 and counting still sports the brightest kancheepuram sarees with fresh flowers on her hair. She once told us that people asked her why doesn’t she ‘show respect’ to the departed soul of Mr. Parthasarathy and ‘dress up’ like the other widows. Her answer was ‘Till I got married and my husband came into my life, I was sporting colorful clothes and flowers, so why should that stop once my husband is no longer alive‘. Coming from a lady belonging to the staunch Tam Bram community, this is blasphemy in their society!!
Dear Indians, I don’t need you to draw boundaries for me to remain loyal…I am capable of doing that by myself. As for showing India how lucky I am of being a ‘suhaagan’ (status of being married), luck is not represented by looking like a Christmas Tree with Chinese Diwali lights on it!!
PS: Now my main worry is the Man not ‘looking’ married…especially since I heard that he is getting marriage proposals…that too from pretty expats!!!