A few months ago, S and I met through our families and decided to get married to each other. From the first awkward phone call, to the first date to the first time we kept talking all night long - this is the fifth in a series all about our arranged marriage… Read #ArrangedShaadi: To Be Nice Or To Be *Real* With The In-Laws? ... here! A few weeks back I was at a friend’s bachelorette party, and the conversation there soon turned to her first night. The party suddenly got divided between my married friends, who started giving expert advice, and the single ones who listened excitedly and giggled at every naughty suggestion. The bride-to-be couldn’t stop blushing and laughing through it all, ready to woo her husband and blow his mind on their big night. And looking at her I realized… I wasn’t ready.
You see, my friend was marrying her boyfriend of long time, someone she knew and loved dearly and wanted to feel even closer to. But, I’ve only known S for about four months now, and I don’t think I can match her levels of excitement in such a short time. I am busy living my little firsts right now - the first time he talked to me all night, the first time he held my hand, the first time we sneaked out, the first time we went for a long drive together…and I don’t want to rush anything, least of all the first time we make love.‘First nights’ are special. You marry someone and take him as your partner for life and celebrate your first night on this journey, together. Come to think of it, it’s really sweet. But the idea of the ‘suhaagraat’ makes me uncomfortable. It literally translates into two virgins consummating their marriage. How absurd is that? And it just keeps getting more weird, for we have Bollywood songs (and popular ones, mind you) written about this ritual and even otherwise conservative relatives openly joking and talking about it. Can you imagine the pressure on the poor bride-to-be? Suddenly everybody around her expects her to be in love and get closer than ever before with this guy she has known for just a few months, only because so demands tradition. Argh.That’s actually my foremost complaint with arranged marriage set-ups. They expect couples to follow the rule book: First, you meet and court each other. You better act like you’re in love during your courtship. Then comes suhaagraat, following which you shouldn’t be able to keep your hands off each other. Enough fun already, grow up and make some kids, now. WTF!
And guess who acts as the keeper of this rule book? Relatives. Yes. They point and question and nudge and advise you, if you don’t follow. You’d think they would leave your sex life alone? Nope. It’s what they are most interested in. I know ‘coz I receive many such pieces of advice on a daily basis. So, I have come up with a few pieces of advice for anyone of you going through the same situation. First, ignore them relatives. Now, take your time to know the guy you’re getting married to. Don’t make love on your ‘suhaagraat’ if you don’t feel comfortable, discuss it with your husband and most importantly, fall in love with him. Everything will fall into place and your ‘first time’, whenever that happens, will be magical.Meanwhile, here’s what I am doing. I am accepting all well-meaning advice that is coming my way. After all, knowledge never goes to waste and experience only helps. I am going to put it to good use when I am ready. Oh, and the best part? S wants the same for us.Images: Shutterstock