Manic Monday morning.All I still want to do is not think about love (my love life in particular actually) but the day demands that I conduct a session on Love and Relationships with Grade 9 and answer their naive questions and shoot down their hopeful opinions in a gut-wrenching way. Explaining why being possessive does not mean that he/she “cares” about you that much and what is an unhealthy relationship. Answering questions about if it is okay to be in love with a much older guy. Discussing being “friendzoned” (a situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an reciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.)
I walk out of the sessions reminiscing what it felt like to be in school and believe that love is actually the answer to everything. And it saddened me to think of the price I’ve paid for this wisdom. The price of knowing love. I remembered one of my favorite poetry on love:
Again I come back to my office trying hard not to think about the havoc in my personal life and get on with life. If ninth graders know how to move on in life, surely I could manage to.
Enter my colleague in the midst of the typical Indian arranged marriage set-up drama. She rants on about how this boy she met just thrice is perfect for her and how in spite of everything (that includes her urban upbringing and Masters’ Degree in Psychology and not to forget basic common sense) she agreed to marry him provided he “accepts” her. She explains, more to herself than to me, why her decision ‘makes sense’ in the long run and how his family is ‘settled’ and he will keep her comfortable. (Read: I won’t have to work another day in my life.)
Yes, the mother-in-law has indicated that she would not want her to work after marriage (who cares about the Masters Degree) and she will negotiate a part-time working situation but all in all it is a good thing if this marriage happens.
Yes, the mother-in-law also expects her to behave like an untouchable when it is “that time of the moth” and she expects her to cook and do Pooja (Idol-worship) everyday but that’s because the family is cultured and want a cultured girl.
The boy is nice. Though he is not as educated or good looking or social skilled or fluent with English as her. He will keep her happy. What else could she ask for anyway.
Not much apparently.