In this over demanding life that we are engulfed into, how often do we hear of couples who have had successful marriages and those who are sure they are in it for a lifetime? I for sure can say that three out of the five marriages I attended recently ended within just a few months. Considering the obvious fact that today, both men and women are focusing on careers, travel, and business and have an array of arrangements on their plate with endless deadlines, couples do find it hard to make it last. While you’re surrounded by so many failed relationships, you’re naturally looking for that one bright light you know you can follow, the one that brings out hope in you.
For me, this bright light was the recent celebration of my grandparents 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary. I doubt they would have made it this far if they started a life together with their foundations based on conditions put forward by both families, which is gradually becoming a trend these days considering hefty pay checks and lavish lifestyles; a marriage without talks about imported gifts is almost nonexistent. I constantly hear stories from my aunts about how my grandparents started a life together with bare necessities and how they gradually moved out of the joint family setting to make sure that their children weren’t shadowed by older cousins and were brought up independently.
My grandmother would always say that her early days as a new bride in the joint family was a journey of bitter sweet memories. But even today, she feels if she didn’t experience the bickering and taunting from the older women in the house, she would have never known how not to treat her daughters and daughter-in-law. But now she would tell me, the current generation is unable to accept such situations, although they might be hard to deal with, they are all still learning experiences.
Back then, things were not in the plenty as they are today. Resources were limited, technology barely existed, family time and education was on top priority and outdoor games were the only respite from studies. But surely those would have been times that were nothing but satisfying to the soul unlike today when if someone else has more likes on their web page there is a sense of cold war arising. Similarly, starting a life together isn’t a knockout round of tennis where if you lose a match your game is over, it’s about learning to live with a new person, making peace with their likes and dislikes, adjusting to each other’s schedules and lots more, something our generation more or less takes for granted resulting in failed relationships.
A few years back, my grandmother went to live with my uncle and his wife for a couple of months to help take care of their child; only she would know the amount of pain she went through during those few months as she had to live away from her husband. Fifty years later, even today, she ensures that they live a happy and a healthy life together. Where do we get to see this kind of attachment these days? According to me, these are subtle hints trying to wake us up from our bubble of comfort and over-confidence.
With the change in lifestyle and the increasing work pressures of this day and age, we seem to have forgotten how to cherish family and how important certain milestones can be.
We have plenty to learn from our grandparents, more than we could possible know. Cherishing family time and valuing the basic necessities of life is something only they have learnt to the fullest.
Published in The Golden Sparrow 28/6/2014