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Of Marital Life and Privacy

Of Marital Life and Privacy
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Winters are over, springs have added the green embroidery and we have these young brides and bridegrooms about to start their new life. In Kashmir, it is the beginning of a new wedding season. A happy married life to you all! Ours is the society merged in the pool of customs and traditions. And, if you abandon even a small chunk of the prodigious praxis, you are in trouble. From relative to a neighbour, friend to foe, all in the same tone shall show consistency in dragging their long muzzle in your matter.

Good or bad, expensive or affordable, every custom almost follows in any order. Especially when we talk of our wedding celebrations, it’s the matter of honour or humiliation,  most of the times needless exaggeration. Whatever it is, this article will explore the problems which the newly married couples of Kashmir face post-wedding. And, I believe most of the married couples in Kashmir have gone through this series of events with the minimum interludes.

Marriage is the pious institution of trust and conviction. Two different people with entirely dissimilar established set of attitudes are tied together in the nuptial knot. After the wedding party is over and the bride is red-carpeted by the groom’s family, a valuable couple of months are about to commence. It’s the time when the couple should know each other completely, make one another feel comfortable at home, and learn each other’s disparities.

In Kashmir, I have come across one ritual that for first ten days or so the bride is allowed to spend most of the time with her husband in their room. But, the problems actually develop when our relatives and neighbours visit for the greetings and are reluctant to spend time with the bride. And, if somehow they don’t, mother-in-law demands her to sit in front of them.

More than spending some quality private time with her husband during the day time, she ends up being with the visitors. I’m not blaming the visitors or anybody else for that matter, the situation develops as such where you can’t help it. And, this whole process of meetings and post-wedding rituals continue almost for three long months. It means the whole of their schedule is in shambles, they being defenceless and vulnerable to such unforeseen events.

The newly wed couples deserve complete privacy, at least for a week or fortnight. And, I don’t think it’s possible to guarantee them much required solitude at home. Most of the times surrounded by family and relatives, one holiday together is justifiable.

The traditional holiday taken by newlyweds to celebrate their marriage in seclusion and intimacy, we denominate it as a ‘Honeymoon’. But, in our society one interpretation is very common among most of our elders.

It implicates if a newlywed couple soon after their wedding proceeds for a holiday, their fidelity toward the family and courtesy for a fraternity would be questioned. Moreover, the environment around the couple is an attack of collywobbles.

The honeymoon is an optimistic expectation for a newlywed couple to move away from the hustle and bustle of life, the stress they literally confronted while planning their wedding and the customs during it, and relaxing peacefully in the lap of some picturesque locus. It’s not necessary to spend a colossal amount of money for these holidays, just choose the place according to your budget, but should be cut off from the hubbub or cacophony of our everyday activities.

And, more than the sightseeing, it should be spending your time with each other. It’s an occasion of knowing, or in a more sophisticated way letting off the ground for a while, not the actuality anyways.  Pragmatically, it’s the moment to create a healthy atmosphere, the solid beginning for the life together. And, it’s only possible if we happily allow, rather arrange some lonely vacation for them.

Actually, what is this privacy?  I believe, it’s a fundamental human right, the right to be left alone. As Billy Graham says,” Once you’ve lost your privacy, you realise you’ve lost an extremely valuable thing”.

Most important thing is there needs to be the balance in it. What I mean to say is if there’s a hundred percent privacy, the relationship with the rest of the family will start growing intolerable. And, if there’s no privacy at all, it’s a double-edged sword where the bond between the parents and the couple as well as inter-couple pledge and fusion weakens. So, it’s knowing your boundaries well, where the privacy should begin and end.

The privacy does not mean Honeymoon or these secluded vacations only. Our elders must realise that the couple should be given the proper space at home as well.  Poking your nose into every domain of their life not only would push them away from you, but it may infect their married life as well.

Offering an advice is a different thing, but imposing your ideology over the couple would be stridulous in a very bad way. By no means I’m advocating rebellion against our parents or elders, nor am I in support of being indifferent. What I believe is the mutual respect which is an art of living a happy life among your own, or one must say a well-coalesced family. But, the family would be integrated if we know how to draw the lines. Especially when we have welcomed someone, our daughter-in-law, from a different family, there may be initially many contradictory affairs coming into play.

But, as we start knowing one another in the family, things start falling at the right place and deference fails to descend. It’s an ascending process now on where the members of family virtually have a deep affection for one another.

Say, tomorrow if my son and his wife wants to spend some days together at some holiday destination, or they want to launch some new business venture, or may change the ambience of their bedroom, neither I nor my wife should have any problem with it. They are no more caterpillars, we should treat them as beautifully grown up and sagacious butterflies. We can’t tie them by the ropes of our own customs and traditions, but if they make an error or require our help we should be beside them throughout. Seclusion and quietness, giving them ample time and space to recognise and appreciate each other, and not to jab or prod our own policies into their budding relationship.

If we follow these simple rules in our life, I’m sure there shall grow the mutual approbation and the generation gap will shrink. At the end of the day, a happy family is not a myth at all, provided we follow certain principles peacefully.

Nobody has the right to know the details of the affairs between a husband and a wife, be it financial or intimate. Privacy must be respected. Especially, the bedroom of your daughter in law should not be made a common sitting room where anyone and everyone enter without the permission.

It’s a time when we give them some private space to recognise their own way of rowing the boat. Let their oars be their instincts, the experience and their fruitful desires to strengthen their family and professional life. Let contentment and bliss dwell under one roof, our elders and youngsters living together as a well-knit unit.

 

*The author can be reached at qhchangal@gmail.com

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position of Oracle Opinions.

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