Never ad­vise any­one to go to war … or get mar­ried —Ger­maine Greer

HT City - - Relationship -

so they bet­ter go ahead and marry any­way.

The prob­lem is graver for friends and well-wish­ers of these con­fused souls. They have to lis­ten to the ram­blings of a per­plexed mind, mus­ings to the ef­fect of whether their friend at the al­tar is do­ing the right thing by giv­ing up a care­free life in favour of set­tling down. I know of such peo­ple around me — a younger cousin, a friend’s sis­ter, a col­league — ter­ri­bly con­fused and anx­ious about what the fu­ture has in store. Here are my two bits of ad­vice to them, as well as to any­one whose loved one is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing cold feet — not caused by the change of weather. Stop seek­ing ad­vice: you. Sit and fig­ure out an­swers to key ques­tions about whether you’re at the right level of age, ed­u­ca­tion, fi­nan­cial state, emo­tional ma­tu­rity etc to get hitched. And once you have de­cided — ei­ther way — stick to your de­ci­sion. Don’t keep go­ing back and forth on it.

Also, do not let the world en­force its pre-con­ceived no­tions on you. Lis­ten pa­tiently when the whole world tells you things like you must get mar­ried by a cer­tain age or else you’ll have trou­ble con­ceiv­ing, ad­just­ing with the in-laws, get­ting good rish­tas etc, but do what your heart tells you to do. There may be some prac­ti­cal wis­dom in all these dik­tats but there’s more prac­ti­cal wis­dom in not mar­ry­ing if your heart, mind or body is not ready yet. The reper­cus­sions of mar­ry­ing late can be han­dled, but the reper­cus­sions of mar­ry­ing wrong can ruin your life. of plan­ning a wed­ding and the anx­i­ety of be­ing mar­ried. Nor­mally, peo­ple tend to con­fuse the two. Last year, a friend of mine who was to get mar­ried called me in the mid­dle of the night — all anx­ious and re­peat­ing ‘I’m not sure’ a mil­lion times. Af­ter I gave her some heavy­duty gyan on com­pat­i­bil­ity, ad­just­ment etc, she told me she was wor­ried about not get­ting her lehnga stitched in time for the func­tion. If there had been a com­pe­ti­tion of oc­ca­sions in my life when I’ve felt like an ab­so­lute idiot, this one would have ranked at least a sec­ond run­ner-up.

The prob­lem with In­dian wed­dings is rather com­plex — shaadi do lo­gon ki, tayaari sau lo­gon ki. The khaan­daan gets into a hy­per-stress mode, right from choos­ing the cater­ers to the clothes to the venue to the gifts to the par­lour. And a lot of this stress gets passed on to the bride and groom, who end up con­fus­ing this with the over­all stress of the big up­com­ing change in their life. When in doubt, ask your­self if it’s the prepa­ra­tions, lack of funds etc that’s both­er­ing you, or the thought of spend­ing life with a cer­tain per­son. The an­swer will mat­ter. Im­mensely. Don’t hes­i­tate to call it off: This will sound re­bel­lious to some, but I com­pletely stand by it. At any point be­fore you are mar­ried, if your heart says you are not sure — call it off. I mean it. I’ve seen lives get­ting ru­ined when peo­ple didn’t gather courage to call off an al­liance they were un­sure about — only for the fear of what so­ci­ety will say if the en­gage­ment is bro­ken. The same so­ci­ety, how­ever, will be the first to gossip or laugh when it hears shout­ing matches be­tween cou­ples or fam­i­lies that turn out to be in­com­pat­i­ble. I’m not ask­ing you to be fickle-minded and turn run­away brides à la movies, but then a few days of stress af­ter a bro­ken rish­taa in front of the world is way bet­ter than liv­ing a life full of stress with a bro­ken rish­taa within the four walls of home. Isn’t it?

The last word is for the friends of those who are to get mar­ried soon. Don’t make your friend’s impending wed­ding the only topic of con­ver­sa­tion. If every time you talk, you keep ask­ing your friend about the wed­ding prepa­ra­tions or the fu­ture, you’ll freak them out. Re­mind your friend that suf­fer­ing from pre-wed­ding jit­ters is most nor­mal. And also that get­ting mar­ried is a beau­ti­ful de­vel­op­ment in life. It is not life. Sonal Kalra asks peo­ple to not seek ad­vice and goes on to give truck loads of ad­vice her­self. She won­ders if any­one’s still cares for all her lec­tures. Mail her at Fol­low on Twit­ter

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