Lately I have been reading a lot of relationship ‘gyan’ courtesy the e-papers. Every paper worth its salt, pepper and turmeric is devoting a lot of screen space on guiding us poor mortals on better relationships. Must be the growing divorce rate is a cause of concern to these well-intentioned papers. The surprising fact is that they are only guiding us on bettering our relationships with our better half’s and not with parents and siblings. (If there was ever a course on better relationship with siblings, I am sure that mom would have certainly signed up sis & me. Mom used to live in mortal fear that one of us was surely going to kill the other one. Very plainly put, there was no love lost between us, sisters. Now that we both have passed teenage with both of us surviving, I am sure mom has all the experience to author a book on “Relationship guidance for siblings.”)
Coming back to the relationship gyan for spouses, the common point, which I saw in all the newspapers, is “Have some common hobbies / activities. Love and intimacy increases when you both share some of the activities.” Suggestions given were 1) Cook together 2) Go out together, 3) I stopped reading after that. As I was going through the suggestions, my heart was plunging towards the deepest depths of despair, as I couldn’t find a single activity which yours truly and hubby dear (here after addressed as HD) had initiated which ended happily and with more love. All our joint activities ended with one of us (mainly me) going off into a sulk.
The main reason being much as we love each other we are as different as chalk and cheese. Please read further for illustrations:
i) Cooking together drives me mad: After I got married and stepped into this territory called kitchen which I had rarely visited in the pre marriage days, HD came with this theory of sharing kitchen work. Now for a novice like me who was busy making sambhar slush and unchewable rice the last thing I wanted to hear was “This is not the right way to cook XYZ dish.” HD was getting on my nerves giving me unsolicited advice when I was desperately trying not to burn down the kitchen. So we came with first of our “shared activity”: “You cook, I clean” whereby yours truly did the onerous task of cooking something remotely palatable and HD did the post cleaning activity (I do make a royal mess of the kitchen). Also to be remembered during this “shared activity” is that the other half is not allowed entry into the kitchen.
ii) Watching TV together makes me mad: We have very different tastes even in television watching. I am in this phase wherein I am totally into investigative thrillers and hospital drama, which shows cutting bodies as easy as cutting vegetables for the Veg.kurma. All this blood and gore is making HD puke whereas yours truly is totally glued on to her seat. (Did I hear anyone calling us women as delicate darlings???) HD is a total sports and news aficionado. His mode of TV watching is watch football match and tennis match simultaneously and between breaks move on to BBC and CNN and wait was it Boxing on the other channel? Now yours truly whose only known sporting activity in school was bird watching and gossiping cannot take this overdose of sports. So here comes our next “shared activity”: “You watch TV, I watch episodes of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ on the Internet.” So now there is lots of love after this ‘shared activity’ as HD has got his daily quota of sports and I have my daily quota of movies, gossips and songs courtesy the Internet.
iii) Why would any sane person want to move his / her butt on a weekend???: HD tried to entice me into more “shared activities”. For somebody who doesn’t want to move out of the house unless it is on fire or for some essential grocery shopping so that the inmates don’t die of hunger, I don’t see the logic of going out on a weekend. I am perfectly happy to curl up on the cozy sofa and read to my heart’s content (I have to finish a book when I start whereas hubby reads one book a year) or watch TV or to just look out at the amazing scenery. HD doesn’t agree to my viewpoint, for he is somebody who can’t sit still. HD is one person who doesn’t go to the theatres to watch movies as he finds it an impossibility to sit still for 3 hours. I wonder how his poor teachers handled him in school. I have heard that most of his teachers took voluntary retirement. (pssst, don’t tell HD ;-) ) So here comes our next “shared activity”: “ You go out, I don’t budge an inch from the sofa.” I personally guarantee the success of this “shared activity” as by the time HD comes home dead tired from tennis, shuttle, squash, jam, butter, etc. I am looking forward to some company other than moiself and is willing to lent a patient ear to hubby’s exploits in the sports field. Must say HD feels gratified that he has a loving wife who listens to all his sports field stories without even blinking an eyelid even when he says he has thrashed all the others. (I am so good for HD’s pride.)
iv) Shopping makes me go mad: I am somebody who HATES shopping. I have heard that there is a fridge, which senses that milk is over and will automatically send an order to the supermarket. Now, if anybody has already built this fridge, please get in touch with me as you have just found yourself a new customer. The place where I live, the people mistake the supermarket to be the church where people gather after the Sunday morning mass to bitch about others. Here people don’t go for mass but all of them land up in the supermarket with huge bags to exchange pleasantries. People if you really want to bitch about others, could you please move that freaking trolley from the middle of the vegetable section??? Shopping instead of a relaxing activity is a high Blood Pressure activity for me. Now, HD, the inquisitive soul that he is, has to look at every product in the store and every discount that is on offer whereas I am like a horse on a derby match solely looking at attaining my goal of provision shopping under 34.33 minutes flat and gallop triumphantly out of the shop. Now comes our next “shared activity”: “I shop for provisions, You shop for meat and anything else which catches your fancy.”
v) Listening to music: This is an activity, which is guaranteed as a sure hit by the relationship tutors. I have to grudgingly concede this point to them. Now HD and me have very different tastes in music also as we do for a 1056 other things under the sun. Whereas I am more into the semi classical and melodious songs, HD is into the “dhinchak beats wala” songs. But we do share some common ground in the music of Bryan Adams, Ace of Base, Sting and lately Harris Jeyaraj. Yours truly has to listen to a song atleast 100 times if she has fallen for it. HD bore the brunt of it when he had to listen to the songs of “Vettaiyadu Vilayadu” for atleast 364 times and still counting. Now he has reached the conclusion that he loves these songs. Poor guy didn’t have a choice as these songs are irrevocably drilled into his brain as I have been listening to these songs non-stop every waking moment. So our next “shared activity” is “You listen to your music for 1 hour, I listen to my music the next one hour unless it is Harris Jeyaraj, Sting, Bryan Adams, etc., etc.”
Seeing the success rates of our shared activities, we came to a conclusion that we didn’t want any more shared activities as we were sure that if we did anything more together we are surely heading towards Splitsville. We were standing at the tram station and discussing about this point in the midst of me pointing out beautiful girls to him and commenting on them when suddenly the bulb (ting! For sound effects) lit in my brain. Halleluah!!! We do have an actual “shared activity” and that is Ladies and Gentleman (a half second pause for better effect) is bird watching!!!
Now I am somebody who appreciates beauty in any form and HD is after all a poor male whose head automatically turns if a PYT (pretty young thing, you moron) is anywhere in his 5 km vicinity. Both of us love looking at PYTs and discussing their best feature on display. It could be lovely green eyes, parrot beak nose or a toned butt for that matter. Both of us are great connoisseurs of beauty and tend to have interesting conversations during our daily train ride to office thanks to our “shared activity”. I am sure that, people who overhear our conversation will definitely mistake me for a L*****N but who cares, we are in the midst of our “shared hobby / activity” and enjoying it for a change ;-)