I remember going places before marriage. Not that I am not going places after marriage – I mean, I bought an iron box, a three-legged stool, a Motorola Razr V3i, a Suzuki Swift and a single bed for myself only after marriage.
When I say I am not going places after marriage, I meant literally. Before marriage, Rekha and I would be raring to get out of the house on both week days and week ends. After marriage, we are raring to get in. Given below are some of the places we used to visit before marriage.
Temples – This was a tricky place. Since one could go to the temples only early in the morning the onus of picking her up from her hostel at 7 a.m. was mine. My first lie in our relationship – which ironically, brought us even closer – originated in a temple.
As soon as we came out of the Ashtalakshmi Temple in Besant Nagar, Chennai, Rekha asked me: “So what did you pray for?”
“Nothing.” I don`t know what was wrong with my answer for Rekha immediately got upset. She said, like a true life-partner to-be, I should have prayed for our marriage and kids and in-laws etc. When her lecture went on and on for what seemed like eternity…I delivered my lie: “Rekha, you know what…I did pray for all that. Elders say that telling our prayers to others renders it ineffective…now if we don`t get married…it is your fault, not mine.”
Like it happens after each of my strategically placed lies, Rekha didn`t open her mouth for a week.
Parks – Rekha has been spoiled by romantic movies of Jeetendra and Dev Anand and Rishi Kapoor where the hero-heroine roll around the park and dirty their clothes. Rekha and I did try that…but I ended up buying a washing machine. Once we even got censured by the watchman for sitting too close to each other. I told him we were married…but he wouldn`t believe us. When I persisted, he said: “Once married, couples don`t come here…and I have been here long enough to know that.” Unfortunately, I failed to heed to the God-sent warning.
Theme Parks – This was one of the places where I could play big brother. Rekha was never the adventurous types (why else would she marry me?) and thus hated theme parks. But I loved it…not for the rides…but because the time spent inside was the only time I had an upper hand over Rekha.
Theatre – We started going to theatres (not the movie theatres, but the drama types) after one of Rekha`s friends ridiculed her for not being the theatre-type. I am yet to figure out what a theatre-type is…but that hasn`t really mattered…because though I never enjoyed theatre…I loved the girls who come there wearing noodle-straps.
After our marriage the places we visit together have changed. We started off by visiting Rekha`s office – because I was now expected to drop her (sob! sob!). We frequent Rekha`s relative`s house in Chennai followed by the houses of my married friends. Weekly once we also make a visit to the vegetable market. Once a month…we attend a marriage in some city hall. But I never tell the bridegroom that he is not going places!