A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)

The Compromise

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Theirs was an arranged marriage. Whenever she saw the advertisements for Platinum Jewellery, that showed a svelte silver couple finding ‘their’ day of love, she most often gagged. No matter how glorified the Indian Tradition was, and no matter what statistics they had to offer on the success rates, she still questioned it. Which was why she sat there soberly, thinking of how she was a living epitome of irony.

It was a classic manoeuvre, with a text book quality about it. Emotional blackmail, mildly conveyed. She admired the deft way it had been administered. And feeling like the proverbial fly in a spider’s web, had allowed it to happen. Ten years later, as she sat and pondered on that moment, she wondered how she could have been so naive, so gutless. However, having been tutored in the ways of being an ‘accepting’ young lady, she made her peace, and made friends with her ‘would-be’. She laughed then, thinking back on how she hoped against hope that she’d find someone mildly interesting.

Their first meeting, arranged, of course, at the ‘look-at-the-girl’ was a quiet and personal disaster for her, who loved to talk and meet new people. That bloody man was so taciturn you could simply feel the ice of his silence. She did manage to goad him into saying something though. This was role reversal of the most absurd order.

But later, the fates smiled. They began to write to each other, for that was the way she could best express herself, and that was how, she found to her delight, how he did too! The very first letter was sent, as he wrote, via ‘air-male’, along with her father who flew down to his city, on some official work. That clinched it. She knew this would work. Humour like that spoke of possibilities!

She built her castles in the air, donned rose-tinted spectacles and waited to get married. Surprising how easily she slipped into ‘tradition’. Insidiously she justified each thing she did, that otherwise went against the grain, in honeyed hackneyed clichés. And so, they grew into each other. Taciturn and talkathon – neat pair. The one area they were matched was in the letters they wrote.

One meeting, several scores of long letters, and a few telephone calls later they did get married. And stayed so, despite the way that all was not as it seemed. They could hardly write letters to each other in the same house. They seemed to communicate best when they had distance between them. She despaired and removed those rose tinted glasses, and quietly blew away those castles, and came back to Mother Earth, who would not swallow her up. Still, the steel of tradition, dammit, refused to let her quit. Marriages needed to be worked upon did they not?

Why was she such an intense person, she berated herself! Why could she not simply go along, and play along with the role that seemed to be already in place? What happened to all those laughs she thought she’d be fed on?

But slowly, surely, inevitably, life happened. The days merged into each other. She wanted to study further. He supported that, and got her into a college for her Masters’. She wanted to work, and he had no objection. She wanted to drive, and he made it easy by getting her a second hand scooty for starters. Life, and living each day with someone like that could not but wear her down, those walls she had decided to put up.

And of course, they shared the same bed. Which, surprisingly, on some nights did fulfill promises she had made to herself. She ought to be happy. Indeed she thought she could be. She made herself. For there was much in the space he gave her to grow into whatever she wanted to be. Contrarily, she wished that he wasn’t so; that he show her another side to him that would make her rebel against him. Of course, that wasn’t to be.

Ten years was what it took. Ten years to know how her comprise had compromised her. She could not help it. There was no other way, as she saw it.

She fell in love. Finally.

30 April, through to 1 May, 2013, Online
In honour of niggling words that have been hounding me all day 🙂 Raw, and unhesitantly absurd, for sure 😀

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Author: Usha Pisharody

A rambler, pretends to be a teacher, loves to dream, and go on Quixotic Quests in the Realm of Romance With Life...

31 thoughts on “The Compromise

  1. At the rate at which you are writing, I’m going to run out of compliments pretty soon! 🙂
    Especially loved how you handled the first few paragraphs.
    “Emotional blackmail, mildly conveyed.” – That has happened before, is happening now and is bound to happen in future too. Thankfully, it isn’t me at either ends 😛

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    • Navmi, thank you thank you 🙂 It is a delight reading of your views too; you do know how much I admire the way you write as well! And well, I hope it plays out really nice with all your heart’s desires if and when you do committ yourself 🙂 God Bless!

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  2. I thought I was reading a real story, Usha! The emotions were expressed so well. Most women might feel like this in the beginning of their marriage…always feel whether the decision was right or wrong!

    Loved the last line!

    Very well written, as usual!

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  3. Some very good phrases Usha… and emotions, so well put, how her compromise had compromised her … and that taciturn and talkathon… at any rate I do have a soft corner for that word ‘taciturn’ may be because I am just the Loquacious opposite.. as Sandhya said, it reads like real… 🙂 Good day to you

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  4. Usha Di, the way you observe people around you and come up with these delightful tales – I tell you, it is admirable! Hats off for the lovely lady. 🙂

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  5. Loved reading it. 🙂

    Contrary to the universal expectation, that is, Marriage = Love, here it goes like this, Marriage = Compromise. That’s what most of us have been taught since the time we learnt to spell ‘MARRIAGE’.

    I guess most Indian marriages happen this way. Finally, most of them do fall in love with each other…that’s the beauty! 🙂

    You might want to read this…
    http://rekspoursout.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/the-sacred-knot-2/

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    • Rekha, thank you 🙂
      But, I do feel that marriage should only take place if and when two people want to, not because it is the done thing, or because of any other details (including ‘love’, let me add 🙂 ). It does seem sad to me, that we have equated it with compromise, more than celebration of each other. Of course, I’m talking idealistic and Utopian stuff here… and reality is a far different shore. Even so… Sigh. I tend to get on my soapbox with such topics, so do excuse me 🙂
      If the story ends the way it has here… I guess they did get lucky… but does it happen a lot? Or do we get habituated? I’ve always wondered! Still, the evergreen romantic in me decided it had to be this way 🙂
      I did read from your link as well 🙂 Well expressed indeed!
      Thanks again, Rekha!

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  6. It was so real.. the emotional blackmail , the compromise and eventually love. Loved it.

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  7. Dear Usha, I really liked the happy ending!
    Rema chechi.

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  8. Glad that finally she did, just like me. Loved the story, Usha!

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  9. Loved this Usha… this is perhaps the story of many a woman (or man, for that matter)!!

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  10. I can only echo the sentiments of the others as I can’t help admire you beautiful word choices..Yes, this certainly did seem like it would hit home for many!

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  11. The story of quite a few. This brought a smile to my face: “They seemed to communicate best when they had distance between them.” There is something about the ability to express (and understand) through letters. Not everyone can do that.
    Loved your story. 🙂 I especially like your tag: Mush and goo 😛

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    • Shail, thank you 🙂 Mush and goo is something I do too much I think, and so I HAD to devote an entire category to it 😛 Essential part of a die hard romantic’s blog 😛

      I do remember reading from your memoirs… about how you used to write a letter every single day to the L&M … so I knew you’d connect with that one 🙂 No everyone can do that… indeed!!
      Thanks a lot, Shail 🙂

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  12. Loved the way you ended the story on such a happy and hopeful note. A story that could so be every bit real! Loved it Ushus 🙂

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  13. This is such a sad story for me..

    This is what I have seen happen with a couple of people.. They have looong conversations on chat, whatsapp and fb etc.. but in person when they meet they try to find words to string together to cut through the awkward silences.. I guess not being in physical proximity makes it easier for us to talk and be ourselves?

    As for her falling in love, to me it seemed like a form of resignation to her circumstances

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    • In this day of instant communication, it is ironic, isn’t it, the question you ask? I guess it is so. That not being in physical proximity does make it easier to talk, to share things which otherwise would not have been.
      One on one communication requires a sort of gelling, a sort of -well, excuse me for using a cliche from Stephanie Meyer 🙂 , – imprinting. There are people you get back to, after an age of not speaking at all, or even writing, and you can talk up a storm, in words and silences. But not with someone who you live with on fairly daily basis. Sigh. Happens, all the time.

      And your perspective of the end. Well, that strums a chord inside. Glad you picked out that nuance. Thank you, as always, Hrishi, for the discerning perspectives you share.

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  14. The Compromise.
    She fell in love. Finally.

    The title and the last line connect is awesome and everything in between too!!

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    • David, thank you for the generosity of your time, and words… for relentlessly perusing writes here, and leaving, on each of them, a note that gladdens the rambler’s heart. God Bless!

      As for this, thank you, all over again. You’re going to relentlessly get this as well 🙂 Your generosity overwhelms!

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  15. Loved this particular post..The irony that marriage is more looked as a compromise than as a fruitful partnership. 🙂

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    • Thank you Paatiamma ( I wish I had a name to go on, though :D! Wise in mental years, perhaps, you are, but I see you as a mischievous young thing 🙂 🙂 )
      Here in India mainly, and wonly, this marriage thing is more compromise than anything else, I think. We are weaned INTO it, not out of. Sigh.

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