My Marriage

December 31, 2006 at 8:24 am | Posted in Kala | Leave a comment

I and Kala were betrothed to each other in January, ’74. Our wedding was on the 25th of March, on a Monday. It was a good ceremonial wedding with purohits representing both the families present, and benevolently blessed by our parents, relatives and friends and people from our workplaces. Her father, a Ganapadigal in his own right, rituals chanted all the wedding mantras all through the ritualistic conduct. There was general happiness and celebration with a few tears also being shed by Kala’s mother.

It started with Janavasam, Mappillai Azhaippu, Kasi Yathirai, oonjal etc., with Kala having to change into different sarees, all silk sarees, all new, during the two days of celebration. The wedding was well attended and I don’t think any of our relatives or friends or colleagues missed attending. The wedding was solemnised with the tying of the Mangal sutra, which we call ‘Tali’ in Tamil, with ‘ammi midithal’, ‘arundathi parthal’, and the frivolous and enjoyable ‘vilaiyadal’. There was also this ‘maalai maatral’. We hadn’t arranged any staged concerts. The same night was our nutial night. With the ‘Sathu Kudai’ the next morning, the functions at the wedding hall concluded, and Kala entered our home, as wife to me, daughter in law to my parents, and sister in law -Manni – to my three sisters.

We stayed with our parents for around 18 to 20 months; It could even be between two and three years. And then we shifted to a rented house nearer Kala’s office. I commuted by bus to my work spot, and kala just had to walk a kilometer to her office. Our son was born in 1976 and our daughter in 1981. We named our son Rajagopalan, which is also my father’s name. Actually my paternal grandfather was called Narayanaswamy after whom I was named. That is why my grandmother never called me Narayanan but called me Subramani instead. My daughter was named Chitra.

I and Kala never had any honeymoon throughout our life, and our only pastime was an occasional movie, a weekly trip to Marina Beach, visits to our parents’ homes, and a once-a-month eating out at Udipi Hotel at the Wallajah Road Mount Road Junction which has now disappeared. My mother passed away on the 15th January 1979, and was around to take our son in her arms and pet him. She was very affectionate and attached to him because he was the family’s progeny. My sisters’ children were all loved by her but she loved Raju specially because he is her own son’s child.

My mother was around to conduct and participate in the marriages of my three sisters, and tended with love and affection the children of her first two daughters. She was no more to see Lalitha’s children and my daughter. However my father gave Lalitha all the moral support love and affection.

When my mother died in ’79, I stayed back after all the ceremonies were performed, but my father left us to stay with Lalitha who needed more of his support and love.

Our daughter Chitra was born when we were in Triplicane. Afterwards we disposed off the house to discharge some of my fathers’ loans, the long outstanding medical bills and treatment expenses due to our family doctor, Dr. Shivaji.

We again moved to North Madras, to a place nearer to Kala’s office. Raju, as we called our son, was away in Delhi with his grandparents for one year, and when we could bear the parting anymore, we brought him back to Madras and put him in school. He was a good student from Class one, always getting First Rank.

Kala always wanted to live in a house of our own but we had no savings. There was this Godsend then, two satellite towns were planned , one at Vyasarpadi and the other at Maraimalai Nagar. Kala visited the Vyasarpadi plan area to see firsthand, butwe decided on Maraimalai Nagar. So we raised a loan to make the initial deposit and waited for theallotment. We were one of the lucky few to be attotted a house in the first phase of the township plans. Thus we received the key of our own home in 1980. We started paying the monthly instalments which continued for 18 years.

We had lived in North Madras for around six years, at three different places; first on Avadanam Ramaswamy Iyer Street, opposite to Maharani Theatre, then on Solaiappan Street behind Agasthya Theatre, and finally in Corporation Colony, nearest to Kala’s office. Blessedly we had very good friendly neighbours and good landlords. Those were happy years because our children were small and gave us immense pleasure. Kala and I were both warm-blooded and liked physical contact very much, she more apparent than me.

Though we were earning our modest salaries, it was Kala who was really running the show because I never really grew up except physiologically. She was far more mature, more acute, capable of solving any problem and facing any situation and I was just trailing along with her. The question of man and woman, who is superior, never entered our minds because we were well  tuned to each other. We went to functions and entertainments always  together, inseparable. It is not to say we didn’t have our spats. But ego never entered our relationship.

We then shifted residence to Maraimalai Nagar.


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