The idea for this title for our weekly 2 on 1 Friday post where Shackman and I write on the same subject came to me when I received the following piece of humour from a friend:

Today is ‘World Marriage Day.Let us keep 2 minutes’ silence and read some quotes of fellow – sufferers.

A few interesting

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin, they just can’t face each other, but still they stay together.
– Al Gore

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.
– Socrates

Women inspire us to great things, and prevent us from achieving them.
– Mike Tyson

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.
– Bill Clinton

“There’s a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It’s called marriage.”
– Michael Jordan

A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong.
– Barack Obama

When you are in love,
Wonders happen.
But once you get married,
You wonder, what happened.

I was a married man for forty years and never once had to crack a joke on the institution. My late wife used to say that it was because I was hardly at home due to the travelling nature of my job and so, whenever I was at home, I just enjoyed the comforts and security of home and was not exposed to the other realities that other stay at home husbands did. By the time I retired or chose to retire due to her illness, the nature of the relationship changed and there was no scope for humour.

We got married according to Vedic rites the most important parts of which are the seven circumambulations that the couple take around a sacred fire.

After that ritual, this is the shloka from Vivaha Karmakandaa that every bridegroom is made to recite after taking the seven steps holding the hand of the bride around the fire. I too did.

धैरहम पृथ्वीवित्वं
रथोहं रेथोभूतत्वं
सामहंसमि क्षुत्तृत्वं
सा माँ अनुव्रता भवा.

Dhairaham pruthviveethvam.
Rethoham rethobhuthathvam
Saamahamsami kshuthruthvam
Saa maa anuvrthaa bhava.

“I am the sky and you are the earth. I am the giver of energy and you are the receiver. I am the mind and you are the word. I am music and you are the song. You and I follow each other.”

How beautiful! We did indeed follow each other for as long as her health lasted. When it failed, we got joined at the hips as it were and that lasted for another eight years till death did part us.

Like all relationships, we had our ups and downs but, mostly it was all ups. There was rare chemistry between us which I think was due to our having been friends for eight years before we decided to get married. I can honestly say that it was a successful marriage.

I despair at the frequency with which modern marriages break down but I understand that the world has changed and different value systems and pressures operate now than those that prevailed in our youth and middle ages.

Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on the subject.

17 thoughts on “Marriage.”

  1. All the quotes you cite made me laugh – partly in recognition, partly because they are witty.

    I am happy for you that you consider your marriage a good one. However, one important point and one which is notoriously overlooked, just because a marriage (indeed any close relationship) doesn’t last doesn’ devalue it, make it a failure. It is important to remember that when it was good it was great, and .. along life’s journey some paths part. If so do it with grace. I’ve been married twice, both of them good men, men with whom I feel a great affinity to this day. Admittedly, and I hope you see the somewhat dubious humour in it plus the real me, on the eve of my second wedding (I was twenty six) I casually announced to both sides of the family meeting for the first time that “if this one doesn’t last that’ll be it for me”. I got a lot of startled looks. As always I proved as good as my word. And keeps me fit as I run in the opposite direction when any romantic interest is directed at me – unless it’s someone so many years younger we can just laugh it off as one of life’s not to be put to the test follies. Which is, of course, why a hypothetical betrothal to someone on the other side of the world and dear to my heart is so convenient. But, then, I have always been a consummate flirt rather than a long distance runner.

    A lovely tribute to Urmeela, Ramana, my heart goes out to you as indeed, no doubt, it will to Shackman once I visit his contribution to this fascinating subject.


    1. You are of course very right. There are many short term successful marriages which end for mutually beneficial reasons to both the parties and I have known such marriages as well. The point I made was based on my long lasting one and other similar ones.

      1. but do they have get officially “married” – yes we possibly all want a “partner” (sp0use)….

        my own marriage fell and broke apart in the 1990s, we are much better friends now, we are civil to one another, we have an unwritten pact to either avoid certain subjects or if they come up have to right to change said subject…

        we cohabited for some years, before we got married in a registry office in Australia, no family attended, all in other countries, just friends at the time…a huge amount of life changed at that time…not necessarily for the better – we were expected to do a hellva lot of things that we couldn’t manage including having offspring…

  2. Well, Jenny and I have been married for 23 years and cohabited for 13 years before that. We’ve always been very happy together, bar the odd row which we usually resolve very quickly. The quotes are amusing, but I don’t identify with any of them. Anyone who thinks that way has surely been unlucky enough to marry the wrong person!

  3. This is beautiful, Ramana, and the quotes are priceless! I will steal them and repeat them to everyone I know, always quoting the source, of course (just as you have done). Thanks—you have made my day!

  4. I’m with Padmini and tammyj as well…and much of it seems to relate to how the world is becoming “different” I was going to say fractured but I don’t think that’s quite the right terminology.

    You only have to look around as you go shopping, the ethnic groups who have arrived in your area – be they retailer or shopper.

    Many of the newer generation are now in classrooms with a demographic that may not have existed in their parents childhood… one of the friends said the other day, “I went into the City, and I looked at those around me and I thought I’m the minority now…” (European/Caucasian)
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    1. I have nothing against people deciding to stay single but do not agree that the institution itself is disappearing. There are people who chose to stay single but the vast majority chose to opt for marriage.

  5. I once read somewhere about research on happiness, and the result showed that young married people are happier than single people, then they also check the stats of newly divorced, and realized that people are as happy when they got married as well as when they got divorced.

    It’s such a confusing situation. But my take-home point is that marriage can (should) be enjoyed when love isn’t the only thing that keeps the couple together, Way more is needed than love.

    This is a great read, and I laughed at the quotes.

    Thanks for sharing.
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