Saturday, August 24, 2013

The marital bursting point

I met my old college friend after 20 years.  It was quite an interesting meeting at a department store. Just as I was bringing down a packet of noodles from the shelf, a “Hey! How are you” from behind, accompanied by a rather unfeminine thump on my back, made me whirl around. But soon it was a “My God! How good to see you after all these years” kind of exchange. We strolled out, Maggi noodles forgotten, into the adjoining café and ordered all the snacks we used to love in college, just for old times sake.
It was great meeting Sangita after two decades but a pity to see what time or rather, her own indifference had done to her. In college, she was an athlete, very conscious of her figure and a fitness maniac. Always well dressed, Sangita was one of the smartest girls on the campus. Somewhere, over the years, she changed. She is now a portly matron and the way she gorged herself with the stuff we ordered, I can imagine why!
 She looks quite frumpy and a far cry from the Sangita I knew. To my “why have you let yourself go?” she shrugged her massive shoulders, chewed the batata wada and said, “I am married and have grown up kids --- why should I bother? I’m not going to compete in any beauty contest!”
That made me think.  Why do women consider marriage and motherhood the end-all of a desire to look good?  Is a trim figure and good grooming the prerogative of single women solely as bait for unsuspecting males?  How come the Sangitas of yesteryear develop this attitude?  Surely we owe it to ourselves to look and feel attractive?
I made a random survey and found that most husbands who go after ‘the other woman’ are those who have wives who go to seed.  These wives neither make the attempt not are inclined to assess their own shortcomings.  After all, a man has this inherent tendency to cast his roving eye hither and thither and no amount of slogan shouting against it is going to change matters!  Marriage itself, by its wearing tendency, can dampen the ardor of the man.  It’s up to the woman to be vigilant and keep up the desired image-not for him but for herself.
If I am sounding too partisan, let’s blame the men too!  Many of them let their bellies protrude and merrily indulge their appetite, once married.  Lucky for them that the wife is not, in most cases, inclined to look for slimmer pastures. 
A well-kept and well-dressed spouse is an important ingredient in conjugal happiness.  No wife or husband has any business to take the other for granted and settle down to obesity and slovenliness.
 The wife should take the trouble of cooking the right kind of food for the family, thus helping everyone keep trim.  The hubby should not spoil it all by eating irresponsibly while out of the house.  Going for long walks or exercising together can keep both fit and increase togetherness.
 Otherwise, your marriage could be bursting at the seams, physically!