Personally impersonal about a 50 years of wedded bliss
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

Personally impersonal about a 50 years of wedded bliss

May 27, 2024

I am at a loss to begin the narration about a 50th marriage anniversary celebration of a couple, I know for years, that I attended yesterday at a local hotel.

Indeed, it was an intimate, affable and a jovial occasion for about hundred-plus people of a mixed age group. Most of them were of the family, the extended family, those of the neighbourhood and close intimate friends of the 50-year-long wedded couple.

That they remained coupled for 50 long years keeping the imaginary or ritualistic wedding vows — till death do us part kind or the sapthapadi sacrament — indeed calls for a celebration.

In fact a marriage is for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love or cherish. In  rare cases to love or and perish! Of course, till death do them part. Existential reality over which no one has control.

Wedding anniversary is observed as a special occasion, like birthday, that marks the date of your marriage. But wedding anniversaries are not an annual affair like the birthdays, as generally noticed. However, when the couple completes 50 years of wedded togetherness bringing up two beautiful, brilliant daughters, celebrating their own success in life, it calls for a celebration of the kind I witnessed yesterday.

The wedding celebration is to remember the love and commitment to each other and the time spent together in their life’s journey. It is also to thank God for his kindness and blessings — so a havana or a special prayer.

The celebration I attended was modest sans sound of loud music or of long platitudinous speech. But one would have realised the importance of having daughters to celebrate such occasions making it joyful and fulfilling. Now I know why men wish for daughters also!

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The meticulousness was seen in managing the time and presenting the proceedings on the low-stage of the hall. There was lively dancing and prancing on the stage by the old couple’s daughters and their lucky sons-in-law to songs with meaningful lyrics befitting the occasion. The performance enthralled the guests no end. Of course, there was garlanding  of each other and cake cutting. They walked a short distance to the stage holding each other’s hand, may be re-playing their early romantic outings.

As expected, the guests were eager to hear them tell the story of their life’s journey together for half-a-century. The hero of a man, cynosure of all eyes, held the mike in hand, looked at the guests and spoke. Well, he shrunk his 50 years of wedded life to five minutes giving all credit to his wife for not only making him successful in his profession but also for taking the responsibility, without complaining, of the family, specially raising two daughters in a most ideal manner — in their care and education — giving him enough time to    focus on his job.

And, again when he was hospitalised and the situation looked bleak, it was the girl he married 50 years ago, who turned his guardian angel. And the last word: In old age, more so with ill health, men inevitably (and cleverly) become hen-pecked. And he confessed to be one. Hearing this I began to wonder where I stand in this situation and predicament !

Having said this, he quickly handed over the mike to his wife. Probably fearing words may betray the truth of what he said about being her husband,  she simply said, “Thank You” and kept aside the mike. The chauvinist male in me was expecting her to say that she is a ‘stepford wife’ to save her husband from his self-deprecating opinion of being a ‘hen-pecked husband.’ But no.

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The lunch was announced and we all had a sumptuous lunch that made me skip my dinner.

It is believed that 50th year in a marriage is a milestone that is significant in one’s life. Spending half-a-century with one person under the same roof definitely calls for a celebration.  So I congratulate my friend for being so blessed by the God almighty without whose grace not even a blade of grass can move nor grow.

So life’s journey continues without a destination. Since change is the only constant, let us celebrate life here and now.

Om Sat Chit Ananda

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