Was that a rock? I couldn’t get my eyes off her fifty carat diamond on her hand. She’d just stepped of her Rolls Royce to join me to a reunion lunch. It’s so delightful when you can meet a school friend and bond after ages, the connect is sans all façade and pretence. So she’d really done well for herself I happily commented. A tiny shadow crossed her face, and it wasn’t long until she confided about a life with all the trappings and an okay marriage but a marriage without much friendship, companionship and shared moments of fun, laughter, movies, foodie dates and even the sharing of some happy camaraderie.
There are stories and stories of marriages to wealthy gentlemen, snidely referred to as 'moneybags' but I have seen the veneer lose its sheen after a span of flashing the rock on the finger, the rows of Jimmy Choo’s, Prada’s et al If money is the only thing going for it. You guessed it. Life can be lonely, empty and dissatisfying when the only consideration for the marriage has been money- as you look on at a laughing young couple surrendering their monthly instalment on the 'Godrej' Sofa-cum-bed, having a bhelpuri dinner and catching a bus home, because it’s the end of the month!
Laughter and love, and hope, as they look at all the challenges ahead, in making a life together. This scenario is delightfully encapsulated in the Aamir Khan-Aasin interludes of the movie ‘Ghajini’. Is that storybook idealism? I think not. I know that when marriage happens for the right reasons of desiring a life together, it makes life together a fun journey and not a compromise.
Sitting here with at the café with my school friend brings home some thoughtful checks and balances. Look right, look left and then cross the road if you don’t want to be hit!
Am I advocating that all wealthy couples are incompatible; and all less endowed couples are friends and companions?
And I’m saying that when I think marriage- I’m certain that for it to be fulfilling the reasons must be mutual respect, care, companionship, compassion, peace, company , friendship, confidences, when it comes with your partner enriches life and makes it complete. You then grow together in a fulfilling equation mindful of each other’s needs and understanding of each other’s dreams. You are a complete unit without lacunas and angst because you are then happy in each other’s camaraderie.
Does this then mean that you don’t care if your partner has a job or ignore practical considerations like education, similar value systems and backgrounds and financial stability? Definitely not, because it is most important to be mindful of the practical aspects where you understand each other’s drivers, expectations, and grounding.
If you look at the marriage of Shah Rukh Khan and Gauri Khan who was then Chibber, she was the more beautiful and even the wealthier of the two. Shah Rukh was neither, but has always had a brilliant sense of humour and they were a couple in love. I knew them in our growing up days in Delhi. Gauri and he had a fairy tale wedding and they came to live in Bombay where Shah Rukh struggled to make it in the television and Bollywood world without the godfathers and backing, all on his own, with Gauri creating a little haven of their home. The rest is history. What worked for them? Their trust in each other, their love, their faith and support through the struggling days.
Love actually makes the difficult times easier because you enrich each other and are strong for each other. You marry for the right intentions and more often than not you have a relationship where you definitely have your ups and downs but you have a friendship all along and the connect and desire to stay together through the thick and thin.
The marital vows ‘for richer, for poorer’ say exactly what they mean. It's precarious if money runs out when you’ve married only for money, because then there is nothing left- neither love nor money. It falls apart because you never loved anyway? On the other hand you marry for all the right reasons that include love, respect, companionship and you spring back from the tough times stronger and more bonded to each other.
Nisha JamVwal is a columnist, designer & brand consultant.
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