First of all- Thank you Pepper for asking me about my following posts. I had drafted the post with B and did not post it, because I was not very happy with the way it had turned out. But then, I have posted it now, because I am too lazy to modify it any further. Though I am still not sure if it brings out what I really wanted to say!
I know the topic is very broad, and I can actually fill many -many pages typing about –Change- the very essence of life, but here I will restrict myself to changes in our household, which have unfolded in the past 5.5 years.
We had an arranged marriage. Unlike most people we had the most turbulent first year. We would fight and disagree on almost everything. I remember more than not agreeing on stuff like which curtains and which sofa to buy- our main issues were much deeper. We had a huge problem with the way each one of us spoke. Husband did not like my tone, and I completely disliked his. Yes, we had known each other for 6 months before getting married, but at that time I had not fathomed that this would such a big problem. So overall, there were deep understanding issues. So the first year was spent having huge and bad arguments. Now I do not remember accurately, but I think as we entered the 2nd year, things had settled down a lot. I do not know what button was pushed, but our fights reduced drastically, and I think the 2nd and 3rd year were almost peaceful.
However, all this time, both of us had a list of things which we wanted the other person to change. Like I wanted husband to tone down his sarcastic undertone (he was very generally very sarcastic, and I hate sarcasm in general!! He comes from Lucknow, where the tone in general has a bit of sarcasm in it…so for him that’s how he had always spoken). He wanted me to be more polite. I realized that after 2 years- his sarcastic way of speaking had changed considerably. He worked on it and there was a marked difference which both of us noted. On my end- Err…there was very little perceptible change! Anyway, then we had K in early 2013, and that is when the second round of disagreements and fights started. With child come many responsibilities, and unfortunately Indian men are not taught to share them equally, therefore we again got into this phase of disagreements and fights. However, this time also, I came up with a list of things he needed to change in order to be an equally responsible parent. He still had the same old things which he wanted me to work on- that I need to be more polite and careful. After multiple rounds of discussions and talks and reasoning, over many months, Husband kind of understood it to some extent, and became a much more participative parent than what he was when we had started. The changes were very visible, like he took responsibility of bathing her in the morning and getting her ready for playschool. Before that, when she was still younger, he started giving her dedicated time without interference of any mobile phone or such. He told me that he thought over what I said, and has made conscious effort to improve himself in this area. Not that we share equal responsibility of K now, but we are much better than earlier. He knows that I give her more time and work more with her….but good part is we are on a positively inclined path.
Now, its not that there have not been any changes in me in the past 5+ years. I have become much more responsible as compared to what I was earlier. I was a total laid back lazy individual who would not move a finger if not absolutely needed. Oraganized stuff, clean home were things I never associated myself with. But I changed, as responsibilities came up…Some of it was post marriage, and birth of K changed many things. I still do not claim to have become a very organized and efficient home maker, but I am much better than earlier. I am happy about it. But all these have been subconscious changes. Changes which came on their own, without my having put any conscious effort. Yes the effort of working is there, but thinking effort was never there. These things gradually happened as time passed by.
However, like husband, I have not been able to work on issues that he pointed out long back- and which are still his complains. I have failed big time on the being more polite one. I know for sure, that there has been little or I think no improvement on this front at all. Unlike him, I have never tried to make any conscious change in my way of speaking. I think its too much effort to think about how I speak, and then modify it for good. Whenever he brings up that point- I tell him..how there has been a change, and support it with some random examples..basically fight it out in the court to win the argument. But the truth is, that leave apart this, I have never given any conscious thought to change anything about myself in my life. Whatever changes have come in my attitude towards things, or my thought process, or even my habits, is all very organic, where I never put any conscious effort and planning to make it happen. This sometimes disappoints me. I cannot claim of any drastic or even moderate changes I brought about in myself as a result of any active thinking and efforts. Things happened as time passed by and experiences led to changes, without any active involvement on my part. Honestly, at this stage in life this thing bothers me. It makes me feel as if I lack the drive and determination to mold old patterns of my life. I just go along with the tide and evolve only when life forces push me. And that I guess happens with every human beings, and even animals for that matter!
I am not sure if other people also think like this…Do share if the above strikes some chord with you too…