24 March 2010

Marrying abroad

A friend of mine called me up today. I was rather busy at the time, but the suppressed excitement in her voice made me take the call. She was to fly to Melbourne tonight to join her husband. That explained the excitement. Their marriage was solemnized back in Dec 2009. Hubby darling went off to Melbourne (he works there) and she had to wait until her visa came through to join him. I had met her in the intervening months once or twice. Each time I could see that she was desperately waiting for the visa to come through though she tried to show that she was dreading having to leave the country, her parents, her job etc.

I remembered the same kind of excitement on my sis-in-law's (brother's wife) face a few years ago. She had never been abroad and my brother was to go for a long-term assignment to UK. She was so excited about the trip! After reaching there, she used to be full of all the sights and highlights of London. The apartment-hunting, the commute by the tube, the scarcely varying weather, the dishwasher, the carpeting - she enthused about them all. Having been through a similar experience when we were in the US some years ago, I said to her - "I would like to hear the same excitement in your voice a year down the line." A year went by and she could not wait for my brother's assignment to get over and for them to return. The phone calls were all about the lack of variety in weather, dress and life-style there. About how she missed her family, visiting us over the weekends, the carefree life, the auto-rickshaws, the maid and the dhobi :)

When a woman gets married, and especially if she is not to live with her in-laws, she is always excited at the prospect of moving to a new place. Even if she has to leave her familiar routine, her family, friends and even her career behind. The new challenge of setting up her own nest sets her adrenaline pumping. But invariably, somewhere down the line, the need to be with family and old friends, to be able to share her woes with familiar people and to put down roots where she can give her children the same kind of childhood that she enjoyed, always catches up. Also, if there is no job,and no family to visit, there is not much to do in such places.

I wonder if my friend will go through all this too? Melbourne is certainly a new place for me, and I haven't heard of any experiences from there yet.

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