I was once at a dinner elsewhere with a German lady. She was client of mine, a divorcee and now in a live in relationship with a man who himself was divorced and living with his two children. I remember it was my birthday and C had called her a few times to tell her and also remind her that.
To give me a pleasant surprise she kept C’s call a secret of sorts and took me to a restaurant in the country side. I did not tell her about the birthday either. I was quite surprised when the cake with lit candles was brought to our table by the steward.
In course of the conversation and dinner she shot me the question, “how do you manage to live with the same person for long; see the same face both at the office and back at home,. isn’t it terribly monotonous, boring”? I could only smile and perhaps laugh the question away. But for her that was a pertinent question and wonder.
Did the strange habitation happen because I was born to Indian parents and was brought up and lived in this country? Definitely so! Though social cohabitation habits have changed and are also fast getting amended here as well. Virulent western life styles and culture besides assertion of women, perhaps may be the reasons for this change happening .
“When a man has more than one wife, the relationship is termed ‘polygamy’ and when a woman has more than one husband it is termed ‘polyandry’. But the habitation the German fruauline was perplexed about was not polygamy or polyandry but why a marriage does not breakdown out of being ‘ill’ from seeing the same face and of long time, and long term proximity. And also either or both wandering off to different and newer pastures.
If I told her that boredom and contempt out of proximity, or even mutual necessity are not in vogue she will not believe my eloquence. I still wonder if I will ever find a logical answer to her question whereby she would be convinced and also understand, ‘why’?