Thursday, May 25, 2006

Flitterwochen

Is a honeymoon necessary?

Why? To spend time together? Yes, definitely, but as some killjoys love to point out, you can spend time together sitting at home too.
Then? Is it to get away from dinner invitations from over-enthusiastic relatives? Now this one makes sense. A wedding is like a hurricane. You'd rather run away on a vacation, than display any more muscle-cramping plastic smiles or be subject to more bone-crunching handshakes.
Or is it just an excuse to take that much needed vacation? - This is the time when the boss is most accommodating, and is mostly likely to sanction that long-requested-for leave. I know at least one person who cited his honeymoon as the reason to take a vacation. If he had had his way, he would have gone without his wife - anyway, that's another story.

I have a very (in my view) compelling reason that a honeymoon is essential.

When you take a vacation with somebody, you get to see the real person*. An individual's behaviour during the sane, comfortable, predictable flow of daily activities might be in stark contrast to his attitude when he** is travelling.

Take a man on a vacation, and observe him. Even better, throw in some last minute glitches, a few obnoxious people, a couple of plans that go topsy-turvy, and a little unexpected hardship. Then stand back and watch him react. There is a high possibility that that's the real him. [Or her. Doesn't matter.]

A vacation can give you some pleasant surprises and some rude shocks. It can warm you, or warn you.

[Ever gone out on a long trip from college and come back with stronger bonds, or broken friendships? Same theory.]

I believe that a honeymoon is an indicator of your life ahead. Do I hear you say, what's the use, anyway you are already married? Maybe. But you might learn in a span of 1-2 weeks, what would have taken you probably a year or more to learn. [And even then, you don't know nothin' yet. But let me not go into that now.] And that might stand you in good stead.

Disclaimer -
*This is written in the context of a culture where the bride and groom are not too well-acquainted, or know very little of each other before the wedding. Or even in the case where they do know each other pretty well, but have met only in ordinary circumstances, and haven't spent extended periods of time together.
**I have used the generic "he/him". You can very well substitute "she/her". No difference.


Post inspired by an account of how Shastri discovered his wife's mental strength, during an eventful trip to Kemmannugundi.


Your thoughts, of course, are welcome!

40 comments:

Viky said...

Ah...how is it that we feel exactly the same about few things in life?

A trip with someone, brings out his real persona, the more unknown the destination, the less-planned the sojourn, the better.

In us guys, it brings out the chivalry to its peak. Seeing to it that the persons we care for (of the opposite sex, of course :) All-guys trips are a different thing altogether) are comfortable, they have good food and decent accomodation, offering them your jacket to shield the cold, sitting late into the night and talking on every damn thing under the stars... Is it not the reason we love and relate so much to DDLJ?

And yes, every college trip has its share of stronger bonding and broken friendships. Mine is a tad special, I have saved it for another post.

But it really gets to you when, after all you do, some girls come and crib about the quality of accomodation, toilets and food. Big deal. In the shoe-string budget we have in college, that was the very best we could do (chivalry, remember?). Of course, its different on a corporate level. You dont have to ask us to check the loo-quality now. We do it ourselves :P. It is in this context, that I appreciate Shrivalli's flexibility. Then again, you may say, who cares about little inconveniences when you get to spend some quality time with your partner...

Shastri said...

Thanks for linking me Shruthi,
although I had not thought about this consciously, in retrospect I totally agree with you. We went for a honeymoon (if you can call it one) after two months of marriage and we learnt a lot more about each other compared to the other 60 days we spent together.

I have a list of must do's for everyone
* Honeymoon
* Hostel life
* Good friends
* Bad friends to know how good the good ones are
* Reading books :)
.. may be many more.

Shastri said...

...forgot
* school trips
* college trips
:)
Viky, yeah right, I have taken enough blames for bad toilets being the organiser of trips.
But then there are always people who crib. One one of the treks I organised, one guy even asked me 'inta kaadinalli pranigaLu hege badakutavo' ( I wonder how even animals can survive this jungle). I presume he was expecting a jacuzzi followed by a 12 course meal atop 'Tadiyandamol betta' (South coorg)

And I have always seen that people who crib about bad toilets dont flush them properly!!
And people who drink from an archiac steel cup at their home pounce upon the guy at the pantry for leaving some soap unwashed on the cups.

Anonymous said...

ayoo, kelavaru nija baNNa na manele edre torastare, alli tanaka hogbeku antha yen ella ;)
cant say about honeymoon but its generally true that if you go away you can see many faces of a person...
Agree completely with Shastri's must-do's ( for now I cant vouch for 1st point but coming from 'experts' will agree to it :D )

Shruthi said...

Viky: Lots of similarities, huh? :)
How true! During our college trip, our opinion about some guys underwent a sea change, from hatred to great friendship :)
And oh yes, those poor organizers had worked day and night to make the trip happen, in spite of it, people could only crib. Bah!
Waiting for your post :) Me curious! :)

Shastri: Correct, right? You learn a lot about a person in such a short time!
Nice list! :) Me laughing at Jacuzzi comment :D
Let those cribbers try and organize, then they will realize how difficult it is! All they are good for is just cribbing. Sigh!

Anon: Some might, as you say, show their true faces even without going out anywhere, but it is only in gradual steps that they reveal their true colours. But taking a vacation with a person - you can get totally shocked :)
[Or on the other hand, pleasantly surprised, too!]

bellur ramakrishna said...

hi shruthi,
Was wondering whether you are planning a series of posts: last week WEDDING GIFTS, this week: HONEYMOON......;)
I remembered watching a comedy movie by Karel Lamac with the the same name you have given to the post.
Am wondering when did this concept of newly-wed couples going for Honeymoon start in India? I don't think it was prevalent even till '60s or so.(I may be wrong too, don't know)
shastri story odida mele, sonta novu bantu nanage...
good post... keep it going shruthi.

Shyam said...

Kinda scary, a honeymoon, when you find out that your husband/wife is not exactly what you were expecting... methinks the honeymoon should happen BEFORE the wedding so that the two people really know what they're getting into :)

Supremus said...

Mmmh!

I want to go to honeymoon, well to admire the moon with my honey hehe! I dont know if honeymoons will be useful in understanding real people, but I guess just the fact that only two of you are together, alone, and away from hustle and bustle that marriiage did in is enough; I also think honeymoon acts as a refresher, perhaps a break from the mundane that will be there for the rest of the life!

Good one - particularly loved Shastri's comments!

Suyog

travel plaza said...

You're so right about getting to know someone when you spend ean extended period of time with them. Once again, great post! I liked Shastri's list too.

Travel plaza

PRIDERA said...

I see honeymoon as a reason to establish a bond with your spouse. You are "bound by the bond through marriage"... but then you actually start bonding with the person during the first few days of marriage. (again arranged marriages). With both the spouses working these days,a quite time in solitude seems almost impossible... so its a nice time to get away from the rush and start understanding each other.

STALAG SUKHOI said...

Well you are spot on making all the points
1)One gets to see the real person
2)Gets to know more about each other
3)In a calm environment ideas can be exchanged,Mind you it can be only a small conversation which could bring out a lot ..As you rightly say u may like it or it maybe a warning.

I havent been on many college trips ,but have been on lot of treks with trekking groups.To be frank have been in a different situation each time ...a new learning experience ... :)

Shruthi said...

Bellur Ramakrishna: Ha ha :) It was not planned, but I also realized that it was all related :)
Oh, haven't heard of the movie!
I also wondered when the honeymoon trend began in India. Yes, I also tend to think that it is in the sixties. Maybe got the idea from some Hindi movie, which picked the idea from some Hollywood movie ;)

Shyam: Precisely!! My thoughts exactly :) - Ok, not a honeymoon as such ;)) - but maybe a group vacation will definitely help!

Suyog: Yeah of course, watching the moon with the honey is always there ;) This is just an added advantage ;)

Shruthi said...

Travel Plaza: Yeah, and especially when you are travelling - of course, you should know that :D

Pridera: Correct, that's the basic intention of a honeymoon. But there are people who still say that is not necessary, you can bond even while at home, you need not go anywhere. But a change of place, and the journey, contributes more to bonding, than anything else!

Stalag Sukhoi: True! A small conversation, a little incident, and you learn so much :)

Sachin said...

Hey Shruthi, very interesting post indeed!

I agree to what you say: Honeymoons are necessary. It be a love marriage or an arranged one, the fact of the matter lies in that life after marriage is not the same thing as it was before marriage. However much you might have flogged the so-called dead horsae before your wedding, viz. during the courtship period, it involves a drastic change post marriage.

The honeymoon is a good time in which to thrash out some issues that may have come to mind during the wedding itself or immediately after. It is also time which can be used to accept, understand and divide certain responsibilities that go hand in hand with married life. Also, the opportunity to see each other in a new light handling issues real time when you are all alone out there is an added advantage. You see nuances of character and habits that you may have not noticed before. For e.g. my wife (ours was friendship blossomed into love marriage ;)) re-confirmed the fact that what she thought was an healthy appetite in me was in reality a crazed obsession with food. Just kidding but well, you get the picture!

Other than all of the above, it is also simply the precious time you get to spend with your loved life partner, away from everyone and everything else, away from the humdrum of routine existence, enjoy each other's company and appreciate the beauties of nature together laying the foundation for your future life. All in all, I think the honeymoon is very critical indeed.

P.S. Would just like to add that its not a bad idea to go for second, third......etc honeymoons during the course of married life. It will not only rejuvenate you but also act as a refresher allowing you to take a new perspective to life and alter what needs to be changed.

Shruthi, great post!!!

Shruthi said...

Sachin: Trust you to sum the whole thing up beautifully, as usual :) I agree with you totally.
And as for the second, third, honeymoons - absolutely. There is no end to it. The more, the better. :)

Abhishek Upadhyay said...

what you have told is karrect.Bilkul Karrect.

When I will get married I will see to it that I have 3 to 4 months vacation.More time and more qualities I will come to know of my wife.

Raj said...

I didn't know you speak German ;)

I agree with all the points that you made in the post.

Tho it wud be really sad if somebody realised that they married a jerk on their honeymoon and i'm sure that this has happened to a lot of people.

Shruthi said...

Abhishek: 3-4 months vacation?? Do let me know which company you work with! Worth a look if they are the kind who hand out those kind of vacations! :D

Raj: I don't speak German, I just write German ;) [Ok PJ, I know :)]
Yup that's a pretty horrifying, and saddening scenario!

Viky said...

I seem to get all the weird thoughts when I read your blog the second time.

Instead of "Is a honeymoon necessary", a more pertinent question would be "Is a honeymoon necessary in a love marriage".

For all the points you suggest, apart from getting some quality time together, I dont see where it helps the love marriages.

The lovey dovey couple would have known each other (the real persons), would have gone on trips (They may have met in a trip, for all we know) and accepted each other with all their shortcomings. Apart from the much needed privacy to whisper their sweet nothings, and "Oh-so-beautiful" sylvan surroundings (assuming they go to such places), there is not much "value-addition", wot say?

Shruthi said...

Viky: A second reading always helps, doesn't it :) We discover points we missed the first time ;) No wonder our teachers screamed their lungs out.... well.. let's get to the topic!
In my opinion, a honeymoon is all the more necessary in a love marriage. In an arranged marriage, you are discovering your partner. In a love marriage, you are rediscovering him/her. Or you discover some unknown facet, or some unexpected characteristics. For example, look at Sachin's comment above.
Short trips together, or trips in a group, and lots of time spent together - nothing prepares you for the discovery of the person who your partner really is, once you get married. I am not saying that a saint will turn out to be satan, or vice versa. BUt some basic things - for example, you might discover that your patient partner has a really fiery temper when provoked. Things you will know only after being together for a long time, and in all circumstances. A honeymoon is the best way to get to know this. I am speaking from my own experience. You say that "the couple in a love marriage would have already accepted each other with all their shortcomings. "
BUT. There is no way we can be aware of ALL the shortcomings before we get married (or start living together). Only once you actually start being with each other 24/7, it is only then that you get to know the real him/her.
Counter-arguments?

Anonymous said...

Viky,

Somehow your comment seems to suggest that even by the time a couple get married AM way, they still dont know each other. Might be true in past but scenario is much different now.
AM or LM, these days once people know they are getting married they do talk, they do go together for lunch/dinner/shopping, they do get to know each other. And the idea that longer you know the person ( mostly LM case ) the better you know him/her is absurd. Even in AM there will be 3-4 months atleast ( exceptions do exist ) before marriage and ppl get to know each other very well. It does not matter how you met him/her..all it matters is how much you know each other and for that they dont have fall in love before itself. So in that case honeymoon wud be necessary however you marry and honeymoon does not mean you need to go to some exotic places though it has become like that these days due to enough money supply and far better finanical independence

RT said...

Yes. Thats a valid point. Its a when you realise how living with the other is actually like/likely to be.
And we had our pleasant surprises and rude shocks too.
The rudest being a tsunami..
Would be safe to say that we had a "rocking" honeymoon..:-)

Anu said...

You are absolutely right about discovering a person by travelling together. A train that is a few minutes late or slight difference of opinion in what to do in the place you are visiting can reveal a whole new persona!
hmm.. so honeymoon is a risky business methinks. Like raj says, as long as you discover only good things in the other person it is fine, but if you have to discover a jerk, it had better come in small doses over a long period :)) so you have the strength to change him/her/yourself....hmmm.. food for thought

Viky said...

@Shru: I am an all-out supporter of love-marriages. Having said that, I don't mean to disrespect the choices made by elders. After all, our parents stand testimony to the fact that AMs do work out. Let's not make this a AM vs LM debate. I have already spoken about it at length here - http://vikasshankar.blogspot.com/2006/04/love-marriage-and-arrangements.html

Now, consider a case where a guy knows a gal for a long time. Say 5-6 years. College love, blossoming into a fruitful relationship, even though they have stayed apart for a considerable amount of time due to occupational reasons. In all the three years in college and three out of it, the guy knows EVERY facet of the gal's personality. By every I mean EVERY.
They have been going to each other's houses for three years, they have lived apart for two years and they have been almost living together in the same apartment for the last year. And they enjoy every moment of it. The guy has seen her rant about the system, complain about the lack of proper cooking amenities in his flat, the way he throws his footwear all around the place. The gal has seen him shout when she dropped his laptop, make fun of her being a stickler for cleanliness, and care for her when she fell ill.

They have been living like a married couple, and every day is a honeymoon for them. And yes, by living with each other 24/7, they know the "real persons", which is why I had bracketed it earlier.

Do you still think a honeymoon will offer them something other than quality time together, away from office, in-laws, friends etc?

You may argue that this is an ideal case, and it doesnot happen this way always. I say this is a true case, and they are getting married in November.

@Anon, 2.44: I am not suggesting that in AM's, people marry unseen strangers. I have seen enough AMs in my own family to even think of suggesting that absurdity.

And I differ, from a long mile, to your statement "And the idea that longer you know the person ( mostly LM case ) the better you know him/her is absurd."

Given, I agree to the fact that people do get to know each other in a very short time, 3-4 months (I have my own examples), but to say as absurd the fact that the longer you know a person, the better you know him is preposterous. I have reasons to believe that each day you spend with a person is a learning experience, which makes you know the other person better.

I am a self-proclaimed supporter of love marriages, but I am not against arranged marriages. I have seen a lot of them work out beautifully, sometimes even better than love marriages, if you read my above post on this. Again, I will restrict myself here, because the point is not which marriage is better, but how a honeymoon will help a love marriage.

Shruthi said...

Anon: Since you addressed your statement to Viky, I will let his comment answer you ;)

RT: You were affected by the Tsunami during your honeymoon???? Now that must be one gripping story!!

Anu: Ha, true :) Bad news in little doses, to get used to the idea :D

Viky: Was this becoming an AM vs LM argument? I don't think so. Also, please read my disclaimer :)) I have specified the assumptions based on which this post has been written. It will explain what I am trying to say.
In your example of a love marriage, you have assumed that the couple has lived together. In that case, obviously, a honeymoon is just a lovely vacation, away from everybody. No value addition there.
I am talking about those marriages, where the couple has not even spent long durations of time with each other. And it is not necessary that a couple in love has spent lots of time with each other. Take the extreme case where the couple has met over the internet, fallen in love, decided to get married, and only then have they met in person. What would you call such a marriage? Love marriage, right? Without having spent even a minute with each other?
If your definition of a love marriage is that the couple has lived together, only then is your argument is right.

Shruthi said...

Ah, Viky, one more thing. Even if two people have lived together before marriage, but haven't travelled together, even in that situation, a honeymoon adds value, the kind I am talking about.

Viky said...

Ah, Shru, you answered my question now. My definition of love marriage is not the case I mentioned here. I agree that a honeymoon is necessary and is integral in the cases mentioned in your disclaimer, and in the internet case, too. The reason I brought out MY case was because I know both the guy and the gal in the case.

And I happened to talk to him about honeymoon, on a coffee break. It was like this:
Me: Enappa, November nalli maduve, next year aa office nalli matte darshana?
Him: Yakappa?
Me: Two months illde en honeymoonge hogtiya...
Him: Elladru hogle beka? Nange ille diwsa honeymoon.
Me: Aha, Howdappa?
Him: Illa Viky, just think. Eega arranged marriage nalli, honeymoon andre obbrige obbru gottiralla, so aa getting-to-know period is fun. Nanu yooLu 6 varsha hinde ne adella maDidivi...its nothing new. Only thing enu andre, we get to spend some time with each other, without people like you barging into the flat at odd times.

It was his case that I was trying to present here.

And they did travel together. They met on a trip, remember?

Shruthi said...

Viky: Ah, there you are... giving us a one in a million example :)
Yup, obviously, for them, a honeymoon is just to escape from you ;)
Btw I liked your post on AM and LM.

Anonymous said...

Viky,

With all due respects to the example couple you gave ( and I will always pray for their happiness ) there are many more examples where people like that have divorced. Reasons might be plenty but I strongly believe "quantity" of time spent has nothing much to do with later life. Can we just say people who know each other from T+n days understand each other less that those who know from T+n+1? imho no.
I know her from 10 months is almost same I know her from 12 ( On a lighter [ or serious ?! ] note , experts will correct me saying no matter how much you know you can never understand her completely )

Okay, if you say love marriage as in live-in couples getting married, then I cant argue.
Its one thing altogether to spend few hours in a day with a person than spend 24 hours within four walls and I am pretty sure you have much more experienced to talk about it than me. In hostel parlance we say 'Best friends may not be best room-mates and best room-mates may not be best friends' 'coz we know what it takes to share something with someone. Since its not discussion of LM vs AM per se, let me say I am very strong supporter of my own quote 'As long as there is love in marriage, it does not matter what kind of marriage that is'

Anonymous said...

again this reminds me of a tongue-in-cheek or may be matter of fact comment my childhood friend gave when asked about her honeymoon plans with her long term boy-friend
'Honeymoon aa? avella aagle aagoithu..ennu maduve madkobeku aste'

Viky said...

@Anon: I respect your views on that matter.

But I believe that everyday is a learning experience in any relationship. I may have known her for 10 months, but the experience of the following month may be a tad new. I might just let her drive my car, and find that she actually loves it. I might have taken her on drives for ten months, but when the tyre goes flat on the next day, I may come to know that she actually knows how to use a wheel-spanner. And we may never have talked about this before, because the tyre never went flat. So, in that one day, I learnt something new about her, which I didn't know for the last 10 months. Right?

You learn something new about a person when calamity strikes too. When there is a death in the family. When there is someone missing. When there is uncertainty. When there are huge misunderstandings involving you both and others. You dont get these in 10 months, 12 months. You take them when life dishes them out to you, and you learn.

Ah, if you want to speak on THAT topic, you can't understand a woman completely, then I guess we do it somewhere else, not on a lady's blogspace.

And I told you, my definition of love marriage is not live-in. Oh, how I wish that conv had not lingered on in my mind as I read this!!!

And yes, we had that quote in college, too. And if you read my post on AM and LM, you will see I came somewhere near your quote, too.

Deppe said...

"Ever gone out on a long trip from college and come back with stronger bonds, or broken friendships? Same theory."

know what you mean! 22 of us went on a trip once and I came back with 21 enemies. I hope I don't carry that kinda form to my honeymoon :-)

Shruthi said...

Anon, Viky, thanks for the engaging discussion :)

Deppe: Can't stop laughing :)) Wish you the very best on your honeymoon! :D

chitra said...

"Honeymoon by onself"?? Hmmm....weird...!

Shruthi said...

Chitra: Honeymoon by onself? Ummmm.. what's that?

sathish said...

what would happen if during the honeymoon the other person does not match your wavelength...
i agree that honeymoon is the only vacation period which is encouraged by all!!!

Shruthi said...

Sathish: That definitely is a problem! :) But your honeymoon will tellyou very early how different you are, and then you can start the process of "adjusting" and understanding immediately. Of course, if your spouse turns out to be totally bad or cruel or something like that, then of course, you can immediately initiate the process of separation, no time lost!
Though, I hope nobody is faced with this situation! :D

GuNs said...

Are you the same Shruthi who commented on a few of the early posts on my blog?

If yes, please do visit again. I blog regularly now.

If not, do visit it atleast once. You might like what I type in (and sometimes plagiarize).

-PeAcE
--WiTh
---GuNs

chitra said...

Shruthi,

What does the heading mean? is it something in kannada?

Shruthi said...

Guns: Nope, that wasn't me!

Chitra: No, it's not Kannada. It is the German word for "honeymoon" :). It means "flitting weeks" or "passing weeks".

- -