Playing Geography with Marriage
A humorous narration of how geography plays spoil sport in a marriage.
GEOGRAPHY was never my favourite subject. Try as I might I could not generate an iota of enthusiasm for the location of the Deccan plateau or Coromandel coast. To me a river, be it the Ganga or Thames, was simply water that gurgled along and provided a backdrop for a narrative. Cities were places where stories were woven and not just entities with literacy or sex ratios. I could scarcely whisk up passion for the 'westerlies' or 'mango showers'. In fact, my literary soul refused to have anything to do with geography. So, I happily renounced the subject right after school. Several blissful geography-free years passed as I gave free reign to my literary leanings.
Geography raised its belligerent head again when I started preparing for the civil services. Once I joined the civil services, I congratulated myself on doing away with geography forever. But woe betide such jubilation, for geography had slowly but surely insinuated itself into the very fabric of my life.
The geographical location of my posting was a question that constantly dogged my heels. Geography attained monstrous proportions when I tied the knot with a civil servant. Every year in June we would wait with bated breath for the Damocles sword of transfer to fall and heave a sigh of relief when spared. But 'bakre ki maa kab tak khair manayegi'. After all, hell hath no fury as 'geography' scorned.
So, one hot and sultry June, the much-derided geography sounded the knell of doom for our matrimonial bliss. My husband was sent to Srinagar in solitary splendour while I languished in Chandigarh. 'The bosses are playing geography with your marriage', a colleague sniggered, even while he looked rapturous about coining a new phrase.
The next year I was posted to Ajmer while my spouse was posted to Chennai. 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder', a well-meaning colleague assured. I'd rather have someone who remembers to get the car serviced in time or share the task of chauffeuring the children to their tuitions and golf practice or listen to my litany of office problems, I fumed.
The subsequent year my 'better half' was sent to Kolkata while I was stationed at Chandigarh. 'Hey, its Bharat Darshan' time for you', our colleagues trilled even while the look in their eyes said, 'useless fellows, can't even manage a posting'.
'You must surely have a godfather who can help you out', our friends gently admonished while their expression clearly said, 'poor networking'.
Be that as it may, we plodded through our long-distance marriage, initially with righteous angst and then with resigned acceptance. After more than a decade of a piecemeal marriage we are sadder and wiser. Sadder as family bonds have been pushed asunder. Wiser as we have, perforce, gained in-depth knowledge about the geography of all the cities and states we have trundled through.
And as the Big Boss continued to play geography with our marriage, we quit our jobs to spend some quality family time together. Finally Geography has lost the power it wielded over me.
A doctorate in English literature and a former bureaucrat, Rachna Singh has authored Penny Panache (2016) Myriad Musings (2016) Financial Felicity (2017) & The Bitcoin Saga: A Mixed Montage (2019). She writes regularly for National Dailies and has also been reviewing books for the The Tribune for more than a decade. She runs a YouTube Channel, Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahein, which brings to the viewers poetry of established poets of Hindi & Urdu. She loves music and is learning to play the piano