Married Mondays

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The husband and I have been temporarily relocated for the next month. The season of Aashadam is upon us South Indians and the greater powers that be (i.e. our mother in laws and their priests) have decreed that we will be following tradition to the T.  We were told that I had to go to my parents house for the month  (yay!)  but apparently the boo wasn't allowed to visit.

There go all my ideas for a romantic monsoon together.








We ended up getting so much contradicting information that I decided no one could be trusted (#ulteriormotivesgalore) but the internet.

For everyone else out there struggling to get non-biased info, not to worry, I gotcha. #sticktogether #punchthepriest


Here is what my mom told me :

1. you have to come home for a month.
2. you can't go to your in-laws house for the month or meet your mother in law
3. hubby can't come over for the month i.e. can't come into the house
4. yes that means he can't spend the night
5. you have to do pooja everyday at 5 am and fast

my reaction to that:

1. cool!
2. bummer. I love my athamma and my nephew will be a whole new person in a month! #missingout
3. umm no
4. hell no
5. *side eye to the mother . nice try.

Here is what the priest told me - no no -  what he shouted at me when I tried to bully my mom:

'AMMA! THIS IS CENTURIES OLD TRADITION. WE CAN NOT STOP DOING IT BECAUSE YOU DON'T LIKE IT. YOU THINK I LIKE HAVING TO EXPLAIN ALL  THIS TO YOU?  MY DECADES OF STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES AND TRADITIONS AND YOU DARE QUESTION MEEE? SHAME ON YOU. SHAME ON YOU. SHAME ON YOU. '

#dramaqueen

Sigh.

I realized that covert operations would need to be commenced.

I sidled upto my homegirl, the mother in law and asked if they were serious about following the tradition.
I got a sympathetic smile and a hug, 'Your mom said they follow it strictly amma. '
To which I replied, ' So let's send her back to her parents house. I'm sure my dad would love that.' #heeheehee #teamdaddy

My Athamma is used to my humor  #thankgod so she laughed but sadly I realized I was too late. The enemy had already gotten to her.

My next target was my dad.

'Daddy doesn't a vacation sound so good right now?'

'Yes.'

'Why don't we all go on one?'

'No.'

'Oh you must be busy huh. That's okay, we can go without you or mom.'

'Ok.'

Score.

I ran to the husband reveling in my smartness. He shot it down.

Apparently he has this thing called work and can't just disappear for a month. #whatever

This is when I had my teary breakdown.

 I yelled at him for not caring about being separated for a month and not trying to find a solution. I vaguely remember  ' you don't love me anymore' being shouted at him multiple times but at that point I can't be responsible for my words or actions.

Fast forward an hour.

He gave me some chocolate. ( Cadbury Peppermint in case you're interested)
I calmed down.
Together we decided to figure it out.

Enter Google Chacha.

Here is what we found out :

1. It starts on the 4th month of the Lunar Calendar

It's whatever month in which the full moon day coincides with Poorvashaada Nakshatram ( the constellation basically)
Also giving it it's name - Aashada Mausam 

2. Lasts a month 

   The dates for this year are July 5th to August 2nd. 

3. Only newly weds follow this tradition in the first year of marriage. 
    
   Don't ask why - no one knows for sure. My theory is that in the olden golden days, the girls would hardly be allowed to leave the maternal home for long periods of time, and when they finally did it was only to step into their in-laws home, giving them a super powerful case of homesickness.  By allowing them to go home for a month in the first year, it gave them something to look forward to and lessened the sense of abandonment by their families in the beginning of a very new and scary phase of their lives. 
 Makes sense doesn't it?  

4. The basic rules for South Indian Telugu couples are : 


  •  The girl and her mother in law AND the guy and his mother in law can't cross the same threshold of the house.   
            { We somehow have 3 thresholds in my parents house, so I tried to argue the point of using              separate  thresholds for a month. My mom threatened to call the priest again. }
            

  • The couple is supposed to stay apart. 
             I poked and prodded my mom and the internet about this one. Essentially the couple shouldn't        - ahem- boom boom. 

Did that reason stop me? Nope. I kept going until I got an answer I was satisfied with. Apparently, it's not the actual act #heehee that is forbidden, yes my mother actually said forbidden, it's the possible result of the said forbidden act that is discouraged. Basically ya'll, try and not get knocked up. 

Why? There are two theories. 

    A. Astrologically-  the stars that align in 9 months ( March, April, May) aren't the best so they figure why not just avoid giving birth during that time in case you end up popping out a serial killer or something.  

  This is where it gets interesting. 



Guess when Hitler was born.  April 20th. 





Guess when Osama Bin Laden was born. March 10th




Guess when murderer James Earl Ray was born. March 10th.





Here's the best one. 
Justin Beiber. March 1st. 





I guess our forefathers did have a point. 



   B. The summer months in India are March- May. Surviving those months nowadays is difficult let alone giving birth. Back in those days without AC or modern medicine, logically it would make sense to not torture yourself in that way. 









This whole Aashadham thing makes a little sense if we were still living in the Stone Age. I'm not too sure how relevant it is nowadays, but I'm sure like me, all the other new brides out there would love another excuse to go home and bask in our parents attention. 


In the end we compromised, we moved away from his parents and my parents to a neutral territory and promised both sides and the priests ( so not embarrassing) that we wouldn't get knocked up. #TMI 


I hope this helped shed some light on the topic and gave you some ammunition to use against your families in case they turned out to be as difficult as mine. 
Worse come to worse, go on vacation! 


PS- I took a little inspiration from Kalidasa's Meghaduta poem ( about a couple forced to part for a year) and pulled this pose around the house until everyone agreed. Try it! 




Art by artist Nana Joshi. If you loved him, there are more here


~Rumi





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