Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Survive another breeding season


As you young fellows of reproductive age who have had the pleasure of tying the nuptial knots of holy matrimony this week may have noticed, marriage is not just a popular card game in Nepal.

The institution of marriage is a binding contract between a man and his in laws under which in exchange for the Cosmic Yinyang motorcycle the groom will provide all possible assistance to bring forth new human beings into the planet and live happily ever after until they are reincarnated, at which point he will have to do everything all over again.

No need to worry, though. Those of you addicted to card games will soon realise that you are in familiar territory because marriage is also a gamble. For instance, you could discover on your wedding night that the person you have chosen to be your lawfully wedded husband because he is the son of a mover and shaker is as hairy as a yak and snores like one. You win some and lose some.

But marriage is a compromise and as generations of married couples before us have discovered, the perfect antidote to a snoring spouse is to learn to snore yourself so you can drown out the all-night nasal saxophone on the next pillow and turn a solo concert into a duet.

As someone who has been married for donkey's years since the early Malla period, I have some unsolicited advice to all you newly-weds out there about the birds and the bees and what they do in private. May I?

. l The most important part of a wedding is the marriage party which takes place simultaneously with approximately 15,000 other parties all over town, including the four-party anti-regression torch procession at Bag Bajar. And every one of these jantis has a Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band playing the latest Bollywood hit. This is the acid test: if you survive the band you will survive anything.
. The wedding night. This is the second most important part of a marriage and the time when couples weigh their pros and cons and decide that, despite the armpit aroma, on the whole cohabitation is a good thing.
. In a marriage one engages in the most intimate acts known to man: holding hands while watching the sun set, sharing Q-tips and listening to each other's stomachs growl.
. For conjugal bliss, a marriage must be filled with love and passion, and one of the most romantic activity you can engage in is the mutual pleasure of squeezing each other's zits.
. Because it's like having a room-mate for life, a marriage is about compromise. Even after 20 years of marriage, for instance, it drives a wife nuts when her husband insists on taking a leak without lifting the seat in an upright position. So, as a compromise, she replaces the loo with a squatting toilet. And this drives the husband nuts.
. Matrimonial harmony comes from strengthening the bonds of marriage by the husband and wife curling up and talking late into the night about the day's happenings. Since men and women are from different planets, sometimes it may seem like the conversation is one-sided as exemplified by this transcript of a clandestinely-recorded dialogue in our household:

Wife: Look, my aim is to keep this place clean, your aim would help. How many times have I told you to lift the bloody seat, I'm warning you I'm going to get a squatter. And can't you screw back the top to the tube after you brush your teeth, you haven't learnt to do a simple thing like that in 25 years, you dork. Are you listening to me or are you completely deaf?
Husband: Unnh?
Wife: I knew it, you aren't listening at all are you? So I can tell you anything I want: no more bed tea, you hear? If you want tea you make it yourself and pour it down your snout. And from tomorrow you wash your Y-fronts yourself, and your filthy socks. Oh, by the way, someone called.
Husband: Whoa, what? Who, when? Did he leave a number? Why didn't you tell me before?

See what I mean? After 25 years in a blissful marriage one learns to filter out all extraneous noise. Great thing, marriage, wouldn't be able to do without it.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)