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   I make a religious study of the matrimonial column in my paper every morning. (May 16, 1968)

The first thing I enjoy in the morning in my paper is this column.Now that the pocket cartoons don't appear my first and foremost preference is for this column which advertises brides like rasgullas.

April and May are boom months for this column. One can devote a full 15 minutes for reading and re-reading this advertisement full of data, description and dowry ceiling.

This morning, I took time to glance through another column. It made equally good reading.

I never knew that people celebrated silver weddings, like birthday parties with candles, cakes and cards.

There were announcements of at least half a dozen of these period weddings. I started reading about them with great relish.

The silver wedding is not celebrated by the man and his wife alone. The entire family will be witness to the event including on an average eight sons, six daughters, seven daughters-in-law, four sons-in-law, 17 granddaughters, 15 grandsons and three great-granddaughters.

The near and dear ones are also asked to greet the jubilee. The only omission will be that the UK and the Continental papers are not requested to copy the announcement.

I have a grandmother who does not remember when she was married. In terms of the size of her family, she must be on the threshold of a diamond wedding. I take extra care to keep my paper away from her lest she may get the idea to celebrate her silver wedding and the golden wedding that have skipped by without her knowledge.

According to my mother-in-law (who threatens to celebrate her silver wedding every time she is in an exuberant mood), silver weddings are celebrated to pronounce to the world the unbroken marital bliss enjoyed by the couple which very few will be lucky enough to be alive to celebrate.

My father-in-law, a fine husband, thinks that the crucifixion of a mortal for a quarter-century should not be an event for universal rejoicings, much less for newspaper announcements.

Even today, I am not able to understand the 'triumph and tragedy' aspect of a silver wedding.

What is the finest hour in the life of married people?

According to men, women's finest hour commences from the day of their wedding.

According to women (including my mother-in-law), their finest hour ceases the moment a man steps into a woman's life.

But, supremely unaware of this, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren ring the bells for their series of period weddings.

 
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