Where is "home"?

It is a "normal" day as I wait to board my flight to newark liberty international. I've done this more times over the past 5 years than I care to count.

Except this is different. I am going back - I mustn't take the train to P3 and search for my car. I mustnt wait for my AMC cab guy to pick me up. Hell I dont even have his number anymore. When did I delete it ? I try to recollect.

The lady at the check-in looks at my passport and says " What is your reason to visit London maam ?"

" I live here, I am visiting the U.S." I tell her ,as a matter of fact.

Yes, I am "visiting" EWR. I am not renting a car, my US license has expired. Or maybe I can , with my UK one. Must remember to drive on the correct side.

Its been 14 months since I've left the country. Who lives in my apartment now ? Does the doorman still remember me ?

I've taken to my new life lovingly and it has been absolutely wonderful.

I skirt around the unease as I charge my iPhone. Hopefully my roaming works.

I land.I hear accents around me. Familiar yet different.

The week flew by. I was in a haze.

I am still in a haze, its been a week since I've been back.

Familiar, yet different. This is scary.

Where is home ?

Some more marriage gyan...

It was our anniversary last weekend. Yes, our first one. And if you are one of our grand-kids reading this, yes, marriages did last that long in those days. Oh wait - google marriage first.

Anyway,  it brings us up to year one. So far, so good - no fish-hooking , no eye-gouging.... no wait I am kidding. It was pretty good , actually. People say the first few years are the most difficult. But in some ways they are the easiest. Because you are young, you have energy, and believe it or not, you do have the most time to spend with each other you'll ever have.

Marriage is harder today that it has probably ever been historically - changing gender roles, both people having hectic work lives, it is becoming increasingly harder to focus on each other and the relationship. Add kids to the mix, not to mention the in-laws, and out lawed friends and things can heat up pretty quickly.

I've seen happy marriages, and then I've seen the unhappy ones. Every happy marriage has the same basic elements, but every unhappy marriage is unhappy in its own way. In my opinion, getting married too young/early is the worst of these types of marriages. I see people all the time, jump into marriage - no idea who they are , what they want to be and what they want out of life. I've seen people, especially women, to whom marriage is an escape - an escape from a failed career, a failed relationship or a tick in the box due to peer pressure. I've seen people, men especially , who do it because it is the right time, and it is convenient. I've seen pushy parents force the timelines down their kids throat, thinking they know best. I've seen kids who've gotten on with it wholeheartedly. Now, I have also seen people belonging to one or more of these situations, eventually find peace and happiness with their partners. But you also see the ones that are silently suffering or vehemently fighting against their situation. Vehement fighting is not ideal, but eventually you get to an end point - as frustrating and taxing as it is. But the silent sufferers are the worst of this lot. The anger and disappointment that builds as a result of unmet expectations, this passive aggression, turns into all things nasty - health issues, depression, low self esteem, cheating etc.

I absolutely adore what I have with my husband and I am loving every minute of being married to him. But why are Indian parents so hell bent on getting their kids hitched as early as possible ? I know someone who got married when she was 23 years old (Yes, in this day and age !) and purely due to pressure from her mom and aunts. Had never lived alone, didn't really know what it entailed. No prior relationships. Living with the guy and his parents. What is next ? Pressure to start a family, pressure to buy a certain kind of house, and so it goes. A relationship is hard enough as it is to manage without both sets of parents, siblings , aunts and uncles forcing their views down the newly-weds throats. Why are Indian parents finding it so hard to let go ? To live and let live ? Is it insecurity ? Is it control issues ?