Yesterday was quite frustrating, but reflecting on it, today, I actually learned quite a bit. I’ll start the story off with a bit of TMI (too much information) because, well, it’s an important topic.
Yesterday morning, after its week-long delay, I got my period. I’m sorry, I know you may not want to hear about that, and I never thought I would broadcast that information… But to keep this blog raw and honest, we are going to have to talk about things you don’t want to hear.
So, as I was saying, I got my period. We had an appointment that morning, to register our marriage, and the commute was nearly two hours. I was worried, but I knew everything would turn out okay. I could not have been more wrong.
Shortly after arriving at the registration office, I started experiencing an extreme amount of pain, due to cramping. I sat quietly for about half an hour, waiting for our witnesses to show up, and helped my husband organize dozens of papers.
When the time came, we went inside and everyone signed each of those dozens of papers. Soon after, me and my husband were stuck in a not-so-organized crowd, waiting for our number to be called. When our number was called, we shoved our way to the front of the line, only for the clerk to object our registration of marriage.
At this point, I was very weak and struggling to stay focused, due to the pain.
We were then lead to the back office where a business man sat behind a large desk, talking with other couples. Our clerk interrupted him, “This Indian boy and American girl cannot get married on the basis of this document!”
The business man silently held up his hand to stop the man from talking, then smiled at us and said, “Please, be seated.”
When we sat down, he asked us why the clerk objected, and my husband explained that the clerk did not think our rental agreement was proper proof of residence. The business man explained that my husband would need a different kind of document to prove our residence here in Delhi. He was very kind, but told us to return with the document to proceed.
At this time, we were exhausted. We felt bad, as well, having wasted our time and our witnesses time. The whole event must have taken no less than three hours.
It became urgent that I either get to a bathroom quickly or get home, and the likelihood of finding a public bathroom (let alone a clean public bathroom) in New Delhi was very slim. Slim to none. When I notified my husband of my needs, he was forced to use the money we would have spent on our marriage certificate, to buy an auto-rickshaw ride home instead. I was extremely grateful. It was a long way home, considering my circumstances.
When we got home, my pain was at its peak. Still very unusual for me. So after eating a quick snack, I took a few ibuprofen and fell asleep. When I woke up for a late lunch, I felt fine, but defeated.
Yesterday, I found it to be a shame that there are no specifics on what you need, in order to file for a marriage certificate in Delhi. So I decided I am going to write exactly how to go about getting a marriage certificate, and which documents are needed.
Yesterday, I found it saddening that Delhi doesn’t have very many public bathrooms, at least… It doesn’t anywhere I have been. The only public bathrooms I have ever seen, outside of a major attraction, were constantly closed and locked. If it’s this hard to find a public bathroom in Delhi, can you imagine what rural areas are like? I’m looking into causes and ways I can help.
Though yesterday felt like a failure at the time, I actually learned a few things, and gained a bit of perspective. It’s kind of funny, the way life teaches us lessons. And, well, now we know how to officially register our marriage, when we get around to it again.
In the future, I’d like to explore the topics of menstruation in India, public bathrooms in India, and such related topics.
Featured image by Mike Goren via Flickr.com