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OP Kapoor*, PM Madhok**
*Ex. Hon. Physician, Jaslok Hospital and Bombay Hospital, Mumbai, Ex. Hon. Prof. of Medicine, Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital, Mumbai 400 008. **Ex. Paediatric Surgeon, BJ Wadia Hospital for Children, Mumbai 400 012.

From times immemorial, the first few days after marriage have been set aside, for what is euphemistically called Honeymoon. In the days when marriages were arranged by match makers it was perfectly natural for the boy and girl to be put together without knowing each other. Enjoying the fruits of conjugal bliss was not easy unless you knew each other well. So honeymoon meant getting a three dimensional idea of each other. This was totally justified because you had to spend the rest of your life together. Couples chose secluded spots which were congenial for love making. After all, who wants to be disturbed when you are concentrating on your life partner?

In todays context, of intercaste, inter religious marriages where often childhood love blossoms into matrimony, and the technique of courting being freely copied from TV, radio, magazines and books, is honeymoon necessary? Very often couples are intimate even before marriage. Some of them marry thru the internet after they had long and intimate chats. The question is, is honeymoon still desirable? The answer is yes! yes!! and yes!!!

Honeymoon has its surprises. The tall dark handsome man you married may have dentures, crown and bridges and foul smelling mouth. The girl may be camouflaging her doe-like eyes with coloured lenses. Suddenly she appears with thick glasses. Ohhh!

Sexual appetites vary. He may be Zorba the Greek, who is not easily satisfied, or he may be an occasional performer who only believes the cohabitation to reproduce. He may be a glutton for whom you may have to spend the rest of your life in the kitchen. Are you ready? or a food FADDIST not easily satisfied!!

Some people have the awesome habit of clucking loudly whilst eating or belching loudly!! The female may be night walker or a girl who gnashes her teeth whilst sleeping. Or even talking during sleep?

Snoring can be a great social problem in either partner. Fortunately there are remedies available.

If both partners are working, there can be other irritants. Long hours in the toilet? Or garrulousness and unending frivolous talk on the phone?

Poor dressing style may be infuriating!! Unpressed clothes or too much of well ironed clothes? Knowing each otherís social attitudes can be worthwhile. What if you are married to an activist who believes in womanís lib? She may expect (or demand) her man to do half the kitchen chores or help her run the house. So this period of honeymoon may be spent in knowing each other and/or adjusting to each others fads, idiosyncracies and incorrectable habits!!

In the ultimate analysis honeymoon is what you make of it. Even today it can help to start a good and long lasting relationship. With a little give and take, of course!!

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