Hmmm....I've been carrying this poignant piece in my wallet for past 11 years.
Bond beyond death.
By Harpreet Kaur Malhotra.
Against all my misgivings, my marriage also came the normal way – an arranged one. I was always dead against marriage, as I had rarely if ever come across a couple where both treated each other as lifepartners rather than “a husband” and “a wife”. With their individuality being always smothered into these ‘moulds’, acceptance as person he or she was was missing.
Nobody seemed to believe in ‘if you love something set it free’, being too insecure to give even a breathing space to each other’s existence.
Expectations of the other person conforming to one’s idea of ‘my husband’ or ‘my wife’ ran too high.
I remember one of the good guys, I had met had a desire to be capable of affording any object of luxury that his wife desired. He wanted to be some sort of a ‘Jinn of the chirag’ Alladdin had possessed. Only in this case the chirag would have been in the hands of his ‘privileged wife’.
But Ravi never mistook these ways of showing love as ‘love itself’. A personality so strong that he needed no crutches of materialistic luxuries to express his love. His feelings as well were as transparent and clear as the strongest element on earth:water.
If ever I tripped and fell, Ravi would not come to hurrying up to me and make a fuss over the fall. I would be silently given a chance to recover and only if required would he hold my hand.
In moments of distress, his calm expression would be betrayed only by the eyes darting back and again to my face to gauge the extent of pain. The broad palm of his hand caging my small one all the time, his eyes would fly open at the faintest groan of pain at night. The hug would become just an inch closer and he’d put his cheek to my forehead, with the inevitable catch in his chest.
We never had more than a twenty-year old scooter to drag us to places and we had never been more than just human beings to each other.
I still remember the first arranged meeting between us. The very ordinary looking guy right after introducing himself, and that too only by his name, had politely shot the question “What kind of a person do you want in your life?” And I had gone bla-bla-bla ending with a whimperish “One who can accept me as I am.” After listening to my blabber, he had asked “I’ll always try to do that…accept you as you are…will you….marry me?” Whoa! All apprehensions had evaporated and my jaw had most stupidly dropped with the pleasure of the shock and thereafter the “yes” had come like a pounce, lest the bird flew away.
The trip after tying the knot had been the coolest one. I always felt as if he had known me for years. Acceptance eventually calmed the turbulences and the wrinkles of disagreements were ironed out into no time.
He taught me how to negotiate, reach out to the other person’s side and meet midway. He would refrain from doing things for me, preferring to let me struggle through on my own, of course under his non-interfering guidance. His unmoving faith in me always moved my confidence to high levels of self-efficacy.
He would be the most articulate to me while wading through life’s troubled waters. During those trying times a “what happened” would open up a detailed account of what had really gone wrong. Advice and opinion was sought and even silliest of my suggestions were not dismissed.
And that day also, when I was as if sleep walking going through the nightmare of his death did, he lay there with an expression of serene, somehow content that he had left me fully capable of taking care of myself even through the worst that could ever happen to a loved one. The sense of independence and endurance he had helped me inculcate did not let me be shattered by the curse of widowhood. Even the sight of him and a part of me being consigned to the flames, I could endure, accepting “the final truth of life -- Death”.
My strength is ‘HIM’. And we’ll always remain together.
Broadway Gourmet Theatre
4 days ago