If you are looking for a reason to love, it ain’t love, my dear!
Its been more than a month since we lost a loved one. They say time is the best healer. I think more than time itself, it was the family that came together to stand by us, who saved us from getting lost in this time. The last few of this family, closest of all, left a few days back to get back to their own lives, leaving us officially on our own.
Few days back, I took the long airport ride to see them off on their journey to the other side of the planet. The fact that it would be months before we meet again, kept rubbing in, throughout the journey. It was a rainy night. Rain had drenched the streets, the cars, the entire night. It was pretty similar to how I felt too, drenched in emotions. My childish mind constantly asked, “Why do they have to go? Why can’t they stay?” The wipers of the car, went back and forth like a finger pointing at me constantly telling me, “No! They cannot stay! No! My wish could not be granted!” I wished the wipers would stop. I wished it would stop raining. I wished they hadn’t had to go.
With time, nothing changed except my own emotions. Slowly anger gave way to introspection. I wondered why I was feeling so angry inside. I have had family travel miles away, for years together, many time before. I have never felt so emotionally drained before. Why today? The answer was simple. I was feeling this way because I did not want loved ones to leave me either through death or through our life choices. While we cannot control death, we definitely have a control on our choices. Even though we control choices of life, we still choose to stay away from family. We keep calling each other, saying we miss each other, but then we still continue to live far. Why do we do that? Why? What are we waiting for to change our choices? Wasn’t one meeting with death enough to change our mind?
I gasped, trying to breathe. Thankfully my six year old niece, sitting on my lap was talking about dinosaurs and earthquakes. My gasp went unnoticed amidst her chatter. The sound of the rain slamming the car also did its part. I wanted to curl up, hug my knees and cry loudly. I had not cried like this even when death visited us. But now, my anger was leading to frustration and frustration to a need for letting go. I let go and silent tears dripped down my cheeks. My niece did not notice. She was now talking about her Grandmother and God. It was one of the rare days that I felt that life is unfair. I kept asking, “Why do we love people knowing they will leave us one day?”
Days later, as I write this blog, I don’t feel like crying anymore. I guess Time did help me in this case. With the support of time, I have learnt to love and miss loved ones without being sad. I have accepted that loving someone does not necessarily mean that we will live together forever. Sometimes we will drift across continents and sometimes across lives. I believe, if we have loved someone truly, we are sure to meet again in some form at some time. Till such time, I continue to spend time in prayer because it is prayer that helps me experience the love of those who have been distanced from me.
” Do you own your spouse?”
Rather, “Did you buy your spouse in the open market through bidding, betting or negotiating?”
Well, in case you did buy your spouse, then you have every right in the world to own them. You have every right to dictate what they wear; what they eat; how much they sleep and how much they are supposed to earn. No questions asked! You sure must’ve paid a hefty price to own them, so you have every right, now, to control their lives. Needless to say, I pity those spouses who sold their pride, dreams and individual entity to be, from this day forward, called the spouse of XXX.
Fortunately or unfortunately, my family never had enough money to buy a husband for me. I, therefore, did not marry for money. For those like me, who did not pay dowry to buy their spouse, can we still claim single ownership rights to our Man/Wife? Do we think we have the right to dictate terms on how they lead their lives, right from the food they eat to the career choices they make?
Somehow even without paying the money, most spouses come with a certain right of entitlement on their better halves. I often see husbands negotiating with their wives in order to spend a week off with their friends (male or female friends – that is another dimension all together, which we cannot discuss right now). On the other side, I see wives begging for a day off from children and house chores to spend quality time on a hobby they have been nurturing since long. Why do spouses need permission to lead their own dreams? Just because, the Registrar stamped our marriage certificate, does it mean that we gave up our individual right to freedom?
Is the marriage certificate really a certificate to tie us down within the constraints of this world? Is it a certificate that should restrict and controls our dreams, our needs and the very purpose of our life. Conversations like these are all too common, ” Oh, so you wanted to be a Rockstar! Too bad, that you got married to me! How will you support me, and kids and your parents on the erratic nature of a Rockstar income! ” Such conversations force us to make the difficult choice between maintaining a spouse or maintaining our dream! Most of us, choose our spouse even when we see our dreams fading away into oblivion.
Unless we paid money to buy our spouse, my recommendation is that spouses should support each other as best friends/partners in their journey of life. For those who sold their soul in the process of getting married, I am sorry to say that you have already written off your life. Maybe you will stand a chance to win a Best Friend/Partner for life in your next life! Till such time, may God give you courage to lead a purposeless life of slavery. Amen!
13 years ago on the day of 8th February, Pavan and I, both of us a little too young, a little too tired and sleepy, smashed lumps of jaggery concoction on each others heads, accepting each other as our partners for life. I remember that day as a heady mix of mantras, sarees, jewelry and confusion.
We never really went for a formal honeymoon, but life from there on just seemed like a never ending honeymoon. Days following the marriage, we couldn’t stay away from each other for more than 30 minutes in a day. The fact that we both worked in the same organisation made it easy for us to be together. If someone was to even suggest that we spend a day without each other, I would get tears in my eyes. I used to look at older siblings and their relationships with their spouses and wonder how they could live without their love being around them, all the time. In those days, I was naive enough to think that the spouses who could stay physically far from each other, did not love each other enough. They ought to learn a thing or two about love from Pavan and me. 🙂
By the time we reached our First Anniversary, the honeymoon was over. 8th Feb 2004, I was in London 7717 kms away from Pavan. In those days, we did not have Whatsapp, Viber, or Facetime, because both of us did not even have a mobile phone. I would have of course called Pavan on a LAN line phone, except for the fact that I was travelling within UK that day. By the time I got access to a Pay Phone, Pavan was not at home. When he reached back home, I could not access a Pay phone. In summary, we did not manage to speak/see/hug/gift each other on our very special day. More so, being in a foreign land among strangers, no one wished me on my special day either. I was heartbroken. I sulked, cried and felt like taking the first flight back to be with Pavan. But I couldn’t. Job commitments and financial constraints forced me do the brave thing. So Yes, by our first anniversary, I was slowly coming out of the
“Happily Ever After” fairy tale and was being forced to come to terms with reality.
8th Feb 2005, I was eight months pregnant with Toyna. Pavan and me had shifted to a one bedroom apartment close to office because I was not able to cope with the travel to work each day. Pavan had his MBA exam the next day and he was late coming home from his MBA classes. I slowly wobbled to the market, on my own, with a stiff back and aching legs. I bought two red roses and hid them behind his pillow as the Anniversary gift. That was the first anniversary, we slept together, his arms hugging my round belly.
8th Feb 2006, Toyna was 10 months old. I don’t remember how we spent the anniversary. Most probably, it went somewhere in between dirty diapers, milk bottles or doctor visits.
8th Feb 2007 – no memory
8th Feb 2008 – no memory
8th Feb 2009 – no memory
8th Feb 2010 – no memory
8th Feb 2011 – no memory
8th Feb 2012 – no memory
8th Feb 2013 – Wow! It had been ten years that we have been married. Plus, I am again 6 months pregnant with our second one. We went to a small resort near home to celebrate 10 years of surviving each other.
8th Feb 2014 – no memory, maybe Pavan was travelling at of station at that time.
8th Feb 2015 – no memory, no memory, maybe Pavan was travelling internationally at that time.
8th Feb 2016 – I did not even remember that our Anniversary was coming up. Those who commented, “Awwww! You won’t be together on your anniversary!” got only a smile from my side. I admit, 10 years ago, I would have been a nervous wreck on this day, if Pavan was not by my side.
Looking back, I can’t help but marvel how much, Pavan and me, have grown as individuals, over the years. I can’t help but laugh at the newly wed me, who wanted Pavan by her side 24 * 7. I can’t help but thank God for giving me sense to say “Yes, I do!” to Pavan.
Looking forward, I don’t see we being happily married for many more years to come. I just see both of us being bestest friends till death does us apart (Toyna is now my new Best Friend, so Pavan had to be promoted to “Bestest”). We have given so much love to each other that we don’t need each other to complete us physically, emotionally or spiritually anymore. We are happy to have helped each other feel complete on their own. Perhaps, this is the best gift Pavan could have given me on our first or last anniversary.
Cheers to us.. till death does us physically apart!
Each night I walk alone under the star lit sky
The black road beckons and the breeze whizzes by
My heart is full of music of years gone by
And dreams of future waiting for you and I
Then, one day, you decide to join me for the stroll
I share my music and you hug me close
We stumble upon feet and are close to a fall
We poke, we push and we laugh aloud
Oh! Why do you need to walk with me?
Oh! Why do you need to slow me down?
Oh! Why do you make me stumble and fall?
Oh! Why do I still love walking with you?