Spouse vs. Friend
When Pavan started our business 6 years back in the apocalyptic year of 2008, I was still working in a full time job. I had little clue regarding the life of a Businessman and absolutely none related to the wife of a Businessman. I remember feeling proud of him. He was free from the shackles of a 24*5 job. I used to sit in my office and romanticize about our brand new future. In my mind, I pictured us spending lazy afternoons together with our children, under no pressure to meet crazy official deadlines. Now that he was his own boss, he could decide his own work time and schedules. I was sure, that now there would be nothing standing in between the harmony of our perfect married life.
Looking back, we both admit, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. No amount of research could have prepared us for the life of a Businessman and a Business Woman. In the years after the launch of KINDUZ, our marriage took a huge toll. It took me a long time to accept that it was possible for my dear husband to be busier than before. He was working even harder, travelling even more and on top of it making far lesser money than he used to in his respectable job. It was then that I started questioning our decision to launch a Business. What in the world were we thinking!!!?!!!
Searching desperately for answers to rekindle our dying relationship, I came across one solid bit of advice – “If you cannot defeat the enemy, join it!”. So that is what I did. I quit my respectable job and joined the enemy. Now we were both working together towards the same goals. We got to spend more time together. We had common dreams, common achievements and common failures. We were together again.
I thought we had overcome a big milestone in our relationship. Business flourished and the travel for Pavan which was till now restricted to domestic sectors for about 15 days a month, expanded to international territories for more than 25 days a month. Time zone differences and a new baby in our family tore us again into opposite directions. We constantly felt the need to connect, but were not able to find a common time to even talk. We tried putting together rules for maintaining work life balance. But exceptions to the rules were more frequent than the rule itself.
Months of continuous business travel finally ended with a long planned family vacation in Europe in May this year. Both of us were literally counting days and hours to get to spend time with each other again. Oh! I had so much to tell him! So much to hear from him! So many problems I needed his help on. I was sure, I would be talking non stop for the entire stretch of our 16 days vacation.
The vacation started with long travel, settling into a home with the kids, catching up with the rest of the family and lounging together. On most days, we were driving through beautiful country sides, stopping for picnic lunches and having late night tête-à-tête with the larger family.
Pavan and I got the time to connect, but I realized there was nothing that important that had to be talked about in order to connect. Most days, we just sat together holding hands, watching the country side whiz by, beautiful Hindi songs in our ears and the children fast asleep in their respective car seats, secure and happy. What more could one ask for in life? What more could I ask for in life? There was nothing that needed to be discussed. There was no problem large enough to disturb the serenity of the moment. We were just happy being with each other. There was nothing more or nothing less that we needed from each other.
It was in this vacation that I learnt that a Connection is not really formed only when we talk to someone on a continuous basis. There are some connections which always exist no matter how far we might be from each other. Connections don’t need a physical touch, an expensive gift or a common goal to remain strong. Connections just grow as we grow together. All we need to do is believe that we are connected. We have to behave like we are connected.
Next time, I am missing Pavan really bad, I will look up this post and remind myself that we are still together in our own dimension of the world. We might not be the ideal husband and wife pair, but I guess when it comes to being Best Friends, we couldn’t have found a better friend than each other.