Soulmates.

Comes June and it is time for us to complete another year of togetherness – our wedding anniversary.
 After so many years of being together, I thought to pen down a little about this spicy journey of almost a decade and half. A real spicy one- sweet, sour, bitter, salty and many a times just bland.
“Our relationship has been all about two imperfect people making a Perfect Relationship”.  This statement is not a skite . Trust me, it holds water.
Arranged, Love or a mix of both---it started with excitement, enthusiasm and all the fear of a new life. During our official courtship period, there came a point when we both felt that we are poles apart and the relationship might not click. We even went to the discussion of calling it off.  But after introspection in depth, we unanimously came to the point –“ Yes, we are so different but still so comfortable together. Let’s go ahead.” And so the journey into the mystery of unknown begins…and still this mystery prevails, though diminished and dwarfed by the secured feeling of having each other.
What has been the mantra of this “   ” (not very sure of successful or just so-so) marriage?   I can pen down with surety certain things that stand out and make us stay together and still wanting to go ahead with same zeal and commitment.
Comfortable in our skin…. We do not need to put forward our best foot to make it work.  We are accepted in our ‘raw’ forms.  We do not need to impersonate ideal partners to each other. We started with minimal expectation and moved towards ‘zero expectations’. Expectations are the recipe of disaster in any relationship.
Changing habits together….. We did not change our basic self but did change our habits- quitting some old ones and inculcating some new ones.  You quit smoking within a couple of months and I took almost a decade to have morning tea with you.  You prepared your cup of tea and I sat down with my cup of Bournvita. Over the years, it became two cups of tea with newspaper- you keep the main paper and I get the editorial page and entertainment news. I was bad at making tea and so you had to teach me. Then it became an unsaid rule-you make it on weekdays and I make it on weekends. Even after so many years, I am not addicted to tea and do not have it when you are not there. More than having tea together, it is a way to start the day together discussing our plans for the day. I started with morning tea, you started with reading before going to bed.  Though my range of reading materials are wide- fiction,non-fiction, philosophy and so on.., you stick to your beloved “technology” or the left unread news pieces in the newspaper.
All days are same, romantic or not so romantic….. There are no designated days kept aside to express our love for each other.  We do not scream our lungs out to say “I love You” on valentine day or go crazy to exhibit our love for each other on our anniversary by celebrating it in a special way.  We can express it anytime, any day and prefer a silent time together over a party or celebration. We can squeeze time out to get romantic in our own way by doing things the way we enjoy, breaking all the myths of romanticizaton –no flowers, no chocolates, no candle light dinner.  When one says “I love you”, the other one reciprocates back by “Seriously!!!”.
Growing together each day……. We have gone through various nuances of life and an entire gamut of emotions. Life has unfolded into expected and unexpected, pleasant and unpleasant, joyous and painful events.  Achievements, failures, growing responsibilities, family crisis, ageing parents, loss of loved ones,ill health…..all have been faced and dealt together. We have laughed together, giggled and chuckled, cried together, cried for each other, cried due to each other, screamed out of anger, made mistakes- owned them and sometimes deferred them.  Emotions and mind are auxiliary to each other. It clearly shows that we remained sane throughout.
Borderline triglyceride and cholesterol, dull backache after tiring day , greying hair and the receding hairline- we are ageing together.  We became parents together and have helped one another to get  better at parenting .Each day working like trapeze acrobats to balance all the variables of life.
Listening to the unsaid…..  Fancy term-“Mutual Understanding”- for us it was open communication, clearing misunderstandings and slowly learning to listen to unsaid. You never miss my favourite mushroom when placing an order at restaurant. I make sure that our kitchen is not out of stock of fresh green chillies, chutney and curd, which make your meal complete. When you say “Leave me alone”, I know you mean it and I leave you alone to unwind off your stress. When I say “Leave me alone”, you very well know that I need you the most at that time and you never leave me. You have a critical opinion about me but never let me quit.
Following Set theory……  We live by Set theory of union and intersection.  We follow our interests and passions without involving the other one. When it is a common interest, we do it together.  There are movies that we watch together and there are ones that we watch separately. I never watch a game of football but accompany you when it is an interesting cricket match. You enjoy your western loud music when you work out while I prefer soothing gazals. When together, we listen to our favourite Kishore and Bollywood numbers.   I would never dare to take you to an art exhibition or to a music concert as it would definitely ruin the event. You are always ready to babysit if I have my plans to go to theatre, a summit, a concert or a workshop.
Annoying but ………  We have enough to annoy each other.  My aversion to technology and gadgets annoy you. You have gifted me with organizers, laptops and smart phones to organize my schedule, manage the financial budget on Excel sheet and to have my to-dos list handy. I still prefer to write them down in diary. I am annoyed by your habit of switching on TV at breakfast table and as soon as you enter home after work to attend to Arnab Goswami. My hobbies of paper quilling art and clay work annoy you. You feel I should do something more productive like some tutorials online to add up to my profession. A common scene in our house each evening is you watching Mr. Goswami while I am busy with my hobbies.  We do it sitting on the same sofa as we do not want to leave each other alone in peace!!!
Fun Fridays together…….. It has become a tradition to celebrate Friday evenings in our house and maximum bonding has happened over these long hours (till 3 AM). We sit together enjoying our drinks ( your Vodka /Bacardi and mine coconut water/buttermilk/ soft juice) discussing everything under the sun – rewinding college days, future plans, dreams, affairs, crushes, current affairs..  .   I enjoy the official debates that we have – taking sides, putting points and counterpoints.  We admit the force of each other’s argument but the result always remains dubious.  Before the kids started going to formal school, we could just go out for a mid- night drive packing them in the car seat while they slept peacefully. Many of our trips were planned and we started in the night with bare minimum packing. We danced on the tunes of Govinda’s  and Salman’s songs, watched the same movie again and again, argued over the same thing without reaching to a conclusion.  The lists of ‘crazy’ things have gone down on the list but we still do ‘silly’ things.  Watching our daughter’s baby day’s videos, going to their room, squeezing into their blankets and sandwiching them between us till they both get annoyed in their sleep and ask us to leave their room.  Fridays have always patched up the gap created by the over demanding weekdays.  Even today I enjoy the happy tone in your voice when you come back from work and declare-“Aaj to Friday hai”(Today is Friday) .
Poles apart but still……. When it comes to life, we hold identical views and value.  Family and relationships get the highest priority and that binds us together. Deeply rooted and connected to our origin, we have an unshaken faith and security in the system that binds us together. Its our resonating sense of humour that makes us see the lighter side of life, when too overwhelmed by the complexities of it.
The wonderful journey has been punctuated with comma (,) to include and separate our variations, quote-unquote (“ ”) for the opinions held by two strong individuals,  parenthesis () for what we said at times was not what we meant , ** for the points we dare to miss out or overrule,  ??? for the doubts , lots of exclamations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for all surprises, shocks and new discoveries made about each other and ………………for the long journey, long discussions ,arguments and disagreements over agreements.

But the journey still awaits a full stop(.) till “Death do us apart”.

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