I often tell my husband that he has never given me any chance to say, ” Oh! You were so different then and look at you now.” He laughs with that mischievous twinkle in the eye, that he knows so well, how much I love, when I say, “You are just the same… Just as bad… Just as imperfect….then and now.”
This should probably give you an idea of the tone of our relationship. For us, there were no ‘best -foot-forward’ moments but definitely a lot of ‘foot-in-mouth’ ones. May be because neither was looking for love when we found it so there was no pressure to be at our best behavior. We were more like kindred spirits, a pair of broken hearts and injured souls when we met. I hated the city that I had come to, to pursue my MD and he loved it with all his heart. On the face of it, there was not much common between the two of us right from our food choices down to our music and movies. (He hates Shah Rukh Khan…. Shudder shudder). I was the rabble raising feminist and he was this quiet, self assured person. But as we talked we realised that our outlook towards life was similar. Our roads hadn’t crossed for no reason,it was because we were on the same one.
When I landed in Mumbai, my parents were already looking for a match. I had entrusted them the headache with a small ‘not-to-do’ list which read that the chosen one could be anyone so long as….
- He wasn’t from Mumbai (I’ve already proclaimed my erstwhile hatred for the city)
- He wasn’t a pharmacologist (God… I’d met a few of them and they were as boring as a benzene ring)
- He wasn’t someone who likes those sweet sticky mango drinks (mangola and the likes…)
Imagine the silence that I was met with, when I told my parents about this pharmacologist, born and brought up in Mumbai and who always orders Mangola. Mercifully, my parents recovered quickly and six months to the date we’d met, we were declared Mr. & Mrs.
Despite the change in marital status, nothing had changed in real life. We were still struggling residents, stretching our stipend to last a month and also take care of our fee and books.
Love and craziness saw us through those times when our month would start with lunch at the ITC and end up at the local katta… because we would be totally broke by then as our meagre stipend would give up on us. Our idea of date, as my brother-in-law would often joke, was grocery shopping. (Supermarkets had just come and getting the best deals wasn’t our idea of fun but of survival)
Student life very quickly gave way to parenthood and diapered us down. Our child’s bowel movements took precedence over each other’s heart beats. We’ve tried our best not to let parenting dissolve our friendship.
And it’s been a wonderful journey so far, full of mutual trust, total equality and respect. We married each other knowing fully well what we were getting into. We were never clingy and that freedom to be what you are, has brought us closer. Neither has tried to change the other so while I watch his superhero movies, he smiles and shuts his mouth through my choice of movies (Of late Vicky Kaushal has taken over Shah Rukh’s mantle). He still plays cricket, watches F1 and is crazy for his friends and his boys’ night out with them. And just like that he never judges me or questions my choices. My husband often jokes, that he thought he was getting into marriage but someone should have told him that marriage was just a fancy name for mandavli (a Mumbaiya term for compromise). I respectfully call it, the middle road.
Having circled the sun together the fourteenth time this January, we’ve moved from cutting chai to gourmet coffee, ‘accidental’ brushes have replaced holding hands…..rain no longer means a leisurely walk in front of the mayor’s bungalow but is a reminder to rush back home.However the ring of the doorbell that tells me it’s him is as musical still.
So while we never had a Valentine’s day before marriage and even the first one after our wedding was hijacked by a cousin’s wedding….and though he never brought me flowers, he never went down on the knee with a flashy proposal and we never said mushy I love yous to each other…. What we understand well is….that love doesn’t need to be perfect, It just needs to be true