Tag Archives: marriage

Eventually, we move…




The First Night

Marriages are mostly arranged in India. Mine was no different. It was in the fall of 1999, I had been working for a civil consulting firm for the past four years and was ready to take the big step of marriage. I had a failed relationship when I was in college; the heart break had left me shattered for years. I just didn’t have the courage or the excitement to move on. The pain was pretty intense initially but it waned way with time, slowly bit by bit. Now when I was ready to get hitched, a small part of me became curious, the one which badly wanted to fall in love all over again. That’s when Tara happened to me. She and I had met only a couple of times before we got married. We didn’t get a chance of getting to know each other more, it was only after marriage that we realised how perfect we were for each other.

The first night together is always the most awkward phase in any arranged marriage. I remember Tara walking in with the trademark glass of milk in her hand. Her hands were shivering as she placed the glass on the table and sat right next to me. We both were nervous and we both didn’t know what to speak then.

“What do you know about me, Tara?” I passed a line to break the silence.

“That you work for a consulting firm and you’re a talented civil engineer.”

“About my personality, my character?” I stressed. Her eyes moved curiously towards me.

“I think…that you love speaking a lot. You didn’t give me a chance to speak back then when we met.” She had a sigh of relief as she finally muttered those words. I on the other hand was a little shocked but pleasantly happy. She was finally speaking up and it was my turn to reciprocate.

“You had those curious eyes stuck on me, just the way you have them now. Every time I finished a statement, your expression remained the same so I thought you were expecting more. And so I went on!”

“You have a nice voice Ryan. It felt like I have heard your voice somewhere. It was like a deja vu for me. That’s why that expression I believe.”

“Thank you. That’s a first. Where did you hear me before?”

“Do the math engineer. Where could our lives possibly intersect?”

“I had attended an event in your college. But I don’t know whether you were there in the audience. We were staging a play and I was the narrator. That’s the only connect I can think of. I moved to Delhi, and you to Bangalore.” Still thinking where else she could have heard me.

“Do you remember the host for the event?”

“I don’t, to be frank. But there surely was a lot of hooplah by my friends about the cute host. I on the other hand was busy on my phone, narrating every detail to my ex.”

“You are bang on. But I didn’t knew that I also got compliments! I was too scared of my saree, I had worn it for the first time.” She paused for a while, then continued as she passed me the milk and picked up an apple for herself.

“Ex? What happened, if you don’t mind?”

“Not a problem, it was a long time ago. We broke up after college. Long distance doesn’t work in my case. To be honest it took me time to get over her. It was one of the most difficult periods of my life. I had so gotten used to her company that after we fell apart, I found no one to share them with. My stories, my emotions, I just couldn’t handle them.”

“Then how did you cope?”

“I don’t know. But one thing is for sure, time does heal. I found my voice through my blogs, I tried to showing my emotions in open. I slowly tweaked my quality to become more of an extrovert. It wasn’t easy but I had already made up my mind to make things work. So I think they finally did.”

“That was deep!”

“I have a habit of going deeper in conversations. Hope you don’t mind.”

“I am similar on that note.” She added.

“Tell me your story? Boyfriend?”

“Where do I start?”

“That seems like a long list!” I tried my humour but all I got was a blank expression from her. She sat down near me, after placing back the jewels, with a dead pan expression, looking straight at the wall in front.

“No Ryan. Akash was the only one.”

“What happened then?”

There were tears that started to appear. She spoke slowly and finally uttered, “He is no more.”

“What? How?…Sorry.”

“It was three years ago. There was a car accident, a lorry had rammed into his vehicle. And I didn’t see him again.”

“I had just spoken to him an hour before then. I never knew that it would be our last. I never knew that.”

“I am sorry Tara. I really am.”

“Don’t be Ryan. I am okay now. He is the reason for me starting my NGO, “Rakshak”. It deals with implementing better rules and infrastructure for road safety. We are working with the government to get the Act together, and if brought in & passed by the house it would be revolutionary Ryan.”

“I now remember. I saw your interview in “The Hindu”, Tara. You have wonderful ideas lady, I hope your dream succeeds.”

“Thank you Ryan. Won’t you be supporting me?”

“Always will, always.”

“You still thinking about Akash?” She enquired.

“Yeah. See I will try making one thing clear Tara. I won’t try to take the place what you have for Akash; I won’t ask or compel you to forget him. He is part of you and I respect that.”

I could see her eyes get moist again; she had those curious eyes back on me. She wiped away the tears and made herself comfortable on the sofa.

“Come here Ryan. Are you tired or can you narrate a story to me?”

I smiled as I sat to her left, and narrated the story I know the best. Her expressions, I could never forget them, they were the most beautiful ones I have ever seen. She had her giggle going for her, and I saw her finally the way I always hoped her to be, smiling. The conversation went long; we moved from one story to another but managed to keep our curiosity burning high even after the exhausting talk.  That night we shared a sofa, like all friends do. She dozed off on one end while I on the other. We woke up with a smile for eternity in our eyes but never knew that we would end up divorcing each other eight years later.

I got up from my seat as I saw her coming. It felt like she hadn’t aged at all, the twinkle in her eyes remained alive for me. Though we did have our share of grey hair, but a date was a date. That too after ten long years since we separated. I decided to narrate what I knew the best, and she was all ears to the old story of mine which she had heard enumerable times before. Her curious eyes remained the same, even after eighteen years since that night of our marriage. So I began.


Two Tablespoons Salt

She picked up salt instead of sugar and added two tablespoons of it. I sat down to have my cup of tea, and I wasn’t amused. I rallied myself to the bathroom only to return red faced with a simple question in my mind.
“What did I do now?”

She chose not to answer. I tried hard to think what I had forgotten, what special could this day be. I very well knew Tara’s way of expressing her displeasure, it had almost become a routine, at least once every month. But today’s tea was the most salty that I have been yet served, that made me only more perplexed to find the reason.

“Tell me, what did I do wrong?” I sat down, dumbfounded, looking at her.

She slowly passed a note and made her way towards the balcony.

“Do you remember the day you proposed?” The note screamed out the memories of our past. It was a pleasant day, a decade ago, and it was our first date. We had been together for over an year before that, but the time zones were just too different for us to go out even once together. The night went on well; we were too into each other that we never realised when the time passed away, and how I got on my knee and proposed to her on our very first date. She said yes, if anyone is till wondering. And the rest as everyone says is history lies the fact that we had been married for almost a decade now and still can’t get enough of each other.

But today I had forgotten that beautiful night, so I had to do what I do the best. I went into the kitchen, and made ourselves hot steaming coffee and came out with her cup held out. I handed her the cup and sat next to her with my arm around her shoulder, whispering silently along the breeze, “I love you, my lady. I always will.” She sipped into her coffee with a gentle smile, and then slowly moved over my chest to reach a place close to my lips to finally reply, “I love your coffee, and I love you too.”


Her Story

“Look close, try finding the emotion
Sealed tightly behind that faint smile
Of hers; there are million things
That her eyes try to whisper
Which you knowingly ignore
And take her smile instead as true.

The fireflies of her smile lasts only the night
But the ocean of tears she holds to hide
Clings onto her for days and years to come,
Breaking and beating her down with every breathe she takes;
Living this misery with slowly fading hope, all she wishes is
A prince in you to rescue, a prince who could see the truth.

Before the tears go dry and her hope fades to blue,
Try finding that armour with which you promised
To be with her in sickness and health; try looking
For that love you squandered in these years ahead,
It’s time to own up and become the man she always wished,
It’s time to sit by her side, look deep in her eyes
And understand the story she had always hoped to tell.”

Me & her: Neighborhood Firings

There was a deafening silence in the locality; I could just hear her breathe which was growing heavier with time. I had been telling her to calm down or else they might hear us and take us away. But it wasn’t possible, not when the bullets zoom past your ear with such great frequency that before you thank the almighty another bullet zips past you.

I had to literally put my hand around her mouth; her screams were getting louder with time, may be the pain was getting unbearable. One of the stray bullets had kissed her leg and zoomed past her; I was just able to manage a bandage to stop her bleeding but the pain was getting out of hand. I was telling her to look into my eyes, and to remember the time we met and the vows we made to be together for eternity. I just wanted her to think about anything but the firings which had continued for the past three hours. On one side were the police while on the other side were the bandits, and in middle was our neighbourhood. Bandits were holding our building complex as bait for getting their free pass, away from the shackles of law. Bandits were gathering the hostages and we were doing our best to hide from them.

Suddenly, the firing stopped and we heard a door creak which brought the sound of footsteps with it. The footsteps got louder as he approached the place we were hiding; we could see his boots from a distant, they weren’t police shoes. We knew we couldn’t panic now, but before we could think of anything, there was a gun shot.

We came out from under the bed, raising our hands up as a sign of innocence which was reciprocated with a hand from the other side. As we mustered our way out, we couldn’t stop seeing the dead bandit, lying in a pool of blood. I held my wife close to my chest, telling her it’s all okay, we are safe now. But she wasn’t ready to believe.

Me: It has ended. There is no need to worry anymore. You can open your eyes now.

She: (Keeping her eyes closed) Please get me away from this. Please.

Me: Don’t worry, we are almost out. Just hold me tight.

She: Promise me, you won’t let anything happen to me. Promise me!

Me: I promise, till my very last breath.

As soon as we made it out, we could see the ambulances lining up at front. There were strides of news reporters standing with their respective camera men, telling the world about the new breaking news. Before we could speak anything, we just collapsed on the ground.

At the hospital

Me: How is your leg?

She: It’s doing fine. Pain has reduced considerably, but I think I will know when I start walking.

Me: There is time for that. First let’s get you out from the hospital, so you want to go home?

She: But our home needs a lot of repair; there are too many holes in the wall, plus we need to buy a new crockery set. They broke our precious wedding ones.

Me: I am pretty sure we need to buy a hell lot other than that!

She: Don’t worry, I just love shopping. It would be a cake walk.

Me: It surely would be. I don’t know what I will do without you. I don’t even think I will even survive.

She: So it takes an injured wife for getting all these words out from you!

Me: I thought you already knew.

She: I do know, and I also know how lucky I am to have you share my life with. I love you sweetheart.

Me: I love you, darling. You are not the only person lucky, we both are. Now you need to take rest. We will leave in the morning.

She: Don’t go anywhere. Stay with me, please.

Me: As you say my highness!

She: Good.

With a beautiful smile and tears swelling up in her eyes, she slept holding my hand. And I just kept looking at her; lost in thought about how beautiful she looked when she slept.


The old man with his walking stick
Descended down the hill,
With a handful of flowers
And a greeting in his hand.

As he took a stroll across the valley,
He was reminded of the time he had left behind,
In midst of this market’s hurry back then
He had met her for the very first time.

With a small smile on his face,
He moved ahead to find the altar
Where he along with her, made their vows
To be together forever and ever.

The memory had made his eyes turn moist
As he holds on to the wedding ring on his hand,
He loved her like no other
And now he was all lost like no other.

Walking past the gates of the cemetery
Till he reached the stone in the green corner,
Placing the flowers and the greeting,
He wished “Happy Anniversary, sweetheart”.


“Caressing my hair
By running down your fingers
Glancing at my lips
With a tease making me fall in slumber.

Levers have gone high
But the weather seems to be all dry
In the bitter cold of the passing winter
We find our passion leaving us with a long cry.”

Married for so long that the compassion is all gone,
Like the two separate souls sleeping together
Not to unite but to hold on for a day more,
To revere the agreement while disfavour the emotion.

Duties are divided to remain far from overlap,
The memories are blurred within the morning fog
And with the drizzle seeping into the garden
It not only wets the green around, but also the life the couple lived.

Marriage was conceived as an epitome of love
But the magic had passed away from their hands,
They had reduced themselves to mere spectators
Enjoying the movie of their memories running on a loop.

The hair had gone grey which flies away with the air
As they make way through the traffic in their new sedan,
While the signal which breaks their flow introduces them
To the couple on a bike and a sign board “Just Married”

Teasing her way through the biker, the lady
Falls back on her guy with a sense of comfort,
Which the guy returns with a glance to hold him tighter.
The crowd in grey, slide back in time to relieve some of their own

There is a small realisation from the couple in the sedan,
And a small look into the growing difference between them
The woman tries to incite a bit of closeness with her man
By placing her hand over the gear which already had a hand more.

Reliving the moments of the past by bringing a tinge of smile
on their misted faces, trying to recognise the passion long gone
By narrating the poem which he had written for the girl in the lady in the time foregone;
gestures of smile follow as the man reads like the boy he once was

“Caressing my hair
By running down your fingers
Glancing at my lips
With a tease making me fall in slumber.

Levers have gone high
But the weathers seems to be all dry
In the bitter cold of the passing winter
We find our passion uniting us with a long sigh.”