met him when she was going through the worst phase in her life. He was a
welcome change for her. His carefree attitude, undying spirit and above all his
humorous side caught her attention.He
had numerous liaisons in the past, but he felt “There is really something about
her that I haven’t seen in others”.
met more often and the mutual attraction slowly turned into a relationship of
care and commitment. The day, he decided to propose to her, she opened to him
about her past including her broken marriage and her struggle of being a single
parent. That didn’t deter him, his respect for her fortified.He told her “I am not worried about your
past; I see my present and future with you. I want to live every moment with
you and be a doting father for your child!” He had healed her past wounds and
she decides to eventually follow her instincts.
home, she hashes out with her parents. Like any other conservative Indian, her
mother opposes to the entire concept of live-in. “What will society think?
Don’t you know how it can affect your child?” her mother asked.She doesn’t give up; she could see that her
mother is heartbroken, but she adheres to her decision.Eventually, her father agrees, more to
overcome his guilt of marrying off his daughter at a young age and that too to
a wrong person. He thought “I have done enough damage to my daughter, now that
she wants to move on, why not allow her to!”
moved in with her and her child.She
liked his protectiveness and possessives and his bond with her child. She was
making his life very easy; he needn’t have to worry about any trivial things.
But as wise men say “Happiness never last long”. He had never communicated
about his living arrangement to his parents. He knew that his parents would
never accept it.That became their first
bone of contention.Initially his
explanations were enough to soothe her but eventually, she saw them as his
fights were endless and they decide to part. He moved out, he kept himself
busy. She tries hard to forget him but distance makes hearts grow fonder.
Within few weeks, they decide to give their relationship one more fair chance.
He informs his parents about her. All mayhem broke loose. They gave an
ultimatum to him to break all his ties with her.He thought “That’s the most difficult
decision to take. I will need to manage it somehow.”He opens to her on his parents’ demand.She says “If it’s a matter of choosing
between me and them, we can break up.” He assures her “I need you. Slowly but
steadily my parents will give in.”
pass, weeks pass, months pass. His parents never accept her. Meanwhile, the
whispers start to get louder and louder.Her neighbors are curious; her parents are anxious and her child was
growing up. “What is the next step in this relationship?” she asked him. He
said “I want to marry you but with the consent of my parents. I don’t know how
long it will take.” She said “How long should I wait? I would have been happy
with the current arrangement but for my child.” He said “I don’t know. Why are
you bringing the child in between all these?”
fights became the order of the day. One day, he said “If you can’t wait, there
is no point in continuing this relationship. I can’t make my parents unhappy as
I am their only son.”Teary eyed, she
mumbled “What about those years I have spent with you? What about those
promises you have made?”Without
answering her questions, he left the apartment with his belongings.
They have been married for nearly forty years. They have
been so much together that they have started looking alike. Their marriage is
considered a perfect one, with no financial dependency, children acquiescent,
obeisant and well settled.People
heralded their union as one of its kind, people say “We need to learn a lot
from them, how they are each other’s support system, standing through thick and
thin and of course, how well they passed on their virtues to their children!”
When they were young, they had decided to focus completely
on their children, for them, like any Indian, children were their sole
treasure. They used to say to each other “When we are old, we will have all the
time in the world, then we will focus on things that will keep us busy and
happy.”Their children kept saying “We
are so lucky to have Pa & Ma. Wish, we can a lead a harmonious wedded life
After retirement, he fell sick, she nursed him and he
acknowledged her part in his recovery.He fell sick again, but this time, the severity was more than he had
anticipated. He was bedridden; thoughts clogged his mind “Am I a burden to her?
Is she looking after me because of love or out of duty?” Any discomfort on her
part, he interpreted it as her vexation. He adopted an approach of sudden
outbursts and harsh words on her. Initially, she took it in her stride, she
remained silent, and she remembered the good old days when he had been a
Slowly, but steadily his words began to hurt her profusely.
She couldn’t just take in his hatred. She thought “What has changed? What did I
do wrong? My silence is being taken for granted.” She started questioning him
about his angst. Her questions riled him up; he thought “She no longer needs
me. Our children will take care of her, very well.”
They start digging up the past, the incidents when they were
hurt by each other’s actions and words.He declares “Forty years of my life with you have been the most
difficult.” She is shocked, as tears flow from her eyes; she whispers “You’ve
been a good father, not a good husband.”
Their children come to know about the situations at home.
They grow anxious, together they prepare the lectures and admonitions which
they need to give to Pa & Ma. When they dial up home, their parents
together say “You are not grown enough to lecture us. You don’t have to
interfere in our affairs; we know how to sort out our issues.”The children are amused and astonished at the
absurd turn of events.
Suddenly an SMS flashed on his mobile. It read “Let deafening silence be the order of the day. GM and have a great day!” He was flabbergasted, he couldn’t understand the context or the emotion that the message carried. He thought “What did I do? What did the message mean?” With a preoccupied mind, he drove his way to the office.
Back at her work, she was disturbed. He had been her sole friend in the new city who helped her to settle down. He had accepted her quirkiness, always been receptive to her garrulity. His sudden silence vexed her up. She thought “What did I do? Did I hurt him with my actions or words?” After sending him the SMS, she continued with her work. She never thought how her blunt words would have affected him.
By noon, he called her up. After exchanging explanations, which they both agreed, was not needed, they continued with their trivial conversations. There was no animosity, no anger. The distance that the silence had created finally narrowed down. A thought crossed her mind “Silence can be interpreted in so many ways. We stick to the most damaging version and fill our mind with lots of negativities. Every human action should be given a benefit of doubt.”