Wednesday, February 3, 2010

His Roses Bloom For Me

I look at the man in the driver's seat beside me, remembering the first time we met at our wedding. Not having seen or talked, let alone written to each other,there wasn't a shadow of romance between the two of us. We were strangers.

I had watched my parents share their interest in literature, art and philosophy. They talked to each other all the time . Discussions on the Bhagavad Geetha to Bertrand Russel enlivened their conversations. They were very much in love. I never heard my father utter a harsh word. He complimented Amma on her cooking, embroidery...on just being her. While for Amma, my father was her life. So I entered marriage with my own preconceived notions of sharing and loving.

The man I married never read anything but the newspaper and office reports. He did have a colourful vocabulary that he used to describe drivers who blocked his path. He ate the food that I dished out in silence except when it did NOT appeal to his taste buds. He too may have had notions of a happy marriage that I couldn't live up to. I have had my days of rage. Besides, I disliked wifely 'duties' of housekeeping while he hated my whistling.

My husband never gave me roses or discussed poetry. But he admired my abilities and encouraged me to take up challenges - whether it was speaking at seminars or organising events. I grew to respect his judgment and strength. He never talked about kindness, but showed it in the most unexpected moments. He may never admit it, but I realise that he needs me and hates my absence. He worries about me when I am on my own (though I can take care of myself) and takes pains to prevent hassles. I have to drop hints the entire month before my birthday, but I know that he believes I was born for him!

Marriage, I'd been told, is all about give and take. That always sounded nice and balanced. Experience taught me that it was anything but. For sometimes you give more and at others you get more. Who knows, maybe the sum total is a neat tally. But then who is keeping accounts? And who cares? Because by then one realises that often giving is as enjoyable as receiving.

Bringing up our children drew us even closer. I wonder if any other couple enjoyed their children as we did. I watched him saying no to their requests sometimes and showering them with tenderness at others. The laughter and pain that we shared over and with them bound us as one. Of course there have been times when the bond was stretched, but we always snapped back together to find understanding and mutual respect.

Two decades have gone by all too fast. Now our children are away and come to us during vacations. New faces people their world. We have only each other most of the time. He comes home to me with a happy smile and my heart sings too. He still watches TV shows or studies management journals, while I do crosswords or read. There still isn't much conversation or discussion; only the unspoken warmth - probably the same that my parents expressed. When we go out, he still cusses other drivers. I don't flinch anymore. I look at the man in the driver's seat beside me and I wonder, when did I fall in love with him?


ViswaPrabha | വിശ്വപ്രഭ said...

കോര്‍ത്തെതിരേല്‍‍ക്കണം നമുക്കിക്കുറി!

എന്തു, നിന്‍ മിഴിയിണ തുളുമ്പുന്നുവോ-
യെന്‍ സഖീ ചന്തം നിറക്കുകീ ശിഷ്ടദിനങ്ങളില്‍...

മധുപാത്രമടിയോളം മോന്തുക..
നേര്‍ത്ത നിലാവിന്റെയടിയില്‍


നെറുകയിലിരുട്ടേന്തി പാറാവുനില്‍ക്കുമീ
പതിതമാം ബോധത്തിനപ്പുറം

പലനിറം കാച്ചിയ വളകളണിഞ്ഞുമഴിച്ചും
പലമുഖം കൊണ്ടുനാം തമ്മിലെതിരേറ്റും
നൊന്തും പരസ്പരം നോവിച്ചു മൂപതിറ്റാണ്ടുകള്‍
നീണ്ടൊരീയറിയാത്ത വഴികളില്‍
എത്രകൊഴുത്തചവര്‍പ്പു കുടിച്ചു വറ്റിച്ചു നാം
ഇത്തിരി ശാന്തിതന്‍ ശര്‍ക്കര നുണയുവാന്‍...

ഒക്കെയും വഴിയോരക്കാഴ്ചകളായ്
പിറകിലേയ്ക്കോടി മറഞ്ഞിരിക്കാം
പാതിയിലേറെക്കടന്നുവല്ലോ വഴി!

Anush said...

i shudnt be sayin this, but i have always wanted to : u r a beautiful person...

Materialmom said...

Thank you for those poetic lines. The memories, both bitter and sweet seem to belong to another birth, another life - how time has stolen by! What is life, if not those memories settled and set into a sizeable mass? And finding that half the road is traversed, it brings a calm strength to hold the yanghand and tread the hills and vales of the unknown that remains with one's best friend.


Why ever not? tho you do know how uncomfortable compliments make me :) Thanks much, but let me remind you that blogs are deceptive. Many I know wouldn't agree with you - one being myself:(
Wish I could deserve that praise...

Swati said...

What a lovely post ..the story behind all of those arranged marriages that convert into love marriages before we realize.

Materialmom said...

Thank you Swati. I felt disturbed about the growing divorce rates despite the freedom that young people now have to choose their partners.

Anush said...

nothing against arranged marriages, but its my theory tat arranged marriages have lesser divorce rates than love marriages bcos of the fact that ppl who marry as per the societal customs of an arranged marriage also would not NOT like to go against the societal custom of "staying together no matter what" and hence bear the troubles without ending up in a divorce.

This , ofcourse, assumes u r talking about an Indian society.

Ay Jay said...

Well, this is an element of arranged marriages that I never knew existed...... Oh and btw, the canister has opened.. :)

Materialmom said...

finding one's own partner is the IDEAL condition, provided one does so wisely & provided one succeeds in the hunt :)
Yes, people usually bend to social norms.
'bear the troubles' - what comes under 'troubles'? Is there such a thing as troublefree condition?how bad is the trouble?Is it trouble or are you merely perceiving it as one?
I think the couple should want to make the marriage work: set their priorities, lay down the ground rules, be willing to accept that the spouse has flaws (just like oneself),to give credit that's due, to tone down the ego factor,to guage the other's mood,to give space, to forgive and not give up too soon. (I could write a sep post with the stuff I haven't included here) Of course all this may sound wimpy to your gen but it works :)

'would not NOT like to go against'- very ambiguous like those lenear equation sums.

'lesser'??? (frown)

Ay Jay

I never thought the post would become a promo for arranged marriage,I am not sure I like that it has become one :(
some beverage..finally! :)

Ramya Menon said...

Its a refreshing read. Especially when everyone around me is crying hoarse about how love is just a myth! Very reassuring!

Materialmom said...

Hie Ramya kutie ( sorry for embarasing you here) :)

Hey dont believe them. Love is not a myth, it is also not smooth but gets better after one endures the dificulties...

Anush said...

u bring in the concept of relativity i see :) hmmm, agreed...

now i kno where to go for counseling in case somethn happens. Whats more, its free! :)

and i have every right to use poor grammar as i am not a lit grad :P (tat doesnt mean i use only the best algorithms or invest in the best stocks though)

do lemme kno if u have money which u wont mind losing :P its the least i can do for u for all the counseling u wud provide in the future :)

Materialmom said...



>:( for the grammar!

nocturnal_neddy said...

Me likey :p
Quite refreshing I must say :)... Its not every day you get to read your teacher's love story! Nice going :)

ajmal said...

That was toooo good... I cud really c anu mam sitting on dat dark blue sofa at the right end corner reading som thing...

I really miss those times ova dr


Anu this was so endearing poem in subjective perspective, apt for the seaon!

Loved it


Materialmom said...

nn and Ajmal

Thank you :)
I miss you people too :(


Thanks :) i suppose every couple has a love story, right?