Sunday, 24 March 2013

Together in Love- Part 6

Story so far...

The elderly couple are in their last days- both fighting diseases and wishing to be together till the last breath. The story is recounted by the old lady- the story of her life with the incredible man she fell in love with. Their courtship is a melody by itself, the strains of a masterpiece by Bach... starts as a tiny soap bubble, builds up, billows out and in a moment, bursts. The prelude to the wedding was a fairytale come true. The Prince Charming came riding his favourite white maruti omni! The lavish gifts of sarees, watch and perfumes had me hanging in mid air- suspended in time, elusive to everyone around me.

Hectic shopping, skipped breakfasts and long nights spent on the phone talking to my love- all that took its toll on me. The black circles around my eyes grew like nights on a bright summer evening. Something had to be done. A visit to the parlour might help, i thought. And a hefty chocolate bribe to the brother got me to the beautician.

Armed with wax, masks, creams and paraphernalia, the process of making me beautiful started. Only half way down the facial did i realise that i had not informed him of my visit to the parlour. I called him and started explaining where i was when it suddenly happened- i turned around and everything went blank- i passed out on the terrace of my beautician, armed with my mobile in lifeless hands.

He must have gone crazy with fear. The next moment he had called mother and lambasted her for sending me alone to the beautician. Next call was to father and by the time the car arrived with a cartload of relatives with worried faces, i was up and shining brightly. In all the hullabaloo, i forgot to call him. When i finally did on arriving home, i was almost skinned alive! For not informing him, for not taking care of my health and for not calling him when i was alright!

Shouldn't i have told him of my illness then? I wonder why i conveniently hid the fact that i was unfit for wedding then. How the doctor had warned me against getting pregnant. And how did i get into this mess called marriage? Questions that were answered in time. Answers that made me understand his love for me. I still remember that day- our visit to the family doctor, her apprehensive eyes, the pensiveness in the room and the tensed knots in his forehead.

Who wouldn't be happy to know his wife was carrying his baby? Every normal human would. But he was obviously not. Thanks to the kind doctor, who was intent on saving the baby. And i remmeber the stoic silence with which he drove me back home from the doctor. The determination with which he said he wanted to talk to my parents- alone. How nailbiting those few hours were, as i waited for my parents to arrive. How he broke the news to them calm and composed, that their daughter was an epileptic. How he took things forward from there- the regular visits to doctors around the town, the frequent injections, medicines and numerous tests. And how despite his care, i slumped in the bathroom with my unborn baby...

To be continued...

Friday, 15 March 2013

Together in love- 5

Story so far...

They have successfully completed their journey of life- almost. Now counting their days- she lies paralyzed and he tends to her despite his old age, this is the story of their courtship, wedding, life and love. An arranged marriage that has all the hullabaloo of an average Indian wedding, follow the story of their wedding and there after.

The fruit salad tasted just perfect. The rasam smelled awesome and i move to my room for the last dash of make up. The lemon yellow organdy saree showed me a little plump, but glowing! A bindi in the forehead and a dash of sindoor, i am ready for him. Restless, i walk the length of the house. The little brother looks rather bemused at my restlessness and gives me a sucker punch on the way to the kitchen. Mother is too busy with her cutlets to note the fight between her children.

Finally they arrive- the groom and his brother to give us the formal invite for the wedding. With a small smile, i am dismissed with all humility. The discussion continues on the church, the choir, the priests, the wedding hall and other arrangements. I sit transfixed on a chair, with my eyes and ears trained on him. All i could listen to was the musical baritone he was talking. Nothing else registered. 

As he gifted me the first saree he bought for me which attracted him when he was window shopping, i could not trust myself! Imagine, a man buys saree for his fiance without asking her choice of color or unbecoming! The moment i see the fine silky fabric and my favorite beige color, i envy his selection. With a smug smile, i collect it. Do we women acknowledge our men buying us gifts? Never! It is always, it could have been better...

Invited for lunch, the duo dig in as i wait patiently at the table, serving dishes with mother. "She made it", boasts mother, serving the rasam. His face remains impassive as he tastes it. It has way too much salt only when i tasted it later. The fruit salad too went to his hands with the same- " she made it" introduction and the reaction was pretty much the same. 

Only when poor me ate it later did we find that the pine apple had turned the salad to a sour potion! After the meal disaster, it was time to check the wedding arrangements. His brother left the house with father to review them and i was left with mother, him and the little ones. "He knows you are very sweet!", he says to me as i stand baffled. He points to an ant marching defiantly from my neck to the upper torso. Peals of laughter erupt from mother. As if picking cue, she suggests we watch the engagement video in the other room. With the video on, she silently moves out of the room, pulling the little ones behind her. Brother number one gives me a mighty pinch on his way out, as i yell in pain. 

Holding his hands and watching our past, dreaming of our future...those moments were probably the happiest of my life. It took almost half an hour of cajoling and coaxing from his brother- "shall we move" anthem was sung a fifty times before the mister decided to move from my arms finally. A chaste kiss on my forehead and he is off. It takes me forever to regain my composure and wave good bye to the groom's party. 

It has always been a difficult task to wave him goodbye. Be it on one of his numerous travels abroad or the simple errand run, i find waving him bye unnerving. I try to flex my fingers and wave. They remain still, stuck to my sides. He continues spoon feeding me, his hands shaking and my mouth drawn in a stubborn line. The phone call in the morning from the children has been a huge dose of adrenaline for us both. did we ever manage to grow old with them? The boy who gulped down watch batteries and the girl who stood watching cartoon as blood oozed from her head...i smile again, this time, content.
To be continued...

Monday, 11 March 2013

Together in love- 4

The telephonic conversations started as a trickle and then went haywire- night long sessions of hushed arguments, conversations, silly fights and silent cries.  A fight to invite the long eloped sister boomeranged when the groom stoutly refused for the wedding altogether. " If she is coming, forget it- the wedding is not happening." Intervention from mother in law cooled down the groom a little and i was flabbergasted!

Someone with so much could i handle, i was perplexed. When his family decided to purchase dresses for the wedding, i jumped in with much enthusiasm. Imagine the fun of shopping with your fiance! We planned to meet at a renown wedding silks saree shop. Tense and fiddling with my purse, i can still remember the moment i saw him, his stature coming in full view with every step i climbed in the staircase. His smile was electric, full of warmth, love and care. 

Being the perennial knuckle head, he saved me twice- once when i forgot my purse as i stepped out of a shop and again when i stumbled on the road without watching the stone jutting out. Holding on to my hands to steady me, i felt heavenly when he uttered- " watch out...look where you are going". Clumsy me! However i tried to strike a conversation with him, someone might turn up asking- " Is this color good?" or " Will this saree suit me?" Fed up, i was waiting for the right opportunity to slip out.

The golden opportunity presented itself in the afternoon when we broke for lunch. Imagining and day dreaming of a quiet lunch together with the fiance, i was blushing. Climbing into an auto rickshaw, when he searched for me, my saviour dad did the best help a father would do to his daughter- " No, no you can go. We will come by another vehicle". The look he got from his daughter for this help was enough to scorch a thousand suns. 

I found myself in the middle of a crowd joking, chatting and yelling, just staring at my partner who was intent in hiccups and gulping down food. My foot! He did not even look at me. I was a volcano ready to erupt. Sensing my anger, mother was looking at an opportunity, like me;) I got my cake in the raymond shop when there was no matching tie for his coat. My mother- the guardian angel that she was, helped me eat it too. She sent us to the near by shop, alone!

The walk to the accessories shop remains the most memorable moment of my life- the rain god decided to join the party. Holding hands, drenched in the rain and brimming with love, we walk. Silent, absorbing the warmth of two hands held together in the incessant drizzle....

As he touches my face and turns it to the window pane, i can see the raindrops. I look at the hands held together now, worn out, wrinkled and cracked. The memories of the red tie and the young couple walking in the rain fleetingly cross my mind. I smile again. He reciprocates it, his grip tightening. He must have understood what i remember. Memories that we both cherish!

To be continued...