He was quiet. I couldn’t stop talking.
He was looking at me intently. I was self-absorbed.
He agreed with everything I said. I kept asking more questions.
He was slightly groggy due to sleep-deprivation. I had met with a minor accident.
This was our first meeting. Ours was a typical arranged marriage, complete with me draping a sari for the occasion and my would-be in-laws asking me the routine round-up questions like can I cook or do I want to work after marriage.
I had promised my mother that I would be at my best behaviour and went through it all patiently. They had found a perfect match for me in A. Everything else that accompanied him was passable in the long run since we weren’t going to live together.
After all these years, it seems like it was well worth the effort. I had never set out to meet or spend my life with the ‘perfect’ one. I have always believed that relationships are only as good as the people themselves and need little more than love and respect to be successful.
A never was the romantic type. To extract a simple ‘I love you’ from him still needs cajoling and blackmailing. When we’re in a group, his legs get pulled the most, because what his eyes and smile portray so clearly, his words cutely and awfully try to deny.
This happened a few days ago. We were at my native and my entire family (both from Mom’s and Dad’s side) had gathered for a get-together. Our living room, not big enough to accommodate almost 20 people at once, was severely cramped for space. People had spilled from the crowded couches and comfortably landed on the floor.
Interestingly, and not by design, it so happened that all wives were sitting on the couches and chairs and their husbands were sitting on the floor. My maternal Uncle, the only exception, offered Aunty his place and graciously took to the floor to maintain the uniformity. I had parked myself on a chair.
Needless to say, jokes and comparisons were being made galore! Poor husbands battling with the cold marble floors and accepting their position at their wives’ feet, wives finally demonstrating who’s the boss in the house, etc. We were all laughing our guts out. All this while, clueless A was in the other room attending a call.
As soon as he entered, the room waited with bated breath to see whether A chooses to sit on the last unoccupied Ottoman or joins others on the floor. Sensing something amiss but not dwelling on it, apprehensively, he took to the floor…..and the very next moment the whole room again broke into peals of laughter! Yes, I laughed the hardest!
Slightly puzzled after being told what was so funny, A gave me a look and smiled. A real million dollar smile! I returned his smile and batted my eyelid once to show him that I understood. My paternal Uncle who distinctly noticed this exchange of looks between us said out loud, “See, Varsh is so happy that her husband is giving her the upper hand!”.
Both of us blushed. I wanted to go and hug him, but refrained. For a long time we were giving each other stolen glances and smiles. He never spoke a word, but my heart felt his ‘I love you’.
This was one of the many simple moments of understanding and intimacy that make our relationship so beautiful! His quirks irritate me no end, but I miss it when he doesn’t bug me either. Such perfectly lovable times ensure taking our relation from strength to strength. Isn’t this what a marriage is all about?