At 11 AM, while in midst of household chores, the door bell rang. She expected a delivery boy standing with a smile on his face and a bouquet of red roses in one hand and probably a gift in another. This is what happened every year during the Valentine's day. She opened the door; and it certainly was a delivery boy with a smile on his face, a bouquet of red roses in one hand and a small gift wrapped packet in another. She couldn't help but smile at her own timed guess.
After 6 years of marriage and a 3 and half yr old son, her husband still sent her roses. Each year, without forgetting. Valentine's day, her birthday and their wedding anniversary... there were flowers and gift for each of these occasions. Often the celebrations wouldn't just stop there. This was always followed by a dinner and movie date too. For the 'nth time she blessed her stars to have such a wonderful, loving husband for life.
As she trimmed the stems of the flowers to arrange them in a porcelain vase(which was again a gift from him), her mind went back to the time when she was newly married. It was an arranged marriage. The horoscopes were matched, there were initial background checks, photographs were exchanged and finally a date was set for them to meet and "see" each other. When she saw him for the first time, there were no dramatic violins playing, nor were there any electric currents. He was good to talk to and seemed fairly decent. Assent from both the parties had set the ball rolling. Within no time they were engaged to be married.
The marriage ceremony that followed shortly, sailed smoothly with practically zero hitches. Before she knew it, she was trying to adjust herself to the new environment, new life and a new person she was to call her husband. It was an uphill task at first, but given the calm and adjusting nature of her husband, she was set into a comfortable routine.
All her relatives vouched for their "fairy tale" marriage. Some would say "A match made in heaven"... some would say "Your parents arranged a perfect love marriage for you." and still others would exclaim "You couldn't have asked for anything better!!!"
Her marriage was not that picture perfect, as others saw it. They had their own little ups and downs. She fought with him when he forgot to water their plants; he raised a hell when she misplaced his office I-card. She found it irritating when he invited a host of his friends at the 11th hour; he plugged in ear plugs when she started practicing her carnatic music. Though when last year their kid suffered from Measles; teary-eyed, both of them were up whole night to tend to their little life. Such was their household - Perfect with mini imperfections.
She sighed, realising the fact that she was leading a fulfilling life. However this realisation, always brought in a feeling of guilt with it. Did she actually deserve such happiness? Was this all an illusion created by her? Was she living under the pretext that she was happy, and that she is building a happy life for herself, her husband and her kid?
Her mind reeled back to the time when she was learning carnatic music during her college years. Her Guru was none other than her neighbour who was around the same age as she. He insisted she thought of him as a friend and not call him "Guruji". Chemical engineer by profession; pursuing carnatic music was more of a hobby to him. She respected him. She worshipped him. His hunger for knowledge and her thirst for music found a perfect rhythm. Feelings towards him started blossoming in her young heart. Soon she nurtured a special place in her life for him. She never thought it was necessary to express her feelings to him. Why should she? She knew he could see her devotion towards him. She convinced herself that he too felt the same. She saw her enriched life before her... her boundless dreams were getting closer to fulfillment.
One such day when they met, he broke the news to her. He was going abroad. That was only what she heard. "My college friend is planning to set up a venture there. We had talked about this long ago... things have started shaping up now... ... He wants me to join him there now... .... .... This is a life time opportunity for me.... " - all this fell on her deaf ears. All she heard was "I am going abroad." He hadn't said what she yearned to hear. As if to underline her cringing feelings he said "Be sure you get married next year and not before that. How will I come? I cannot travel back within a year, right? By the way, your husband is going to be one lucky guy!"
And, the door bell rang again, announcing the arrival of her son from kindergarten. Her reverie continued in spite of the noisy chatter of the kid. She never mentioned having feelings for her music teacher to her husband. She never thought it was necessary. What would she say? After all, she had never confessed her feelings to her teacher. He had never acknowledged them either. It wasn't obsessive love. Then what was it?
Emotions surged within her. Was she doing the right thing by not letting her husband know about this phase of her life? Would this compound truth rip out their love, trust and respect? Would he shrug it off? Laugh it off? or will it haunt him for the rest of his life? Was that phase really "love" or was it infatuation? Her music teacher, her friend, was he just like a supportive elder brother? Had she misread his intentions? Was she betraying her husband? Was she masking herself... or at least a part of herself? What would happen to her 6 year old marriage? Should she tell him the truth? Or should she dare conceal it?
No, not this time, she thought, today is just too perfect.
It's my Birthday today! :D 25 years successfully completed! :)
Of course, of my total 25 years, I remember 20 years properly i.e. about the time we moved to Pune. Thus, I shall account for only those 20 years that's stuck to my memory.
April 1990 :: New home. New School. New area; almost devoid of human population. I faintly remember hovering around amma and V; for I was lacking friends.
I remember -
playing Hide n Seek with amma as soon as we came home from school.
racing up the stairs with V to see "Who touches the main door first?" More often than not, he won!
not liking my class teacher, Mrs. De Silva; and praying each day that she be absent. "Oh please god please, let her fall sick today!"
participating in a song and dance performance for school annual day "There was a little Princess...". (Mukta, were you the princess??)I remember searching for my parents in the auditorium when, accidentally, I was the only one standing in front of the large audience after the curtain was drawn. I can never forget their smile which gave me the courage to stand there, without crying, despite the huge lump in my throat.
1991 - 1994 :: School time. Some new friends. New games. Amma's strict warning "Come back home by 7 PM... anytime later will not be tolerated". This discipline stayed throughout. Even today, though deadlines have been eased out, I still need to report my whereabouts including details - with who I am, where am I going and a rough estimate on when I get back.
1995 - 1999 :: Major metamorphosis. From a child to adolescent. From a kid sister to younger sister. From a frolicking-playing-care-free-daughter to ideally-should-be-mature-daughter. From a friend to best friend. Opinion clashes - with amma, with V, with friends. In short, adolescence at its helm.
2000 :: At the threshold of "LIFE". SSC board exams. Still undecided future prospects. V's accident. Domestic hitches. Advices pouring in. Suggestions wafting by. Confusions galore.
2001 :: First glimpse of BMCC, where I was to spend my next 5 years, until I graduated. Fear of ragging. New friends again. New relations. New realization. New found "Rebellious ME".Licked freedom for the very first time. Bunked Pharande's Maths lecture. Got firing from amma. Met my BFF, Pallavi.
2002 :: HSC Board. "Bring it on" attitude. Prodding into college activities.
2003 - 2005 :: Freedom at its best. No lectures attended. Blacklisted. Squirmed out from the parents-teacher meet situation. Extended childhood at home. Certificates for Extra curricular activities. Discovered my liking for French. Alliance Francaise followed shortly.
2005 - 2007 :: Officially/ Unofficially/ Casually/ Formally/ Socially, FINALLY, according to people and parents, I was of marriageable age. Search parties let out to find "THE" one for me. Despite the complaints, despite the tantrums, despite pleadings, despite emotional blackmails... search continued. Reluctance to attend social functions for the fear of being "spotted" by the prospective groom's family. Break from French classes. MBA/ DBM classes occupied evening time.
2007 - 2008 :: French Resumed. Completed Diplome with Distinction. Hunt for job begun. Landed one for teaching French at an institute.
2008-2009 :: Still teaching French. Frustration at so called-job. Suggestions from amma for a small compromise regarding job aspects. Stubborn-ness not to compromise and stick to what I thought. Grooms pouring in with myriad "expectations". Aunts calling up to "suggest" "great matches" for me. Only to be thrown away with a side-glance.
2009 Beginning :: Job hunt still on the go. Interviews here and there. Self assurance of doomed future. Met a stranger... and soon forgotten.
2009 Mid :: Singapore trip for a whole month and half. Refreshing stay. Away from frustrations. Away from groom-hunts. V, N and Baby J and fun. Baby J's unending fever. Tensions.
2009 Mid :: Furious job hunt. Landed 3 interviews. Got through all three. I got to choose one of them. The stranger and me, met once again.
2009 Mid - End :: Office -home, home- office. Fun at office. One of my best friend gets married. Stranger was a friend now.
2009 Mid - End :: Routine set in. Enjoyed the routine. Small hitches in office life. Blinded by friendship.
2009 December :: A curtain raiser for me. A clearer vision. Friend was not "just a friend". There was more to it than just friendship. Got respective parents involved. Parents meet. Parents say "yes" and a happy "yes" at that. I welcomed Kiran in my life...
2010 :: Kiran who was once upon a time a stranger, then a friend, then a great friend became my boyfriend, my lover and is now my fiancé and will soon be my life partner. Preparations for a new life begins...
One chapter of my life ends here. Only to start writing a new one after a few more days. As amma says "This is your last birthday as "Prabhu"."
Of course there was more to it than I have mentioned here. In a nutshell, however, this is how my 20 years would look like.
A new set of relations to be handled, new responsibilities, changed status and balancing acts will soon start. It scares me... it excites me, nonetheless.
I guess, at 50 I'll make another post like this, accounting for the life journey from now till then.