"The first year of marriage is the most beautiful phase, enjoy it to the fullest", I heard this from so many couples and it's strangely true in so many ways.
Thinking of my brief courtship, marriage and the first year that flew by, was indeed a overly romantic, Bollywood movie in my life. The love flutters, countless sms and calls, eagerly waiting for those meetings and the D date which seemed so near yet so far- were then replaced by cuddles and hugs, late night movies and weekend getaways, simply lazing in bed talking over something random and then leisurely going to one of our favourite coastal cuisine restaurants, and not to forget our common love for cashew fudge@Corner house. And how can I forget those countless photos where we looked deep into each other's eyes and people exclaimed " You are kidding me, this cannot be an arranged marriage, you guys look so deeply in love", and I smiled coyly. The first year just passed by like a dream.
Then came the day when we found out the most joyful news that would alter our life forever, yes a new identity- we would be Mommy and Daddy now and we would always be in awe of you- the symbol of our love-our child. We pictured the countless photos, birthday parties and all those baby moments which we had only heard of so far. The pink or blue guessing game continued to bewitch our minds and finally the day arrived. The day she was born - the day we became Mommy and Daddy. And then life changed in a fraction of a second , in ways we had never fathomed and we were just swayed by the further chain of events.
To start with I had my mom who lived with us and helped me take care of the little one as I was totally inexperienced and needed full fledged support. I slept with the baby and mom in a different bedroom as the erratic sleeping patterns of the baby meant hardly sleeping a wink. Hubby slept in our room - and though he claimed it felt so empty and he really din't like the thought of the entire bed to himself , I sighed and retorted" O but you can sleep peacefully blissfully unaware of what a long night it is for me". This started irking me- Why is it that my life has undergone such a drastic change- starting with the enormity of delivering a child and the physical trauma it caused to my body while he just waited without even a shred of pain and he was the one who first laid eyes upon her. He was the one who slept the whole night peacefully, read his newspaper, went to office, watched tv. Life has not changed for him at all. Hang on a second- we were parents right- "WE" when did this become just about me taking all the pain - sleepless nights, feeding troubles, puffy eyes, body aches, gloomy mood, and he just casually swung by and planted a kiss on the baby's cheek, held her in his arms and had the cheek to tell me"you got to take it easy, babies not sleeping at night is very common , this will go on for 3 months, if you get depressed and stressed, it won't work. This instigated my anger further- if it's so bloody normal why don't u do it yourself- soothe the infant wailing her heart out who wakes up at 1.30 every night when sleep pangs are all over you, try satiating the baby's appetite when every muscle in your body screams of pain". Those days our relation had become one of mere strangers, we only spoke of things pertaining to household matters like bills and groceries I did not have energy for anything else. His contention was that he was as new as me at this- and given I had my mom here who knew how to take care of the baby, he did not want to interfere and that too in something he hardly knew about.
In due course as the baby settled into a decently regular sleeping pattern, things between us were marginally better. We had our own view pints when it came to what was best for the child influenced strongly by our own thoughts, the way we were brought up which was bound to be different for any 2 people who were not siblings, this led to unnecessary squabbles which further fuelled the already mounting tensions.
One fine day as I mulled over this and put the blame on him a thousand time for being the one at fault I thought- But this cannot be completely true. Is the kind of environment I would want to bring up my child in? With parents bickering over everything, no sign of love. Definitely not. We both would want the best for the person we were so passionately in love with and of course there were going to be differences. Our upbringing , culture, beliefs would influence these decisions so there was bound to be difference of opinion. We had to be matured enough to sort it out in a amicable way. We had entered into this sacred bond fully aware that there would be good and bad phases, we had accepted each other with our faults and follies and embraced this bond in its entirety. These were the testing times- if we fell apart now, there would indeed be no meaning in what we always held as sacrosanct. We would probably never get back those good old days where it was just" hum tum", things will get better as the baby grows but those carefree days are a thing of the past as we had a responsibility now- someone we had brought into this world cos we wanted to be parents- Angel never asked for it. It was our duty to give her the best of everything and the most important was a harmonious family atmosphere where Mumma , Papa and Baby bear could live happily ever after. For that, Mumma and Papa bear needed to be happy with each other. It need not be a giant leap- but baby steps like a call to check if you have your lunch? How was your day today? A simple smile and a welcome hug, time would always be a constraint but a few minutes of phone conversation or a what's app message would act as a antidote.
There is no magic potion. The success of any relation is not just about those gushy romantic Facebook profile pics that scream to the world" I love u " or gifting that Tiffany ring which the girl proudly flashes to everyone's envy, it is about staying one in those tearing times, embracing one with their shortcomings and imperfections, never loosing hope and rekindling love.This quote would aptly summarize what love is all about " A true relationship is 2 unperfect people refusing to give up on each other"
So, I have found the ingredients for my love potion, how about yours?
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…