Today, I feel like a monk who has attained enlightenment.
I am holding a beautiful bouquet of roses – just the way Geet loves it. They smell so good. The fragrance of the roses, roll my memories way back to the first time I had laid my eyes upon her.
“Mom, I don’t want to be married to a woman who is 10 years younger than I am. She isn’t well educated. What kind of horror are you throwing me into?”
“Maan, you couldn’t find a spouse on your own. And when we select the best choice for you, you whine about it? I suggest, you see this girl in person once and then agree to this proposal. We have done all enquiries and she is so perfect for you beta. Now, come lets go in, don’t be stubborn.”
I let out a silent sigh and I went ahead with my mum and dad towards Geet’s house entrance.
Her house was pretty simple with an ordinary small garden in front of it. We gave a light knock on the door and Geet’s mum opened it. We were welcomed in with a big smiles and hugs from both Geet’s parents.
I didn’t had any apparent choice on my marriage matters. All I had to do was to agree to this arrangement. Only to ensure my parents’ efforts and happiness were both in tact. And so, I mentally agreed to the wedding though my heart and soul wasn’t in it.
I couldn’t stand sitting in the living room, waiting for this girl to be out. I didn’t feel like I even needed to be here. It serves no purpose.
Arghh when will that stupid wife-to-be woman come out.
My eyes were switching between my surroundings and my watch. Occasionally, I smiled to the eyes that mine chanced upon. I had just seen my watch and read the time for the n-th time and it was showing 5.45pm. I slowly moved my eye to study the same old surrounding of the living room again when I saw her.
What a stunning beauty was standing there. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and I had went ahead to study her closely. She was wearing a light pink saree, a simple cotton saree with a gold border. She has adorned her body with a simple gold chain that had a small Ganesha pendant around it and small pink jhumkas on her ears. This sight was indeed too much for me to take in. Her hair was neatly plaited with a beautiful red rose tucked to the back of her ear.
That rose scent had filled the entire room strongly.
Marriage happened with its classic dose of hype and party. Marriage was a mere obligation to me and I was just glad that I had to fulfill it with a pretty woman. However, on my wedding day I noticed I was beaming with a happiness that made me feel light as though nothing else mattered. That feeling was indescribable and I felt I was just drunk by the energy of my wedding party. I dismissed any further thinking and just went along fulfilling my obligation.
Life after marriage took a new turn for me. I started noticing weird sensations and emotions at different junctions of my life. These always took me by surprise. But I always chose not to dwell on these surprises too much and kept my life in order and cool.
This marriage is just an obligation and to go through the “having family” phase. I used to tell myself whenever I felt confused with my internal compass.
Geet and I lead a very normal marriage life. With her looking after the house and cooking and me going out to work and giving her the financial security. Amazingly, Geet never once questioned me anything with regards to feelings. All she ever did was to smile with that spark in her eyes and always spoke lovingly. I am not saying, we never fought. We did occasionally fight when I did something to upset her or when she feels unhappy. But aren’t fights normal in any household?
Once, we went to a park because she wanted to breathe fresh air. As we were sitting on a bench, we observed many kids running around and having so much of fun. Suddenly Geet turned to me and said, “Maybe it’s about time to have a family of our own. I am okay with it Maan” with a shy smile. I was startled with her unexpected statement and gulped down my saliva. I looked down on the grass and silently nodded my head with a small smile.
Mustering up enough courage, we explored the other side to a marriage life. And of course, we had a family of our own. A family of total 3 kids to be exact.
As we became parents, we had to spend lots of time and energy together to raise all three of them to be the best versions of themselves. Slowly it dawned upon me that I found comfort and solace in her presence. But never once did I dig deeper as to why. To me, all this was just part and parcel of “have a family” obligation phase.
Time whizzed past and my kids grew up and they moved across oceans to settle down different locations on the world map. Geet and I ensured to visit all of them at least once a year. However, slowly our age caught up on us. After touching the big 70, I was advised by my doctor to not travel around due to my weak body conditions. I was hardly able to walk without my walking stick. Hence Geet and stopped travelling to meet our kids and grandkids.
And for the past 3 years, our children come over to meet us once a year.
This year, our children are making a trip to see us, specifically Geet for the second time. They will be here tomorrow.
Geet had had a heart attack 2 nights back. I felt like I was drowning into the deep waters without her. I couldn’t understand why I felt like I was spiraling backwards into an unknown force.
And for the first time in my 70 something years, I found the urge to seek for the answer. Even at this age, I couldn’t comprehend why Geet’s presence induced all these emotions in me. With eyes welled up with tears I dug and dwelled deep into my internal compass, my heart. And that night I found my answer.
And I am here today, to take my chance for once.
Geet had undergone a surgery and is admitted in the hospital for further observations. With a walking stick in one hand and a bouquet of red roses in another, I walked towards the ward where my Geet was.
I pushed the door open and Geet saw me. She was still the same pink beauty I saw several years ago. Geet greeted me with the same smile and spark that never faded over these many years.
Her eyes lit up on seeing the red roses in my hand. I knew she was excited. I went close to her and handed her the roses while planting a forehead kiss.
And for the first time ever, I articulated,
You make my world sparkle like your soul Geet. I love you.
Geet eyes welled up with tears. She reached out to my hand and gave it a light squeeze.
I am sorry for being this late.
Geet shaked her head left and right weakly and uttered,
You were never late my love. You were just afraid to meet love eye to eye. Love was ever present in your heart and our marriage. I love you.
I raised her hand up to my lips and planted a kiss softly.
Staring straight into her eyes, with a heart filled up to the brim, I told
I love you.
And in this moment on, my life has begun. A life filled with acceptance to the love residing within my heart. A life that is only completed with our love. – Maan and Geet Singh.
** Like Inspireyosoul Fb Page for more future updates on my writing journey.