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The better half – redefined

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Being the closest of friends for the last 20 odd years, it was a rather shocking moment for me to receive a call from my school mate late one night. No doubt I could not see her during the monologue as it was a voice call, but I could visibly paint her sobbing picture as she began to narrate her pitiable plight. She was the one who did all the talking while I chose to listen to all her depressing details with a keen ear. She went on, confiding in me all those instances that marred her marriage. The fact that her partner never understood her despite the fact that it was a love turned arranged marriage that tied them together not only as a married couple but also as parents to a teenage son added to her woes. Voicing her pain, I could clearly feel the loss of respect her partner was demonstrating through his actions that was eating her up.

” What is it that you do the entire day at home”?

“Why don’t you set up your own practice?” You have simply wasted your parents’ money who have paid your medical college fees through their nose”.

“Look at me! I am a renowned cardiologist and I married you with an intention that you will gain recognition in the medical field as a professional doctor. But you have wronged me”.

These were the comments she broke down with while she mirrored her troubled emotional state she was experiencing for the last couple of years. Her husband, a big shot in Mumbai used to rub shoulders with the who’s who in the medical field; a cardiologist with a good private practice. Running two clinics; one in the morning and the other in the evening, it was as if he was earning handsome money with both his hands. Late night visits to his home brought along bouts of tiredness and unrest that manifested in the form of angry outbursts between the couple. It was as if love was taken out of their marriage when they as a couple had more reasons to find fault with each other rather than to appreciate each others’ abilities and talents.

I am sure you are curious to know more about what my dear friend was up to? She too, a qualified doctor, however, chose to tread the road less traveled by loving the game with words rather than to hold a stethoscope in some multi-speciality hospital. After all, wasn’t she an individual who had the choice to shape her life the way she wanted? Certainly, she was!

A silent yet helpless witness to the arguments was their teenage son who was utterly confused about his life and the road ahead. A closing statement to her monologue came with an intention to call it QUITS to her marital life. It was then that I understood her intent behind the late night call to seek advice from my husband who is a lawyer by profession. Planning to go the entire nine yards the legal way, she chose me as a bridge between her agony and a permanent solution that can be offered to her by my husband through a divorce. And if you are wondering what I was up to while she was pouring out her heart, I was allowing her to speak with a “hmmm” here and a “hmmm” there as my only choicest monosyllables. She was the one who chose to end the call with a “Good Night, Take Care” greeting. Not waiting for me to respond and reciprocate, a long beep is all I get to hear from the other end as a “call ended” indication.

Her Queendom of Cheerful Imaginations 

A medical homemaker that she was, I knew of her love for words that lifted up her spirits during days of gloom. She would simply pick up her pen and pour out her thoughts on to a paper as a beautiful poem. Or a funny story about a comical incident that happened in her neighborhood. I should say that her command over English was so magical that she effortlessly diffused a morbid situation with her comic sense. Her wit in her writings could recreate a happy scene from a gloomy one. Writing was her favorite pass time which her partner was oblivious to.

Her son, on the other hand, took pride in the fact that his mother was too good with her creative writing skills and encouraged her to pen stories and poems. Her longstanding indulgence in this pleasure of poetic expressions came with a strong inclination to compile all her writings in black and white for the benefit of readers who loved humor and poetry. But her decision to leave her marital home dampened her spirits, throwing her works and her decision to publish her works, on to the backseat.

The “U” Turn of Events 

The next day, following the night of her sorrowful exchanges, I dial her number to check on her. Not sure if she was still in her gloomy mood, I heave a sigh of relief listening to her composed “Hello, I am fine!” phrase. It was now my turn to do the talking I thought. Indulging in a conversation about her writing abilities, I begin to excite her with suggestions and options to get her works published. I was sure that my suggestion would fall on deaf ears but I was pleasantly surprised when her reaction proved me wrong. She actually thought it was a nice idea to publish her works.

This simple move helped her go through all her writings when she penned about the sweet nothings she and her then lover (now her better half) shared during their courtship. While he was a well-read doctor, she found it rather embarrassing to let him know of her ability to churn out fictional stories and soulful poems. He was a man who believed in science and she a woman who was artistically driven to leave a trail on her imaginary and exciting terrain.

Don’t you all see a perfect blend of art and science? I do!

The Learning 

Not being open about what she wanted from her life with her partner; it was the omission of this important fact that created havoc in their marital life. Explaining to her the significance of respecting her own self before she wanted to be respected by her partner, a game changing moment emerged when she declared that she would open up with her husband about her love for words.  And what followed was a strong embrace from her cardiologist husband who through his actions proved that he indeed had a soft corner in his heart for his expressive wife.

Signifying the concept behind a spouse being called your “better half”, it is only when both the partners try their best to compliment and complete each other that their relationship flourishes. Also, you are not always lucky to avail a second chance that life throws at you. And when you actually notice one coming your way, stay now, because, in another lifetime, you couldn’t be born with a talent to change the entire direction of your life.

This story according to me allows us also acknowledge the fact that some people are indeed made differently. It takes two to tango. Hence it is very important for a couple to appreciate differences between each other and move on with their lives which are independent and interdependent at the same time.

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