(As told to Aarti Pathak)
Someone asked me if I bring elements of humour to our marriage… Tweeting on the funny side of life for the large part, I understand where this question comes from.
I think life would be unbearable for all of us, if we didn’t bring humour in some or the other measure into it.
Making art for the heart
During the four years of my courtship period, I remember often making greeting cards for my fiancée. I was good with pencil, crayon, and watercolour and couldn’t wait to translate my talents into expressions of my feelings for her. She loved the cards that I made and always took keen interest in all my paintings and artwork.
She never painted herself. Though interested, I knew she was hesitant and harboured fears. “What if I mess up the drawing? What if I mess up the whole place?”
After marriage, one day I told her that I would like to paint with her, make an oil painting with her, together. For someone who wasn’t comfortable with crayons, oil on canvas was far too scary.
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“Arrey baba, no! I can’t do this,” she replied, startled, and got up to leave.
Let’s do this
She looked at me uneasily, still unsure of my plan… wondering what had gotten into me and how to get out of it. “Painting kharab ho jayegi yar (the painting will get spoilt),” she said.
I said then what I had to say. “Kharab ho jaye ga chalega, ek saath kharaab karte hai (no problem if the painting gets ruined, let’s ruin it together).”
Working together for a masterpiece
The next hour we spent dipping our fingers in paint and leaving our thumbprints on the canvas. Hesitant at first, she slowly began to have ideas of her own and by the end of it had influenced the painting with her own simple suggestions and creativity. What we made was a tree. Each leaf was a fingerprint. Each hue reflected was a fingerprint. When completed, I loved the outcome. We never got round to getting the canvas framed, but we have a photograph of it on our phones and look at it whenever we want to!
In many ways, marriage is like a process of painting. Even if we make a bad stroke we can always cover it up with another colour from our box and make it a masterpiece.