The road, they say, is a strange place. Shuffling along, alone and a little lonely, I came to a crossroad; and there he was, walking towards me one warm October afternoon. And then there was no turning back. Now after nine years and a half, I can safely say that it couldn’t have been any other way. I wouldn’t let it.
Goltin and I were married for just about two years when we bought our first house. And just like most first-time house owners, we spent the better part of the year trying to make it a home. After most of the essential furniture was bought, we finally indulged in this L-shaped study table, spreading across the two walls of the home office, on the far side of the room.
Nothing spectacular about it except that it seemed sturdy enough to bear the weight we were planning to burden it with. And like all good things from IKEA, we had to assemble the whole thing ourselves.
So one night after dinner, we set out to assemble the table that lay in front of us in small bars of wood and steel. Papers, nails, hammer, screws, the works – strewn all over the place. All the tools we would ever require, lay there right in front of us. We started out with the smaller pieces first. We added a layer of cohesion here and fixed up a few disjointed parts there. Then we tightened the bolts for strength. We gave some leeway at times, while we loosened the hinges at others. We argued and vehemently defended our own stands, only to realise later that we were wrong in parts. We undid some of it and redesigned again to set things right. We were bruised by a sharp edge here. And we patched up a few harsh exchanges there. We sang along with the radio and disagreed at times. But we were mostly content to be working together.
Related reading: Making the mundane of marriage, memorable
Then came the realisation that I was more skilled in certain parts and that he was good at the others; that our combined efforts were greater than the sum of their parts.
And finally after a few hours of struggle and synergy, a whole path of emotions traversed – from doubt and scepticism about how it would all turn out, to anger and despair at taking the wrong turns, frustration at having to undo things and start afresh, to the sheer euphoria of having reached one’s goal – there I was sitting and admiring a thing of beauty. One that I helped create. And I was left wondering if it isn’t the same with our marriage…