(As told to Joie Bose)
I had been rather conventional when it came to marriage. Despite none of my friends or cousins opting for arranged marriage, I went ahead with it. I met my husband through a matrimony site, and after the initial talks between my mother and his, he had come over to my house. He had got a bouquet of roses and chocolates. I had found that cute. It was as though even before meeting me, he was besotted. Or rather it was as if he was trying to woo me. And he was doing it in front of our families. It was flattering, indeed. When asked, I said yes to him. And he too said yes.
The wedding date was decided soon, we would get married in a year. Meanwhile, he would take me out for dinner parties, to restaurants and even movies. It was like out of an old movie. And every time he would meet me, he would get me flowers and chocolates. He would accompany me for shopping and he never let me pay. He would wait for me outside beauty parlours. He’d pick me up after I finished school (I’m a teacher). He was never intruding in my life but he tried to support me. Needless to say, I soon fell in love with him and when I was getting married, I was not marrying for marriage’s sake.
It’s been just two years since our wedding and my husband is every bit as romantic as he was and trust me when I say this, he is extremely romantic. I love him very much as well. Our lovemaking is tender and sweet as well. And everything is fine. Well, almost fine.
This new guy at my workplace
Recently in the school where I teach, a new cricket coach has joined. He has played in Ranji trophy sometime in his youth. He must be in his 40s now and all the students are crazy about him. In fact, even I am. He has swag. He doesn’t care much about what others think, either. He’s excellent at cricket, has a muscular body and short grey hair. He keeps to himself mostly, except for the time when he comes to the library after lunch. He reads books and magazines on sports. He’s even sent a requisition for many more books on this. Some students come to meet him, then he tells them about techniques. They discuss players and who did what wrong.
I have tactfully freed myself from many after lunch classes and I too end up finding myself in the library. I like watching him. No one has noticed anything except for Mr Cricketer. He’s intelligent. He gives me a lopsided grin if our eyes meet.
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He invited me out
Last month, during the school concert, he and I were put in charge of the same batch of students – the fairies. It was our duty to see that the fairies of Standard 1 don’t fight. He asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink. I had blushed. “I don’t drink,” I said. He laughed and asked if I would like coffee or dinner. I was blushing. Nervously I had replied, “I am married.” He laughed again and said, “Married women don’t eat or have coffee these days?” Thankfully two fairies had started fighting amongst themselves and I had to rush to separate them.
For the last few weeks, whenever my husband touches me, I end up thinking about Mr Cricketer. I’ve tried to stop myself. But I can’t. And the strangest thing is that I still am in love with my husband. He is caring and I care immensely for him. But this doesn’t stop my heart from skipping a beat every time I see Mr Cricketer. I know this is wrong. But can you stop a heart from skipping a beat?
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The way he makes me feel
I was thinking of changing my school. The new session will begin soon. I’ve told my cousin about this and she says it’s stupid of me. She says that this happens. She feels that Mr Cricketer will perhaps get replaced by Mr Math or Mr Chemistry. And how many schools will I change? I feel she is right. But what do I do about myself? I’m behaving extremely childishly. Half the time I’m worried. The other half I’m thinking of Mr Cricketer. My cousin suggests I do yoga and meditation. But honestly, I don’t feel like it. I like the feeling that I feel when I see Mr Cricketer. And despite my extreme love and affection for my husband, I don’t want to let go of that feeling. It’s precious.
I console myself by saying that as long as I don’t act upon it, it’s fine. But then I worry. How long will I be able to resist that half-grin that he flashes at me?