When my parents declared it was the time for me to marry and began looking for a groom, I knew the final decision would be mine, but I was still afraid, having heard stories from friends, of how marriage is a compromise for girls, an end to freedom, and so on. I was scared, but whenever I looked at my father, and realised what a wonderful husband he is, what a loving father, my fear disappeared.
You came from Pune to Mumbai to meet me. I vividly remember the day. Owing to traffic, I was an hour and a half late. Waiting in the food court of a mall, you texted, “Hi, are you following the ancient tradition of keeping boys waiting…and btw there are 35 stalls, 88 girls, 108 boys, 78 senior citizens, 20 steps in each escalator and other details in some time…hope to c u soon.” Smiling, I was sure it was all made-up numbers, but you seemed interesting.
I arrived, and was immediately comfortable talking to you. We spoke about our ambitions, hopes, expectations; our childhood, parents and above all what we wanted from LIFE. When you started talking about your parents, specially your mother, you changed from a chirpy, talkative guy to an intense and composed one, eyes glistening with tears. I was able to connect with you instantly, as I was similarly devoted to my parents. Eureka! He who shares my emotion, sensitivity and beliefs must be the one I choose.
Love can take you places. That is the only reason I’d leave my professional ground and move to a different city. Pune welcomed me with open arms, and so did you and my new family. After marriage, amidst all the chaos, guests, distant relatives, you made me feel so comfortable that nothing seemed strange. You made everything so familiar and beautiful. It was like telepathy: you were there to help me, even before I thought about it.
You asked on our first night, “Which side of the bed do you prefer, left or right?” I still laugh about it, not because it’s silly; I never knew guys could be so thoughtful.
I stared at you, not knowing what to answer but grateful for your deliberate attempt to make me feel at home. It couldn’t have been easy, all that effort, your thoughtfulness and the deep concern you showed.
I’d loved the bustling energy of Mumbai, enjoyed watching plays, trying different cuisines. You must have noted all my tastes, as from the very first weekend of our marriage I was doing what I always loved. You kept track of Hindi/English plays in town and surprised me with tickets. You took me to happening places around the city and exploring it with you was so much fun. Thanks to you, Pune never seemed alien. I was too absorbed in my new life to miss anything.
Since I was new to Pune and trying to find my feet, you always accompanied me to various event management companies, waiting outside patiently till the meeting ended. You knew I could manage on my own but you always wanted to be there to encourage me with your kind words. Your presence not only helped me gain momentum in my professional life, but also gave me a sense of inner fulfilment. I melted when on my event days, after coming back from work you would cook dinner and then rush to the event venue to be with me.
You amazed me with your timing and energy and I could only say, “OMG! Why do you have to do this every time?” And you’d answer, “It’s my pleasure!”
An individual who’s happy and contented in his/her personal life always achieves better. With you at my side, I was ever ready to experiment, explore, take new challenges, and grow in the process. For my early morning radio show you’d wake much before me, reading my write-ups with that intent look. You suggested various topics that induced me to ponder deeper. Every stage show I anchored, you were there in the first row, watching me with a childlike excitement. I was so glad when after every show you had that proud look on your face. Your feedback has been so instrumental in bringing out the best in me.
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You made my spirit soar and gave me the freedom to be myself. To feel that even though I’m so strong, it’s okay to fall into your arms sometimes without the fear of being vulnerable. To make choices…choices beyond any religious boundaries, choices without the fear of being judged and choices without any parity. Your unconditional support in my continuous evolution has made my life so eventful. Thank you for being the wind beneath my wings. You are my mirror and I look so beautiful!