On the 14th of June, my husband and I crossed a milestone of 20 years as man and wife. Contrary to all the jokes and jests about the wedded state, we took a serious look at the precious bond we share.
Together we’ve enjoyed two eventful and fulfilling decades – our lovely children top the list of life’s delights. We mutually support each other in the many challenges and endeavors of life.
Those who’ve observed us comment our relationship is founded on complementarity- two very different people who bring out the best in each other for a harmonious whole.
It’s also founded on open minded adaptiveness- that neither of us has stood on the rigid one-upmanship of imposing the perceived superiority of a particular lifestyle on the other, as a result of which we have voluntarily evolved an immensely rich meeting ground. The colors of our tapestry are in the threads of diversity, not only of our different backgrounds but anything interesting and relevant the wide world has to offer. Consequently, the word ‘ boredom’ never enters our vocabulary as we are constantly in exploration, discovery and sharing mode.
We have evolved hugely as persons with each other’s informal mentoring, learning to embrace interests and concerns that may have once been alien to the native self, but perfectly in line with a couple’s conjoined persona. After twenty years, one has expanded ‘Passion’ for the other to embrace many joint passions as an expression of the constantly growing self that importantly includes various examples of general sensitivity and responsive action.
“ The writer’s voice in me was stilled, Until fond faith in me instilled, Full throated flowing confidence The onrush of new eloquence”So runs my dedication to him in Aerial Roots, my volume of poems. I have also dedicated my novel “ Blossom Showers” solely to him because it was he who launched me on the odyssey of re-discovering my literary self, reposing faith in me beyond even my wildest self-belief, and furnishing a needed counterforce to a writer’s volatilities of temperament.
Our marriage has been doubly blessed- with beautiful rituals to represent where we each came from. When I circled the fire with him 20 monsoons ago, I didn’t wholly appreciate the symbolic meaning of that ancient rite. My subsequent understanding is reflected in lines from my poem “ The Seven Steps” -“ Before the leaping nuptial flames, We jointly pledged our different names, Not for just this life but those before Or the rest of seven yet to go’. In life, many of us go through the inexplicable experience of spontaneously gravitating to another, like one has known that person from the memories of another life. The seven steps or ‘saptapada’ symbolize the seven lifetimes of a wedded couple. Life may have offered other choices, but certain people are simply meant to be. I don’t know how many we’ve already done and how many are to go, but I’d say seven lifetimes are probably too few for the longer togetherness we’d undoubtedly prefer. The art of the ‘now’ urges us to focus zestfully on the present moment. At this scintillating score, there’s immense gratitude for the ongoing gift of tender togetherness.