On 16 Feb, 2013 Geet and I completed three years of our married life. Doesn’t sound like a big achievement, does it? After all there are couples who have spent 50 years together, where the last 10 years of their togetherness have been spent revisiting the potty training manuals, taking sagging body sponge baths via a nurse, exchanging dentures during dinner and spending half of the day getting up from the chair.
But these three years of togetherness are an achievement. Especially for a guy who never believed in love. I have seen too many marriages breaking apart around me, too many husbands beating up their wives, too many couples making compromises to believe otherwise. This notion was ingrained in me that no matter how high you are on the initial euphoria, the effect of the drug finally subsides in the morning. Your love life becomes a part of your routine and you get on with it like you get on with brushing your teeth.
I was almost 30 and Mom and Dad were panicking because they thought that their crossing-into-middle-age virgin son was going to die a virgin. It was the most terrifying year of my life when I had to finally make a decision. After all it involved another human being and I have to give up the freedom of farting noisily in my bedroom. Too much was on stake. My father created my profile in a matrimonial website and put up a really ugly picture of mine on display. On a scale of Sunil Shetty to 10, I looked like Tushar Kapoor. I went completely numb in the cold matrimonial waters, just like the survivors of Titanic. My virginity ship was about to sink and I watched helplessly as my feet grew cold.
M friends told me that it takes 2-3 years to find a bearable bride and given the fact that I looked like a cross between Mamta Banerjee and Prabhu Deva in my matrimonial photo, I extended the duration to 4-5 years and went in my crypt. But Gods had something else in mind. Within a month my parents sent me a girl’s picture (I was in Manchester then) and told me that she was perfect.
“Did she see my photo on the website?” I asked in a state of shock. The ship was sinking too fast.
“Are you sure she is not blind?”
I was told that there was a 33/36 match on our horoscopes and I have to stop being an idiot and talk to her. Now this was a turning point. Not that my parents had never called me an idiot but the horoscope match was too perfect. My ghosts of doubts were returning and whispering me to back out. They reminded me that I was incapable of falling in love. Now before you jump to conclusions, what the ghost meant was that I was emotionally incapable of carrying a relationship of such magnitude on my shoulders simple because I did not believe in that gesture. Secondly, what will my friends think? After all, I had distributed such pearls of wisdom like – How can two people stay together their entire lives? I will be bored to death! Ugh!
Anyways, I saw her photo and there was a sensation in certain parts of my body. Like near my heart. Let me clarify that it wasn’t lust that prompted me to talk to her. I know better than getting aroused over a photo of a fully dressed female. It was just instinct. We talked how two strangers will talk when they talk for the first time. I tried to be funny and failed and walked into a wall during our conversation. It was a good conversation.
Geet tells me that she had fallen for me during the one month we talked on the phone. I liked talking to her but nothing else happened. I don’t know why but I finally said yes.
The fact was that both of us were scared. When we moved to Manchester 15 days after we got married, I was taking deep breaths. But those were such incredible days. I rediscovered myself. I realized that my heart was capable of melting, that my eyes were capable of gleaming, that my legs were capable of going weak, that I was capable of falling in love, that I would not die of poisonous gases if I don’t fart.
In college, Geet was the kind of girl who would stop talking to you if you ask her to be your girlfriend. She treated me like a lizard that has suddenly dropped in her lap from the ceiling when I tried to give her an innocent peck on the first day of our marriage. Like me, she too had her own battles to conquer. I waited patiently for her to come around. I worked on our friendship.
Now that I look back, I cannot imagine the last three years without her. I married a stranger and fell in love with a friend. When I think of my marriage, I think of The Black Pearl, that was rocked upside down to be transported back into the land of the living at sunrise. Now wasn’t that lucky that ‘Up was Down’?
p.s. I am looking forward to exchanging my dentures with Geet. That way, if we are left with one chocolate and she eats it all, I can still after-taste it.