To someone special

You flitted across the lounge, like a woman in a dream

Looking absolutely gorgeous, like a Bengali queen

The cream and red streak,

Make my knees very weak

I’ve seen many, But not one like you

You are like a wish, A dream come true

The jarring ring of the phone disturbs my ramification

I’ll wait some time more for the coveted union

From ‘ME’

These above lines were written in November, 1986 while I oscillated between the freshness of falling in love and the probability of seeing it not come to fruition. After a great deal of Bollywood type drama that included, of all things, an expensive buffet that took three months tips money to repay, multiple letters to and fro and the ache in the heart waiting to read them, walks, rides and trips to Bombay, Pune, Lohagad fort, Karla caves and a special one to Matheran, a mugging on the night of Holi and the following fear, a train trip and a bike ride to your house and asking for your hand and getting a rejection instead, another train trip that was bringing grave news of a break-up, a comical situation of “I got some news and you go first” by both of us, the exhilaration of us landing jobs at a picturesque hill station of Kodaikanal, that famous run along the Kodai lakeside only to be frozen still by the visual of seeing your dad in the backseat of the matador van, an eventful trip to Srivilliputtur and Courtallam, the suspense of the origin of the unknown telegram to your parents and the two replies that followed, the quaking in my shoes in meeting the parents for the first time, the subsequent meeting of the elders in Kodai followed by the engagement in Kottayam without the bride, your first look in jeans by my mother, a quiet ride back to Kodai with a dear friend, relatives landing up in Bangalore and being accommodated in different houses, a positively brain-numbing event of saree purchase, a wrong suit colour selection, an idiotic decision in attempting to grow a mouche that didn’t, the accident and 13 stitches that forced the mother in law to have a head scarf throughout the event, the “first night” in a neighbour’s home, the subsequent “honeymoon” trip to Mysore with the entire family and the big relief that we are official at the end of it three decades ago to the day, was worth every one of the 15,768,000 minutes and I am willing to go through the entire exercise all over again because you are the best thing that happened to me and our children.

You are the girl I fell in love with, the lassie with the lovely tresses, the belle with the tinkling laugh, the ma’am in my life, the strength in my weakness, the bond that holds the family through your nurturing, your educational pursuits in obtaining a double degree and a masters in your later years all the while managing to keep an impeccable home, disciplined teacher, doting mother, adoring wife, fab cook, green thumbed and a beautiful wonderful human being inside out with a loving heart. I have tried to keep up to my only promise to you on the night of our wedding that we may not have the wealth or the career but I promise to keep you happy and laughing. Thirty years later, I hope that I have been able to achieve it to a degree. When people ask you, how did you manage to live with this bloke for so many years, I hope you say, well he did what he promised.

Happy anniversary, my dearest and hope to be in each other’s arms where even death will not do us apart.