“I got married at 12, it was a feeling full of drudgery & disgust. Which girl would love leaving her friends, the so called school & parents at an age when playing in mud makes you delightful ! ” She sighed
“Did you ever fall in love with Granpa then? ” The petite girl asked
“I hated him at first because I wanted to study, become a teacher but destiny had provided me with this gloomy existence, my mind dwelt in remorse. I wanted to go back in my own hut ,where I belonged among my three sibling sisters, I wanted to cry but I was not allowed too. ”
“So what happened? how come you liked grandpa then, since your life seemed to be surrounded with a cryptic sense, was it worth it or you still regret it?” Nandini asked with the keenest scrutiny in her eyes.
“It seems my little girl had grown up, asking me such deep questions, yes ! Nandini?”
Nandini blushed & said shyly “Don’t change the topic Amma, please tell me when did you started loving grandpa? Did he made you fall in love with him, what drew the two of you close, please share it with me, I won’t tell it to anyone. It would be a secret with us, I promise!”
With complacent emotions the old lady rose & from the wardrobe took an old white notebook…
“Your grandpa gave this to me, when I was 13 & the more he wanted to talk to me the more I resisted, but over time he learned about my dreams & aspirations and handing me this book” asked:
“Can I be a part of your dreams, I would be by your side no matter what, I would be your strength, be your friend whenever you need me, just talk to me, he pleaded. Pour your heart out, I am yours in every sense, won’t ditch you I promise…”
Tears flowed down through my eyes into his palms & I smiled.
“I want to study, I want to be a teacher ; Will you allow me?” I asked with questioning eyes
Yes, came the reply and he embraced me in a warm hug. “I can’t tell you how happy I was, being in his arms, it was more blissful than hearing the Yes” :)
“Wow!! Granpa was so cool, I respect him for his stand. Tell me more, what happened next?” Nandini asked pondering over what Amma just told her, she wanted to hear the full tale of love & trust ,her grandparents lived in a time where the situation was submissive like hell.
“As he gave me his words, he was always by my side, along with his boards preparation he taught me everything I wanted to know, he arranged books from friends & bought notebooks so I could practice. He was my best friend now, we shared our dreams, he wanted to be an engineer much to the opposition of his parents(my in-laws). We had a 6 year gap but it never hindered the joys we had, cracking jokes, understanding each others need, everything now was a part of our so called married life ; which was more than just a happy & delightful experience we both shared.”
His boards results were out and he topped the district, the only boy who secured a distinction in every subject. His parents were happy, as they thought he would not crib about studying any more and look after the family textile business. But, I knew he wanted to study further but did not had the guts to reveal what his mind craved for.
6 months passed without any progress & he still could not muster enough courage to bring out what he wanted to do, frustrated like hell he came late in the evening from the boring job & slept. I knew what was happening; was bad but couldn’t do anything, one night he came to me and asked: You need some help?
I said “yes, but I will manage, you please take some sleep! ”
“No I want to help my dear, he helped me solve the arithmetic sum that I was stuck with”
“Thanks! I said” to which he kissed me on the cheek. “I love you” came the reply
“I want to ask something?” he said
“I was about to faint, as it was the first kiss we had shared after 3 years of married life”
“What?” I asked in a hushed tone
“Will you run with me to Banaras…”
There was a pin-drop silence in the room, I think I would have fainted completely if he would have not hold me asking me again…
“Why?” I asked
“I would study there in an engineering college, they have accepted my application & I have applied for a job as a tutor, we could easily live there and make our dreams come true!”
“What do you think, my wife” he said mockingly…
I don’t know till date why I said “YES” but we both laughed and planned everything in a lovely mood. We both were going to be free from all the bounds we were living in, we would achieve everything we desire , but above all it was the happiness of being with each other. I was happy because at times I prayed for not letting him go because we would be away for so long. I was scared of losing him but now we were together- facing life, making all its plight turned into moments of pleasure we now rejoice.
It was our love which transformed the nadir into a zenith…
Tears of joy laden with contentment flowed down the lady’s eye. She was happy she made the right choice in fleeing with her husband.
“What happened next, Grandma?” Nandini asked restlessly, winging her imaginative mind to all possibilities.
“We packed all our belongings, as much as we could and was out! Into the world to realize our dreams with the person who was my companion & belief.”
“We took the very first train to Banaras & when we reached there, your grandpa’s old friend was waiting for us, his name was Vishnu, he was a very helpful lad, tried helping us with everything- from finding a suitable house to making us feel at home to the new surroundings”,
“Life was a bit fast paced here in Banaras compared to the weary & old outlook we had in the village. Your Grandpa got a job as a tutor & earned just enough to meet our needs. We were a happy couple, we laughed, studied together, went to watch movies on every second Sunday & shared every bit of ecstasy our heart wandered in…”
“The year passed in a jiffy. My board result was due in a week’s time & I was nervous like hell. To my surprise I got to know I was expecting at that time. I did not reveal this to your Grandpa & wanted to startle him with the news & my results next week. ” Grandma rose again & went to the window, touching the rose petals she said “Your grandpa showered me with his love when the result came, I still don’t know whether it was the news or the result that made him laugh so much that day, he was delightfully crazy & was happy beyond anything”
“I talked to my mother on phone ,the very first time after being in Banaras, she was joyous & began questioning me profusely, about how was I, how was everything going & making me realize how much I missed her, the same way she did…”
“That’s all my dear, the tale of love your grandparents shared & I suppose any one in love would have felt the same emotions I did, so I can tell you happily that I loved just one man in my entire life & that was Your Granpa….”
“It’s quite late now Nandini, you go to bed now…”
“Grandma, I want to confess something” Nandini mumbled
“What is it my dear?” Grandma asked in a hush tone
“I am in love” with surprised eyes grandma hugged her grown up angel & the tale continued. But it was delivered from from the listener to the previous speaker now :)
Such are life Dearies…