It is a hectic summer Monday morning and Shivani is getting impatient in the traffic.
“Oh no! I am going to be late for the meeting. We should have started early. It is all because of your laziness. I can’t stand the sarcastic comments from my boss. Now… why are you smiling?” Shivani sounded desperate.
“Cmon Shivani! It is you who spent a good amount of time getting ready. I waited for almost 10 min, before we started from there”. Renju was not in a mood to take the blame.
“Yes, I know! It all boils down to me as usual. You are Mr. Perfect!” Shivani said.
She gazed out of the window impatiently looking at the traffic. Suddenly a white car decorated with red flowers in the opposite lane caught her attention. A wedding car… She saw a beautiful bride sitting inside. She is looking gorgeous!
The sight of the bride brought back flashes of memory to Shivani. It has been almost 16 years!
She could vividly remember the time when Renju came to meet her with his parents and friends. Yes, it was a typical arranged marriage. She would talk endlessly about anything and Renju seemed to enjoy her chatter in their first meeting. They got married exactly two months after the engagement and Renju said he was bowled over by her talks. Of course, she is an avid reader and is popular amongst her friends for talking about anything under the sun!!
She could still remember clearly the grand ceremonies of her marriage and how she nervously started her new life in this city, away from her home, relatives and friends.
Her life changed a lot in these 16 years. She has 2 kids now whom she adores. She has been always busy with her life revolving around family and workplace.
“Renju seems to be happy.” She observed him waiting patiently for the traffic to move on.
“He is not the one who always remembers my birthdays or wishes me first on our wedding anniversary.” she said to herself.
“And of course I make a huge fuss about that every time, though I know that it is going to happen again … and again” she sighed. “It is funny to see his confused look each time I take out my anger at him quoting something else, when I am actually pissed off by his memory loss precisely for my birthdays.”
He is not mindful about the fancy settings of candle-light dinner or birthday bashes for his wife. However she must admit that he never missed being with her whenever he was needed… be it medical appointments or any meetings with their kids’ teachers. He is good with gadgets and teases her for not knowing the nuances of mobile phones or laptops. He takes it as his responsibility to ensure that all the gadgets are maintained properly and patiently explains the techniques over and over again… knowing that she’ll forget it again!
Renju is not melodramatic as seen in movies and Shivani was a bit upset over that during their initial days of marriage. As years passed by, she realized that real love and affection is something that needs to be felt from within and that cannot be obtained by the dramatic showering of gifts.
There are things that he cannot handle, for which she takes charge and they complement each other really well. They do have their share of tantrums, fights and tears.
“Real love stories are not like what you see in films. It takes a lifetime to understand this though”, she thought.
He is ready to spend an evening watching a movie with her which he says is purely nonsense and illogical, just for the sake of the funny arguments with her later about why it is logical. Shopping is one activity which he actually hates, but he just accompanies her knowing she loves to do shopping.
He ensured that she completed her Masters degree, took her to coaching classes and helped her to prepare for the competitive exams. He has been a pillar of her strength always, though he never made a claim for that even in their worst arguments.
She knows that he is there for her always, irrespective of what the circumstances are. This has been his statement of love towards her, something that he has never said.
“Shiva… we are so happy for you! Renju is like our own son. He is a gentle man. We are sure that he is taking good care of you!” Her father’s happy voice echoed in her mind. He was very happy that his choice didn’t go wrong.
“Renju has become one amongst us so fast. He is a doting husband, I must say!” Her mother was all tears when she noticed how he was taking care of Shivani when she was infected with Dengue.
“I am glad to have him as my best friend and … hubby”, she chuckled.
Renju turned around.
“Now don’t stare at me like that… FYI I didn’t create this traffic block!” he said.
“Your meeting is at 10 AM right… I am sure that your boss will also be somewhere in this same traffic. Let us do one thing… I’ll take the next right exit and then there is a shortcut to your office. Now cheer up! I’ll make sure that you are there on time. “ he said.
“Yes, I know! “ she smiled.
“So in the meantime, I am thinking about the Delhi results. Do you think AAP is going to win this time?” Renju is perfectly oblivious about Shivani’s thoughts.
“Men don’t have a clue of what we think!!” she thought.
“Haha.. you bet!” she couldn’t help laughing.