It is very difficult to have your entire life changed by one moment in which a man ties a yellow thread around your neck and the world proclaims you as his wife. And, that is the moment when it all begins- the change begins.
I have moved to a city I had never been to, I was living with a man I didn’t know, I was wearing the uncomfortable sarees, a vermillion mark had suddenly defined, how, where and with whom I should live. I blamed all the change on him for while but still dutifully tried to fit into his life through the little gaps, every man has. A steaming cup of coffee, just as he woke up was his greatest delight. It pleasured me to see him happy and yet there was some disconnect. It wasn’t him, it was the newness. Four months had passed, but that newness still lingered in all our interactions. We slept without facing each other, ate without speaking, and walked as though there was an invisible person who walked in between us. He would be careful not to make me uncomfortable and I would make sure, I conveyed, how much it meant. If not love, there was mutual care and understanding.
There were days when I spent hours trying to settle my feelings towards this man I was slowly feeling attached to. I had realized that sublime desire to belong to him, to become an inseparable part of life, beyond his dependence on me for the daily errands. To look at him as a husband, rather than someone my destiny was entwined to, to feel, the pride to walk by his side, to look at his eyes for reassurance, to feel that desire for him. I liked his presence in the house. That faint smell of castor oil he applied to his hair or the way he watched the news and grumbled when it didn’t please him. But, there was something that held me back.
When we found words to interact with each other he had bluntly asked pinching his nose, “You like Jasmines? I find the scent of that flower a little suffocating.” I told him they reminded me of home and he smiled as if didn’t bother him any longer. Though little unsure, I asked something that had been nagging for a while,“Why do you where those white shirts, starched and stiff? It gives me a feeling I live with a politician.” He laughed as he spoke, “They remind me of my Dad. He was a parliament member” I smiled. It didn’t feel that odd now.
The following day, as soon as he left for office- I pulled out a five hundred, from the money my parents had given me when I left home. I went to the shop which was just round the corner and bought him a shirt - white like he liked, but with a little design the way, I liked. I struggled through the afternoon waiting for him to get back. And yet, when he was home I hid the shirt away and disappeared into the kitchen. What will I tell him? How will I give it to him? Would he like the shirt? Would he wear it?
He went to the room to freshen up and I was placing the food on the table when the familiar scent of Jasmine filled the room. I notice a bunch of Jasmines wrapped in a newspaper, I freed the flowers from the paper and found a small rose bud tucked in between. When I was busy admiring these flowers when, he walked into the living room, “You like Jasmines. I like the rose.” Without a word I ran into the room and showed him the shirt. We both laughed and I coyly wiped off an happy tear before he noticed it.
The next morning was a Sunday. I had pinned the Jasmines and a rose to my hair, and he had worn the shirt I had gifted. We decided to visit the temple, like we always did. But this time the silence didn’t hang between us. We walked beside each other and there was no room for anybody to walk in between us. The awkwardness had disappeared, the newness was weaning off. As we boarded the rickety bus and stood huddled together, I rested my hand on my husband’s shoulder as if it was the most natural thing to do and that moment I knew we had formed that timeless bond.
|(c) Ashish Arora Photography|
P.S: This is written as a part of Captured Writings. The inspiration for this story is the picture. Check more of our work here ( I do not normally publish most of Captured Writings posts on my blog. So you definitely will find something new there.) Check the photographers page here, he doesn't just clicks pictures he captures emotions.