22/07/2014

To Age is To Love




My older MIL, 82 years, often tells me her story of youth. One fine day, I was oiling my hair. Looking at which she said, "Jab hum juaan rahein, hamaar baal bhi bahut kaala rahein." . Took a pause looking at her jet white hair, then, continued "Ab hum budda gayien, baal sab safed..." left the sentence incomplete. Followed by her involuntary reflex, where she glanced her husband's photo on the living room wall. Slight sobbing you can hear in the background with tears rolling down her uneven face.
 
This is a daily ritual. Each and every single morning that I have seen her till date. I don't remember a sunrise when she woke up and didn't mention to me about how lonely her husband has left her. When I look at her wailing inconsolably each passing day, I couldn't help but think how strong is the bond of marriage ?

How we meet somebody, get married and make that person centre of universe over our life time?

And from the time we get married, until death we go through ups and downs, fear, insecurities, failures, anxieties, unfulfilled dreams...

When we are not in our best of looks, wrinkled skin, shrunken - sunken - sulking eyes, droppy neck, cheeks, ear lobes, shaking weak legs, white thin hair, pale skin, faded eye lashes, everything living though lacking vigour. But  this old lady's heart, the same old heart keeps pumping the blood with the memories so fresh, each day, every minute remembering her husband.

By now, I know which places she had visited with him. Every single day she tells me this incident about going to Vaishno Devi and having food at the station. Its so close to her heart. With age she has bouts of dementia but not about her heart matters.


Why am I writing this?

Seeing her daily in and out going through the same routine and yearning for her husband I restore my faith in marriage and its bond for life. Not that I have respected it any lesser in the past but looking at the volatility of strength in relationships these days, it has surely shaken me up at times. I mean, a couple - how much we fight, argue, showcase our worth, talk about rights, crib, don't forgive act of negligence, epitome of an independent educated woman - Aaj Ki Naari. Constantly try to change the person we love,but for what ?

Has education, exposure to outside world, independence to choose, roam, travel and dress up has changed the rules of the game?

Does hierarchy exists in a husband and wife's relationship ? As we see our parents, grandparents - yes indeed. But, are we cut out to follow the same route ? Is it as easier for our generation too to wholeheartedly accept that yes - no matter what - you are my anchor and I do bestow all my faith in you,  for ever. I will follow you blindly, rely on your discretion, support you even when I know its not a profit making deal and trust your instincts more than mine ?

May be yes.

If we make ourselves a lot like our mothers, will it ensure peace at our heart. I mean, will our empowerment go away if we just don't challenge, constantly challenge the institution of marriage to fit in our lifestyle. And since there is no set precedence for such lifestyle, we are often left looking at our palms for answers.

As I see her, she is all alone with the good old memories - counting her blessings from the past.  I am sure she too had stood the test of times and fought and argued and superseded not once or twice but thousand times mowing her inner self respect or ego, what ever suits your taste. But is she remembering any of those bitterness now ?

Sawaal hi nahi uthta.

Watching an old age couple married for some 60-70 years can give more inspiration and lessons on a marriage than anything in the world.

For me, the lesson is - to age is to love. Indeed.

6 comments:

  1. :) God Bless you... Wise thoughts and words. Wish you both great time forever together.

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    1. Thanks for your wishes, Din. Saw your blog, lot of good content to dive in. Happy blogging and reading.

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  2. Cha gayi aaj ki Naari!! You said it all! I believe that roles in the games should not be changed but rules should be looked at!!! Marriage is a pious institution! It gives you that one Man whom you close your eyes and confidently say that "he is my Man" and wit whom you will share every juncture of life good or bad.Partnership can be the best if played with utmost balance of fairness,honesty and emotions!

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    1. Totally agree with you chetna on roles and rules bit. Companionship demands a bit of losing yourself up !

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Neha, hearing from you after a long time. Be our guest more often :)

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