It never was love at first sight. And not even several sights after.
For the entire engagement lasting several months, the quiet prayer was for freedom from the betrothal.
The sole encounter during the long engagement period ended in copious tears shed by both the aggrieved parties.
As the wedding date neared, the pressure to generate positive feelings towards the soon-to-be-spouse took centre stage.
Promises were made from both sides to mould one to be the dream partner for the other (ugh!).
And the plunge into the ‘saat-pheres’ was taken.
How could one be married and not speak the 3 magical words that one had been craving to declare to the chosen one, whoever that may be.
With an ‘I love you’ mumbled on the first night, the journey of my love for Sharad began.
From that first under-pressure expression of love, our love has now traversed 22 years worth of travel miles together.
When and how did that hateful stranger metamorphose into my ‘soul mate’, I cannot fathom.
But I do know exactly when I realized that I loved him.
3 years and a baby later when I saw him sit all day at my hospital bedside.
Of course that in no way means that it has been smooth-sailing ever since.
Fed on notions of Mills & Boon-inspired romance, the expectations out of my first love were immense.
And truth be told, he has always been very sweet, sensitive and romantic.
A good deal half-baked though in the emotional maturity levels.
Every so often there were angry outbursts of misunderstanding, impenetrable walls of silence, vile meanings attached to innocent words.
Being the single emotional anchor for teenage kids was no cakewalk.
Living life at different spiritual levels had become the accepted middle path.
Till he reinvented himself as my “soul mate” and brought magic back into our lives.
My knees turn to jelly again when I see him- potbelly, grey hair, reading glasses and all.
I laugh at his silly jokes and melt when he sings songs only for me.
We crave each other’s company and have several meaningful conversations about anything and everything.
The romance is back and is very much here to stay.
It is now a very well- baked, hard-crusted relationship with the sweetest of cores.
Kudos to that!!!