If I had to venture a guess, I would say probably when she was getting fixed up and gearing up for her big, fat wedding. With dreams of her Prince Charming and the pure marital bliss that she expected to discover, she was bound to be overjoyed, right?
Suppose, if I were to rephrase the question and ask, “When was the last time you saw a “married” woman blush while talking about her husband?” I’m sure a lot of us would be stumped. After all, it’s not a fairly common sight these days, is it? With the institution of marriage crumbling around us these days and an increasing number of divorces with every passing day, the very thought of getting married scares the daylight out of us youngsters. You hardly come across couples nowadays who are happy and content with their marriage. Why then would one give up their own freedom and sign on for a life that would be so much more complicated and full of responsibilities? Why would you want to be stuck with one, single person your entire life when you can be single and have so many options to explore?
With the unanswered questions in my mind, I once happened to meet a woman in a doctor’s clinic. Given that the best thing that I can do while sitting in a room full of people is to minutely observe them, I focused my attention on her. Judging by her dressing sense and the conversation that she was having with one of her employees on the phone, she seemed like a career- oriented woman, focused and determined to achieve her goals in life and if I may admit, a little frightening to work for.
When she got done with the call, she started making polite conversation with me. I then learnt that she had done her graduation from SRCC and her MBA from FMS, Delhi. When she told me that she had been married for 23 long years, I couldn’t believe it because she definitely did not look her age. As time passed by, I got to know how she met this wonderful man who was her senior in FMS and they fell in love. Considering the guy had lost both his parents in an accident and she being the only and much pampered daughter, thoda family drama to banta tha boss. But in spite of all this, they later got married with the consent of her parents (apna typical hindi filmy love story).
But have you ever realized how they never show the protagonists’ lives proceed after they get married and the words “AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER” are boldly projected on the screen? This woman did give me an insight and phew! What an insight it was. While narrating her entire life story, there was not even a moment of hesitation, not even a moment where this woman had to stop and think about how to describe her perfect husband, her perfect kids and her perfect life and was blissfully unaware of the fact that she had been talking for 45 minutes with minimal interjection from my side. There was a sense of pride and warmth in her tone when she said that she had seen her husband break down only twice- once, when he bought his first Mercedes after years of hard work and dejections along the path and secondly, when their first child was born. For once, I was sitting in front of a woman who had no complaints as far as her husband was concerned and was as much in love with him as on the first day she realized the depth of her feelings and couldn’t go to sleep at night. A woman, who had no regrets for giving up a promising career to be his support and later joining him as the co-founder of their own business. Believe it or not, when she was talking about her husband, she couldn’t stop blushing, like she was some 14 year old girl who was describing the first of her many future crushes. The glow on her face was of a newly- wed bride and sitting in front of me was a woman who had been married for 23 years and yet, according to her there was not even a single day when she didn’t get up in the morning not feeling thankful for the man lying beside her, for the person he was, for his love, for his sensitivity, for his innate desire to fulfill every wish of hers before the words even escaped her lips just by recognizing the twinkle in her eyes when she saw something she liked and, above all for being the best father that she could have hoped for her children.
The cynic in me kept asking questions but the hopeless romantic in me couldn’t stop smiling! And then it hit me: this is why people get married. This is why they are willing to bet on it because they somehow hope to find what this couple has, someone to be by their side no matter what, and to love them unconditionally. As they say, hope is a good thing, sometimes the best of things.
Like Meredith Grey said, “At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you least expect it. It’s like one day you realize that the fairy tale might be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you, and once in a while people may even take your breath away.”