When I met my future husband, I won’t say it was love at first sight. But there was definitely a strong connection between us. He was my senior from college. He asked me where I lived. I answered, knowing little that he was destined to visit that very address so often. We clicked instantly and became good friends in no time. We spent a lot of time together, talking, sharing but never felt we wanted more than friendship. I had grown up on Bollywood movies and often fantasized about my Raj from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) coming into my life and changing it completely. Two friends falling in love with each other without realising it is an age old Bollywood cliché and I re-lived it in real life. He went away to the US on work for 18 months. It was only once we were apart that we realised what we meant to each other. Distance did make our hearts grow fonder and we decided to get married.
Marriage feels more like a live-in relationship with us being equal partners in everything, be it doing the weekly groceries or setting up the house for a party. The ease with which we have accepted each other’s “not so good habits” makes life smooth. We have differences of opinion like any other married couple. But not taking our fights to bed and resolving those before we sleep have helped a long way in strengthening our relationship. We believe our relationship is more important than our individual egos and never fear saying “sorry” to each other irrespective of who is wrong. This has helped lay a strong foundation of trust and understanding that strengthens our bond further and continues to grow with each passing day.
Our matrimony also brought me face to face with contrasting cultures in India. While we Punjabis live life king size and are at ease showing off in a variety of ways- i.e. a lavish wedding, a big house and a giant car, Tamilians (my husband’s family) irrespective of their economic strata, lead simpler and humble lives. Not only is my husband a wonderful human being, his family has an extremely practical and broad minded outlook towards life. They never use their “in law” tag to get things done as per their wish. They have always appreciated even the little things that I do for them. They have given me the freedom to decide and never imposed their beliefs on our lives. Over time, my husband has become a son to my parents, who in their own words call him their “problem solver”. He also pampers my younger sister as his own.
A few years into our marriage, we were blessed with a child. The arrival of our son injected a different dimension to our relationship. We are different individuals with different approaches to parenting. We handle every situation with our child in contrasting ways, each on its own logic, but often cannot decide which is better. He disciplines our son by being stricter, whereas I am more patient and calm trying to explain why we were not letting him do something. Sometimes one way works better than the other while the reverse is true on other days. We have learnt to synthesize our strengths as parents and bring up our child to the best of our ability.
We are soon going to complete nine years of married life. We still cook together, have late night chat sessions, go on date nights, play games with our son, watch movies together, finish each other’s sentences, hold hands often and look lovingly at each other without the need to say the obvious.
What is a soulmate, I ask? It can mean different things to different people. For me, it has meant finding the “right” person who is always by my side. Someone who loves me when I deserve it the least for he knows that’s when I need it the most. Someone who shares my dreams and allows me to fly. Someone with whom I can be myself without being judged. Someone who still looks at me and remembers the first time he saw me. It’s difficult to say this soulmate pre-existed. I rather think, this soulmate is a fruit of labour- long years of caring for and nurturing our relationship, working hard at it, spending time understanding our weaknesses, working through our differences, respecting each other’s individuality yet presenting our combined strength as the face of our marriage.
This article was first published on Momspresso (erstwhile mycity4kids).