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I was sitting at the airport waiting for my flight. That day I had reached a bit early as was happy to return back home after an official tour of some 10 odd days. It was the pre diwali weekend and I had bought gifts for my parents, sister and my adorable niece.
I was thinking of having a coffee when my heart missed a beat. In front of me standing just a few meters away was him!. Was it him ?or was I day dreaming? No it was indeed him only. None had such intense eyes and suave look as he had. He was looking absolutely handsome in that formal coat, and OMG he was also staring at me. Those same eyes had made me fall for him 4 years back. I wondered he had maintained himself well and was literally looking more handsome than ever. As my eyes met his, he approached me and we shaked hands and shared some pleasantries. It was so formal. He was also waiting for his flight back home, but due to diwali rush both our flights had got delayed. He suggested to wait in the lounge and have some coffee. I reluctantly agreed.
Once settled he asked " how have you been", he also enquired about the well being of my family. I lied to him that everything was OK and I was doing great, though my heart was shouting and dying to tell him that I was not all OK and how I had missed him , his love and care in these years, but i refrained to do so. Everything till now was so formal.I also enquired about his parents well being and his work, to which he said all was well.
This coffee meeting had reminded us both of something and we both were silent and playing the flashback of those fun days when we used to bunk office work and go for such coffee breaks, go for long drives, shopping trips, weekend getaways, holidays and what not. We had such fabulous times together. Suddenly we were interrupted by the waiter asking for something else to be ordered and without my saying anything he had ordered my favourite snacks. He still remembers, I thought.
As I was contemplating whether to ask him or not he himself popped up the question, "have you found someone", I couldn't lie to him and said NO. I also asked him the same question and the answer was a negative. He said that " it was always you for me", but he stopped at that.
Again we had discussed about our professional growth during those years and both of us had successfully moved up the corporate ladder and and were satisfied with our success at work. But it seemed that in our personal lives both were alone, both of us have not managed to find someone else.
Again there was a span of silence and both of us were though looking at each other but were recalling our marriage and life after that, Yes, he was my legally wedded husband and I his wife who had been living separately for the past 4years.
I had met Sushant in my office some 5 years back and though we worked in different departments had fallen for each other soon after our first meeting at the canteen. It was a first sight love and was very beautiful. First we became friends, then close friends and then lovers. The whole office knew about it and people told us what a beautiful couple we were. we would make it a point to go for lunch at the same time, chatted after office for hours, had coffee dates followed by long drives. He would usually drop me to my PG. Things had moved at a fast pace and soon we got married.
We belonged to different religion and culture but our families were mature enough to understand our love and without any hue or cry, or difficulty we got married. Post marriage the honeymoon period was good and engrossed in the pool of each others love we had forgotten the world. I was the happiest woman on earth. I was beautiful, had a successful career, had married the man of my dreams and was so happy that it was hard to believe.
But all good things cone to an end. After the honemooning and all it was time when life became normal, work was there and in addition to it both of us had increased responsibilities of managing each other as well as our families. My parents lived in another city and I was living in a PG Prior to marriage, in a city far away from thier's. Sushant was living with his parents prior to marriage and Ihad joined the family post marriage. All was OK in the beginning, my in laws and everyone else was good but even after 2 months I still felt like an outsider.
Majority of my time was in the office and commuting to and fro and going out of station for work, but i still tried to spend time with the family and do everything to come close. I tried to help with the household work as much as i could, though since childhood I had grown speaking a different language, eating different food and following different traditions and rituals i was ready to accept and follow everything new. Sushant and his parents were also trying and my MIL would spare me from most of the household work as my career demands were many. But my first and major woe was that they all would communicate in their language as a habit but (as I was from a different culture I didn't know the language and all our rituals and traditions were different) I couldn't understand a word and felt left out from discussions. Though sushant and the family got me involved sometimes but I felt they were always not telling me the whole thing. I felt left alone on many occasions like festivals, poojas, relatives visiting etc etc.
Months went by but things were the same. Sushant was also very busy with his work and though he loved me and cared for me but many times he was out of town for work and we would spend very less time together for days. My parents in law were not very interfering and had given us full freedom to work and also enjoy our early marriage days but somehow I was not able to be a part of them. When alone with them the communication was very less and as i never had a very big social or friend circle i would feel alone . This hurted me a lot. I was in regular contact with my parents and sister and they always used to tell me to be patient, that these things take time to settle. I also many times tried to talk this out with sushant but he brushed my concerns off by saying that amma and appa love you and there is no problem. You are a good DIL and everything will be OK.
I will like to accept that in those days as I had not had a single showdown in my life till then related to education, job etc I had an inflated ego.I used to get hurt by even small things and couldn't take a defeat on any issue. It so happened that there was a marriage function in the family and though I from my side had taken all efforts to participate and follow all traditions and rituals but my work pressure and lack of knowledge related to their culture had not allowed me to do that successfully. I was hurt when I heard an aunt telling my MIL that "this happens when you marry your son outside the caste". By the time your DIL understands everything it will he too late. It was too heavy for me to handle and I had made an issue out of it when back home. Post this also many times we had an argument and fight over such things and finally one day I left sushant and his family and home and went back to my parents. I had also resigned from my current job and taken an assignment in my parent's city.
Everyone initially had declared that my decision was a hasty one, the issue was petty and I was striking an axe on my own foot. But, my ego and reasoning had muted them all. I was not ready to listen to anyone. Sushant and my MIL had tried calling me several times but to no use. I didn't reply any calls and had got my number changed. My parents had talked to them and asked me to clarify everything and settle down again but they were taking to my deaf ears. At that time if sushant would have proposed a divorce I would have happily given him that. But after few months they stopped calling me and my family and had not asked for a divorce. I felt I had achieved back my single status, wanted some change in my life so got engrossed in my work.
But after a year and a half I started missing everything I had left. Though my parents were understanding and adjusting and had stopped discussing and explaining me on that issue but I could see in their eyes that they wanted me to get settled down with my life partner , who would be with me always and take care of me always. My sister got married during this time and as everyone was aware of my snappy nature no one in my family dared to raise anything about my broken marriage, at least not in front of me. Also the boys side did not say anything even once. I had a friend in my sister who was now going away to her own world. Even when departing she had just said to me with tears "di, please forgive jiju and everyone else and be with him again, there is no one like him and he loves you very much". I had thought that she is at the moment very emotional and saying it in the heat of the moment. Also during these years I had met many men who wanted to be friends and have fun with me without any commitment, even married men with kids wanted so. I used to maintain a distance from such people. Also most of my lady colleagues would discuss about their husbands, kids and in laws and how being understanding, trust and adjustment has to be made to lead a happy life, and I realised that probably I was the one who had taken things in a wrong way. Yes, everything and everyone was just fine and could have improved had I not behaved like this. Probably I had made a mountain out of a molehill. Was it adapting to a different culture which was the reason of our separation or my missing my single, independent, responsibility free life which had made me do this or it was my false pride. Sushant and his family had loved me, cared for me and were slowly trying to involve me with everything but I was too proud and egoistic and wanted everything perfect immediately.
My though process was broken when sushant who was constantly looking at me asked me, "are you happy Isha". I was still reluctant to accept my folly but when he held my hands and told me that he during these past 4 years was in constant touch with my parents and sister secretly and knew everything that has happened and was still waiting for me, I broke down. All I wanted to say came rolling down my eyes and he came by my side to console me. I apologised for my misunderstandings , false pride and behavior and admitted my mistakes. It felt so light at heart after years.
He told me that how after my leaving him and amma and appa they all were so sad. They missed me and realized that they could have done much more to make me feel a part of them. He himself was heart broken and when i had not answered him even once he had got engrossed himself in his work so much so that he lost count of anything else. Only one thing he remembered was me. Also that day during the marriage I had heard half the thing. My MIL had replied back to that aunt by saying that "isha is the most wonderful girl their boy could get and she is not only beautiful, smart, intelligent and successful but also knows how to respect elders, traditions etc and has in so less time made all the efforts to be one if them". As she had said this in their language Isha had thought that her MIL agreed with that aunt. Now all misunderstandings were clear and I had realized the importance of his love in my life. He also said that I will not force anything on you and will let you decide with a cool mind. I want you back in my life desperately and shower all the love and care and live those wonderful times again which we both have missed.
For the fist time in my life I was so happy to miss my flight and that diwali had given me the best gift of my life, my love, my husband and this time with more experience and maturity in life I would never let him go again. I vowed to keep love and relationship above everything and cherish and handle them with utmost care.
So friends not only women like Isha, many other women get divorced or lead separated lives due to some petty issues. I strongly believe that after marriage if someone faces issues and harrasment of any serious nature they must be bold enough to raise their voice and get themselves out of it but, petty ego issues should never become the reason for breaking beautiful relationships.