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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

My Platinum Day of Love




We got married in a hurry.
A matrimonial column. A half hour meeting. And we were married
My friends were shocked.
Actually, so was I.
It was only after the wedding that it began to dawn on me that the two of us were as different from each other as chalk and cheese.
I was the dreamy eyed Princess who had never moved house in the twenty five years before I met my Prince Charming and he was the inanely practical Fauji who had been moving all over the country all his life.
I wasn't sure what I liked about him. Actually I wasn't even sure whether I really liked him.
And one year into marriage, when we visited Kolkata from Pune for Durga Pujo I was still actively looking for something in our marriage to fit my romanticized definition of love.
And on that holiday I fell in love.
Not with the man I was now married to - but with a beautiful wind chime.
It was a terracotta wind chime with birds and bells suspended at unequal lengths from a ring above, and it made a lovely tinkling sound in the breeze.
It was charming. It was exquisite. It was just beautiful.
It came into view, hanging tantalizingly in a stall on our left, as the serpentine line we stood in, to get into one of the famed South Kolkata pandals took us around a corner that brought the pandal into view.
I knew as soon as I saw it that I wanted it to hang in my balcony back home in Pune.
I could already imagine the bells tinkling as we sipped our morning coffee.
I jogged my husbands arm and pointed to it eagerly looking up at him waiting to see the joyous look on his face as he let his imagination run wild as I had.
But no.
One foot above me and six feet from ground level my husband's appraising eyes narrowed as he looked at my latest love. Then he pursed his lips, shook his head and said "We can't buy it. It is breakable".
The tinkling in my head turned into a resounding crash.
 I had forgotten that in the year since I had married this Fauji with a transferable job - the world had been distinctly divided into the Breakables and the Unbreakables.
The Unbreakables ruled in our new home.
They were smugly certain of their survival in our black trunks when we moved on posting across the length and breadth of the country without being dependent upon us for buffering and bubble wrapping and their tenacity popped into our heads whenever we looked at anything Breakable.
I disliked the Unbreakables
My heart was always with the Breakables. But I couldn't champion their cause, because my packing and bubble wrapping abilities left much to be desired.
My inabilities in the packing arena had become evident early on in our marriage, when the only wedding gift I had packed to be transported to Pune from Kolkata had arrived there in eight broken pieces.
Sadly I realized there was nothing I could say to convince my husband to buy my lovely breakable wind chime.
The line moved ahead and took me with it.
I looked back at the wind chime with a deep longing in my eyes until it was no longer in sight
The rest of the evening went by in a distracted daze.
My dreams that night were all about the wind chime and I could even hear it tinkling from time to time.
As the first rays of light came in through the window at my bedside the tinkling only got louder
Irritated I opened my eyes to end the dream but it just wouldn't go away.
Even with my eyes wide open in broad daylight the wind chime was all I could see.
I rubbed my eyes.
There was a grinning face that looked familiar in the same frame now. It belonged to my husband.
I sat up with a jump.
"Good choice"said my  husband, jerking his head at the wind chime  now hanging at the window in front of me
"Bbb..but its breakable "I stammered
"I'll pack it when we move" he smiled.
"I have to ensure that that my wife's heart doesn't break right?"He added with a wink.
I smiled - but I could feel tears pricking my eyes.
That was my Platinum Day of Love. The day I discovered ultimate everlasting love in my hastily arranged marriage.
 This incident turned our love that was as breakable as terracotta when we began our journey into "happily ever after" into something as resilient and unbreakable as platinum.
Only a set of matching Platinum bands on both our ring fingers could celebrate that.

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