Just recently, someone close visiting us, casually happened to ask, if we had any plans to celebrate my hubby’s upcoming birthday, to which hubby was quick to respond that it’d just be like any normal day. We all seemed to unanimously agree. But on an afterthought, I found myself slightly disagreeing over a question, that is so innocuous and often asked by many.
What’s with so much ado about a birthday? I sometimes wonder. But of course, like every year, there’d be the family moments – a cake-cutting amidst candles and the birthday song, followed by photographs, a family dinner in a favourite restaurant, a card and a gift (sometimes). But again, the cake -cutting custom was started primarily for our daughter who’d started enjoying birthday celebrations as she grew into the toddler stage, besides to emphasize her the fact that some days are exclusively meant for celebrations and that included the parents’ birthdays too. But again, these were private moments, right? For after a certain stage, with maturity overtaking, as we begin appreciating, valuing the fundamental elements in our relationship, we don’t mind keeping things low key. Besides, with other responsibilities gaining momentum, somewhere, deep down, the fervour to plan these momentous occasions dissipates and we stick to peace, letting the course of the day, naturally flow through.
Occasionally, we even decide to skip the cake on our birthdays, in a bid to avoid the sugar-loaded confectionary, restricting it to only our daughter’s birthday, while making sure that all of the remaining cake is immediately given away. Before our daughter arrived, when it’d be just the two of us, birthdays used to be more of a couple-ish thing that entailed gifts, wearing new clothes and dinner dates, basically a day to show how much our significant other meant to us. But, several years into marriage now, sometimes I find myself introspecting over these modern practices.
We have had our sizeable share of moments in our matrimonial life, with each incidence going down to only re-affirm the fact of how strongly trusting and flexible our bond of partnership has slowly grown to become. And we both know that. Into an arranged marriage, I recall those initial stages of matrimony, where our outlooks used to be disappointingly disparate in every critical aspect, leading to some guarded arguments and disheartenments, over point-of-views and outlooks. It was only gradually that we blended, came to accept each other, but not without those small essential fights.
Couple of years down the line, we never realised, as to which moment it was, when we began thinking alike. I noticed him flexing a great deal, going along with me, over most things that mattered to me and so did I. When it came to any kind of decision-making, we found ourselves giving priority to each other’s opinion, generally never moving ahead, without consulting or the consent of the other. We anyway were never the kind of couple who’d bring our egos into an equation, overriding or going across each other, for, we were the kind who’d sensibly think through a situation and unanimously brainstorm to come up with a solution that is amicable to everyone in the house. Therefore, with time, our togetherness only became more pronounced. Be it any situation, he would put himself in my place and view it. And so, would I. The relationship was maturing very well, albeit silently and without a hullabaloo, in a way, that no one ever really discerned it.
There were also moments of distress and pressures, that life conferred upon us, but, looking back, these turned out to be those testing times where our silent solidarity powerfully outshone. Over a period of time, for both of us, everything about our equation had become predictable and the partnership had settled into an understanding of ease and comfort. The biggest breakthrough however came, when I decided to quit my job for having a child. I never expected this (in fact, I was slightly unsure of letting myself into something preposterous and yet I dared to do it) but to my surprise, my ownership rights inside of his life only became sturdier. Trust begets trust, they say. I decided to depend upon him and placed my trust in him and he returned the same, but with honour. It was only then did I realise that he’d welcome me with open arms any which ways.
As parents, we stand unified before our child. She knows she’s not going to get any different response from the other parent. We never belittle each other, before a third person, rather we always stand up in cohesion. Internally, we try to be as objective as we can, in our communications. It is these small things that makes your partnership worthwhile.
Some years ago, sensing a sea change in our equations, once I couldn’t resist asking him as to how he’d come to mellow so much and settle into this calm persona, far from that edgy attitude he once had, to which came a simple reply, “In any situation, at least one of us have to contribute to the balance. Else it’ll be a deadlock. And why shouldn’t I do my best at it? What is the meaning of marriage?” The words sounded priceless, making me realise that this relationship was for stay.
But all this doesn’t mean we do not pamper each other. Of course, we do, for there are those moments too where we have acted beyond our budgets, pockets and thinking abilities and these are never confined to specific occasions. Apart from being a well-adjusted couple, what matters is our care for each other in our daily life. We see so many negativities around in relationships. We’ve seen our own relationship bloom even during troublesome situations. Living together, standing in unison, attempting to stay healthy and fit, be happily accommodating to lead a peaceful, contended life, respecting each other’s space – aren’t these blessings enough to celebrate?
In the nutshell, some might perceive us as a boring couple, leading a patterned lifestyle, but the way we look at ourselves is, we are intellectuals, practical, solid, committed, outspoken, honest, humane and most of all uncomplicated at heart. I think one cannot ask for more in a relationship, isn’t it?
Sometimes a good marriage can liberate you. Praise be to God!!!