Romance and Commitment

They set out on their journey. The camel carrying them walked as though it's listening to music and bop to its beat. It was almost getting to be night and it started pouring suddenly. The rain started with full force and they found a shelter and decided to break the journey for the night .The lantern was lit and they sat down resting their backs on the camel. The air was cold. The night was romantic. She felt an uncanny feeling seep in to her.  She looked at her tired Husband and wondered what had happened to them; their relationship was more like a partnership based on convention. 'Was there any romance left?' Does he even think I look beautiful anymore"?  She asked herself.  'But why would he, I am old and ugly now" she thought.  She felt a deep sense of distress and wanted to cry but kept quiet and her thoughts slowly drifted towards the morning happenings.

"Oh Ramu's mother" a voice she can hear distinctly, she jumped put a halt to what she was doing and ran towards it. The action seemed involuntary. It's something like hot water just fell on her feet. She runs towards this familiar voice. There he was with a weary face uttering the same words again "oh Radhe's mother'! It was her husband calling for her. This time it was a different name. 'Dose he even remember my name " she frowns but it doesn't matter any more. She knows the call is for her. Finally her eyes met his, all of a sudden her heart was fluttering, she felt butterflies in her stomach, it was as though they were lovers meeting for the first time with every symptom of a teenage romance. 'Not romance anymore' she corrected her thoughts 'only curiosity as what would be the matter'. 

He said, ' Our daughter in law has given birth to a boy, Ramu's just sent word'. Her heart overwhelmed with joy as though she had conquered the Everest! She gave a big smile at that thought, "How many times she had felt this way, probably a million by now!' since the time she gave birth to her children and see them grow, achieve, get married and then now the grand children. This was her life until those feelings started to mushroom inside her. 

She focused on the man standing before her he had a small beard a turban covering his head, slightly dirty clothes with a big smile and a beaming face. 'Even all the tiredness in the world can't veil the handsome face' she adores. She became a teenager again as though looking at him for the first time in her life. She blushed at that thought. She wondered even if he knew how she felt at the moment. As she was turning away from him, he said, " We are starting today to go see the baby, get ready'. He then left. She had a feeling as though her life was monotonous. There was no romance left.  She should be the happiest for her children are settled and there were those cute grand children running around. Moreover a new one just blossomed in to her life. What more could any woman want?. There was something that she wanted all of a sudden. A sense of emptiness filled her life now. Just seeing her children settle and their happiness, isn't that what she always wanted? Of course! " Then why this weird feeling', she contemplates. Before she could further ponder over it, the voice came again "Get ready we have to leave soon". She just left her qualms suspended there and acted immediately on what he was asking her to do. Suddenly the cold air swept a cluster of hair on her face bringing her back to the present.

They set out on their journey and it was getting dark and the rain started to pour. So here they were in a shelter sitting next to each other leaning against the camel. He turned to look at his wife. Her face was tired but still beautiful in that small glow of the lamp. He thought, 'she is the most beautiful woman and she's mine'! He wanted to touch her, look in to her eyes, lie on her lap for the rest of his life but he kept quiet and his thoughts slowly drifted towards the morning happenings.

He ran towards his house like a child beaming with happiness to tell his wife the news about the birth of their grandson. As he reached he was about to call her name then he realized how much his wife enjoys being called in that way! So he cried "O Ramu's mother " When she appeared and their eyes met, he admired her beauty and serenity. She was more than a wife; she was a friend and a partner for life. With a straight face hardly conveying  his feelings told her the good news. He studied her reaction; she was overwhelmed with joy, which made him feel like he had conquered the Everest. 'Of course by now a million times', he thought. Every time they had a child and their every achievement made his wife beam, which made him, feel like he was on top of the Everest. He loved her and wanted to see her happy always. As she was turning away from him he had an urge to look at her happy face again, so he called her and told her that they would be going to see the baby today and to be ready. As he looked at her again he realized how much he is in love with that woman. For him its as though she is his inner strength, someone who understands him completely. From the time they were married till now he feels the romance has always been there at times as love at times as friendship and now as a partnership in the old age. A strong wind put off the light in the lamp bringing him back to the present! 

They were left in the dark side by side their shoulders touching each other's; they wanted to lock in an embrace forever. The cool breeze tempted him; his heart and mind were having a spat playing with his feelings. He shuddered 'she would probably think I am behaving like a teenager and remind me that I am a grandpa now' said his mind. The night played its charm on her too with all that she felt from the morning she wanted to lock herself in his arms but again the uncertainties caught up with her ' he probably thinks I am a grand ma now and doesn't find me attractive any more'. It was going to be morning and emerging rays of the sun partially lit her exhausted face' she looks all the more beautiful, no matter how many years go by I'll always be a teenager when she's around', said his heart .His heart won after all! He bent towards her and gently slid one hand on her back and the other on her shoulders and put his head on her neck and whispered his love in to her ears. She was dazed at that moment and was overcome by a world of shyness. She looked away smiling gently and recalled the day they were married. She realized "Romance never dies rather matures in to a commitment of a lifetime, they live with it"!


More by :  Vidya Vardarajan

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