Eight years is a long time to find a voice. The last time I was nursing my wounds here, I was mourning the loss of love. Love that was as passionate as it was selfish. I’d resigned myself to my imagined sorrows till one day I met someone who was as broken as I was.
The first time I met him in the virtual confines of the Internet, I thought a grammatical faux pas had resulted in his name. Why would anyone be called Sajay, and not Sanjay? Or was his family trying to be avant garde? Being an editor, I found it difficult to be attracted to a man whose name sounded like a typo. In my heart, I told myself, “No.”
Destiny said, “Yes.” In no time, we fell in love. Days were spent being wrapped around each other. We healed each other.
That happiness lasted a year. One day, he left the country. I wept till my pillow was soaked in my tears. It was over in my mind. Not his. Soon, he asked me to marry him. I said no. He insisted. I said no. He persevered. I had a family I thought I’d never leave. Leave, I did. On December 13, 2013, we decided to be together in a way that was acceptable to one and all. We got married.
I wrapped up my life of 28 years into two suitcases and came to another country to live with him. It was hard. I longed for the familiarity of home, and missed the assurance of a salaried job. As I cried over all things I had lost, I was unconsciously building something with him. Today, that something has become the very foundation of my life, and if I may add, our lives.
Partner, lover, tormentor — we are many things to each other. Life is bearable now, and love makes sense. After all, who was it who said that you don’t marry a man because you love him, you marry him because you cannot live without him.
Which brings me to you. The absent fruit of our love. I often wonder what it’d be like to have you in our midst. More often than me, it’s the others who wonder why you’re not already in our midst. I reason with them — I have a job I want to shine in, I have an ambition, he has a dream. Fulfilling these dreams is at odds with realising you. And yet I often ask myself if I should give up on you?
Life is not easy. S and I fight battles we never thought we’d be fighting when we dreamt of a life together. People trample over us, as does their ambition. On most days, we fight them alone. We come home, place our heads on each other’s shoulder to look for the direction our life should we taking next. More money wouldn’t harm. Neither would a house of one’s own. I could do with more clothes. He could put more faces to life on canvas.
We dream many dreams. S dreams of securing our future together. I dream of making my pen mightier. In the hustle bustle of these dreams, how do we make room for you? Just this summer, mom asked when were we planning to conceive you. I assured her it’ll be soon. I was lying. In my heart, I do not have an answer. Others do, though!
Secretly, I do dream of a life with you. You will not only be born out of love but with best of the Southern and Eastern frontier. You will be caught between two grandmothers — one who forgets everything, the other who does not forget anything. It should be an interesting life, with many possibilities. And yet I wonder if your arrival will put an RIP to my dreams. Will it? In my heart, I do not have an answer. And yet, others do!
I have never been more answerless. But that doesn’t put an end to thoughts, does it? S lost his father when he was 13. He is confused about what being a father means. In mine, he sees a clown. I want to tell him that’s exactly who fathers are — slaves to anxiety, performers of affection. I guess the best way to teach him that lesson would be for him to become one. The possibility is as scary as it is exciting.
Each day S and I spend together, each time we burst into laughter together, each battle we fight, each tear we wipe off one another’s face, each sigh, each embrace brings us closer to you. We are running late, but we’ll get there! Till such time we realise you, stay safe in the haven of our dreams!
Mom, is it?