But Ramesh was not like this always he had loved me, a lot. And there had been moments when I had loved him too. But those moments had been almost negligible in our marriage. I wanted to live abroad and he wanted to reside in his three room apartment. Decision was very simple I only had to abide.
We didn’t have kids. Not that we didn’t try we did but then somehow we couldn’t. In his fear of assuming that the problem may lie with him we never went to the doctor. And come to think about it watching him live his life as drudged as he did I was happy we didn’t have kids. Who could have mustered another soul around him? That child would have lived a life of sloth under him.
“Have you picked up the laundry?” he called out to me from the dining room.
“I will do it when I am coming back from work tomorrow,” I replied not really making an effort to see if he heard it right.
My old man was a little crazy, he had been in love with two women and both had left him one after the other. Mother had died only months after grandmother passed away and we both knew that the effect of this incident on him would be huge. So we had decided in that not too overt fashion that I should be married as fast as possible. And Ramesh was our tenant, he was handsome came from a good family and the only bad habit he had at that time was to wear his shirts not tucked inside.
Could I have had lived off a better life? Was I a coward to readily accept his proposal? I know a lot was going on in my life and settling down seemed like the perfect solution at that time. But did I escape from my problems? Did I not weigh down my options?
Too late to get answers now, its almost eight in the night and in another fifteen minutes he would start screaming for dinner.
* * *
I rose from my bed and checked the time. It was two o’clock. I couldn’t sleep at all that night. God knows what had gotten into me. Its the movies I tell you, they show too much of drama for one to contain it all in mind. Imagine she ran off with that guy, did she once think what would happen to her lovely husband? What did they want to show? That you can live off life callously and nothing bad will ever happen to you? This is utter nonsense I must say.
I was very happy, I mean I am very happy. I have everything I need today. My parents used to live in a one room set, they never saw the luxuries I practically experience everyday. They never planned holidays every month and didn’t have the oppurtunity to switch cars as they like. They always travelled in buses.
But they were also happy. A different kind of love. It existed like it was there as long as both were alive. And the death of my mother left dad crippled from inside. He didn’t show it but his end had begun with her funeral pyre.
I looked at Ramesh he was sleeping with his head propped on one side. After we knew that children would be difficult to come along whatever little meaning romance had for us in marriage died. And it wasn’t sudden, gradual and mutual.
* * *
I hadn’t slept all night and somewhere at the back of my mind questions had begun to prop up. Do I want to live my life like this? Have I not done enough for him? Perhaps I can now carry on with my life as I wish it to be. I could of course ask to be seperated. It would be very simple. We have no kids we both are financially stable there would be no case. Like the romance had walked off gradually and mutually maybe even this follows the same pattern.
I thought I needed time to dwell on it. Perhaps consult a few friends and then decide. This would be sudden but then what will Ramesh have to say about it? A thought suddenly struck my mind, what if he is also planning the same? What if he too like me has been putting up the show for quite sometime and now needs to break free, break off?
I stared at him he was sitting in the couch only slightly awake with the morning sun. I would miss him. Why did I not think about him leaving me? Of course even he is suffering the same marriage its not like I have done any better for him.
“Suhelika, could you please get me coffee?” he called out to me in his shrill voice.
I quickly picked up the breakfast tray and placed it in front of him.
“Wait, sit down here. I want to talk to you,” he spoke very seriously.
I froze a little I feared he might start speaking of seperation. Perhaps I hadn’t noticed but he suffered more than me in this marriage. Why was I so sure he couldn’t find someone? He is rich very handsome and of course has a charm with ladies. He might have already found someone.
I quietly sat down besides me. He ruffled my hair and gave me his disarming smile.
“You will never leave me na Suhelika,” he spoke very softly.
I got a little confused by his reaction and so couldn’t speak.
“Last night I dreamed you were going to walk away from me. I saw you asking me for a divorce. You do realise I will die without you. How will I even operate? I cannot even pick up my own laundry,” he replied with tears welling up in his eyes.
Who was I kidding? I loved him a lot. Maybe it was not as flamboyant as my parents had been in but nevertheless it was love. I couldn’t imagine a day without him. He is my life.
I thronged my arms around his neck to give him a tight hug.
“Its these stupid movies. The one we saw last night it gave me all bad ideas. I love you too much, don’t you ever leave me,” he spoke slightly haltingly.