Man & Woman

Obviously we rushed in to see the new bride the moment we were told there was one. I must have been tenoreleven. And I hadn't seen a bride till then. All of those got married at night and left before I woke up the morning next. Even the air wore a deserted look after that departure. Crushed petals of rose strewn on the floor where the feast was last night, but no sign of the bride.

So obviously when told there was a bride, we couldn't hold ourselves still. And waited after one of us, tall enough, to reach for the door bell pressed it. I must have wished I was tall enough for my eyes to reach the door eye to look into the house from outside. To catch a glimpse of that burly mass covered in red and gold, beforehand. But they never made see through door eyes then.

When she opened the door in only a starched cotton sari, prim and pleated like she was some housewife in mid life crisis. Only happier. We were disappointed, to say the least. A brief while after, we were told she was the new bride of a man such and such. Who had a slight of a paunch and was old and was balding. Who had more than a couple children, stacked away in distant cities. And an insane first wife who had been shunned. For that woman was as good as dead. To him. To his children. Everyone.

And this new wife was the spinsterish daughter abandoned in a family of lots of other people who definitely had other things to worry about than getting her married off. So her years of youth had passed and settled down as tiny wrinkles on the corners of her eyes. Which always shrank when she smiled, the way she smiled the first time she opened the door to us.

I can recollect. How much their lives felt entwined into each other those days. How she would roast brinjals pricked with garlic for him. Or he would get strands of lilies for her hair.

Of course, back then I wouldn't have deduced what I now deduce. And I realize, it's ridiculously obvious how much man and woman need each other. Notwithstanding.

Now I think about them. And then I think about us.

5 comments:

Raj said...

beautiful.

the reader said...

poignant...

Ankur said...

Now, this is so much different from your usual stuff... but also, so much more interesting because of that !
I guess the dream of a happy family, is one of the few utopian ideas we still believe in today. We begin in love, and go to some trouble to remain in that state for the rest of our lives. It's so ridiculously obvious when you think about it....

The unsure ascetic said...

beautiful write up..indeed the union i smandatory for this planet to exist..

buckingfastard said...

beautiful...dystopia of our broken society is it :)