Anupam (Anu) and Meera were merely in their teens when they met in a birthday party organized by Anupam’s elder sister. Meera was a Volleyball player and belonged to the same team in which Anupam’s Elder sister was associated with. Being the only brother with two elder and one younger sister amongst the siblings, Anupam was the only boy in the home surrounded by trio feminine elder sisters it was never awkward for Anu to approach a girl for friendship and being from co-ed school it was an addition to it. As the party got over and ever body dispersed Anu was asked to escort Meera and her elder sister to their home. They both lived in Lucknow.
On their way to Meera’s home, Anu approached her, “Will you have a friendship with me?” Meera replied, “Yes”.
It was the start. A couple of days later, Anu brought three tickets for cinema and approached Meera. She said that she can’t go alone. Anu had already three tickets so they went accompanied by Meera’s elder sister. The next date for them was a lunch date but unfortunately, the restaurant where they, went a couple of Meera’s Volleyball coaches were present, they had to rush to the other restaurant. Because of nervousness, Meera wasn’t able to eat anything which made Anu a bit irritated. After this, they didn’t meet again and even both weren’t in contact with each other. Anu thought Meera was a cunning girl who went with him to the restaurant and movie and thereafter, “No contact. How could be so mean?” However, he was in contact with her elder sister but never asked about Meera though.
After they passed their tenth examination, because of the sudden demise of Anupam’s father he had to search for a job. Although underage he was able to grab a post in one of the local newspaper office. A couple of months passed by and still they both weren’t in contact. Anu kept on thinking that they had different paths to lead and was getting engrossed in work. Destiny had different plans for them. In the meanwhile, the newspaper office was looking for a person who had knowledge of sports and the advertisement came up. Anu approached Meera’s elder sister for the job.
Meera’s elder sister replied, “I ain’t interested in this job, better ask Meera, I want to pursue my career as a coach”. Anu being annoyed over Meera because of the past incidents reverted back, “Why Meera? You better take the job”.
After this Meera came to Anu one fine day and lashed him, “Have you forgotten everything?” Anu fell from the sky. He thought, “ What a clever girl she is after having no contact with me for such a long time, she is accusing me saying I have forgotten everything”. Although this had been a salty restart of the relationship again after almost a year things tended to be in place.
They were enjoying this budding time when one morning Meera came and asked to Anu, “Tell me are you having a timepass with me?” Anu could figure out that Meera had been crying all night long and hadn’t slept at all. He asked, “What happened?” The strained emotions were giving him the essence that there is something quite stressful happening in Meera’s private life.
Meera replied, “My jijaji (brother-in law) is saying that you Bengali-boy is having time pass with me, is it true?” Meera stopped talking and started sobbing and her emotions made Anu feel the string of emotions that bound them together, how important she was to her. Seeing her in pain there were unknown lashes of emotions within Anu’s soul which he couldn’t understand. It was a mixture of pain, fear, joy and sadness.
He counters questioned himself within, “What is this? This bout of emotions, what’s happening to me?” Anu helped Meera to soothe her emotions and let them drain off, until and unless she got back herself together.
Anu asked Meera then, “What you want?”
Meera replied, “Marry me, or else I shall get myself drowned in the Ganga. I can’t think of any other person in my life without you. You better marry me or I seek friendship with eternity. ”
Meera got irritated, “What do you mean by when? You are trying to create a joke out of this; I am heavy with all the mental torture I am going through with my family. When everyone talks negatively about you I am hurt because I carry your self-respect along with me, we are attached by that thread of emotions. I am hurt when everyone says you shall cheat on me, I want to tell them aloud you won’t. But, before that, I need to be sure from your side. I hence, came to you, for you are the one with whom I can completely open my emotions out. You understand my unspoken words and emotions.”
Anu calmly, “When do you want to get married?”
Meera, “ Now”.
Anu, “OK, let’s get married”.
Anu called his friend and said that he is going to marry that very day.
Anu’s friend counter questioned, “whom?”
Anu replied, “Meera of course.”
Meera and Anu got married on that very day in a temple. Anu was twenty years old and underage so the uncertainty that the marriage could be broken was always there. Anu’s mother was a bit annoyed with the marriage since Anu was the only son and she might have dreamt of another scenario of his marriage. Meera was from Nepali family and Anu from a Bengali family and this inter-lingual marriage was an obscure situation which needed to be handled.
Anu’s mother being an influential lady in their locality instead of her anger on the marriage took all sort of precautions and protection was taken so that the newly married couple could survive all the odds of the society against this inter-lingual interrogations. Meera’s family was also not happy with the marriage. However, they survived and got married thrice- once in the temple, second according to Arya Samaj rituals and finally, when Anu turned twenty-one they had a legal court marriage.
Within a couple of months, Meera got pregnant and everyone said that the baby should be aborted since they were too young to have babies. Anu agreed and even convinced Meera. Anu says during this context, “It’s easy to convince Meera for anything. That was the one thing which I needed and still need to take care of all the time. She easily believes me,and I am the one who needs to be careful that I don’t break her trust. This is even challenging, for she believes in my words so much that she never counter questions me. She just agrees with me, such is her trust on me”.
They went to the hospital for an abortion, where Anu felt a sudden bout of pain and his emotions were triggered. He got up and said to Meera, “We aren’t going to abort the baby”. Meera easily agreed and so within a year of their marriage in 1987 they were blessed with a baby boy whom they christened Anudeep.
They were growing together, evolving together. Meera adds during the talk, “I never felt that this life is so stressful, Anu was and has been there always there for me, beside me, strong like a pillar whenever I went through some pain. He takes so much care of me, many times I feel that people and relatives around might think why he cares so much about me. He cares for those small things which least people even think of. I see it his way of expressing love because he is expressive through his caring.”
“Caring someone is a form of love and that is one thing which makes me fall in love with him every day. In this male domicile society, it is always looked out that the feminine is the one who cares about her masculine counterpart, and Anu is a variant in that group. He stands aloof from this rotating societal forecast, so I have nothing to fear of since I know that if I start thinking about the conspiracies, one has to deal with, I won’t be able to enjoy this beautiful essence of life.”
“I and Anu are on our journey of making a thousand memories which we can sit one day and go through one after the other. There are always loopholes in every marriage, no couple is picture-perfect, we need to work on those small holes (mistakes) we make, stitch them and relive the life. We are in a forward movement, the more we look back to the past and dig the bushes, the sadder we shall be. A couple for me is like a two-wheeler, irrespective of who the front wheel in a family is, the motto is to drive smooth so that the riders (family) can have a safe drive. For me, Anu is the driver and I am happy with that. Many times I take the lead and Anu is happy with that, so life is smooth for us, although the bumps are always there.”
Saying so, she laughed hard and started sharing a story on infidelity that once aroused amongst them. Anu looked towards Meera and smiled where they exchanged looks. A look which was as comfortable as friendship in between them as well summoned respect and gratitude towards each other.
Anu although was into journalism, he had an interest in acting too. He had said Meera about that. Meera introduced him to a friend of her’s who was into theatre. And so Anu’s journey into theatre world started. However, within a couple of months when Meera’s family came to know that Anu was going to the theatre with that lady, there were rumours about their extra-marital relationship. Meera never had a nature of getting into any mess, but because of the pressure from her family, she had a big fight with Anu on that. Later, that lady moved off and no such discussions were made on the topic anymore.
Anu got more serious into theatre and opened a theatre group. Three days prior to their play the heroine eloped and Meera came into the scene for the group’s survival. That was when Meera was introduced to the world of acting. Time was on the fast track for them. From Lucknow, they moved to Delhi where they joined the National School of Drama (NSD) and from there they made their way to Mumbai in 1997 where their family finally got settled. They were blessed with a baby girl whom they named Tavishi.
Meera says, “I never had the fear of losing Anu”.
Anu adds to this, “There were times when I had to move away from my family for better job options, but that distance always broke me down. I was always in tears whenever I moved away from Meera. She is my strength and I get my inspirations from her. No matter what the rest of the world thinks but a chord of energy binds us together which we both can feel. Away from each other, we both are insecure and together we can move mountains. It’s an inner strength that co-ordinates both of us together.”
Meera requests Anupam to say a few lines which he had written for her and he smiles and recites,
“Sarsaraati si hawa kano me mere keh gaayi,
Ki Paathjhar ke iss sukhe mausam me, koi aane waala hai.
Maine Peechhe murd kar dekha toh tum thi, haan tum thi,
Tabhi toh footne laagi chhoti-chhoti koplen pyaar ki”
(The passing wind softly whispered in my ears, in the season of autumn there’s someone who is going to come. I turned back and found you were there, yes it was you there… That’s the reason the small buds of leaves started sprouting happily again).
When I interacted with Anupam, he said, “When I grew up, for me my father and mother were the ideal couples, I had seen them. I knew their strength and their weaknesses too. I have learnt from them that no couple is perfect; we need to work-out to make it a perfect one and heal the wounds which we give to one another with time. Grow together and learn to understand the unspoken words of one another. We together are a team and we should tend to work as a team not individually”.
Meera adds to it, “Instead of pin-pointing or being a critique to one other, accept each other the way they are. Criticism is important but with gratitude. Learn to respect them for the soul they are speaking what’s in each other’s mind with clarity. That clarity is important. Let it be the commotions or the debates but clarity is required. Later, we should learn to forgive for the mistakes done by each other instead of dragging them throughout.”
“This moment is your moment the one which is past can never be relieved or deleted. We are all humans, we tend to make mistakes but to grow from ones mistake with the thought of reconciliation is the one thing that has made us stick together through thick and thin. For me, every step we take today together is for the next step we are to step into. Instead of being too thoughtful about the future tend to live the present, for financial growth is important but beyond everything the mental peace is important. For that, we need to find peace amongst each other.”
Seeing this couple the only line that came to my mind by William Wordsworth, “ I wandered lonely as a cloud, That floats on high o’er vales and hills When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils”. They seemed to be the blooming golden daffodils, happy and merry together- Mr and Mrs Ghosh.
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