When you see people falling apart in relationships, getting divorced from just within weeks to years being in a married life, hearts breaking in college canteens, in office parking lots, people moving out of each others lives just by dropping a text message which reads “its over” or sometimes people just chose to walk out of someones life even without saying a word, you begin to imagine there is no such thing called love. There is no such thing called “happily ever after”. Love stories seem to be all different kinds of lies portrayed in a beautifully packaged manner on big screens. You kind of give up on love.
And then you see few stories which are just beyond words, which makes you realize that there is called true love. Happily ever after do exist. Eternal love stories do exist. And one such story that makes me believe in love every single time is the story of my parents. Their love for one another is so magnetic and so strong that even after five years since my mother left us forever on her way upto heaven, their love story is as new as it was in 1980.
My mother, the heroine of the love story- Late Mrs. Hawaumma (which means first lady in someones life) was from a Muslim religion and was working as a teacher. The hero of the movie my dad Mr. Sasi Kumar, a Nair Hindu fellow was working with the Timber Co operation. Both these people in a beautiful place my hometown – Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Dad was this young 28 yr old brat who had just started working and was enjoying life to its fullest. Mom, 27 yr old focused towards her job, an achievement for her cause she had been through enough struggles back in those days to even get proper education one being a gal and second her religion always were her shackles while growing up. Well theirs was not love at first sight but definitely a proper Bollywood movie – romance, action, drama,conspiracy you name it and all of these was in their love story. Both mom and dad had one best friend each who were the love birds of the town and back in late 70’s to roam around in public was not as easy or close to as it is today. So both these love birds were accompanied by their best friends to all the lovey dovey spots they went by my parents. While the love birds spent quality time together, my parents would spend time talking about life, dreams and aspirations eventually making them best friends.
And just like always “A guy and a girl can never become best friends” people started talking about them. Their friendship was being questioned, people would talk behind their back. Well this didn’t stop them from making their friendship stronger. But when things went out of hands and my moms family got to know about the rumours in town, she was questioned, her job was at stake and all those typical movie scenes you could remember just visualize those (well that’s what i did when she told me their love story when i was a kid).
My dad being this dignified gentleman asked my mom to marry her – so this was like a Hindu guy and a Muslim girl getting married. Even in 2016 honor killing stories surfaces up this was back in 1970’s so you can imagine the amplitude of shock people had including my mother. My mother definitely had true feelings for dad as a friend he was her best friend and she didn’t want to ruin it and said no to his proposal. My dad being this even more true friend to her didn’t want her to be in trouble in anyway. He couldn’t take people talking about her character in even the slightest of disrespectful manner. So he convinced her and against all family and society they got married on 10th Feb, 1980. Yeah the valentine week!!! There was lot of melodrama, moms parents being against it, threatening calls to my dad. But with a bunch of close friends who still are by our side helped these two friends tie up in a beautiful bond called marriage.
Technically speaking it was arrange marriage cause my dad fell in love with my mom after they got married, before that they were best friends!So yeah these two people got married against all odds. With no support from anyone they stood strong for one another and built a beautiful world of their own and that got completed when my brother and me were born to them.
Ours was a middle class, happy family- dad,mom, bhaiya and me. Life was good. My parents always told us how strong family values should be, how no matter what family is where love begins and ends. My dad would make all the decisions in the house but it always was discussed and approved by mom. They remained like friends even after the wedding. That’s how i kept seeing them while my growing years.
He never asked my mother to change her name or religion after their wedding. When one day when she was newly married and had been to school the Hindu teachers asked he to put sindoor bindi etc like how hindu brides are supposed to be. And when she came back from school my dad saw her and told her that he liked her for how she was, what she was. He asked her to be the same Hawaumma, his best friend and not change for society or for him. He respected her religion, her values, her invidiuality,her existence. That to me is #ThisThingCalledLove
But our world fell apart when my mom fell crashing on the ground one morning in the year 2000. She was rushed to the hospital and then the tests the reports came she was suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis – a chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. This was very new to people back home. And since then till 17th July 2011 when she left us all here alone i have seen her go through immense pain and suffering. Many reasons for that lack of knowledge about the whole disease, trying all possible kinds of healing Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homeopathy even doing all the non scientific stuff cause of the only hope that she would be better one day.
Well this story is not about the sufferings of my mom, or about the disease. This story is about Love these two people had. This story is more about my dad. This story is how my dad loved my mom. I have learnt from him what it is to love unconditionally beyond physical appearance and looks, to take care of the loved ones first and think about yourself later. My mom’s story is complete if its not my dad who had been with her all those years of pain and suffering and instead just showered her with love,care, trust, faith and hope and the will to be a better person the next day.
He kept her before himself and loved her with all that he had. He would cook for her, feed her, stay awake all night when mom would be in pain, help her do every single thing. And on top of all this tolerate all her crankiness cause of her medicines she was taking. Times when he would lose his temper but come back and say sorry only to make her feel good. He loved her like her baby. Only thing in his mind 24×7 was her and her health. He would go beyond his comfort zone to do anything to see that little smile on her face in all that pain. Sometimes we don’t realize but more than the person who is ill its the pain the loved ones around kinda bear every day.
When her cremation rituals was going on people asked how do you want to do it – the hindu style or the muslim style and my dad only said whatever she wanted. Well my mom had told her best friends and me that whenever she dies she wanted her body to be buried and not burnt she was too scared of fire. So we did do the cremation as she wanted. My dad chose to do what she wanted not what his religion demanded. That for me was #ThisThingCalledLove.
And what holds this love story so important for me and beautiful to me is not because its about my parents but its because its a love story which continues even after one person in the story has left this world. My dad would keep a portion of all the food items every meal separate first and then have his own from the last five years. And when we asked him the first time why he did it, he said “am so used to feeding her first since the last 11 years that i can’t take a bite without giving her first even though she is not here anymore”. My brother and me were speechless. We didn’t know what to tell him. That for me was #ThisThingCalledLove.
He still buys birthday and anniversary greeting cards for mom, would write a small message for her and keep it near mom’s pic in the living room. He would visit her grave almost every other day, every ocassion – every 17th of every month(that’s the date when she passed away),her birthday, their anniversary, our birthdays, festivals both Hindu and Muslim ones, even on teachers day and whenever anything important. The latest being when my dad bought an Activa for himself (kinda trend among men in the 60’s to buy Activa) and took it to show mom.
He lives every day loving her even more and more. He lives every day waiting to meet her in another world. He lives every day for her children- bhaiya and me. He lives every day knowing that the only woman he loved ever was her.
That love is the love which makes me grow every single day knowing that Love is Pure. Love is not just in this world love is when the partner is in another world. Love is to appreciate those smallest of things that would make the partner smile. Love for me are my Parents Love Story.
May all of us find love in our lives. Love which is unconditional. Love which doesn’t demand. Love which only knows to give. Love which only knows the happiness of the other.
Ending it with one of my favorite love song –
Happy Valentines Day!! Live. Love.Laugh.
Happen to see this image on a talented illustrators fb page that i follow religiously and couldn’t stop from sharing it here. It totally summarizes my post. Thanks a ton friend.
Please do check out his fb page Inkology, some really good stuff on the wall.