We had an arranged marriage. I did not understand love then, it was considered a taboo. Rishi was from the same city and my parents got his alliance from the best broker in town. I was twenty one and had just completed my studies. Bachelor of Arts. It was a big thing for my parents and me as I held my journalism degree in my hand. My college was one of the those lesser known ones. That was what I preferred. I suffered from a case of inferiority complex and the lesser people around me, the better. Introvert would be too small a word to describe me. All my life, I've had my parents around me. My mother dropped me to college and picked me up. More so because the college was just about ten minutes from home. I've never had more than two friends and I liked it that way. I did not miss anything in life. I was more happy than everyone around me. I lived in my own small cocoon and dreamt within it. Ignorance is bliss they say. Well, I loved it that way.
That was until I got married. I met him twice before our wedding. He was the third guy who had come to see me. I had liked the first one, but he did not get back with his answer. The second one wanted a huge amount as dowry. So that did not work out either. When Rishi came to see me along with his family, I did not feel anything new. As usual, I walked with a tray and stood in front of them. He looked up at me and smiled. I smiled back. Later, his parents spoke to mine as I was sent to the balcony to spend some time with him alone. I was shy and awkward as usual. But he was very cheerful. He spoke with deep interest about his work and hobbies. He was an electrical contractor and had done up huge buildings in town. He spoke about how he loved pottery and how he planned on pursuing it some time later. I just listened to him with a smile. He asked me about myself, and I told him about my college and my friends. I told him I enjoyed cooking and that I would like to be a stay at home wife and not a working one. He was amazed. He asked me why I preferred not to work as he had no qualms with me working. I told him that I did not like crowds and that I preferred to stay low key. No, it was not something my parents had ingrained in me. It was who I am. I did not want to go out and explore. I was content being in my own shell.
Three months later we were married. Rishi was the perfect husband in every way. A loving partner, a gentle lover and an appreciative human being. His parents lived in the country and we lived in the city. I was the wife who cooked for him and he was the bread winner, even though he never let me feel it. He took me out to movies every now and then, and we roamed parks holding hand in hand. He did not want to have a baby anytime soon and he took the precautions himself. I was glad to be with him. Gradually, I started opening up more. May be that was love. Even if it was, I was not aware of it.
The biggest shock of my life came when he got a contract abroad. Dubai to be precise. I did not want to get out of my city and he did not force me. He travelled a week later and I moved to my parents house. I promised him that I would visit his parents every week and he promised to call me everyday. He bought me a laptop before leaving. We spoke on Skype everyday and he told me how much he missed me. His contract was for three months and I waited for him to return. I was bored, sitting at home all day. One day on our regular call, he suggested that I take up pottery to pass time. I reluctantly agreed and enrolled in an art class near my place. Of course mother still dropped and picked me. On the first class, I was asked to feel the clay. Second class, he asked us to make anything we want. I made a lamp. Third day, he gave us the wheel and we started making pots. The feel of clay in my hands and the joy of giving life to something from plain mud gave me immense happiness. How come I had not come across this earlier I thought. I sounded very cheerful on the call that day and Rishi was thrilled to see me so happy. He encouraged me further and I took up dancing classes. I met more people and made new friends. Soon, my friends started accompanying me to my classes and not mother. I feel an unknown sense of freedom. A month since Rishi had gone and I began to see a new glimpse of me.
I never had attended any of Rishi's office parties as I hated crowds like I said before. I did not let him host any of his meetings at home as I felt awkward. I did not go out to meet his friends as I was worried that they would make fun of me behind his back. I don't know why I felt that way. One day, I stood in front of the mirror and looked at myself. I looked pretty. Frail body and honey dipped skin. Black waist length hair and full lips. There was nothing wrong with me. Externally. But internally, I had always felt empty. But now I felt something else. I felt the need to be heard and seen. Rishi had supported and understood every insecurity of mine, but I had never let him help me with it. Now, without me knowing, he was stripping every veneer of mine. I decided to help him with it and started interacting with more people at class. I even volunteered to take pottery classes myself. I enrolled in an image consulting course and before I knew it, I was bringing out the aspects in me that I never knew existed. Rishi was aware of what I was up to as he was sending me the money for it every month. He was happy and thrilled with all my achievements.
Two months later, he told me that his contract has extended but he could not take it up as it would mean that he would be away from me for close to a year. I listened as he spoke and casually asked him, if there were art classes in Dubai. He was shocked. His eyes were filled with tears when I asked him to take up the contract as I was ready to fly and go to him now. He sent me the tickets and in a week I was on a plane to meet him. No, my mother did not accompany me this time. My only company was my self confidence, my talent, and love for my husband. He had gone through hell and back for me. Now, I was on my way to go show him heaven.
This is my entry for the 'Go further to get closer' contest on Indiblogger, in association with British Airways.
All images are taken from Google.