How Much We Love
How Much We Love5 mins 902 5 mins 902
Ruheen was in the last semester of her M.D.. She was on the verge of becoming a trained gynecologist. She would soon be entering a new phase in her life too both professionally and personally. She had been engaged to Dr Sameer, a senior at her college and now a practising cardio physician. Though the proposal had come from Sameer’ family it was nothing like what Ruheen had always wanted. There was no candle light dinner, no champagne, no going down on knees rather a simple ceremony in which they had exchanged rings in the presence of all the elders of the family. She was an incorrigible romantic and there was hidden anger in her at Sameer’s complete inexpression of love.
It was spring and Ruheen had a week’s break. She was visiting her granny in Kasauli . When she called up to tell Sameer he did not sound disappointed or angry as she would be away for Valentine day. Rather he politely told her to wish her grandparents . She wanted him to stop her from going and plead with her to take out time and be with him. But Sameer said nothing. In a hush she packed her bag and left.
On reaching Ruheen was given a warm welcome by her grandparents and she spent the entire evening chatting with her grandparents. That night when she retired to her room and looked at her phone hopefully but she was disgusted as there wasn’t a single call from Sameer. When grandmother walked into her room Ruheen burst into tears. Grandma asked her, “What happened darling? Why are you in tears?” “Grand ma, Sameer doesn’t love me.” Grandma started laughing. This upset her even more. She started crying even more loudly. Grandma hugged her and consoled her. Sobbing and between her hiccups she said, “Granna, please don’t make fun of me. “ “I don’t want to lead a loveless non romantic life like you.”
Granny paused and said,” But who said there was no love in our marriage.” “ Your grandpa loves me a lot.” “Granna, please stop bluffing. I haven’t ever seen him giving you a single gift.”At this granny smiled again and said, “ But is being in love only about giving gifts?” “ No, granna, it’s not that but at least some expression of love.” Granny hugged her again and sat her down. ‘Listen Ruheen, when we got married we had never met before that. We had never ever spoken to each other. The first few days we were not able to speak to each other as the house was full of guests. By the time the house was empty and the guests had left your grandpa also had to leave as he was a doctor in the army and at that time posted in Tawang. When he was leaving he spoke to everyone in the family but me. His eyes though at that time spoke a million words. “ “This my dear was the beginning of our marriage.”
“I won’t say I wasn’t upset but when I poured my heart out to my mother she only told me to understand my husband’s dilemma and his needs. The first six months passed away like this. Those days there were no mobiles nor were there any phones. Your grandpa would write regularly to his parents but no letter ever came for me. Yes, but in all his letters he would ask his mother to give his love to everyone at home. That everyone was no one but me as I was the only one at home.” “Years passed by and your mum and your uncle were born but your grandpa always remained as he was very calm and composed. He used to speak very little and words had to be prized out of him.”
The first time I came to know of your grandfather’s extreme love was during my brother-in-law’s wedding ( Your granpa’s real brother’s wedding) Just a week before the wedding I fell extremely sick and was detected typhoid. We were to leave Ludhiana and had to go to Karnal where my in-laws stayed for the wedding. I had to be hospitalized as my fever wasn’t coming down. Your grandfather chose to be with me rather than going to his brother’s wedding. His mother was very upset with him but he refused to leave me. Even I told him to go to the wedding but your grandfather didn’t reply but stayed with me.
Ruheen this is one such incident but there are many of them in my life. Do you know grandpa hasn’t ever said ‘I love you’ to me but there hasn’t been a day when he has not? I have never asked him for anything because all that I need, all that a wife expects has been given to me before even I could think of it. “Do you know Ruheen what is it that a girl wants most after her marriage? Respect for her parents!” “And my dear, my parents could not have asked for a better son-in-law than your grandfather.” “He gave them so much respect and love which even their own son could not give them. This, my dear baby, won my heart and even today I am deeply indebted to him for it.”
Ruheen I don’t remember your grandfather ever remembering our anniversary or my birthday but I also don’t remember him ever shouting at me or hurling any insult. You know dear when I was a young girl like you I would sometimes serve him half cooked food to hear his reaction but that day has still not come even though fifty years of our marriage have passed.
“Ruheen, my dear, love is not giving each other flowers or wishing each other ‘Happy Valentine’. Has Sameer ever been rude to you? Did he ever fight with you for ignoring him or neglecting him? Did he ever expect that you should ask him before each move you make? “ Ruheen just shook her head. “No granna but still -----“
Ruheen, dear please understand Sameer is a nice boy. He loves you and values you for who you are? Learn to value it.
At this Ruheen wanted to say something but just then the door opened. It was grandpa holding a glass of water and granny’s medicine. “ Sudha, you had forgotten it,” was all that he said.