They say angels are a rarity. I smile at them and say, ‘Look through my eyes and you will find angels in abundance!’
One such angel spoke to me of ‘love and marriage’ today. In today’s world where institution of marriage is losing its identity, this angel opened her heart to share her understanding of marriage that brought her boundless joy in life. After being married for 43 years, this lady lost her husband to God and since then (for 13 years now), for each day, she has been living and relishing his love in her life and keeping that flame of togetherness alive.
She tells me, ‘When I see people losing faith in the institution of marriage, I feel strange. I wonder how something that gave me the best days of my life can be miserable.’ She said, ‘I had not seen my husband before marriage and people used to make fun of me because I used to tell them I am scared thinking how will I recognize my husband on our wedding day.’ I laughed at this and asked her what marriage meant to her then. To this, she innocently replied, “I was too young to understand what marriage is! When I got married and came to my sasural, they did not have anything at home - Hardly any bartan, no maid, no running water, absolutely no luxuries whatsoever. In spite of this, I cherished my marriage then, because I had two things I learned to hold on to – love and patience. My husband was a gem of a human being who knew nothing but love and who practiced nothing but love in his life. I spent my initial days with him and I learnt the key to sustain this institution. I learnt that if two of us have clean heart, if we know how to be patient and if we believe that we can be happy even if we have nothing to eat, we can be happy together. It is not about wanting more and more in life but about relishing and enjoying how much ever you have as a couple at that very moment.”
She continued with tears in her eyes, “Today, I miss my man so much. He died of heart attack right in front of my eyes. Just half an hour before his end, I was preparing coffee for both of us and he stood in the kitchen staring at me. I even asked him what’s wrong with him, that why is he staring at me like that! He said he just wanted to see me and held his gaze at me for almost 15 minutes. I blushed and continued to prepare my coffee, not knowing what was awaiting me the very next moment. That entire scene is so fresh in my heart even today! I did not want to leave that man even after I knew he was physically no more with me. That man did not give me a fancy lifestyle but he gave me his love, his sincerity and his faith and I cherished and nurtured that instead of complaining about what we did not have (materialistic luxuries). In return, I gave him my love and faith. I never complained even on the days when we did not have raashan at home nor did I ever demand that I be given all the luxuries that I deserve as a wife. We never based our marriage on materialistic gains and we believed that if we both are clean at heart, we can never be deprived of love in life. It’s been 13 years now and I still thank God every single minute to have given me a life partner like him. I miss him a lot. I miss him like crazy.”
I hugged her tight and with moist eyes told her how much I love her and the man of her life. She held my face and said, “Beta, Marriage is never bad. Its two people who hold on to their egos and who are never satisfied with anything in life that makes it worse. If you know to love, if you keep your heart clean and if you learn the importance of practicing patience and grace, you can make any relationship sustain even after the person is physically no more.”
For the half an hour that we spoke, I knew we were not alone. He was right there. Listening to us and silently smiling at the love of his life, still admiring her with the same love and warmth in his heart. Today, I felt the presence of my Grandfather after 13 long years and it is today that I missed him more than my grandmother did and it is today that I prayed and wished for every wife to be like my Grandmother and every husband to be like my Grandfather. May be then, we all can reaffirm our faith on this wonderful institution and start exchanging loving energies all over again.