I relate to you the story of a night. The night before which I often used to wonder why did I ever get married? Why on earth did I struggle so much and took so much pain just to be a wife to the one I loved? For happiness I suppose. Because happiness is the sole purpose of our lives and albeit of all our actions. We all seek happiness some way or the other. However, happiness is transient and elusive.
I believed that marrying my love would give me more time to spend with him. To think that the happiness I feel in his presence or simply when I see him smile would be at my disposal.
But I was soon to be proved wrong. Post marriage, I pined for him and his time even more than ever. Our busy schedule and work left us with little time for each other. I was soon trying to mend my erstwhile habit of putting unjustifiable long hours into work, only to get some time out for my new life partner. Unfortunately, that didnt help much. My husband was alloted an important project and I saw less and less of him those days. He had tried everything to make it up to me and even promised a vacation. But I was growing increasingly impatient and frustrated until THAT night. The night which helped me answers to a few of my questions and yet put forth a few more.
I was sleeping that night in the other room. I was sleeping away from my husband because his presence distracted me. With him around, I would want to talk to him, share with him my feelings of uneasiness, of misery and of frustration. That night, I was frustrated as ever. I had this vague frustration of not being able to spend time enough time with him. I wanted to vent out my frustration to him, but he was sound in sleep, just beside me. I had wanted to and tried to wake him up many a times. Pushing him sometimes, getting close to him or calling out his name, (to which he would respond sleepily, still half asleep). He would then bring me close to him, keep his hands over my eyes and ask me to sleep. He would wrap his arms around me, and we would lie on our sides, his body against mine. He would hold me tight. But I could not sleep. I wanted to wake him up, so that we could talk, fight and ruin the night in my frustration. I knew this was childish, but then I have always been like that with him. He was the only one who would endorse my silly tantrums, vanity and absurdities. He would let me be myself and would make me feel special for it.
At some point in time, I started feeling guilty about trying to disturb him in his sleep like that. He was sleeping so very peacefully, just like a baby. Trying to wake him up then seemed like a sin. And I knew that quite unlike me, he gets up early and deserves a good night sleep. The childish dilemma of waking him up or letting him sleep kept me agitated and awake. I decided to move to the next room and sleep in peace.
I do not know how much I slept. But I seemed to have slept long enough. I wanted to move back to my room to be with my husband so that he does not have to come searching for me if he wakes up. I wanted him to find me by his side when he was up. I, therefore, made an effort to get up, vaguely conscious of my motive. I tried hard to get up but could not. I simply could not. It was as if I had all the will but no energy left in me. As if someone had gassed the room and left me paralyzed. It took me a great deal of effort to get up and fight slumber. And once I got up, I effortlessly moved across the room in dark. However, I found a familiar manly shadow on the wall opposite the bed. I knew who it could be. I moved towards the shadow and found him. There he was, with folded arms, standing in quietness and dark. He seemed to be smiling. He was dressed only in his shorts, just like the way I had left him sleeping. He was standing very still. I came closer to him all the very happy. I knew he was there to take me with him but must have simply stood there watching me overcome my struggle to get up. Or perhaps, he was caught in a dilemma similar to mine and was undecided whether or not to wake me up.
Nevertheless, I was simply happy to be near him. We moved together smoothly and in tandem with each other's steps. It was as if we were floating. We made it to our room together. In the dim light which filtered from my bedrooms window curtains, I saw the utmost bizarre sight. I saw him on the bed, sleeping with a pillow wound in his arms. I turned around with fright and in the same dull light, I could see him still standing beside me.
It was him, of course, standing beside me, with his avuncular smile, and yet it was him, who was fast asleep on the bed. I had no doubts, they were both him. They had the same physique, smelled the same, looked and felt the same. I looked at him sleeping on the bed and then looked towards my side. This time, he, who was standing beside me, was wearing a black T shirt with a round neck. A shirt, I am sure he never had in his wardrobe. The shirt must have been black in color but it may also be dark brown or violet for I could have erred in making out the exact color in dark. I was beginning to get frightened. As if all this was not enough, I heard the tap running in our bathroom. I sprinted towards the dressing room and looked across the open bathroom door to find him humming some tune blissfully and engaged with his toothbrush. I was confused and scared. Next, I found myself in bed. It must have been a dream. I wanted to assure that all was well with him. I tried to get up to reach out to him. But I could not. I opened my eyes but they would close in a few seconds. Yet, I would not feel they are closed. The imagery I would see with my eyes open, I saw the same with my eyes closed. Thus diminishing the distinction between what I saw with my eyes open and what I saw with my eyes closed. It was difficult to make out whether my eyes were open or closed.
It was getting simply just too much for me. I put in the effort to keep my eyes open...wide open, with all my strength. I did not let them close. Finally, I woke up and rushed to my room. I crept beside my husband on the bed. I hugged him tight and cried a little. He woke up a with a start and asked, holding me, caressing my hair What happened dear, are you frightened?.
I said I saw three of him in my dream. Sobbing, I quickly related to him what I saw. He held me tight and said, Mrs dreamy eyes, better not sleep alone in the night.
His smile and touch reassured me. I slept close to him through the night. I woke up the next day but the sequence of events happened in my dream were still there, fresh in my memory. I wondered this was an omen. What does seeing three of him in my dream signify? Will I bear two of his children and live with three of his kind. Or was it simply my longing for him since the last three days which he had spent working late at the office. My pining for him, his time, and his presence since the last three days were related to me in the subconscious, my dream state. I dont really know. But what I do know is that I love him deeply, in my conscious and in my subconscious.
Its been a year since that night and the dream. There have been times since then when we have fought with each other, struggled to assert our relevance in each other's lives. And yet, there have been times of passion, of understanding, of togetherness. But it’s love that keeps us going and would always will.
I understand now that happiness found is not in a person or their presence. Happiness is in loving and being loved. Love, which is inside you, defines you and surpasses you.