He tenderly brushed a wisp of hair from her cheek. And she brushed a tear from his eye. The message on the cake was - I am me because of you.
As they were cutting the cake, these tender moments caught my attention. She, mid-way through the function, proceeded to remind him of his BP medication. And he, in turn cooed in her ears, “Be careful. If you dance any more, your feet will hurt.” Touching! After twenty five years, they were so much in love. She was a softer beauty, deepened with age and he was a perfect combination of salt and pepper hair with astute business sense.
Several dainty feet were groaning under the agony of high heels, intricate silks and heavy jewelry, desperately searching for respite. It was the twenty fifth anniversary celebration of a relative. Since it was a silver jubilee function and most couples were…well beyond their prime, the ghost of L’Oreal was omnipresent.
I was wondering, how the gurgling, bubbling rivulet of romance at sixteen, transforms into deeper still waters after a few decades. And still waters run deep.
Sure, candle light dinners, roses, chocolates and sipping champagne at sixteen are all magical. Yet these images are spoon-fed by movies, serials and advertisements. And an over-dose of such illusions are scary.
At sixteen the world is both, vivid and hazy. If my hubby had given me a rose at sixteen, I would have preserved the petals in some mushy book, fluttering my eyelashes coyly. However, if today he returns home from the office with a red rose in hand, I would burst out laughing, doubting his sanity. In case it’s not a rose but an expensive bouquet of orchids and lilies, I would doubt ‘daal mein kuch kala hai’.
Now you are thinking, ‘Seriously, God only knows what women want…Poor guy…He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t’.
Relax. At the risk of bristling like an old crow, I am trying to arrive at the point. Flowers and gifts on occasions are most welcome. Yet on other days a bed tea would be a better idea. Appreciation is desirable in actions, but poetry would be artificial. As romance matures and endures the test of time, it reaches another level where trust, faith and respect matter more than roses, chocolates and perfumes.
A mature romance is beyond looks, beyond bad hair days, beyond puffy eyes, beyond mood swings and much much beyond cellulite. It is non- judgmental. It is possessive, yet it gives you the space to flourish and to blossom. It just lets you be.
For me, the most touching act was when my husband donated blood for my dad’s operation. Flowers, roses and perfumes, none came within kissing distance. I absolutely do not agree when Shobha De says that youth and all things youthful are overrated. No they are not. Youth is magical. If it is overrated, it deserves to be. However, romance is timeless. It only appears in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars. Stars which were invisible by the day.