Chapter 2: That moment when your life flashes before you…


Death.

Its supposed to be the moment when you’re dying, when your whole life moves before your eyes in a flash. I wasn’t dying. I was fully, completely alive. And I was going to bring new life into this world. And yet, I was experiencing that moment.

The only reason I got married so early was because I was in love with this man. Correction. I was head over heels in love with this man. For him, I had turned my life upside down and shaken it up. Just to be with him.

Now, if you’re reading this and you’re not an Indian, you won’t be able to comprehend.  Everybody gets married because they have fallen in love, right? Not so in India.

Here a ‘love marriage’ is an aberration. Something you need to hide or your parents will be sneered at. Here, people marry for their parents’ happiness. Or money. Or prestige. Or to bring forth thorough-bred offspring. Or if they were busy bachelors incapable of cleaning and cooking for themselves–then they get themselves a cleaning and cooking maid, one that they can legally have sex with and who would raise their children, all for free.

So believe you me when I tell you that this love marriage thing was no piece of cake. Everyone told me I would regret this. But I knew I wouldn’t. And I didn’t.

I was truly, really happily married. Every morning I would wake up, watch his sleeping face and feel an overwhelming mixture of thrill and serenity , all at once. I couldn’t just get over the fact that I had him. Here, before me, in my arms. I had every thing I wanted.

“You know I never feel like we’re married,” Sajjad would often tell me. ” It’s just as if we’re a live-in couple!” he would exclaim with wonder. We had heard all the marriage jokes and none of them applied to us. We were in our own private paradise.

I suppose that was because we respected each other as individuals, and never really expected each other to perform the “husband-wife duties”. Or if we did, we never took these for granted. I mean, what the hell, we literally said sweet thank you’s to each other for the littlest chore done. My entire life revolved around this man and being able to spend the maximum time with him.

All my life, from the time I was 12, I had been known as the super ambitious, super-competitive feminist. Everybody thought I would sacrifice anything for my career. But they were all wrong. Yes, I loved my job. Yes, I was crazy about being a journalist. But I could,. and I did once, chuck it all up for him.

My biggest, greatest dream was to be with this man. To spend every second with him. To go on vacations round the world, to have romantic dinners, to watch movies together, to share silly, funny jokes, to go on long drives in the rain, to make love in every corner of the house. And I was doing it. I was living the dream.

Until.

I felt my dream slip from my fingers.

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12 thoughts on “Chapter 2: That moment when your life flashes before you…

  1. I love the description of your marriage!! So sweet it makes my heart melt. It makes me feel good to see other couples truly enjoy one another. I feel the same exact way with my husband.
    I was the breadwinner for the bulk of our time together. I make the financial decisions, always had the better job, and never wanted to have kids or stay at home. Boy.. that has all changed with baby on the way.
    I look forward to reading more of your blog. It helps to let your brain vomit your thoughts on a medium where judgement/others’ opinions doesn’t really matter.

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    • Thanks a lot! It feels good to know that there are other people who can understand what you went through. Like you said, a lot changes with a baby. I think there is no job more important or more challenging than that of a mother. My son is 9 months old now, and this past year has been a real roller coaster ride for me, as I am sure your pregnancy must be for you too! I just suddenly wanted to write this all down like a story. So if you feel like it, go through the chapters in numerical order. That way you’ll know the entire story!

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  2. Dear Zehra! this is for the first time im going through your blog though read many of your articles earlier but this one has literally drawn a line on my face as just via it the layer of love marriage came and known.It is of course a beautiful description of what we call ”Happily Married” (ignore:as it is a utopian compound word for me).Anyway it is indeed a nice portrayal and can surely be a learning for upcoming couples (Learn from ‘Sajjad-Zehra’).The part which should be appreciated and learnt is where you have mentioned “we literally said sweet thank you’s to each other for the littlest chore done”. These “thank you’s” are actually missing and thus taking all of the minor to the major for granted and later becomes a root cause for the marital upheavals.These small gestures are actually important.
    Thanks for making us read the wonderful piece!

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    • Thanks a lot ! You know I was always a romantic at heart and that’s why romance in marriage was so impolrtant to me. Thanks a lot for appreciating what I wrote. And you are absolutely right that ‘thank yous’ are the mainstay of a relationship. Not taking each other for granted is the key to a happy life.
      Hope you’ll keep reading future posts and comment if there’s anything you like!

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  3. OMG Zehra…Its a wonderful blog…..although my experience is quite different from urs since mine was a planned one…But I have a frnd who has gone thru the same experience
    nd ya I never knew u were a doted lover..I remember when the first time I saw in the audi, i said to myself , zehra’z husband would be 1 lucky guy and I bet there were so many who had the same thought.
    i hope the baby and ur lover(matlab hamare sajjad bhai) khairiyat se hai???

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    • Thanks so much, dear! Yes, I’m sure every woman’s experience of being a mother is unique and distinct. I’d love to hear about your feelings, too, if you’d like to share them.
      And about my husband being lucky…. well, Sajjad can only tell you whether he feels lucky or trapped! But yes, I was always mad about him…. I changed my entire life for him in a way that people found hard to believe…and I am and will always be obsessed about him! (Insha Allah!)

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  4. Went through your write-up wonderful indeed ! Your have poured out really well. But it has almost left me confused about relationships and love marriages. I cant prickle much of my brain on this yaar i had enough, i got stranded and shattered in a relationship last year, i was on the verge of marriage. I really loved her and was lied all along, people said you didn’t played smart and all how could i ??? i loved her.Got again in a relationship and married again. Having a mix of emotions and experiences, i know she has changed a lot and sacrificed a lot, even her career, but still i urge some more from her. I think of myself as an impudent tyrant curbing her feelings, but does she knows how deeply i love her. I have tried to find answers in religion, and spiritualism. Secretly i have learned the art of sacrifice giving my tears an empty abode, i have learnt to wipe them all by myself. But will this lead to eternal bliss. No ! i would say behind the veil of romance and matrimony all seems unanswerable, shrouded in mystery.

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  5. This is so beautifully written Zehra,I could relate to it so much seeing so much of me & hubby in your story.Beautiful write up,I had smiles reading it all through.Iam surely gonna read the other parts as well now.

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    • I love that you and your hubby share this kind of relationship! (waise to mujhe TOI parh kee andaaza ho gya tha!) It makes me so happy to see happy couples. I’ll be very happy if you keep reading the blog. Thanks so much!

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  6. Pingback: Chapter 4 : The Reluctant Mother | The Reluctant Reproductionist

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