Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Sudhir and Me --1977
This Monday was my Birthday and I was missing Sudhir terribly--since it was the first one without him!! I was talking to my Friends who dropped in that evening to wish me about all my earlier Birthdays with Sudhir.Each one was made extremely special by him!!The first one just before our marriage he surprised me by flying in from Bombay and standing on our doorstep in the afternoon---literally thrilling me to bits!!The next one was after our marriage just after Lotta was born--and he sent me a beautiful Letter (those were pre-email days) written on a Rainbow coloured set of Papers cut out in the form of a Heart--I still have all his Letters safe--and read one every day--it helps to miss him a little less this way!!The ones after that would see him take the day off if it was a working day---and we'd make our way to the Taj for Lunch,then a Movie and finally eat Dinner out--this was our routine on both our Birthdays--his and mine--since they fall just 20 days apart!!The excitement in his voice when he'd be the first one to wish me on the stroke of midnight each year made me feel extremely special and beloved.That set the tone of my day for me---the day would truly become special and take wing on a happy note for me.
Life changed and grew busier as he began to make his mark in the Legal field--he worked extremely long days during those early years.He'd leave early in the mornings and come home late--so I'd give the Girls two Suppers--a light one as High Tea after School at 6 p.m. and Dinner at 9.30 p.m. after Daddy got home--this was one Meal we all ate together every single night till both the Girls moved out--Lotta after her marriage and Sayali to do her MS at RIT in Rochester NY.Sudhir was a very hands on father--in fact Lotta was an extremely cranky baby and would constantly be crying--The Lord alone knows why!!She was otherwise an extremely healthy Baby--only she'd keep me awake throughout the day and night--and Sudhir would do his share of the night duty even after a hard day at Court.He believed in both of us being equal partners in our marriage---and the kind of marriage we had was a rare thing among Indian couples then!!There are many moments that are fleeting--but remembering them gives me a very warm glow--because they show his love for me in the minutest aspects of day to day living.
Very often the two of us would sit in the Living Room after the Girls slept--for they slept in our bedroom.The reason for this was the huge, old, gnarled "Peepul" Tree outside their Bedroom window.Our hired help somehow put the idea of it being haunted into their heads and at night it's shadow would fall on the wall opposite their beds.The weird shapes created by the rippling leaves and branches swaying in the slight Breeze would scare them out of their wits and finally to get a good rest we got a Cot with wheels made to order--and this would slide under our double bed each morning!!We used to talk a lot--discussing each and every aspect of our day with each other--sometimes Sudhir would sing--he had a beautiful voice--and I'd make requests--for thanks to yelling myself hoarse at the girls during their chilhood I can't sing even to save my life now!!Those are the moments I miss the most--just the two of us cocooned in the darkness,holding hands and Sudhir's melodious voice singing to me--- beautiful Ghazals which are poetically lyrical Love Songs in Urdu!!This factor remained constant in our lives--I'm very lucky that he thought to record his voice--there is one old Hindi Film Love song in particular that he would always sing to me---and which is recorded in the Computer---I listen to it each morning and it helps me to begin my day on a positive note!!
As the girls grew up the tenor and the way of Life for us too changed.We began going out on Lunch Dates--he'd just call me on the spur of the moment and ask me to join him for Lunch either at the Taj or The Oberoi Sheraton (now The Trident) and I'd rush off dropping whatever I was doing!!This pattern continued till my Heart attack--after that the Lunch Dates stopped because of the strict Diet restrictions I had to follow.However last year he just suggested lunching out at the Taj again on my Birthday--and we did.Today it is a memorable event because we spent the entire day together repeating all things that we used to do---just enjoying the day with just each other for company after a very long time.It was raining pretty hard and as we drove along past the Worli Sea Face and then the Marine Drive we both enjoyed the Sea crashing and foaming at high tide--huge cream flecked waves rolling in from the Sea and crashing against the Sea Wall,splashing the people standing there and drenching them to the skin!!Both of us simply loved this Weather and managing to actually get "our" old Table next to the Bay window at The Sea Lounge in the Taj somehow made my day all that more special!!!It seemed as if we were both caught in a Time warp--the Past and the Present merged and everything just stood still for us---mentally we went back to our Courtship days!!Today I feel as if Sudhir knew that this would the last Birthday that we would celebrate together--and that's why he made an effort to turn it into something so very beautiful and extremely special!!