That got me thinking again, and I spent the rest of the morning wondering what could be the secret(s) behind a successful-and-happy marriage! Life definitely is not a fairy tale where the couple just live happily ever after without their own share of fights, misunderstandings, no-talk-no-touch moments.
I kept wondering if it's her easy-going nature, beautiful smile, twinkling eyes and talkative nature that ensnared my jiju forever. Or is it his witty remarks, excellent sense of humor, understanding nature and his protective attitude towards her and their children that kept her mesmerized. :-) I still wonder in amazement! And I think I kind of know the answer!
The first time I met her four years after her marriage (and just a month after my wedding), she was seven-months pregnant with her second child - impatient, ill-tempered, and irritated with her first toddler-son. Supportive as ever, my jiju brushed aside her temper tantrums attibuting it to pregnancy blues.
The second time I met her was two-and-a-half years after her daughter was born. Jiju got a job in Hyderabad and they shifted to the city after a 6-year-long stay at Ahmednagar. On a Friday afternoon, I went a-visiting her place in Mettuguda. And the first thing I noticed was that she has mellowed down a bit, and was more at peace with everything and everyone. No more temper tantrums either! She was happy to feed me a sumptuous lunch, while taking care of her children's needs and demands, and exchanging news and gossip in between. Good, nothing has changed much. Our relationship weathered the test of time, and temper!
There were these little things about her that caught my attention all the time I was there - which was a good 5-6 hours well spent :-) She said nothing much in words, but her actions and expressions were what I was observing, and making a mental note of - quite unconsciously though! Despite the 7-year gap between this post and the actual happenings back then, I still remember the sights and words quite vividly as if it it were yesterday.
Gawd, how time flies without much effort on our part!! The wall-clock indicated it was 6 p.m. and it was time for my jiju's return. I was suddenly aware of the flurry of activity that interrupted our quiet conversation so far. Though she was doing things slowly, and quite naturally, trying not to let anything impact me, I couldn't help feel the excitement in the air, and notice the change in her body language.
She was suddenly doing a whole bunch of things simultaneously - I don't quite remember the order of the events but I did retain most of the information & visuals that my mind captured. She washed her face, changed into a soft cotton sari, applied moisturizer and powder, made fresh decoction, got the kids ready, started making preparations for dinner, cleaned up the house and the bed, put the toys back in the shelf -- all this and a few more errands too!
I learnt a very valuable lesson that day - without her uttering a word. Being sensitive to your spouse's needs & likes is very very vital for a successful marriage. And so are dressing up for him, and doing stuff (once a while at least) just to make him happy.
Without her knowledge, she paved the way for a change in my outlook, perspective, and thought process. Without my own knowledge, I started changing - for the better! And I guess I never stopped learning and improving since! Am I on my way to becoming a 'Man's woman' completely? Maybe!!