My Extra Marital Affairs
by Vimala Ramu
Marriage is the most wonderful institution that mankind could have ever thought of no matter what the modern singletons say about it. Whatever their opinions about it are, nothing can beat the blissful marital status. Apart from some unfortunate few for whom the very sight of each other is anathema or those who keep harping on wanting their ‘space’, I am sure every couple cherishes the proximity of each other. Each couple has its own preferences in these matters. Some like to keep ringing up and keep in touch. Some believe in proximity through actual physical contact (Like the couple who were doing a close dance in a party and exited out of the party as a single unit!). Some couples prize their mental and intellectual proximity through similarity of views and attitudes. Some write immortal epistles to each other. Ramu and I thrive on spatial proximity. Though more than fifty years have passed after our marriage, I cannot imagine spending my time in a room other than the one occupied by my husband, unless otherwise engaged. I am not ashamed to confess that the most exciting moment of my life has been when he comes home after every outing.
Proximity need not mean actual contact as I said earlier. Metaphorically speaking, it should be like what the great Sanskrit poet Kalidasa has said about the divine couple Shiva and Parvati, ‘Vag arthaviva samprukthau’_ As closely
knit as the ‘word’ and its ‘meaning’.
In spite of this magnificent obsession with each other (Incidentally though our shastras condemn extreme attachment to anything material in this world, no shastra is against the holy attachment between lawfully wedded husband and wife), there is a time everyday when I take leave of my husband and meet my boyfriends and spend sometime with them. I like to spend 45 minutes in the evening everyday on the terrace (3rd floor) with them under the open sky surrounded by the thick foliage of the tree tops, undisturbed. With the I- pod plugged into my ears I love to listen to my favorite songs from Hindi films of 60’s and 70’s sung by my boyfriends, the immortal idols singing for me and for me alone- Talat Mahmood, Mukesh, Mohammed Rafi, Jagjit Singh, Hemant Kumar, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey. With the melodious music in my ears, with all the clouds gathering in a constantly changing display around the pink setting sun and the birds returning in batches to their nests, I am transported to a different world where ugly words like ‘Rheumatoid arthritis ‘ are forgotten. Sometimes after a light drizzle nature gifts me with a rainbow high in the skies above the tree tops. Coming out of trance after 45 minutes walk on the terrace, I return to my husband refreshed to be his soul mate once again. *****