I saw him smiling at me the other day. We looked at each other little longer, reading the play of words, but not through language. The gaze said it all. It was not for the first time but it was the first time I realized that the magic which existed in the mundane moments – in between, when life is just passing by – is far more than the days we mark as ‘special’. There are some images that last with you for lifetime and they are not of the first Valentine’s Day or the first marriage anniversary. They are of the plain, boring days when you are just doing what you do, every day.
Like the day I saw him in his green sweater and black jeans on a cold foggy January morning, fourteen years back, walking with a fat book in his hand in the college corridor, right opposite mine. It was not the first time I saw him but that day I realized that I could never get enough of him.
Few months later, standing in a group, he cracked a silly joke. It was not the first time we could hear each other laughing but I knew that instant that this spark that glinted in his eyes and the smile that played on his lips is what would make me go weak in my knees, always.
Surprisingly, it is not the moment when we confessed our love to each other that remains etched in my mind. It is the time when he held my hand to console me for the loss of a dear one, few months later, sitting on a bench, in an empty classroom, that makes me all mushy from inside. That day, I realized that this was the hand that had the power to take away all my worries in an instant.
The day we got married is undoubtedly the weirdest day of our lives but that is not something I am glued on. When on the petal filled bed, the photographer asked us to look into each other’s eyes and we burst out, doubling up in laughter loud enough to startle all the relatives downstairs, that gawky moment defines our relationship.
I was kicking and hand butting him the entire night while he was giving me sips of water, patiently. The morning after, when they were wheeling me to the labor room, he asked the doctor to tag along. She refused. He gave me a warm smile, thumbs up and said, “do well” with a wink. The stretcher moved past him. I looked back; he was still looking at me. I realized at that moment that though our lives were about to change beyond recognition after this little trip from where I would come out as two, the friend in him would always be my anchor.
When our 6 month old fell down for the first time, he ran across the room to hold him closer to his chest. I was wincing over the blunder that happened under my watch. He looked over our little munchkin’s shoulder and while patting his back, he said, “It’s ok.” I knew it was not just meant for him. He was talking to me too.
Or the day when we realized we were parents. No, not the day when our son decided to rise. But when he had very high fever in the middle of the night and we had dialed every damn doctor in the vicinity, not settling down even for a moment; cross checking with each one of them to be sure if it was the right thing to do.
Or now, when he pulls different stunts on both of us knowing what works with whom. We exchange a naughty but experienced parent smile, pretending, in front of him, that this little secret of his is not yet out.
The list is endless, the moments are infinite. Because they are not caged in the dates. They have happened as we have moved from one milestone of life to another; as we have waded through troubled waters, sometimes holding hands, sometimes on logger heads; as we have pushed each other to do better, to follow our individual dreams while keeping one hand free to hold, to pat, to nudge. Life has changed many faces over the years; what has remained same though is the way he stretches out his hand to hold mine. The days in between are the ones that have formed the memories, that have created a buffet of the days we call ‘special’. So here I go to make some more and revel in their glory.