Lovers just celebrated Valentine’s Day. Everything was decked up with the most fragrant roses, the choicest chocolates inside dainty heart-shaped packages alongside creative ideas and infinite options that arm-twisted unsuspecting lovers into parting a fortune to rekindle, boost or mend relationships. Away from it there is a lovely couple who together have had a single dream in all of their more-than-a-decade-long commitment in matrimony — to be able to live together.
He has been in the UAE for as long as he remembers, now earning a living working all week as a licensed domestic help while she spends her long solitary days tailoring garments in a little hamlet in India, awaiting a day when they will finally be able to live together under one roof and start a family.
A few months before he took off for his much-awaited vacation after three long gruelling years away from his dear wife, he smilingly professed that he wished to surprise her by replacing the worn watch that she wore during their rare outings with a new one with golden straps. After making enquiries on the best buys and having set his eyes on what he thought would be perfect for her, he set about putting in extra hours of work, accepting none of the helping hands that came his way until at last he had enough to buy that little piece of treasure.
The most beautiful picture that I have seen lately is a WhatsApp picture message of his lovely wife shyly showing off her priced possession — the golden watch, her kohl-lined eyes brimming with love.
Husband and I have never believed in mooning over each on one particular day of the year. However, upon completion of our first year of marriage, he had surprised me with a bouquet of red roses as I did with a shirt. I had vowed to preserve the roses forever as a token of our undying love until our drawing room reeked of wilted roses and slimy vase water and we had to discard them. The husband attempted to wear the shirt, which apparently was twice his size, but has since been hanging on one end of the cupboard as a testimony of our failed and silly attempts at pleasing each another.
Over the years, the dimensions of love have gravitated from how many gifts have been exchanged as a trophy of the emotion we share to the simple pleasures of togetherness and watching each other’s back while settling into the comforts (read monotony) of togetherness, humour (read fights) and easing into an acceptance (and routines) in sickness and in health.
With children into the equation, we cherish unexpected quiet moments catching up on a movie rather than wasting those rare and precious moments gazing deep into one another’s eyes.
They say that love makes the world go around, but so does a few expressions to share that beautiful emotion.
It is up to us to decide whether we would be like that old childless couple in a quaint house beside our apartment back home, who were vocal about each other’s misgivings through the day but were seen to walk hand in hand every evening all through their twilight years of togetherness or we could rent a space on social media with the brouhaha of making our private emotion public, splashing a fortune on commercial whims and fancies that we cannot afford and laugh all the way to the bank between prophesies of unending love with a Valentine who has a ‘break-up party’ on speed dial.
Either way, keep your quests for love going for you never know when you can chance upon a partner who will make it with you to happily ever after!
Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @MenonPranitha.