Time seems to be running out and tension is mounting. I feel a la Madhuri Dixit. Dhak dhak karne laga, mora jiyara darne laga. In my case the dhak dhak has got nothing to do with the Saiyyan holding on to the baiyyan. It has been thirty years since the Saiyyan (or the L & M) has been doing just that. So I have sort of gotten used to it and no longer go dhak dhak over the fact. The reason the jiyara ties itself into knots and goes the dhak dhak way is entirely different.
For all thirty of those years, I have had the house all to myself for at least a few hours every day (except weekends and holidays). Ahh, the bliss of solitude! There is something rejuvenating about it. Doing your daily chores while all by yourself in a silent house, except for the music of course, and the intermittent bark from the frisky dog, has something special to it. But, all this is about to change. Very soon in the near future, the L & M will get his marching orders and will no longer be part of the great work-force that leaves home every morning and returns only in the evening. He will become a permanent fixture around the house. The mere thought gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Don’t get me wrong. We get along just fine. Besides, I am of the opinion that I could not have been luckier than I got by marrying him, considering that our marriage was “arranged” by clueless family members for whom marriage meant a totally different kettle of fish than it did for me. Oh, we have had our differences like everyone else, the L & M and I, our ups and downs as they say. We learnt to deal with them on our way, in our own way, just like everyone else I suppose. But I also know for a fact that there is no one, no one else in this world, who would love and take care of me as he does, which trait he has obviously passed on to the sons as well.
Everyone knows how he springs into action the moment I go ggu-ggu-ggu or even eeeeek depending on whether I have come across a lizard or a mouse on my wanderings around the house. Where my mother used to wrinkle her brows in annoyance and say: “It’s only a lizard/mouse. For God’s sake, stop acting like a goddamn freak,” the L & M would brandish a broom or stick and chase away the offending intruder. How can I forget how he insists on getting me some food item I happened to mention that I liked, over and over again, till I am fit to throw up at the mere mention of it?
The other day I happened to come across a post. A young woman was vehemently opposing the adding of husband’s name to her own after marriage. Indeed I share her views on this. No one should be forced to change their name. No one should have to add anyone’s name at all to their own. But our law says otherwise. They need a surname. The woman wanted to retain her father’s name; after all he was the one who cared for her all her life, she felt.
Funnily enough, I remember taking up the matter with L & M in the initial years of our marriage for the opposite reason. I insisted that I wanted my name changed officially, with his name added to mine. When I found the L & M wasn’t taking me seriously, I threatened him that if I ever ended up having to go through life saddled with my old name, I would never ever forgive him. Very soon, things started moving and I had all documents in my new name, with his name duly attached. You may wonder why I was so adamant. Parents may mean a lot to many of you. But for me, the L & M definitely means more than any parent. It is as simple as that.
And yet, yet…. here I am dreading that he will be retiring soon (there is still some time) and that he will be around the house 24×7. The thought as I already said gives me the heebie-jeebies and also the jitters. Those who know me well enough are aware that I am a really cool cucumber who is not ruffled that easily by anything. Well, a spider might of course, or a mouse or even a lizard. But that’s about it. Just think of it: I have walked out of the room calmly on seeing the junior son reading a comic instead of studying while his board exams were on, a sight that is fit enough to make mothers (and fathers) throw conniption fits. Of course, I have thrown a conniption fit myself when I found him mumbling into the phone late into the night when I had explicitly told him to go sleep as he had an exam the next day. But then that is another story of a cell phone that was snatched off him and broken into two. Then again, it is not germane to the issue at hand.
Anyways, reminders of the L & M’s impending retirement gives me anxiety attacks so much so that I have been talking about it to all and sundry, something I rarely do. OMG, what will I do with him home ALL the time? I keep asking my sister, sister in law, friends. I doubt they have any inkling of the worry gnawing at my heart. Most of them think its a big joke, including the L & M himself when I put the question to him. I remember the senior son watching me fuss over his having taken a year off to prepare for his engineering entrance asking me, “But how will I ever disturb you by staying at home? I will be in my room studying!”
You see, no one understands. How can I play the music I like, the way I like, a little loud? How can I sing along with it or even do a little dance totally unconsciously with no thought of anyone watching or telling me what the neighbours would think? How can I run around with Luci, scream at her and laugh myself silly? How can I stand and stare at the fluffy cloud in the sky that keeps changing its shape? How can I escape having a full-fledged meal and make do with yesterday’s leftovers? Hmm… only time can tell.
Meanwhile I am looking at the silver lining: the times we can catch all the movies we like without the weekend rush to deal with, the travel plans materializing without a hitch because there is no more need for leave to be sanctioned and of course having the Brandisher of Sticks at hand to keep the inmates of Jurassic Park in line. Not to mention the ‘your wish is my command’ service provided with a smile. Oh well, life has its perks either way. Here’s to thirty years that have gone by and the thirty more to come. Happy Anniversary to us.
Farida Rizwan said:
Why do I feel that you are not buying anymore pesticides but just go eeekkkssss? 😉 Wish another 30 years of happy bonding for now. More wishes on your 60th anniversary.
Lovely post Shail. Here’s to more than thirty years of togetherness. Dance away , while he is sleeping.
A fine balance between getting used to living alone and not wanting to live alone…ask me about it 🙂
First of all, congratulations on 30 years!! Just awesome!
Second of all, you can always coax him to taking up hobbies, such as gardening or social work that will transport him out of the house, right?!
Love that you call him Lord and Master….may I assume that you address him directly that way as well?!! 😛
Aww that’s the most amazingly written post ever Shail. One of your best I think, considering it is non-fiction 😉 😉 Don’t worry Shail, the retirement will bring with it, some new avenues for your L&M as well, maybe he will find something else to do, like coaching kids, or perhaps start his own blog 😉 Here’s wishing you many many many more years of togetherness, happiness and companionable solitude too 🙂
30 years, that’s big! congratulations! And my husband and I both work from home. It is a huge adjustment to have your hubby at home all the time. And, don’t let anyone tell you that it will be easy. That little separation within the day is actually welcome. Maybe, you can pack him a dabba and send him shooing to a library for a few hours everyday :).
R's Mom said:
Awwww! this is like the sweetest post I have ever read in a long long time…more years of love and happiness and banishing the lizard with a broom between you and L&M..big big hugs
PS – My Amma retired while Appa continued to work after retirement in a college…Appa wondered what to do with Amma all day long at home so he started teaching her how to surf the net…may be L&M can start off a blog of his own and then we know all about the real Shail 😉
Such a sweet sweet post!! 🙂
Happy Anniversary Shail! 🙂
Wishing you lots more years of happiness and togetherness!! 🙂
My ma was worried too in the same way when my dad retired this year and even though he works part-time at the university, she still says she misses the days when he was gone till evening!
they have reluctantly fallen into some sort of weird routine and just listening to them talk about it makes me laugh!!
Happy Anniversary, Shail!
What to do with him at home? Just pull him up and make him dance with you 😉
Dear Lord! 30 Years! That is like half your life. 🙂
Anyways Congratulations. Here’s to watching movies on the sofa, making food together, having a morning walk together, planning and going to holidays without a thought.
30 years, that is HUGE! There is something charming about having your knight with a broomstick … errr with a sword to chase away all the demons (pests) at your beck and call. Besides you both could join salsa or tango classes, and dance away into the sunset, together once he is home
happy anniversary shail… i always wondered wont it be hard to be with same partner for long.. :).. i can understand ur point on staying together full time.. :P..
so do let us know ur plans for the time which u have to spend together.. 🙂
this advt. came to my mind reading ur post.. good night smoke=less coil.. where a thata tries to find a mosquito and challenges the patti.. 🙂
Wishing you both a very Happy Anniversary, Shail! May you celebrate many, many more!
Lovely post- and I’m sure you’ll find a way to balance the ‘me’ time and the ‘us’ time, after his retirement!
Happy Anniversary 🙂 🙂
30 years only?
In my case it’s 37 years
I retired in Nov 2011 after working till I reached 63
My wife opted for VRS in way back in 2001
No problems so far spending time.
I surf the web, go for long walks, listen to music, play with my Ipad, and Samsung Galaxy Note, watch videos, and TV, read books and magazines, socialize with neighbours and friends and also read more blogs and actively participate in yahoo email group and forum discussions and also comment on some of the blogs I read.
The wife has become the secretary of our apartment owners association and that keeps her busy so she has roped me in for all household chores.
I cut vegetables, dry the clothes attend to all odd jobs around the house and also chauffeur her around in my cute little Reva Car while we go banking, “malling” and visiting friends.
We both take long afternoon naps.
Retired life is bliss!! With all modern aids available these days, there is no way we can be bored.
So enjoy it like we are doing. All the best to you and your L&M
My only fear is failing health. I had a few issues last year and earlier this year and hopefully have overcome them but you never know what lies ahead for us.
Financially I am secure unless inflation is double of what I have anticipated or I live up to 100. Hopefully I will pass on long before that.
Yes we both often discuss who will go first. I have made it plain I prefer that she goes first.
Reason? I know, whoever goes first, life is going to be tough for the survivor. I would rather face that situation than let my wife go through it.
Amazing, heartwarming post! Congratulations and God bless!
30 years of togetherness .. and Here is wishing you many many many more 😛
i think you would rather enjoy having him at home .. I am sure your readers would .. your are bound to come up with some posts about the escapades he gets into:P
A lovely post enjoyed by one whose marriage is a ‘youngster’ of only 16 years! Here’s to 30 more years..?
Lindy Lee said:
Retirement will, indeed, present new horizons but a 30-year history is a sound investment for the future…