Nope. Archies and Hallmark didnt pay me for this [heh heh]. Well, I figured, its February,season to mourn St.Valentine’s death [as well as P.G.Wodehouse’s death on the same day]..might as well do that by writing [in PGW’s memory] about luv [no no, not ram’s son..LOVE as in the stuff St.Valentine apparently pushed to the world]
So here is the first of a few stories for the season—Call it what you will..
Theirs wasnt even a real love story to begin with. Hell, they didnt even have anything much in common. His parents tragically died when he was four. Her dad remarried and produced a home full of kids [14 at last count]. He was adopted by a kind relative who raised him as his own. Her dad probably doesnt even remember her name. He was handsome as hell, they said. She was ordinary-looking, they whispered [“Tough to find a groom for her” the father boomed the few times he was in same room as her].They met each other the traditional way, they married the traditional way. And they promptly had children, i guess, the traditional way [heh].
In such relationships, i suppose, love is too strong a word. It implies, rightly or not, fanciful delights, escapades and romantic adventures that didnt exist in their lives. Fondness? yep. Absolutely. Laughter? you bet. He made her laugh, his silly forgetful ways..his balding head [the time a crow pecked his head thinking it was shiny plate]. She was a regular little trooper–climbing trees to make that mango pickle. She was a slight, tiny person–“so thin” he said “that she floated down from the terrace when she tripped” [it actually happened]. He was well-read, articulate, a man of impressive words [he was a journo after all]. She was creative and neighbors said she sang like a nightingale. They grew old together, fighting, bickering, laughing and worrying together. She constantly chided him for not taking enough care of self, he did the same to her.
One perhaps doesnt really know when old-age creeps up [some say its when you have grandkids, but when you gotta run behind errant grandsons, one would doubt that]..but creep up it did. She fell ill often,troubled by heart conditions and what-nots..shrinking like a dried-up leaf…He was always there, never complaining. He didnt believe in God much, prefering simple ideologies and morals to be his only guide. So he didnt pray when she was in hospitals, he read little stories in newspapers and regaled her with gossip. “They are so much in love!” sighed the nurses. The body gave in one day, and she died peacefully in her sleep one night. He dabbed his eyes, expecting this eventuality. She wanted the ceremonies of the religion, he obliged her last wish. “14 days” said the priest–“a ceremony for each day, for 14 days”. He agreed. His children made plans to move him out of his home, to theirs. He didnt complain. “What do i do without her?” he said sadly, as he moved his things into the truck. The night of the 14th day, he passed away. He wasnt ill, overly old or ailed of anything. He simply didnt wish to live without her anymore. But 14 days of rites she wanted, and he gave her that. Asking only that he join her on the 15th. And he did. Love you say? I dont know. Now it seems too tame a word for them. Smiling
But their is probably the sweetest story I’ve ever heard–or seen. Grandpa and grandma were no Romeo and Juliet,and they probably never said the word ‘love’ all through their lives. But their story probably is the best proof that it doesnt always have to be LOVE that fulfills one.
With Fond thoughts,