Dinner was long over and the dishes put away. The television switched off and lamps cast yellow pools of light on the floor. The house was filled with the quiet sounds of people drifting off to sleep. The night outside was cold and glimmering in the silver moonlight.
She came to sit beside him as he sat listening to the muted sounds of a radio playing songs from the 60s.The dark living room was a welcome refuge after a day filled with the random chaos of everyday existence. Meal menus, laundry, medical tests, bosses and unruly finances faded away…gradually. They sat together in a comfortable silence, relaxing in the pleasure of just being and not doing anything in particular.
“Lets go out for a drive…”
The doors were quietly opened and closed, feet shuffled into the nearest available footwear, shawls and jackets draped and cell phones left behind. The car ignition sounded unnaturally loud at that silent hour… as if pointing fingers at two people escaping the world for a moment alone.
The roads were empty, the shops were closed. The city had gathered around its kin and was drifting off to sleep. The headlights glided around corners and pierced the misty air with stubborn straight edged beams. They sat in the car, playing songs from their college years on the car stereo, and randomly taking any road that caught their fancy. It’s a beautiful city at night. The anger and the dust of the day is quenched by the dew of the evening, and the night blossoms of the trees lining the road gradually cleanse the air with their fragrance.
It had been a rather cold January evening then at Pune, six years ago, when he asked her out for a walk they were to remember for a lifetime.
They were now beginning their seventh year of being together, time for the fabled itch to strike!
In six years, they created careers, got married, built a home and nursed relationships. And they found it in themselves to accept each other, imperfections and all. So while they still nag each other relentlessly about things they shouldn’t , they still wouldn’t trade their worlds for a million dollars. OK, I was exaggerating… about the million dollars I mean.
Maybe it is time for things to change, in the time honored tradition of the seven year cycle… and change they will. How many relationships do you know that have remained static for years together ?
In the next seven years, they might raise a brood of kids, or remain happily child free ! Buy a farmhouse or maybe sell off even their existing apartment and hop around in rentals for the rest of their lives…create a lasting thoughtful career in the fields of their choice, or just maybe, open that rickety restaurant on a Goan beach someday.
From the innocent blinding trust of new love, they moved to a shared understanding of each other’s imperfections…
Once being in love meant sending mushy text messages on the cell phone, today the most loving thing to be done is an understanding smile at the end of a hard day…
For a while, all they had to defend was their decision to get married defying all common sense, today, standing up for the choices made by their partner is what defines their relationship…
And they used to hold on to what had been… wary of the unknown tomorrow; today they face the future with a shared confidence, assured by experience, that together they usually end up doing pretty well…
Yes, things will change…. and the two of them will change together.
And for the coming seven years, and all the seven year cycles they are meant to see together, they will still nag each other about stuff they really should not be talking about in the first place.
The clock on the dashboard indicated it was past midnight. He glanced at her and smiled as he turned the car around.
It was time to go home