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While you are gone


I write, ‘I had a busy day but I thought of you all day through.’ I have started writing this diary, titled, ‘While you are gone,’ where I make an entry when my husband is not with me. It is to note my activities in his absence, my mood and emotions. Yesterday, after I said my evening prayer, I sat at the table to write the diary.

But the activity started to revolve around my friend, who I don’t want to name here. She had had difficulty in her relationship in the past two days. It is normal to have ups and downs in a relationship. You will all agree. I thought she was hurt beyond repair because she did everything she could to make the best for her marriage and when she thought her husband did not put equal effort, she was disappointed. I may be wrong but it seemed like the cause. I was with her for most of those two days and it was like the old times. Just that this time, it was not about studies or dreams that we talked about. It was about marriage, relationship, children, future. More concrete things and how our decisions can shape what kind of future we have.

I thought of myself and my relationship. I thought I was fortunate. But this is not to say that my marriage is better. I have been married for nearly five years now. I think that is a long time, though, it is nothing compared to my parents’ marriage or any old couple who have seen a lifetime together already and still walk together in deep affection.

There was this moment, just before he left. I had my day planned. Vegetable shopping; go to a furniture showroom; visit a religious shop and so on. But his damn basket match ruined it all. I was at my friend Luzee’s house that afternoon. I spent four hours with her – and in the entire duration of four hours, there was no sign of his match getting over. Finally, when dusk has fallen, he called. My plan was flopped. But what could I say? I had to put it aside and tell myself, ‘It was not that important.’ I listed, ‘Not a priority,’ and drove home all in love, as if I had just been picked up for an exciting date I had looked forward to all day. If you want your marriage to be beautiful and filled with love, you have to know when to mark your plan as ‘not a priority,’ make a compromise and smile all in good mood.

And you know what puts relationship at stake? I think it is all about distance. There is no way, voice alone can do the talk without the help of eye contact. If you are talking to your husband or boyfriend over the phone, you would be flaring in anger, or slamming down the phone or throwing yourself hard on a wall. But when he is in front of you, both of you looking at each other, making eye contact, it isn’t the same. There is so much more warmth and understanding in that environment.

But of course, while he is away, even if he has parted from you with not a good note, you miss him and think of him fondly, though you do not want to admit it. Partly it is this emotion that puts you in anger. You love him despite the act he put up that was not in consonant with your view. And you hate yourself for that. In a way, just in the mood of feeding your ego, you want to torture him and yourself both by not admitting it.

Yes while, he is gone, you go through different emotions, all revolving around the conclusion that, you love him so and near is where you want him to be always.

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