A very Happy Anniversary to us.
Surprised? I did remember this time. But, that is not to disregard the not-so-subtle hints you, Di and NK dropped in last week. I didn’t really know what to get you today. You will most certainly get your jalebi fix from Amma, some ridiculous jewellery from Mami, saris from Di and like every other year, one tacky Bollywood poster from NK. You have almost everything you love. So instead I bought you something, I happen to love very much. Lingerie. Its red, silk and will look terribly beautiful on you. And quit looking so scandalised Khushi, you very well know you want to try it. Tonight, okay?
On a more serious note – why am I writing this letter, you might ask. Its just that there are a million little things I have wanted to tell you, about you, about us, since the very first time we met, some inconsequential, some not so much. But you and I both know, I’ll never be able to accommodate them in our everyday conversations. I want to, I really do. But I don’t think I’ll be able to. At least, not perfectly enough. Hence, this letter.
Firstly, I want to apologise, Khushi. I have before, I know. But I also know, no amount of words will ever be enough. That night of Payal and Aakash’s wedding, I felt my mind was a mayhem of inexplicable emotions. Apart from the raging sense of betrayal I felt on the terrace that night, I thought I had lost you. Completely so. I was going to tell you exactly what I felt about you that night, you know? Instead I did something unforgivable. Even today, a glimpse of that navy and red outfit of yours, makes those memories flash before my eyes, there’s a baffling tightening in my chest, and the world around me blurs, dwindles, and dies out. Peace comes eventually, when you drop a kiss on my head and run your hands through my hair. Did I ever tell you, when you do that, I love it. Absolutely adore it, despite my irritated air.
Remember the first time we met Khushi? Of course you do. I doubt we will ever forget that night. But here’s something you don’t know. That wondrous moment when you fell into my arms, somewhere between the shock and the rage, there were a few seconds, a few very long seconds where I couldn’t get my eyes of your face. You were stunning. A vision, in green and fuchsia. A flash of momentary gold. Your face was so close, so very close to mine that night. Close enough for me to notice the two pale freckles on your right cheekbone. Close enough for me to count the flecks of gold in your eyes. Close enough for me to place my mouth on those pillowy pink lips. You baby, were a staggering surprise. The crux. The defining moment. You were a mad, chaotic constellation of dazzling stars that crashed into me and thereafter which, everything in my neatly orchestrated world went collapsing down into the ocean. Never, even in the most insane of days did I expect it to be you. But it was you. All along. All the time. Ever since the first day, its been you. And somehow in between landing up at my office, and walking into my home to train Lavanya, you slipped under my skin without the slightest sound, in all the wrong and wonderful ways. Your face, you – enwrapped in red, entwined in lights, emblazoned in rangoli colours, drove me mad at nearly every hour of the day. You, with your alluring, afflicted, kohl-rimmed eyes, compelled me to carry out colossal conquests of irrationality. You Khushi, somehow without reason or restraint, became that object, that phenomenon of complete and utter adoration, sooner than you can imagine.
Here’s something I’m sure you had no knowledge of. Every evening when I come back home after a dreadful, distressing day at the office, the first call of Arnavji, or when you are feeling especially loving, Laad Governor, it takes it all away, even if briefly. Your mouth Khushi, those lips. Bow-shaped and the softest of pinks. And then you smile, baby. Dazzling me. Dismantling me. Every word that falls from your lips, Khushi, gets under my thoughts and settles. So every morning when I walk out of the house, you are always there with me. And then there’s your special smile, which I think you save only for me. You narrow your eyes and there it is, that impish smile. And something inside me disintegrates. It could easily be the resolve I had build up on my way home, to isolate myself from everyone and shut the world out. Instead I feel an acute urge to talk it out with you. And somehow your words make the issue at hand feel lighter, discernible.
Another very interesting matter. You Khushi, taught me to converse. Well at least, somewhat. In some way or the other, with every attempted conversation, every half-formed line, every rambled sentence that you magically made sense of , I have found myself being more attracted to you, it that’s even possible. That smoky-eyed wonder you have on your face when I talk about a meeting, an annoying client, an encounter, an experience, my hopes, my dreams, makes me fall in love with you, all over again, every day.
Life before you Khushi, was fair to middling. It was uneventful to be precise. And I always, always expected it to stay the same forever. And then you danced your way in, a wave of manic madness, accelerating with the strength of a whitewater river, uprooting every facade, every guise, every belief. Now that I think about it, I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time and energy fighting you, fighting us. I wish I had a little more faith, a little more trust in us, in our journey. Because there’s simply so much you bought into my life Khushi. So much. The list, I think could very well be perpetual. The reasons behind my smiles have became different, metamorphosing into something more commonplace. I’m going to divulge a secret at this point. Remember that three weeks long trip to London, last month? I think you do, considering the huge fuss that ensued when you decided I was not to go alone. Anyhow, two weeks later, when the project was nearing its completion, I was sitting in my hotel room, in what I earlier perceived to be peace – black coffee and the finance section of the newspaper in hand. And to your amusement, I’m sure , I suddenly had a deep-seeded urge to listen to, or somehow go back to the commotion that befalls our dining table every morning. I wanted to be in the centre of all the pandemonium – Hari Prakash and Mami’s raucous squabble, Nani’s blatant glaring, Di’s incessant giggling over that ever-present plate filled with the motley of flowers and you standing over me, monitoring my breakfast like a mother hen. I missed everything about our house. I missed every member, to the point of madness. Why else would I be pacing outside the only temple in the vicinity, come sundown? Why else would I have dinner four nights in a row at an Indian joint near my hotel? To your utmost pleasure Khushi, I missed you the most. So much so, I tried making jalebis. I purchased flour, baking powder, saffron, sugar and turmeric – the entire mix. The end result was a horrific, big orange nothing. But the scent in the kitchen was somewhat similar. Sweet, and joyous. Very you.
I think the reason behind me travelling and taking up the meetings out of town earlier, were because being in a room and a city full of strangers gave me peace. But that was before I knew you. You gave me a sense of belonging. The semblance of the feeling that someone needs you. The feeling of completion. A funny, fuzzy, warm sensation of home.
Inadvertently Khushi, you have managed to teach me and to a large extent, Di also, to never let a betrayal, or a bad phase daunt us into isolation. You have also, unwittingly made Aman’s life a million times easier. The fool thinks, I have mellowed down. Become more amicable. More reasonable. And he thinks you, are the reason behind it. You might as well be, you know.
Its surreal to even imagine that we have been married for four years now. Four years of me enduring the worst of the worst Salman Khan movies ( did I ever tell you of that horrific moment when hours after watching Kick, I almost hummed one of those ludicrous songs while sitting with Aman?). Four years of you tolerating the infinitely long and stuffy business parties. Four years of us. Fourteen hundred and, sixty mornings and nights, of fighting with you, kissing you. Evenings spent beside the pool. Clandestine afternoons spent in bed, if and when I managed to steal you from your precious kitchen.
You know Khushi, just this morning, you had taken out the suits you used to wear before, otherwise neatly folded and lying somewhere in our cupboard always. They somehow always remind me of that little curious flame between us. Every time I see those dupattas, I can almost feel the arch of your neck beneath my fingers. Every time I see those jazzy pom-poms, I’m taken back to the countless number of times you have been a blundering, bumbling mess; unknowingly with every slip, fall and crash tiptoeing your way into my thoughts, my heart. My way of being. Every time Khushi, when you press your hands to my mine, and curl up against my side, there’s this unfathomable sense of peace you bestow me with. Thank you, for that and so much more. Thank you for always finding my eyes, in the most crowded of rooms in the smallest, simplest of moments. Thank you for being you. A bizarre, weird and wonderful force of nature.
You know I won’t be saying these things too often. But just incase its still unclear. Understand this, for a lifetime and some more. You enthral me, Khushi. Your clumsy gait. The curve of your hip. The taste of your skin. The way your hair ensnares itself with your earrings. The leg you never forget to throw over mine whenever we are sleeping. I don’t think you fully comprehend the fact that I cannot resist you at all. Every look that crosses your eyes, ever whisper that leaves your mouth, mesmerises me every day. Every night. Every second.
Every minute of my time, every heartbeat, every pulse baby, is yours. Always.
I love you.