“Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be!”
Love grows deeper as time passes by,
Happiness and Joy comes in oversupply,
Memories remain in your hearts forever,
And towards prosperity you may endeavour!
A beautiful morning with chirping of birds and hymns of budha on her mobile. Mrs Dutta woke up. “Oh! It was a beautiful morning. It’s my day today!” She thought. It was almost six. She was already late for her morning walk. She hurriedly got up, and picked her mobile, vanity bag and moved ahead to start the day with a walk. She had to come back early as she had prepare breakfast for Mr Dutta.
Let me introduce Mr Dutta. He is an extremely energetic and enthusiastic person who loves his food and commands his house in his own inimitable way. He is a perfectionist who wants the things done as per his diktats right till the comma and full stop.
Mrs Dutta finished her daily routine and made some time free for Mr Dutta’s at home service duties. That is, to make him a lavish breakfast. Every time it switched over from a simple toast to hot spicy stew with Mr Dutta’s favourite green chillies. He was a diehard fan of spicy chillies. It was his lifelong desire to find the most spicy chilly in the world – a desire that remained as yet unfulfilled. He craved for non vegetarian food rather than anything else. But Mrs Dutta liked simple plain vegetarian food. Yet she cooked the most finger licking spicy food for Mr Dutta!
It was always culinary skills of Mrs Dutta. Who could else make him happy? She cooked very well and fulfilled all the gastronomic demands of Mr Dutta. In the morning, she would make him her favourite Darjeeling tea which was full of aroma and strong colour. Every day at daybreak, they sat in their living room drinking small sips from their large cup munching on their Thin Arrowroot biscuits. It was perhaps the best part of the day for Mrs Dutta. After that, for something or the other, Mr Dutta was bound to lose his cool.
“Jaba! Jaba! Where are the keys? I had kept them on this table!” Even when he was annoyed with her he called her by her affectionate name, Jaba, for the Hibiscus flower, in Bengali.
“Oh! You always make my things to play a merry – go – around in the house! You are so irresponsible! And now why you are not even replying!?”
Mrs Dutta stared, rolled her eyes, and muttered under her breath “Again this poor old man has started shouting …”
“I had kept it in the bag.” Mrs Dutta softly replied.
“But Why?” Mr Dutta screamed.
“Tell me when you are going to behave like a mature person! It is supposed to be kept here on the table so that we will not forget it to give it to our neighbor. In our absence they will take care of our house. Jaba! When will you understand? Be systematic?! Be mature?! I say it repeatedly and yet …!”
Again Mr Dutta screamed and banged the door shut. He wanted Mrs Dutta to become more cautious, to unlearn a few of her seemingly casual habits, so that he would be gone (he feared it all the time) she would not be dependant upon anyone. He loved her very much but his way of showing his love was quite different from others!
“Kaaj, kaaj, kaaj aar sab samay chik chik,bhallo lagena aamar“(work, work and work! All the time arguments! I don’t like all this anymore!) Mrs Dutta, deeply annoyed, muttered to herself. She was a simple lady with high values. She enjoyed reading and listening to various talks and chants. She was a peace loving person.
There was something more that was hurting her that day. It was her birthday!!! In fact, till now no one had bothered about it, nor was the phone working.
Expectedly, it was a normal day for Mr Dutta. He would sit at his favourite table; same place where breakfast would turn into lunch and later lunch into dinner with Mrs Dutta’s mouth watering dishes.
Mrs Dutta took her time and cooked lunch. While Mr Dutta sang rabindra sangeet in his coarse nasal voice and danced to the soft melodious tune. It was an everyday routine of these couples, to fight with love and make it up at the end of the day.
At the dining table, there was an awkward silence that day. The first dish was roasted chicken. Mr Dutta took the drumsticks for his lady “Take this, it is your favourite”, he said with a mischievous smile thinking it would placate his wife.
After the morning’s bitter argument Mrs Dutta frowned and replied “This is always the problem! You always think things are so easy for me and you never thought about how I feel.Dont you know today’s date?”
Suddenly she thought it was not her nature to bellow like this. “Why am I behaving like this?” She wondered. So she kept quiet and finished her lunch and went to her favourite couch wondering how even her grand children had forgotten her birthday. It had never ever happened like this.
The doorbell rang. It was Khewinder. He was the electrician cum plumber cum carpenter an all rounder who did all the odd jobs and was Mr Dutta’s favourite person. They both hung around through out the day in all corners of the house to mending, repairing, constructing something or the other and showed his expertise in every skill. They threw tantrums and gave Mrs Dutta piles of stocks to clean up, with demands of many cups of hot tea to get energised during doing adventurous work.
“So today Mr Dutta remembered you, Khewinder! So nice of him! Come! My boy! Do come in!” Mrs Dutta went inside and informed Mr Dutta. As usual Mr Dutta was delighted to see Khewinder and they both started some electrical work.
Mrs Dutta picked up her bag and with a heavy heart decided to visit the nearby temple. It was her favourite place, where she meditated and tried to find some inner peace. She offered flowers and distributed sweets among little children who were sitting at the gate of the temple selling flowers and diyas. She took out small gift boxes from her bag and gave it to them. She was delighted to see their twinkling innocence faces. “How happy they are!” She thought.
All of a sudden, melodious hymns came out from the temple as the aarti began and she joined with them and tried to merge herself into this divine world. She forgot all about her tiff with Mr Dutta in the morning. She came back thinking about all the people near the temple and their families. Wondering if she could do a little more for the poor children, she opened the door.
There was a loud sound “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!”
She was flabbergasted! Oooo my god!!!! There her friends and her family were screaming, singing and dancing for her. Bunches of flowers showered on her head! A huge “happy birthday “banner flung below the ceiling. A large hanging cake was laid out on the dining table! He had specially ordered it for her. Mr Dutta was internet savvy and tried to keep up with the younger generation. He had found out the hanging cake on a bakers website and he wanted it for his wife the moment he saw the design! Everyone was happy, overwhelming with joy. Mr Dutta came up with a bunch of bright tulips and a handmade gift box. It was now she realised why Khewinder was her – the all rounder –he had made the handmade gift box out of wood for her! On each bunch of the tulip was a handmade card with a quote. Everyone pestered her to open this special handmade gift box.
As she opened it, she was left speechless! She found a beautiful diamond ring with a small laminated photograph of hers when she was younger and when she was flawlessly beautiful! The beauty that had clean bowled Mr Dutta! It was love at first sight. Mr Dutta was happy with the way everything turned out. He made an impromptu heartfelt birthday speech and led the crowd in the party to the cheer of Hip! Hip!! Hooray!!!
He began by addressing Mrs Dutta as “Your Majesty! But quickly shifted gears by calling her “aamar ardhangini“(my soul mate)! Mrs Dutta’s reaction at this precise moment had gone up in the air, much to amusement of the crowd. She shyly rolled her eyes and joined everyone in a chuckle. Soon messages started pouring “beep beep” on her mobile phone. Now she understood why none of the electronic gadgets were not working and why the mobile phone network was poor since morning. It was a part of the preparation for this surprise birthday party planned by Mr Dutta
DIDA….. HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY DIDA….!!!!!
Her mobile phone rang. It was video call from her son from Boston. It was early morning there. First up her lovely grand daughters were on the video call followed by her daughter in law and then her son! All of them beaming a mischievous smile. “Did you like our surprise Ma…?” She was too overcome with emotion to answer that and just nodded her head and smiled. Mrs Dutta was in tears. She felt as if the whole world was at her feet. She hugged Mr Dutta and kissed him as if it was their first ever! The joy of being together, over years holding each other’s hands!
She could feel why he scolded her every time – To make her independent or sometimes perfect like him!
A Perfectionist….Lovable and adorable couple…In love…
In her heart the verses rang out
Hand in hand we walked through life
My hand in yours and your hand in mine
The years just flew by as we ‘lived and loved’
Looking into each other’s eyes
All the time! Even now we are together in spirit and soul
As I am still yours and you are also still mine!