I was helping my mother clean up. As I picked up the pieces of the glass that had earlier fallen and broken, a small piece slit my palm.
"Oh Meera, how many times have I told you to be a little careful. Now you’ve cut yourself na...move away. Apply some ointment while I sweep the glass shards” my mother said.
My father, hearing the exclamations, emerged from inside. "What happened ladies? Oh Meera, did you hurt your hand? Were you thinking of him?!” he asked with a slight grin on his face.
"No Papa! It’s just a small cut. Relax”, I interrupted him.
“What relax? Wait, I will take care of it." and saying so, he bandaged my palm.
I sat in my room, thinking. I was going to marry the boy I loved. His family's visit this morning had turned out quite well. My future mother-in-law had approved of me then and there, and my own father too, had given a nod of satisfaction. The boy, of course, sat there beaming with joy. The mere thought of spending life with that one person you love the most brings a smile on the lips. It’s like the happiness you got as a kid when you had your favorite candy in your hand - you wanted to hold on to it tight and never let go. I knew how much he meant to me. I wouldn’t have to bother about anything else as long as things were good with him. I knew he would always stand by my side, come what may.
I couldn’t help but think how wonderful it would be once we were married. There would be no pre-made meeting plans, it would all be spontaneous. There would be no waiting to see each other, we would always be together. There would be no worrying if he was sick, because I would be by his bed, taking care of him. There wouldn't be long talks on the phone to make up after a fight - we could do it face to face. There would be no more staring into the night and wishing he was there, he actually would be there! With me. Always.
But, there would be other things to do and take care of as well. His parents and family, fulfilling their expectations. Feeling responsible not just for myself, but also for him, my new family and my new home. Meeting a whole new lot of people suddenly one morning - and getting to know each one and molding myself a little to everyone's accord. Taking into consideration everyone's opinions and building a bond with everyone. Learning to accept those tacit critical remarks from a skeptical aunt and also the motherly praises from my mother-in-law. Taking care of his father just like I take care of my dad. Bearing all the whims and fancies of his sisters and pranks by his brothers - just like I would from my own.
My mother always said, “Marriage is a lot more than just two people in love.” Now I realize that my mother was always correct. I think that is what I will miss the most, my mother’s wise and kind words of advice - always there to comfort me when I need it the most. I will miss those Sunday morning breakfast sessions with my family. I will miss the little tiffs with my sister for taking my clothes and then never returning them! I will miss my brother, whose sense of humour, no matter how silly it is, always makes me laugh! I will miss my best friend - who was always there by my side when I needed her. I will miss my father. The man whose love nobody can ever replace.
I know I’m not going away forever, and that all these people will be just as important a part of my life as they’ve always been. But the thought of not seeing them every day brings a lump to my throat. Deep down though, I know I can do it. I know I will handle everything perfectly well and with complete happiness in my heart. After all, I will have with me my mother's resolve, my father's strength and my husband's love.