Of loving as you grow old

Every time I call my mother, she giggles at  how her miserly husband cribs and complains about the expenses. She tells me how he would give her 100  Rs. if she needed  150 and  will also have the audacity to  ask for change later!

I listen to her realizing  how there is no rancor in her voice, just an amusement and an abundance of affection for the incorrigible man.

When he makes her walk long distances, or goes off always with out his mobile in hand, or when his morning walk takes him so far that he cannot walk back, she  laughs it all off with an amazing ease. I ask her to fight it out, get her due, not to give up easily but none of my advice makes much impact on her.

My father complains of  his wife’s manic cleanliness rules, of her unwillingness to rest, of her desire to attend every single women’s committee meeting in the town….in thunder, rain or storm and in general of not being at peace ever..

And he does try to help her, sometimes by dusting the place which has already been dusted or by helping out in the kitchen, sometimes managing to cook something that’s actually delicious…

The visitors at home look on amused at the squabble. The endless chatter about each other’s inadequacies  continues as they walk away with a smile.

My good friend,a few sixty years old,with a bob of white hair and an angelic face,misses her husband sorely, she tells me, he was crazy,we did crazy things together….. He called her ‘wife’, yes, just that…. Wife, you have come, he would ask, when he was bed-ridden for the last decade of his life…To enter the house without his calling out to her is dreadful, she says.

Loving more as you grow older…. ….. how many can manage that?




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