This is nothing more than a date which came and went. Not many would be remembering when it came and when it passed. Just the same way that I am not able to remember most of the other dates. A person is able to remember only those few dates which are of very special significance to him- either for good reasons or for bad reasons.
07/06/1993, i.e the seventh say of June 1993- a day which I always remember. Not only because I got married that day. Yes, it was important to me that I got married that day but much more important is the fact that I got married to Nutan on this particular day. Nutan, who today calls herself Nutan Thakur was Nutan Kumari at that time. Nutan Kumari because in Bihar, to which I belong, there is a tradition of adding the word Kumari (something akin to virgin) to an unwed girl’s name. There is a rather special thrust on the virginity and physical isolation of girls in our society and possibly this must be the reason for putting this word right at the end of a girl’s name so that she always remembers this fact and does nothing which goes to violate its sanctity.
The truth remains that in Nutan’s case I never tried to go deeper in this question. It is again true that this issue of virginity never really means much to me. On this issue I seem to agree with the views presented by the talented actor Tabboo in the extremely sensitively portrayed film Astitva where the question of an outsider’s entry (accidental, incidental or otherwise) in a husband-wife relationship has been beautifully and openly discussed. My personal opinion on this issue has always been that husband and wife shall always endeavour to maintain the sanctity and respect of the marital relationship because any extra-marital relationship is bound to bring misfortunes and sorrow. But if something happens in disregard to this cardinal principle, then it shall be taken as a lesson for the future and shall not be made the sole issue for mutual blame-game. This is because there is nothing more beautiful, complete and satisfying than husband-wife relationship and it shall not be put on docks unless it becomes inevitable. At the same time, I am the first person to advice breaking of ties in case it is found that any of the marital partners is indulging in acts of torture, barbarianism or tormenting.
As far as I know, there was nothing of this sort, as far as Nutan was concerned. On the contrary, at the time of my marriage I was badly in love with a girl (whose name I would not state for the sake of propriety and decency). Even at the time of marriage, the effects were not totally gone. It was possibly more of a one-sided affair because the girl never paid me the attention that I was showering over her, yet post-marriage I was always overburdened with the guilt associated with this infatuation. I must openly appreciate Nutan’s self-confidence, patient, sensitivity and the ability of forgiveness because the day I narrated before her my secret of life in extremely trembling voice and loads of burden, it was over for her. She, never for once, repeated it and took the entire episode as if there was nothing so important about it.
I would advice everyone, including myself to develop the same sense and attitude, of admitting and accepting the partner’s alleged faults and errors and of showing love and affection when he or she needs it the most because whoever behaves in similar fashion will be able to overcome all kinds of conjugal travesties.
On this special occasion, I would like to share one more fact of my life. At the time of marriage, there was no similarity between me and Nutan except our mutual weaknesses. I was a very well-read, bookish, hypothetical person who lived more in his dreamland than in the realities around. Nutan was a person with ordinary knowledge and was much more traditional in her attitude, thoughts and action. I always exhorted her to come forward to participate actively on various social issues but she was completely shy of moving out of the safe confines of the house. I talked of distant things hardly related with me while Nutan had nothing to do with them. I was a person half-wrapped in facts and half seeped in fiction, who often went tangential in his thoughts and had a flair for day-dreaming. Nutan, on the other hand, completely rooted on the ground. If there was any similarity between us, it was that we were both animated stubborn variety who excelled in fighting with each other and had the tendency to never say quits.
Yes, we did fight a lot in our life. We fought with full fervor and animosity. There were occasions when we did not talk for days. There were also times when the marriage seemed to be docks. We used extremely hurtful, pinching and demeaning statements against each other, more me than her, but she also. The entire atmosphere would turn putrid, violent and cloistered. The kids would start feeling the heat of the degenerated relations and would be behaving extremely frightened. Yet we remained together all the time. What was interesting was the fact that we fought among ourselves and yet did not leave each other in the process. The same bed, the same room and fistful fighting going along!
Nutan did not like many of my thoughts, ideas and actions. But with time, we started coming together. We started understanding each other in a much better manner. Then a time came when we did not fight for months. And now for years, a situation has arisen when all our friends say that we think, act and behave similarly.
One important reason for our continuing to love and live together and getting nearer with the passage of time, despite all our differences, was that there was no third person (a male or a female) who came in our life. Thus “loving and fighting with each other” became our way of life and this slowly resulted in getting more and more closer and nearer to each other- mentally and emotionally. Other reason was that despite all these fights, we did love each other sincerely. Despite criticizing me on various fronts, she would defend me to the hilt if any third person tried to find any fault in me. This included even our closest family members. It was me who did not defend her with the same intensity that she always showed and I occasionally criticized her as well.
Only God knows what lies in store and how our future course of life will turn and twist. But what I know for sure is that whatever I got from Nutan during the last twenty years is the biggest treasure of my life. On this very special occasion of my life, I have tried to present some of my very personal facts before you in as truthful a manner as I could. While one purpose was to live through these beautiful 20 years, another reason was to present a short (may be boring) lecture on husband-wife relationship so that it comes in assistance of certain other warring couples.