1993 : My Favorite Love Story
When someone thinks about love, they usually think of Raj and Simran, Allie and Noah, Rose and Jack, Veer and Zaara…and the list could go on. But when I think of love, love in its purest, most innocent form, I think of my parents.
I’ve spent so many dinner table conversations hearing about how they met, their first impressions of one another, their silly fights, their cute moments and just their entire journey up until today. And I love hearing about it.
I feel that in today’s day and age, it is so difficult to find genuine, pure love…only because of all the deception, pretentious behaviors and negativity that runs rampant around us. And because of all this, it’s so hard to separate the good from the bad and eventually it all gets intertwined together and before you know it, meeting someone and falling in love with them means you’re stepping into this twisted, confusing web of good and bad love.
One thing I’ve learned from my parents is enjoying the little moments. I can’t stress just how important it is to be able to appreciate the little things and be fully present in those moments…because that’s the key to really enjoying and fully living your life. My parents’ love story consists of all these beautiful little magical moments that, when combined together, paints this gorgeous canvas of innocent love, glowing hearts and happiness. (I mean, don’t go around idealizing their relationship though. Every relationship has its hurdles, and they had their own too).
My mother was 21 when she married my father, 23, in the year 1993. They were complete opposites! My mother was this bubbly, talkative, extroverted girl full of zeal, zest and the urge to explore and live life. My father was much more low-key. He was calm, composed, slightly introverted and quite intellectual. While my mother loved spending a road trip talking nonstop, my father preferred listening to some romantic hindi music. I think I’ve gone on my father in this case.
They were opposites in every aspect. If the phrase ‘opposites attract’ had a human-version of a definition, it would definitely be my parents!
My mother loved to talk, my father loved to listen. My mother was the life of the party and my father loved watching her BE the life of the party. After their marriage, my mother started living life through a more practical, exciting new lens while my father just became more filmy and viewed the world through a magical, Bollywood-influenced lens. It was their differences and their embracement of these differences that brought them closer.
A few months into their marriage, my mother made sure that her chirpiness would influence my father in a positive way. And it did.
The shy man known to the world pre-marriage had morphed into this brighter, friendlier person who was so much more confident in himself. My mother had helped him reach a height of self-confidence, high-spirited living and bubbliness. And, likewise, my father never let my mother feel like she was living in a male-dominated world. He always pushed her to follow her dreams, do things she wanted to and live life queen size! In a world where women were appreciated for their kitchen skills, motherhood and timidness, my father made sure that my mother would be appreciated for more than that and that she could dance her way through life, that the bubbly girl he met before their marriage would live on no matter what.
If it weren’t for my father’s open-mindedness in times when women faced so much harshness, she wouldn’t be a businesswoman today, following almost all her dreams with her husband right by her side.
In their own little ways, they supported one another. Pushed one another. And stood by one another.
But that’s not the only thing that makes their love story so endearing for me. It’s more about the little moments they shared, the laughs, the petty arguments, the small gestures, the simplest of moments that were turned into magical ones.
For instance, when my mother was pregnant with me, she’d get these big cravings for desserts late in the night. Especially ice-cream. All she had to do was say it once for my father, sleepy and exhausted, to jump out of bed, grab the car keys and go get her ice-cream. If not that one gesture of love, it was my mother who celebrated each and every one of my father’s birthdays and their anniversaries with so much pomp and splendor. She’d decorate the room, buy him sentimental gifts, plan a special day or a surprise party, but she always made sure he felt like a king on his birthday.
And the love for celebrating birthdays is something I’m pretty sure I got from her.
If it weren’t these little acts of sweetness shared between them, it was the random sprouts of love they’d suddenly feel on an ordinary Thursday evening or Monday morning. While my father would be brushing his teeth or getting ready for work, my mother, suddenly in the mood to dance, would turn on the radio and bust out some groovy dance moves to Kishore Kumar or Udit Narayan songs, instantly earning a big smile from my father.
Often, when they’d go to a function/party, every time my mother would look up and search for my father in the crowd, he’d amazingly look up at almost the same time and they’d make eye contact. Always. I know it sounds cheesy and like it’s right out of a Bollywood movie, but it was something so weirdly cute that I had to share it.
Together, all these little moments, cherished, appreciated and lived fully, made their love so much more endearing and innocent.
When life through a bunch of big curveballs at them and really punched them down, even through the hard times with everything changing around them, they made sure that the one constant in their life would be their ever-growing relationship. It’s not easy to get through most of life’s challenging times while trying to maintain good relations with your loved ones. But my parents did it.
Many a times, when I’d finish watching a good Bollywood rom-com, I’d wonder if love like that really even existed? Or was it just a super unrealistic piece of imaginative thinking that the writer or director came up with? But then, when I’d see my parents, I’d smile and realize that “hell no, love like that definitely exists. Right in front of me.”
And thanks to my filmy father and chirpy mother, I’ve grown up watching Bollywood movies. I’ve watched almost all of SRK’s movies, grooved to every party, vibe-y and romantic song there is and I believe that a big part of me being the hopeless romantic that I am today goes to Bollywood and my parents’ love story. They make me believe that there is real love in the world. They make me believe that there are people who want to give love and expect nothing in return. They make me believe that Raj and Simran, Geet and Aditya and Veer and Zaara weren’t just figments of someone’s imagination. That they were based off of real people.
And I hope that’s true. I really do.
Thank you mom and dad, for showing me what love should be like, for showing me how partners should treat one another and for making me view the world through a magical lens.
I’d like to end this post by saying one thing: love freely, willingly and without expectations. Don’t love to be loved. Love because you just want to love! ♡
~ Starry Thoughts.