Aalabu

25 Dec

The old man sits down for dinner at the dinner table somewhat lost in his own world. Decades of having financial constraints had taken its toll on him. He notices the table cloth and complains grumpily to his wife to remove it as the texture annoys him. He says, “I have been meaning to ask you to remove it for days now, but I keep forgetting everytime.” Moments like this made the wife feel more strongly about the name she had playfully christened him with, ‘khoosat’. She says, “I’m going to lock the front door, why don’t you write down all the things you want to tell me so that you don’t forget?”, and leaves, wondering what khoosat is going to complain about now. She returns to find only one thing scribbled on the paper, ‘Aalabu’. She smiles and falls in love with him one more time. Aalabu was their family code for ‘I love you’. Their youngest daughter could not pronounce the three magic words when she was a child, so instead, she turned it into an even more magical amalgamated one word, and since then, the family had started using it to convey the kind of love ‘I love you’ failed to express.

The old couple has been married for more than thirty years now. They met each other just a week before their wedding, and the only conversation they had before the wedding was when they silently willed each other in their minds to reject the marriage proposal, as they sat amongst their families. However, neither could convince their parents, and they ended up tying the knot, unenthusiastic and disgruntled.

Over the years of being married, the couple fell in and out of love with each other a lot of times. They argued, fought, stopped talking for days, wept, cursed, loathed. But they also smiled, giggled, danced, cuddled, talked, kissed. The key, of course, was falling back in love with the same person despite having memories of being hurt or mistreated burnt in their minds.

Couples like these teach us to hold on to each other in the toughest times and not give up when you feel that you have had enough. They teach us to forgive, and try to start over, throwing the ugly memories in the trash can every night, and emptying the can every fortnight. They also teach us to have faith in the institution of arranged marriages. Most importantly, they remind us that it is never too late to fall in love.

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One Response to “Aalabu”

  1. Nicholas May 20, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    ahhh the older generation … the tim when ppl tried to fix somthin whn broken, rather than throw it away nd get a new 1 all together …
    ppl knew hw to truly appreciate things back thn …

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