By N.K.A. Ballal, Retd. Sr. Vice-President, ITDC
A story on WhatsApp: I overheard an argument of a young couple in a super-market recently. The young man angrily told his wife to do shopping on her own and sat down in of the chairs that were placed outside the supermarket. He was still upset when I approached and asked him for the reasons for his behaviour, only if he did not mind sharing it with an old man of 60 years.
Nothing uncle, he told me. Then he continued… My wife wanted me to do shopping with her but I am dead tired today after my work. I was so upset when she insisted me to come along with her to the super-market.
I smiled and told this young man that I always went out with my wife whenever possible until she left me 5 months ago. My wife had passed away and I am left alone in this world now. We both were of the same age. We were teachers by profession and after our retirement we went around India visiting ancient temples and other spiritual places of interest.
Our children are married and settled and living on their own busy with their families. Unfortunately, my wife’s health was poor. She had diabetes and blood pressure. So I was taking care of her because she had to take medicines on time. Now she is no more. I feel very lonely. My days are longer and nights are emptier.
When I see her belongings, I am reminded of her. The medicines that she did not consume and are now remaining as leftover also makes me feel sad and depressed.
I still keep her mobile number but now she will not pick up the phone if I call her or answer my messages.
We both used to share the same bed by taking each side of it. But now I am lying in there all alone in the middle of the bed.
I prepare my own food in the name of cooking. I do not have my wife to cook delicious food for me now. She is not there to accompany me to the temple.
Suddenly I realised the young man was crying. I told him, “Love your wife when you are together. Praise her whenever you get a chance to do it.”
I am now going to the cemetery to meet my wife. I am counting my days so that I can join her anytime.
I said goodbye to the young man who was stunned and stuck with emotions. He soon got back to his senses and rushed inside the super-market.
Simple story but a lesson for both men and women. Please do not take your partners for granted.
Yes, men should start accepting their wives as they are and women tolerate harsh words of their husbands at times for an overall improvement and fulfilment in their married lives. Ironically, we are so polite to strangers and greet people well but are we doing the same to our wives? Are we really respecting them ?
Ninety percent of the families do miss the daily happy moments. The husband gets back home and the wife does not inquire about his day. Similarly, the husband does not tell his wife that he missed her very much.
When I started to think back on my own life, I realised that I also was guilty of neglect of my better-half. Took her for granted. I am sure she would have been much more happy, if only I had conveyed my appreciation of her work, dedication etc. then. Now that I am in a position to replay my life story, I realised that I literally had no hand in the upbringing of my children except probably provide for them in terms of money. Once in a while maybe I used to attend the parent-teacher meetings. I used to be under false notion that working long hours with or without any justifications would please the bosses. Did my better-half complain? No.
Now in my prime, I am in a position to understand and appreciate but it is quite late. How I wish I could turn the clock back.
But at least as happened in the story, if the young man and woman in prime do start thinking and start appreciating their better-halves, the world would be a better place to live. A simple genuine appreciation works wonders. If she calls you out for shopping, please do go, your better-half also requires a break from the routine. Communicate, sometimes even a genuine smile, a small pat, would do.
Kal ho na ho… One never knows what tomorrow holds out for both of you. Do you agree?