Friday, August 14, 2009

Love in the time of Swine Flu

Yes – this is a married man talking here. After three decades and a year, I am finally the proud owner of a glittering golden circle on my right hand’s ring finger. A shine that, despite the lack of the one who lovingly slipped it in place on the 28th of last month, continues to fill me with the same affection I have always seen in the honest depths of her soulful eyes. As I now await the blessed return of the proverbial bride into my nomadic existence overseas, these are the thoughts that buzz around me. And so, as I sit punching in the electronic squares all the while admiring the circle of trust smiling back at me, I find these word patterns taking shape.

The summer of my life’s highlight was peppered with what can only be called a maniacal concoction of the extreme nature. Right from the moment I sat with my father as he drove me home from the airport on the cold 13th morning of last month, it was destined to be unadulterated chaos. Having returned from a fortnight of theories and facts in London, I was eagerly awaiting a much needed break. And yes, there was definitely the promise of one too. But then there is hope, and there is hope’s shadow. As I eagerly look back today after having settled into my residence away from my roots, I find myself wondering where that word – vacation – vanished into! Did it make a brief appearance between the days and fly by unnoticed? Or was my preoccupation with my thoughts so intense that I didn’t even acknowledge its humble presence? I am not sure anymore. But then I cannot rant about the issues I had to face to get things organized for the wedding since these were things that had to be done. And no, I can’t even whine about a very hectic post wedding schedule that involved the welcoming of a new bride into the old household and daily trips to relatives’ places followed by a strong bout of viral fever. No. These were things, I’d like to imagine, that were just meant to be. I was in dire need of some down time after the insanity that had ensued thus far and if letting my body peak at 102 degrees with an inexplicably random bout of fever was the way to go, then so be it. And no – I definitely cannot discount my beloved half for anything. It might as well have been her never dying spirit that runs through me that brought me back to my feet sooner than I’d have normally taken in such instances.

Nevertheless, surrounded by daily tabloid spills of the dreaded Swine Flu and haunted by post viral fever rash, I did manage to limp back to where I belong – my home away from home – today afternoon, albeit solo. Sure, things still aren’t perfect as I now find myself changing skin into the quintessential married bachelor while Jaya awaits her visa papers to be processed next week. But even in this madness there is some relief. Even in this roller coaster ride of a dozen emotions, there is a silent wave of inexorable joy. Despite the month and a fortnight I’ve had, despite the illness, despite the fatigue and definitely despite the joints that still throb from inevitable jetlag, I am smiling as I punch in these words all the time glancing at the golden circle embedded on my hand. It is there, right there, that I find a way to breathe. It is in the pangs of that beautiful feeling that I know, deep inside me, that this day will pass too. It is thus that I convince myself that being high on my beloved’s thoughts can survive anything – even H1N1. And for that, I thank the Almighty on bended knees.

Thank you, Lord.

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