They met when they were children,
Fell in love somewhere along the way
and got married in 1965.
He was a dashing Naval officer.
And she was a gorgeous girl with a huge heart and the oldest of five siblings.
He was asked to report back to duty the week after their wedding because of the Indo- Pak war.She was young, had never been outside Kerala and spoke only Malayalam.She got on a train to Vizag and then to Calcutta and stepped into a world that was completely alien to her.The culture shock was huge. From a simple brahmin lifestyle in Kerala to a Naval lifestyle.. it was a bit of a drastic change. And she was only 17.
She once told me how she learned to speak in English. Her husband refused to talk to her until she spoke in English. It didn’t matter if there were mistakes, it didn’t matter if it was grammatically wrong. Speak, he said. Because that is the only way you will learn. He made sure that she continued her education.
He showed her the world, introduced her to a different kind of life- one that had privileges and parties, but yet made you tough, disciplined, organised. Where you learnt to sort problems on your own, depend on yourself and become so strong that you go on automatic when faced with stuff. She toughened up quick.Grace and steel come to mind.
In one of those random conversations over the years- she once told me that he could drive her up the wall. I never saw that. He once told me that she didn’t understand. I didn’t see that either. And if there was one thing anyone can learn from this marriage is that everybody only saw the love. Everybody saw an ideal marriage where responsibilities and dreams seemed evenly balanced. But the truth is that nobody knew the differences of opinion they had. Not even their kids. They took care to protect their marriage. It was private. It had an immense amount of respect.
Over the years, they’ve handled their crazy families, raised two kids, enjoyed their grand kids, faced a lot- together. Always together. In spite of all the differences of opinion. The problems they’ve faced have been huge but love and respect overcome a lot. They faced the hurts together and helped each other heal. They gave space for each other to grow into the people they are today. Smoothed out each other’s rough edges. It’s not always been easy and from what my aunt says- they still drive each other crazy. ( not that I’ve seen that!! :D)
50 years- Wow! hell of a long time.
Today they celebrate 50 years of being a couple
and 64 years of being in love.
I can tell you- they’ve been an inspiration, my second set of parents ( i even call her mummy) and my favorite aunt and uncle.
Happy 50th Anniversary Moomy and Appuchi Uncle. May you have many many more wonderful years and may you stay blessed always.