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My 50-year-old Love Story…

Soon, the sun will set on my 50th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe I hung in there from the year dot, mostly because when we married there were bets (with real money!) as to how long we would last. The stakes beyond 6 months were at an abysmal low. 2 days and a week were the most popular bets. But 50 years, on we are still together, and going strong too. Even those that placed the odds against us have long since been buried (by that, I mean in the ground and not just in history).

wedding old_new_love_times

Image source: provided by the writer

When my love story started, I was this feisty, oomphy, smart-mouthed diva, with hair below my hips. I knew I was attractive and milked it for all it was worth, when I wanted to. My target (colloquially known as bakra) for the day was this sweet, rosy-cheeked, gelled hair, Dev Anand look alike. I distinctly remember him in his white shirt, a V-neck sweater vest, with a nice tie that finished the look. That was the day I met my match. I couldn’t outfox him in anyway.

He followed me faithfully in a car, when I stomped off after a hissy fit into the dark blue night in my backless choli and stilettos. He never uttered a word when I sat on a culvert in a mock sulk, but I bolted into his car, as soon as a few motorcycle marauders made a few rounds. He took me dancing to a disco where my saree fell off and couldn’t put it back together because I didn’t know how. He found and paid an attender to help me and took a very inebriated foolish teen safely home. He never baulked when his traditional mother fainted, when she saw me for the first time.

Couple Sitting_new_love_times

Image source: provided by the writer

He understood me, he stood by me, he indulged me, and allowed me to grow. Ah! Those were the days.

As time went by, we both changed; he became more aggressive and I more shrill. 3 kids, school schedules, court cases, job changes, an entrepreneurial journey – all of these began to change us as people and as a couple. We lost the ability to be foolish, weird, blasphemous, and before we knew it, we had been molded into the stereotypical married couple.

Goel Family_new_love_times

Goel family

Image source: provided by the writer

In the steady stream of life, one hardly realized how the everydayness of it could completely erode and trivialize one’s life, love, and commitments. I justified myself out of every corner that I was trapped in, money being tight, children’s homework not being done, tuitions too frequent, accounts miscalculated, holidays too few… essentially happy memories more transient, life more menial…

Years of unhappy battles later, the realization dawned on me: Rule 1 – life is ‘ change’; Rule 2 – I can’t change anyone but myself. I had to get my head out of the past and come to appreciate the person I had become… I had to let go of my youthful idealism and make a choice if I wanted to view the glass as half full or half empty. Not just for me but for my husband as well.

Suggested read: Why ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ is one of the most enduring love stories

I have, over time, reconciled to the change and come to live by this simple philosophy –  life flows, changes intersperse themselves, we need to feed on this change, ride along with some of it, and let some of it die a natural death and wait for the new chapters to unfold. Much like a log fire, you need to keep stoking the flames to keep it going

Rita and Satish Goel_new_love_times

Image source: provided by the writer

Now, 46 years of our married life later (to the day), the battles have left us a little bloodied but happier than I could have imagined. The small victories, unwavering companionship, the army of family and friends that we built, and the arsenal of understanding and love. As I sip my whisky on the rocks with my old man by my side, I heave a sigh of relief that we did it “our way,” with all our ups and downs, we loved, we changed, we survived, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

Featured image source: provided by the writer

Article Name
My 50-year-old Love Story
A story of how my love story stood the test of time.
Rita Goel

Rita Goel

Living Life Queen size, is my motto. Age, memory lapses, and my constant war with technology... nothing can keep down my zest for life and trying new things. This is a new feather in my proverbial cap, writing for an online media house. My stories are mostly real, raw and a peppered by my own wild (in some cases) and life altering experiences. With a healthy dose of my trademark wit and my long standing affliction from a foot in the mouth disease, I hope to share a bit of myself with the world at large.