A VALENTINE DAY LETTER TO WIFE
We first met in the sprawling Garden Restaurant of Hotel Sarovar, Hyderabad adjacent to the office I was working. It was a cool evening of 28th November, 1976. The occasion was the birthday of my very close school mate, whose cousin happened to be her close friend. We shared snacks and a little humor and me, being very talkative those days naturally made the evening more humorous than she expected. Same time, I observed that she too was very talkative and liked my humor. She wanted a Basundi, the costliest sweet those days, Rs.5/- per cup. Since, I was the host and full of male pride I ordered four and emptied my pockets. (Two days later I got salary) Within a week I obtained her phone number and called her office for lunch in the same hotel. She was stunned, angry and in my heart I felt she was happy too, to have met a daring boy those days. She feigned reluctance, but came. We met almost daily later. On 4th March, 1977 she offered me lunch in the same hotel, to discuss our future. We sat in a corner and in a 'no-nonsense' manner she asked me “Will you marry me?” I said I was thinking of asking the same question but was hesitating. Then she asked me the most direct question. “ Will you stand on your word, even if all the world stands in between?” I said “Yes!”. We never thought “How?”
I broached the subject in our house and there was strong opposition for many reasons. I stood my ground and said, come what may, I was marrying her. Sensing the same kind of opposition in her house, I moved things fast. I approached a Registrar of Marriages through a friend and learned about the procedure. On one fine morning, we approached the Registrar Office in Mojamjahi Market and gave one month's notice for marriage under Special Marriages Act. Exactly after one month, on 15th June 1977, we got married in front of a Muslim Registrar, who administered an oath of marriage. We went into the Public Gardens, exchanged garlands brought by mutual friends, hosted lunch and parted. The day I got the Marriage Certificate I showed it in the house. Things moved fast and she came to our house within two months without much fanfare. We were remarried traditionally on 2nd September, 1977. We spent Rs. 3000/- both together. Life went on.
After 24 years, as I was perusing headlines in the Deccan Chronicle I saw a a contest for young lovers inviting them to write loving letters to their fiancees. I thought ,”Why not me?” My temper was such that once I thought “Why not me?”, I used to implement it immediately. I sat before the Desk Top and typed a love letter to my wife, 24 years after marriage and forwarded it to the News Paper Office. As it was an open letter published in a News Paper I do share the contents here with you.
I gives me a lot of pleasure and a sweet pain too, to write you again twenty four years after I wrote to to you with my heart. Pleasure, because we crossed a milestone in our life surpassing all hurdles twenty four years ago and lived together surpassing many more hurdles. Pain, because your life had never been a bed of roses with me. But you endured the pain with a smile and brought up the three children in such a way that the world envied us.
That I love you need not be told again. That you loved me more than you love yourself, I never lost sight of. Your world revolved around me since marriage and more so now. You stood by me in times of stress, consoled me and never asked me more than what I could give you. You took the ups and downs of our lives, the pleasures and pains and riches and poverty with the same equanimity and made my life full.
As age advanced, things changed . The world too changed. The hill which we used to climb daily (Naubath Pahad) is now Birla Mandir (Abode of Lord Venkateswara). God destined us to leave material pleasures and turn towards Him for the rest of our lives.
In the Hussain Sagar Lake, on the banks of which we used to share pleasures and pains, there stands a larger than life size statue of Buddhah! Is it time to renounce the worldly pleasures and turn to meditation?
Alas! The hotel we first met, the hotel you first proposed to me and the hotel that changed the direction of our lives is today “Medi City Hospital”. Will destiny see us again there to propose to each other and depart the world forever? I wish we do it together, as we cant live a day without each other. On this Valentine Day,I pray God to grant this one last wish!
Your words on the day you proposed to me still reverberate in my mind.” If you respect me I will reciprocate “ and I promised you. I stood by my word till date and on this Valentine Day I again promise you, I will stand by my word.
Yours ever loving,
Surprisingly, this letter won “the best love letter” award that year and we got a priceless Mont Blanc pen with platinum coating and gold nib. I do not know the value but it is priceless.