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The Question by Elsa Thomas

July 24, 2014

The Question

640px-Burrowing_Owl_4354

His very sight irritated me. How I despised his presence in the classroom! I still remember the day we were introduced to each other by a common friend. We greeted each other, shook hands and inquired of each other’s educational background. As we spoke, I could feel his eyes grow cold. I did not comprehend that. I could see some kind of an aversion in his eyes for me which troubled me. I felt there was something terribly wrong with my appearance, which forced me to check my clothes in case if there was something wrong with it. I do not remember us talking ever after that. Over the few months that we spent in college, I perceived him as being a typical male chauvinist. Calling him so was maybe an act of ego protection.

In spite of my hatred for him, it may be a terrible mistake on my part to hide some facts about him. Though he was a woman hater, there was something in him that made every girl in the campus fall for him. I never found anything so different and attractive in him, average looks, average personality. There was nothing special in him except for that he had clean shoes. Yes, he did have clean shoes, something that almost no boy in the college had and so I couldn’t help notice those clean pair of shoes that protected his feet. His clothes were simple yet trendy and clean. OK, I maintain that I wasn’t interested in him. I evaluated men on the basis of their shoes and fingernails. Dirty nails meant dirty habits. His overall appearance did tell me that he was from a well to do background. His language was highly refined and he kept away from the popular slang.

Over the year, many such incidents took place which increased the intensity of my hatred towards him. He too despised me as much as I. There was never a day when he did not try putting me down and that means even if it was scoring a point more than me. He just could not agree with a single view of mine. I found him petulant. His ideologies never matched with mine, his reasons asinine. He was heartless and was partly responsible for making me a feminist. He was egoistic and forced me to think of him of having some kind of insecurity about some unknown fact.

It was obvious that our fellow classmates did notice this mutual and honest hatred that we shared. Both of us were academically good; great at debates. We were a dream team which was never going to turn into a reality, thanks to our ‘love’ for each other. Pitted against each other, we could convert a stage into a battlefield. All my girlfriends forced me to make peace with him as they felt that I was a hindrance for them being his friends. They found it difficult to choose their attraction to him over their loyalty towards me. They talk of it till this day.

I kept nurturing the fire in me and worked hard to score better than him at the final examination which I did. I got to know from other class fellows of how furious he was at me having scored more than him. This gave me a sense of victory. His irritation made me happy. On the last day of college, at our farewell party, I vowed never to meet him again. I still remember the message we sent to each other through some kind of invisible connect, “I hope I will not see you again.”

Today after nine years, on the anniversary of our first meeting, I am his wife. Yes, I am his wife. In front of the Lord, at the altar, in front of about five hundred guests, we got married. It is over a year since we got married. How? I do not know. Why? I am still searching for that answer. It wasn’t a love marriage nor was it an arranged one. I do not know if our marriage has the qualification to be able to suit any conventional marriage category.  Our parents were happy. Our class fellows visibly confused. I still remember the message that we exchanged on the day of our farewell party, “I hope I will not see you again.”

We live in Mumbai in our little flat. We work for the same company but in different departments. We spent the initial few months of our marriage juggling between Delhi where I was posted initially and Mumbai before I arranged for a transfer to Mumbai. Over the past one year, I must say, he has broken the image that I had of him. He had changed over the years and had turned out to be a great husband. He never made a face at me for working into the late hours of the night. Instead he cooked meals when I got late. He helped me complete all the household chores that were postponed until the weekend and has proved to be a rather unconventional husband.

He was now able to prove my male chauvinist accusation wrong. I still do not know why he was the way he was with me in college. There are some things that I still do not know of him and some things that he does not know about me. It is a wait to know some more about each other, a wait to be able to be termed life partners in the true sense. As of now every passing day explains a newer dimension of us. It is more like exploring us while maintaining him in him and me in me. Neither of us compromising on any matter but understanding each other’s perspective and respecting it too. I just want the answers to my questions. I hope every new chapter in our lives leave a clue for me to reach my answers.

Copyright 2014 Elsa Thomas

Image courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burrowing_owl#mediaviewer/File:Burrowing_Owl_4354.jpg

4 Comments
  1. Loved it, remarkable read for me 🙂
    “understanding each other perspective and respecting it too” what a wonderful way to start post & end it too.
    Good wishes.

    • Elsa Thomas permalink

      Thank you Ruchi. I am glad you have connected with it

  2. Benita George permalink

    Nice :D.. Loved it 😀 cheers!!

  3. Elsa Thomas permalink

    Thank you Bennie!!

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