It was my first time intimacy with a person of my opposite sex, the one who had stood up for me with courage and integrity and kept standing by me like a firm rock each and every day right from that very first day! Till my university days I made it a strict rule on myself to maintain a fixed scaled distance with the boys… actually men, but as long as you’re a student the tendency to address ourselves by ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ doesn’t quite set us free. Now as our wedding was over, I was supposed to migrate to Jiaganj where my husband had just started his career as a gynaecologist in the Government hospital and help ourselves to set up our new home but before the marriage I had enrolled for B.Ed. in a place near my hometown in Bardhaman. Today, I don’t really remember whether I was more confused to travel to a new place to know my man or how to explain him my wish to continue my then ongoing course… but, what flashes in my mind is the persuasive assurance of an understanding man to stay back in my home like before and finish up with my B.Ed.! Yes, even in those days we harmoniously maintained a year of distant relationship till I completed my studies. There was never an incidence of ‘love at first sight’ for me (for both of us I guess) but my husband’s first big decision (or should I call it a selfless sacrifice from a man’s part?) in our relationship had earned him my heart which I had preserved till then for ‘someone special’. In today’s scenario of video-chatting and SMS-chat, staying the first year of marriage away from each other may seem somewhat trivial to most of you, but it was not so in those days of postcards and inland letters! I had already completed M.A. in English and B.Ed. was just something additional without which I could live up with… he could easily pull me to Jiaganj but he had chosen to respect my dreams and most importantly, in a time when women from my place used to remain content with a bachelor degree.
It brings me a giggle to remember how my husband used to run away from the chamber where my kids were vaccinated because he couldn’t bear their cry due to the injection (to remind you again, he’s a gynaecologist surgeon!). Even his staffs and colleagues know the soft child in him in the shell of temporary outbursts which only a person not acquainted to him would mind. During the birth of my second child, it was Saraswati Puja time and he had literally run through the whole town of Bankura in search of an obstetrician as most of them were off for holidays. At last he called for a taxi to take me to Bardhaman where a doctor was available to perform a caesarean section to deliver my younger son. Even in the extreme pain of labour (only a mother would know), my husband’s firm hand over my forehead and his caring eyes fixed on me, wet in heavy anxiety had provided me strength to sustain my positive will in all those bumpy kilometres travelled in taxi before reaching the nursing home. After the delivery of my first son, I developed asthma which slightly aggravated with passing time, for which I’m a regular user of inhaler medications. Before one file of inhaler gets consumed, my husband is one who reminds me ‘time to bring new stock’… no, it’s not me, he himself brings me those medicines. Time hasn’t been kind to us throughout all along these years. Once his service was politically victimized… to a point where he stopped his private practice as well. That hard time lasted for a good four-five years when we were eating on our savings. But even in those hardest days, there was never an occasion where we failed to pay our bills or something couldn’t be bought as a sign of compromise. It was not because of a fortune he saved but simply because he was ready to take out the last penny from his savings for meeting the needs of four of us! For both of my sons their dad has always been a friend, who kept track of admission notice of their new schools, school annual exam schedule, parents-teachers meet and what not. To be honest, don’t you think the story of a good husband will never end when his happy wife is the narrator?
I can deaf ear thousand imperfections like - his momentary short temperament, uncontrolled food habit even at this age, ‘coming in 15 minutes’ means at least 2 hours, every year’s forgetfulness of our anniversary date, wastage of money in silly purchases, smoking (previously), pan-chewing (present trend!), covering my allegations with a wide open newspaper etc for a man with a perfect character. In the border there are military soldiers to save my country… in the television there is Uttam Kumar to protect the life of my fantasy… but in this life I’ve my husband to protect my identity. So, when my elder son asked me about soldier in my life, I couldn’t think of dedicating this title (and eventually this post) to anybody other than my husband Dr. Aniruddha Samanta. On a concluding note, we’re not new generation couple to exchange ‘I love you’ now and then but I can never reciprocate in words how much I respect your love for me and how deeply I love you.