She and I

We’ve been together 5 years but most of the time we’re yelling, crying, or fighting with each other. We kiss and make up as quickly as we fall out, but the scars remain. We’ve talked about ending it for good, but each time we stare at each other and say nothing, we realize we could never be without each other.

I’m often unsure what it is that makes me so head over heels in love with her. She is smelly, rude, egotistical, and frustratingly impossible to change. It feels as if she doesn’t even want to change, as if she is content with her ways. She tells me I have no business trying to change her at all. I have no business trying to help her get better. She tells me I am the one that needs to change. She might be right, but I don’t believe it, so I’ve stayed with her, never leaving for longer than to go out and get fresh milk and bread.

She could never leave me either. She shows me the real world, she berates my idealism, she points her finger at the fate of the unfortunate and tells me it is impossible for me to fix, but she holds me tight all the while. She smiles while she says it, with crooked teeth, blush red cheeks, and enigmatic fiery eyes.

I know I was put on this earth to make life better for her, for us. I can feel it in my bones when I see her struggling, caught up in her old habits, I can see another way. I can see a better way. She doesn’t like to listen to me, though. I want to make her hear me, make her see what we can do together. How we can change the world together. Usually she doesn’t seem to care.

Then, every so often, she turns to me. She takes a deep breath and hears me out. She lets me in. She patiently listens while teaching me something new I could have never learnt on my own. She gives me a moment to get under her skin and leave my impression on her.  In those rare, brief, blissful moments, I fall back in love with her all over again. I remember why I am here and what we are doing together, still, after 5 long, beautiful, difficult years.

I remember our children and our commitment to them. That we would make things better for them. That we would give them the best we could possibly give. I remember their wistful eyes and innocent smiles and my heart warms with the picture of their future. I remember the future we are building together for them, to make it an equal, fair, and just place.

I find myself here, with her yet again, and I am hopeful for our future. Here’s to the next 5  years together.

Happy Anniversary to you, beautiful India.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. unknown143 says:

    This is absolutely awesome

    Like

  2. rajeev says:

    Amazing.wishing you many great years in India.

    Like

  3. Just beautiful, Shabnam. Your passion and dedication – even through the struggles and frustration – are truly inspiring.

    Like

  4. Well put. Best Wishes. Love – Mom

    Like

  5. Alicia Whitney says:

    As always, nailed it. I am happy to hear that you are staying long enough for me to visit you. Hugs and love comin’ atcha.

    Like

  6. Richa says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read in a while. I shared it with a few of my friends working abroad in international development and it really hit home. Good luck with everything!

    Like

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