My mamimma and Uppapa have been married for more than 55 years.
I have never seen two people who are so different yet so perfect for each other. She is impulsive, he is calm and collected. She loves attending weddings, whereas he would much rather read newspaper at home. He calls her "Aachibee" but Mammima doesn't call him by his name but says "aiy, are you listening", which I find quite amusing.
I have always believed that both of them were born ahead of their times. Both as individuals and as a couple they have followed the "out with the old, in with the new" mantra. Both of them are strong believers in women educating themselves and getting empowered through work. (One of Mammima's dreams is me buying her a diamond ring with my first salary, of course she'd be happy if I gift her anything)
They were big movie buffs. In a story that I have heard often (which might or might not be true, since the source is my masala loving mother) it is recounted that uppappa and Mammima drove to thalassery-a couple of hours away- to watch a first day- first show movie. That's dedication!
They both love to travel. Together they have traveled across south east Asia. Stories of those trips continue to be fondly narrated to me over quiet evenings, each time I visit them. Just a few years back they renewed their passports and visited Dubai, while we envied their endless energy and drive.
They have a small ritual that I think all couples can benefit from. Every evening they sit outside on the verandah, some times with a steaming cup of tea, and just talk. About days gone, days to come, of Friends who are no more, and family that lives far away. At other times they settle into a comfortable silence that comes with being married that long. I like listening to their stories and watching their silence, witnessing glimpses of a great marriage that survived and thrived despite the many hurdles that came their way. And although I am pretty sure they have never expressed in words their love for each other, this little ritual is enough evidence of that.
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