It was a cold winter afternoon. I was seating on the sofa with the husband, legs tucked up, randomly browsing on my phone. I started thinking of our wedding and a smile lit up my face at how happy an occasion it was. I looked up at the husband and asked, ‘I think our wedding was the happiest day of my life. Do you agree?’ Without even taking a second to think about it, he replied with a No. I was a little surprised to say the least, and I asked him why he felt that way. ‘It was a beautiful occasion, no doubt. And a very very happy day. But I think it was only the beginning of a new adventure – there have been so many days that I have loved more since then.’ That was a simple enough answer but it made me think.
Our wedding was so beautiful. Simple decorations, filled with lots of people that cared about us – just as I had always wanted. I absolutely loved the pampering, the teasing, the dressing-up and just being the center of attention. I don’t think I stopped smiling for a minute through those two days.
After the wedding, I joined the husband at Boston and we began our life together. Almost a year later, my parents and the sister visited us. It was so much fun. We went around Boston, traveled a little nearby, visited some relatives and went to the beautiful Niagara falls. I loved having them around, making them feel comfortable in what was my home. I loved watching everyone gently getting to know each other. I loved the ‘casualness’ of the atmosphere – Amma constantly cooking and cleaning, Appa obsessing with the laundry and the sister wearing my clothes all the time. I loved that the husband and I could be ourselves, that there was no sense of formality or feeling that we ‘had guests’ at home. It was a lovely holiday.
A month flew by too soon and we had to drop them off at the airport. Driving back home, I couldn’t keep the tears from falling. It was a few days before I recovered completely. I’ve come to realize that I’m immensely dependent on my family – that I need to see their faces often, hear their voices and read their messages to keep myself sane.
We are all back in our respective cities now and everyone is back to their usual routines. Every now and then, I feel a sharp twinge of pain – the pain of living so far away from the people that I love so so much. And so I comfort myself with the memories – Appa falling asleep on the sofa, and Amma’s voice asking me what I want for the next meal. The baby sister helping me by cleaning the house, lazing around and investigating my bookshelf.
When I close my eyes, I can vividly imagine my favorite moment from the trip. The day they landed in Boston. I was waiting at the bottom of the escalator and the minute our anxious eyes fell on each other, all four of us broke out into the happiest of smiles. Appa ran down the last few stairs, pushing aside everyone who was in his way. We literally pounced on each other with the biggest hug and broke apart with happy tears streaming down our face. Amma and the sister followed and we couldn’t stop hugging and kissing each other for a long time.
Now I think I agree with the husband. The time we all spent together was such happy occasion. Seeing my parents and sister make themselves comfortable in my house made me much happier than I was on my wedding day. I’m starting to think that happiness redefines itself as we progress in life.
Knowing that there are people who love you so much that they burst into happy tears on seeing you. Having the baby sister under my roof. These things make my ‘happy place’.
I end this with a vague memory of one of my favorite quotes. It was from a book that I read a long, long time ago.
‘To know that you are loved, and that you are missed oh so much. That, my darling, is life’s greatest blessing’.