One can hardly imagine spare time in the life of a Medico. Well, getting to know the innards of the human body can be challenging, if not intimidating! Yet, it is at this tedious time during the prime of our youth that cupid finds most favourable to unleash the love bug among us.
“Love found us, rather than we found love” – It is almost like the expression suddenly had a more profound meaning.
The audacious contention that medical colleges are breeding grounds for the most enduring love stories has been lingering in my head for a while, and for good reason. I am not sure everyone will agree with my assumption and if you are one of them, or if you have an even more preposterous idea regarding love within the medical fraternity, you should share with us in the comments section.
An Unlikely Meeting, or a Predestined One?
It was a pleasant summer’s day in 2001, in the Garden City of India, and the air was scented with the sweet fragrance of daisies and roses in full bloom. But, the day was just like any other in the busy life of a well-bred medico – sober, solemn and hectic.
I was making my way through one of the corridors at St. John’s Medical College, Bengaluru, and thinking about the pathology test we had just appeared, when a glint of light fell on my brow. The corridor was dimly lit by a small bulb across the far end, conjuring a deserted look, and for a second, I wondered where the light came from. As I looked up to see, I was blinded for a second by the glint of light that bounced off the white metal dangling from her well-formed ear lobes. She was beautiful – an angelic form, a rare beauty, a heavenly creature, I surmised.
Alethea was studying to become a Cardiac Perfusionist. She was petite, endowed with a healthy mix of mongoloid features, an absolutely spotless skin and locks of dark brown hair that flowed right down to her shoulders.
She approached me with calculated steps and asked politely, “Where is the library?” In response, I said hastily “This way ma’am,” and took the burden of escorting her to the library, which was barely a five minutes’ walk from where we were. It was no herculean task, the library being a favourite hideout during my primordial days at medical school, when we were “baptised” into the medical fraternity by testy seniors.
I was a remarkably dark-skinned, tall and rustic boy, a son of the soil at the prime of his youth. Being a shy boy, it was no easy task for me to be comfortable in the company of a lady, and a pretty lady at that. The five minutes’ walk under the shadowy bower with a beautiful dame ignited feelings in my heart, feelings which were long lost in the deepest crevices of my innermost being, after years of rigorous preparation for medical school. It was then that I felt a deep longing for someone to share my life’s joys, sorrows, and all the rest, someone to call my own. For the first time in my life, I felt empty deep down inside.
Of course, I felt stupid. I did not even know this girl, and worse still, it was the first time I met her. How could I harbour such imagination? These nubile thoughts drowned me in a fantasy world where I, with my beloved shared a life of bliss. I was suddenly brought back to reality by the old librarian, who chided me for not removing my lab coat before entering the library.
I left the library alone feeling empty. Had I left something or someone behind?
That’s the account of my first meeting with the person I eventually ended up calling my love, my life, and my wife!
A Protracted Courtship
It was only after becoming close enough to share our feelings that Alethea disclosed the existence of similar feelings of warmth, hope and love at that chance meeting. This curious meeting was the first of many encounters that slowly blossomed into a love affair, a long period of courtship that lasted 6 long years and eventually culminated in prosperous marital bliss.
An old saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together”, and yet here we were – two different colours, from two very different cultures, two different places, meeting in a far-off land, intertwined in a stupendous love story that continued through the years of medical school and beyond. To say the least, ours was an eccentric love story, and my friends told me so – some out of sheer jealousy while others out of mere concern. We grew in wisdom and love as the days at Medical College flew by.
We parted ways after my graduation from Medical School, but love persisted, in fact, it grew relentlessly, thanks to the long and profound conversations over costly trunk lines. Countless hours were spent over at the phone booth after anxiously waiting my turn; some with a smile on my face, some with tears welling up in my eyes, and still, love grew.
And still, the best was yet to come.
A Happy Ending or a New Beginning?
My family was distraught and protested when I popped the question about marriage, being wary of the outcome of inter-race marriages. My big brother chided me, my sisters ignored me, but for my loving father’s wisdom, whose happiness dwelt in seeing a perpetual smile across my face.
He said, “YES”. He knew “everything works out for the best”.
I and my beloved, our hearts and minds entwined, fueled by a hope of eternal love and the joy of togetherness, we tied the knot in the early days of 2007, the Third of January to be precise – a day etched in my heart and my ring finger. This cold winter morning in Shillong marked the beginning of the rest of our lives, a beginning of many adventures, heartfelt experiences and a life of intimacy.
Two short years had flown by and we were blessed with a handsome little boy, Aaron! He is an admixture of our colours, statures, characters and spirits – a sprightly boy, a living sign of love shared between us since 2001. Years passed by with one blessing superseding the other and it was springtime in 2012 that Luke was born. He was a healthy baby boy from the start and has grown up to be a playful child.
Love's Bounty – A Reflection on our Platinum Day of Love
“Love begets love,” it is said, and we shared many days, weeks, months and years of love, not erased by time but strengthened by our experiences – experiences that made us laugh and cry together; experiences that nurtured us; experiences that moulded us; and experiences that represented us.
To this trail of scintillating experiences, we owe our Platinum Day of Love, which unassumingly happened more than a decade ago by a sheer twist of fate, but became the pivot around which our lives changed for good.
Platinum represents the unending and everlasting love that we share as a couple, as a family and one that will last through the ages. Like the durability of Platinum which represents incorruptibility, we shall in full faith work towards an eternal love that shines through the toughest times.