“Cathy, come and see they are fighting again’
“ But mother says grandpa and grandma got love marriage”- Cathy was telling her brother Jack.
“So what, they are tired of each other now. Don’t you see? They do nothing but fight the whole day.”
One year ago Jose and Maria celebrated their “Golden Anniversary”. Their son Robert hosted the party in honour of his loving parents. The younger generation envied their successful married life, showered them with gifts and adorned with beautiful speeches and wished them many more happy years together.
As soon as the last guest left, they fought. Robert thanked them for postponing their fight at least till every guest was gone.
Robert’s wife Julie, a nursery school teacher, had teased them several times “If I see you two fighting again, I will enroll you in my school.”
Jose was 24 years old when he married the 16 years old bride, Maria. In all those 51 years of their married life, they had seen plenty of life together. They had succeeded in educating their children. Their daughter was happily married and staying in a far away country. Their son Robert was a successful businessman. What they asked for, they were provided.
They usually take one whole hour to have breakfast; 5-7 minutes to eat and more than 50 minutes fighting. Nobody in the family had all that long time to spend on the dining table. So they preferred to be alone after everybody had gone to their respective places.
Bahati, the house helper, had been working for them since Maria delivered her first baby. Bahati understood them very well. She and Maria were nearly of the same age. They were more like friends.
During breakfast hours, Jose and Maria would fight over the amount of jam on the bread- who scooped more jam than the other; whose bread slice was thicker than the other’s and many more reasons to fight for. Bahati would watch them with all smiles and envy.
Despite all the fights, they were always together. One could not stay without seeing the other for more than few minutes.
Maria was used to gossiping little tit bits with Bahati after breakfast and Jose wanted her to listen to him while he was reading the news papers---- Obama and Putin are about to re ignite the cold war…. Hilary Clinton is the presidential candidate …. In the middle of listening to Jose, suddenly Maria would speak-“ Is Indira Gandhi still the president?”
“ No, she resigned when I married her”-Jose would snap at her back.
Robert once tried to tell his father to read the news paper alone, for himself. He was also snapped back “ She has to be smart and up to date.”
One evening, Jack, Robert’s 12 years old son was taking his evening tea. Bahati was serving him milk with biscuits. “ Bahati, you are grandma’s friend, right? Why don’t you tell her not to fight with grandpa?”
“ No Jack, they are not fighting. This is how old husband and wife tell each other –“I love you.” This is called old peoples’ romance. Only few lucky people like your grandpa and grandma can have this type of romance, unique romance!!!”
After few minutes, Robert and Julie heard their son Jack screaming out his lungs “ Cathy, Cathy hurry up. Come and see, grandpa and grandma are romancing again.”
(The aruthor is a Manipuri Thiyam Ningol from Uripok but settled at Africa for the past about 35 years working as a doctor. ::::: mugusi.nalini @gmail.com)
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