silver hair Valentines

The biggest and most genuine love stories can sometimes be found in one’s own backyard. I have found one tucked away in a corner of my home and heart. No, I have no salacious details or a scandalous story. This simple heartwarming tale is about a 75 year old man and a 70 year old woman, who could not be separated by distance, grief, needles, pain, suffering or wrinkles. Their bond, much like the heavily advertised Fevicol one on TV, has stood the test of time and troubles to emerge unbreakable.

For as long as I can remember, they have been inseparable. There were many ‘typicals’ in their past. A typical arranged marriage, a typical dramatic and torturous mother in law, a typical life full of four children. But while growing up, we never felt like we had an average life, nothing typical about it. We always felt special and well taken care of, primarily because we saw the love and bonding between our parents which cemented our foundations with comfort, confidence and trust. And mind you, this was never the expressive or overtly evident kind of love. there was no hugging or kissing or hand holding or date nights, which the current generation views as obvious hallmarks of a healthy marriage or relationship. But it was clear to all of us. Everytime their eyes were searching for each other when troubles came knocking, the way our mother used to hang off the balcony every evening at 6:30 pm, waiting for him to appear around the corner, how she carefully ironed all his handkerchiefs and rolled up all he would need the next morning, the way they stayed up nights, together, for years, trying to ease away our pain and suffering, remembering how lost they looked whenever either one was traveling alone, how she would wake up at 4am to pack fresh parathas when he was leaving for a tour. It might seem that she was busy making all the valuable contributions while he was just wafting around. But despite being in a full time and very important government job, our father managed to fulfill all his duties and shower us with all the love we needed.

Years have passed. We all are married and grown up with our own children. But in the last few years, I have seen a more evident and feverish sort of love emerge between our very own Romeo and Juliet, bordering on reverential. And the tables have turned. After years of silently working and slogging away as the core of this family, my mother’s wheels are now a bit rusted, her pace has slackened and she has almost come to a standstill by the side of the road, literally run over by an onslaught of diseases. And the unsuspecting, unassuming Romeo has emerged as the hero. The setting of this love story has changed as well. Even the props are different. There are multicolored medicine boxes, tubes, wires, injections, walkers, sticks and everything that could unhinge the strongest hearts. But his trembling hands are firm when she needs to hold on. His false teeth are always ready to widen into a cheery smile everytime her tears start flowing. There are cobwebs in both their minds but he fights much harder so he can be clear and steer her through her everyday challenges. This humbling and debilitating ‘new normal’ rips our hearts out on days when we are feeling weak in our resolve but every other time, it makes us proud and melancholy. For we secretly pray for a similar love story in our own lives. Hoping that when the world chugs on around us and we slow down, there will always be one set of feet, slowing down with us, with a silent promise that we will never walk alone.

  1. February 13, 2018 - Reply

    Richa I loved it!! Tears in my eyes…

    • February 13, 2018 - Reply

      @Navanita Varadpande

      Thanks so much Navanita 🙂

  2. February 13, 2018 - Reply

    This warmed my heart up on a brutal winter morning😊…always looking forward to your next write up…

    • February 13, 2018 - Reply

      @Deepa chawlani

      Thanks Deepa:-) I hope to never disappoint you!

  3. February 13, 2018 - Reply

    Dearest Didi – this was a delightful read! Thank you for writing and sharing. I think timing of this could not have been more perfect – true love is what a heart desires and to be able to witness it is divine and to be able to live it is nothing short of a miracle.

    • February 14, 2018 - Reply


      Hey Arpan. Hope you’re doing well! Couldn’t have said it better myself. We are all inspired by our own silver hair valentines tucked away at home and witnessing them grow and living through struggles together is miraculous and inspirational for sure.Hugs.

  4. March 6, 2018 - Reply

    You write beautifully! I came across your blog and I am so glad I did. Read many of your poems and prose pieces at a stretch..truly a wordsmith 🙂

    • March 6, 2018 - Reply

      @Meha Sharma

      Thanks so much for your kind words and taking the time to read my posts Meha:-) You definitely made my day!

  5. March 11, 2018 - Reply

    Beautiful words and heartfelt sentiment. Went through 5 kleenex. Love your parents and know how hard it is to be going through this. The love and support of family keeps one sane and strong. You all are lucky to have each other. Love your poetry and stories.

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