Madhavi and I are considered the runaway couple whose marriage is a runaway success. Thirty-five years of togetherness with a sprinkling of sobs, a splash of sniffles and a tsunami of smiles is quite an impressive scorecard.
So, what makes us ‘explode’?
I think the infinite differences and the few similarities we share make our marriage work.
Madhavi is an out and out extrovert and loves to socialise. She can carry out an animated conversation on any topic under the sun even with absolute strangers.
Oddly, though she is great at ‘talking the talk’, when it comes to speaking on stage, she is all at sea. While I tie myself into reef knots in one-to-one encounters, behind a podium I am quite cool.
Likewise, even though she is very gregarious on most occasions, she becomes extremely uncomfortable when anyone tries to flirt with her. I, on the other hand, come into my own only when I am practising the art and craft of this harmless, yet so very enjoyable, indulgence.
She has a great voice and sings very well. I croak but dance to her tunes and on stage, I think, with great felicity.
As far as reading is concerned, again our tastes are completely divergent. While reading is a passion to me, to her it is merely a sleeping pill. The only time she ever managed to complete a book or two was during her maternity leave.
Madhavi’s basic life position is I’m Ok, You’re Ok. I flit between I’m Ok, You’re not Ok and I am not Ok, You’re Ok.
As far as the EQ is concerned, here Madhavi scores over me – especially when it comes to my reactions to our daughter Ankita.
Ankita is now a travel influencer who stays in Bengaluru. Some years ago, she decided to go on her first solo trip to Vietnam and Indonesia. Everyone in the family, including our lab Aryan, knew, except yours truly.
After Ankita returned to Bengaluru from her month-long sojourn, Madhavi informed me.
“How could you do this, Madhavi? You should have told me!”
“Are you crazy, Ramen? If I had told you, you would have had a stroke. You remember the first time she went for tuition on her cycle you followed her in the car. When she went with her class on an excursion, you ran down the entire length of the platform, running along with the departing train, shouting instructions and hurling important contact numbers at her. Even now when she rings up at 12.30 at night you jump up imagining the worst. And when she doesn’t, you imagine the worst. Ankita has grown up, when will you start growing up!”
Madhavi and I do have a few similarities. We are both crazy about shopping – but with a difference. She loves to shop and I enjoy watching her do so. It provides me tax-free entertainment specially when she gets into the sublime act of bargaining.
We are crazy about travelling and spending time with the kids. We are fond of animals and that naturally makes us fond of each other.
The two of us, I feel, have a great sense of humour. A colleague had once commented, “Ramen, both you and Madhavi complement each other beautifully – while you crack jokes with ease, she cracks up easily.”
What I have learnt in these three and a half decades of married life is that with most couples the scenario is the same. Every relationship is a potpourri of similarities and differences. If a couple is completely the opposite of each other it would lead to chaos, if it is too much alike it would result in ennui. So, the mantra of an effective relationship according to me is simple: “Celebrate the differences, enjoy the similarities and forget the rest! And remember that love is not about milestones, but about moments which morph into memories.”
- Ramendra Kumar
P.S. Ramendra is a Peer at SoulUp. He is a cancer warrior, a suicide survivor and comes from a childhood with a broken home. If any part of your journey is the same as his, you can book a 1-on-1 online conversation with Ramendra here.