It was around 7.30.in the evening when the doorbell rang. Lately, the sound of the doorbell had been sounding like music to my ears, as it ushered in hope of his arrival, hope that I would get to see his alluring face (ya, you read it right, it was that time of my life when I could stare at him for hours at end, I could do it now too except for the fact that my daughters might end up thinking of me as a crazy mom; mom’s gone mad they might as well tell their friends).
As I opened the door with effulgent eyes and a glowing face, my heart skipped a beat when I saw him. With emotions rising high and euphoria mighty enough to melt me away, I was expecting a similar reaction from his side too. But nada, I could tell from the perturbed expression on his face that something was not right. Before I could open my mouth and utter a single word, he asked,
“What’s wrong? Is everything okay. Why were you and papa fighting. I hope he hasn’t changed his mind about us.”
All this while I was gazing at him like a confused child, I couldn’t understand what he meant to say.
“No, everything is fine, in fact it’s perfect. But what made you think that we were fighting?” I asked inquisitively.
“No, no, you are hiding something from me, Kuch to gadbad hai. I heard loud voices coming out from the house while I was parking the car.” he continued with a serious expression and a worrisome tone.
Hardly had he finished the sentence, all of us burst into peals of laughter, relaxed and embarrassed simultaneously.
“We were just talking to each other, nothing like an argument or a fight.”
“In such loud voices?” he asked with a shocked expression.
“Yes, this is how we normally talk, and you thought we were fighting.” I replied with a pressed smile, trying to control my amusement.
He was stunned. He couldn’t digest the fact that we all had such high pitched voices.
He had always heard subtle and hushed toned conversations in his family, he himself spoke so softly that even an ant sitting right beside his mouth would die of boredom thinking, “Does this man ever speak,”
This was the first instance when we both became sure of the scientific principle, “opposites attract”. It was like a “Hence Proved” moment. The textbook science that we had always thought of as futile,was not that useless after all, it did have real life implications. Little did we know that this was just the beginning and in the days to follow we both would be exposed to glaring dissimilarities in our personality, choices and habits.
When we got engaged, both of us had the penchant for pampering each other and what better way than to shower gifts and boy I was in for another revelation. The first ever gift that I chose for him was a lime colored formal shirt. I had forced the salesman to dig in the deepest of shelves of the showroom in an attempt to find the perfect colored shirt. I was very pleased with myself for having found it finally and couldn’t wait to see the gleeful expression on his face. And yes, I got to see the excitement akin to a child opening a gift which was soon overtaken by a somber look.
“You didn’t like the shirt?’ I asked impatiently.
“This is lime green,” he replied.
And then it struck me how I had ignored the fact that he always wore light, dull shades.
But I wanted him to adorn the bright, cheerful colors which were an inherent part of my personality.
“You are an old soul,” I teased him. “Just wear it once and then do whatever you want to do,” I muttered.
He did wear that shirt and faced perplexed glances from his students, “ Sir ko kya ho gaya hai, itne bright colours pehne hai.” (he was a lecturer when we met).
“Opposites Attract” this fact was paying us regular visits. It was like the sempiternal truth. The final straw that broke the camels back which hit the nail on the head and left me stunned was his relationship with books. He had never laid hands on books other than those relevant to studies; none at all. I was/am a bibliophile. Wherever I lived, slept, ate and breathed, there were and still are books. I could never imagine my life without books, he on the other hand had no clue about the mesmerizing fragrance of the pages of a book. This was like my heart took a bullet, I had never tried to change any of his preferences but this; no; I made conscious efforts to pull him towards books and he did reach midway.
With due course of time, we discovered that we were the perfect example of the law of polarity. Be it food choices or the type of music (he loves Punjabi songs, of which I struggle to understand the meaning, eh.), the kind of movies we like to the idea of an entertaining movie date (he wants to stay in with the movie aired on the television screen and a big tub of homemade popcorn) he avoids theaters and for me, what’s a movie if it isn’t watched in a theater. We have completely different tastes when it comes to vacationing, he wants to book a fancy resort and laze in doing absolutely nothing whilst I am the kinds who will never leave even an inch of the city unexplored. The list is inexhaustible, I could fill in pages describing the polarity of our likes and dislikes.
For some, these differences can seem to be problematic and humongous, but these very differences add spice and passion to our relationship. Everything evolves and so has our relationship. We both have taken a few steps towards liking each other’s “likes” and accepting each other’s “dislikes”. In the beginning, our relationship was a big question mark for many around us and most were apprehensive of whether it would work in the long term. Now, after twelve years of companionship, and a beautiful one at that, I would like to think that all questions and doubts have been put to rest.
We are drawn to others out of a desire to experience greater connection, security, love, support and comfort. Some of these longings have to do with their polar opposites such as adventure, freedom, risk, challenge and intensity. While these needs and desires may appear to be mutually exclusive, they not only can co exist with each other, but in the process, generate the spurt and passion that sustains, deepens and enlivens relationships.
The French view this paradox, not as a problem, but as something to celebrate. Rather than say “Oh merde” (holy shit) when this apparent contradiction shows up in a relationship, they say, “Viva la difference!”
I chose to write on the prompt: Opposites attract- which type of couple are you?