Will They Still Hold Their Hands Together?

Maharaj Kaul

Today I stand here and look at the two angelic, wholesome beings;
Poised and puffed up to celebrate the 35th anniversary of their joint enterprise.
Not quite star crossed lovers but tied together
By the enduring love born between two persons without reason,
But an unadulterated affection supported by reasoned tolerance,
Accompanied by middle aged tranquility and middle class affability.

We do not where they met and how they met,
What sly baits Poopan Ji dangled and what sweet non-committals Nirmal made.
They must have danced around each other for a while,
But in the end Poopan Ji plucked the Kashmiri lotus.
Why would two down to earth and smart persons forge a lifetime alliance
In a risky trouble-prone enterprise called marriage?
We will never know, but we know human life is fraught with equal measures
Of light and darkness, wisdom and stupidity.

While past is a hallowed mystery, present is the only reality we can check.
We know Nirmal and Poopan Ji are two of the sweetest and the friendliest pals we can find.
Their jug is never empty, their nest is never cold.
They have given friendship another color, they have given community another name.
While Nirmal is sweet, affectionate, and understanding,
Poopan Ji is always giving, forgiving, and enduring – never asking, fixing, or blaming.
What Nirmal misses in her double-hugs, Poopan Ji makes up with his single-malts.
When we enter their home, we know we have stepped into a fairyland.

Their joint venture has produced a magnificent family:
A fabulous pair of girls: poised, gracious, and affectionate.
A scintillatingly lovely grandchild.
The cache is further crowned by a superbly friendly and self-affacing son-in-law.
Their home is soaked with books and music.
Their life has passed from one golden milestone to another,
Pregnant with grace and courage, purpose and passion.

But there is still work left to be done, there are dreams still to be realized.
But as they pass through the august portals of time,
Through this rough and raucous world,
Will they still feel a tingle in their hearts when they look at each other,
Will they still hold their hands together,
As they walk onward, looking in the same direction?

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