“Would you ever be with us both physically and mentally?” 

“Specifically, with me?”

She debunks all my excuses that: 

I left my dream career option in USA and returned to India to take care of my family. 

I left a lucrative job in Kerala and returned to my hometown, for the sake of my family sake.

I left a job in metropolitan city and returned to my hometown, as I wanted to be with her when our son was born.  

I left another job in a corporate hospital at a metropolitan city so that I can have more family time.

Yet she says, “You are never mentally with us. Specifically, with me.  You are always lost in something you are passionate with.”   

I try to convince her.  “Your father married off you with me because I was a well know doctor.  I need to keep myself updated in my profession.  I need to hone more skills. And continue to qualify as your hubby” 

“You have achieved enough.  It is time to be with us”, she shots back.  

I have no words of excuse. A quarter of the year, I am outside the country.  Teaching in conferences. Performing surgeries for livelihood or not for profit.  Or for learning something new. 

I try to save myself by saying, “I do that for my family!” 

We don’t need your materialistic things.  “We need your presence,” she quips.  

Yes, when I really want to give up everything, lead a laid-back life, she is the first one to prod me.  

“Wake up hero!  Move something”

“You have so much hidden potential which you are unaware of. Go ahead and do it,” she encourages.  Many a times I wanted to give-up.  But she never let me slip to a comfort zone.  Most of my goals are crazy, big audacious goals or BAGs! 

“Honey, I want to do something that can help my country reach a new level.  I want to do something unique you all can be proud of.  I want to contribute something to my specialty, about which our next generation can tell stories for generations to come.  But it is outside the sphere of my work.” I confess.    

“What is that you want to do?” she quizzes.  

“Anything.  May be launch a rocket to space, like Elon Musk.” I always have some readymade answers!  

“Go, launch it.” She pats my back.  

“But, honey, I must learn lot of new things to achieve that. I am not sure I can do it.” I mumble. 

“Learn all those subjects. What is holding you back?”  She snarls. 

I lost myself for nearly ten years in a project.  She stood with me all that time.  I learned more than 16 new subjects to the level that I could teach others. She facilitated it.  I spent a lot of money to buy the gadgets to test my hypothesis.  She lent more money which was meant for my family sustenance.  I had to travel to many a country to gain the know-how.  She took care of our hospital, our parents and kids in my absence.   

When I needed a research assistant who could help me. She traveled to Bangalore for nearly four years to do herself a course, so that she could be a helper. 

When the day of rocket launch came, she remained in the background, like a cheerleader, cheering me up.  She did not want to take any credit for that. 

She remained in the backdrop during every milestone we achieved. Be it a major surgery.  Be it a hands-on training courses we organized.  Be it a conference we conducted. 

She was always the force multiplier.  

When the whole world had given up on me, she stood with like a solid rock! 

I am getting ready to travel again.  She is burning with anger.  “I had warned you several times, you can’t leave during our special days.”  Yet she packed my travel bag.  

“What is special now, dear?” I try to recall what it is this week, as I avoid her probing eyes.  

We had an agreement.  I will always be at home during our birthdays, and anniversaries.  But I am unable to remember.  I wonder why? I can remember a research publication, it’s authors, and date of publication, published almost few decades back. But not this one.  

I take my mobile as if I am making an important call, to check the calendar. 

Oh! My God!

“I am sorry, honey.” I try to hug her. She kicks me off.  “How dare you leave me during this important day?”  

“But you never said anything, when I booked the ticket.”  I try to transfer the blame on her! I know, I cannot win this argument.  

“Happy 22nd anniversary dear.  What I am today, is all because of you.” I surrender.  

Every moment of twenty-two years of togetherness was a time worth living for. 

She is always number one and I am a big zero without her.  When I try to take the lead, together we are just 01.  When she is behind me, together we are 10!!!

This is a simple story of most of us, we often resist sharing!

Prof. Dr. Prahlada N.B

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