T for Tea.

Pic Courtesy : Google

It was an arrange marriage for Tilotama and Tapan. Parents arranged everything and both of them just married. Spending life with a stranger was a scary thought for both of them. Marriage was until now a thought for both of them. But it was now the time to make their thought work, how, none of them knew!

Marriage as an institution has always been an integral part of our Indian Society but it never comes with a manual. Every marriage is different from others. No one till now has discovered what is the secret to a happy married life. Things that work for some do not work for others. Marriage, for a majority of Indian youth is understood as shown in the movies. It means celebration, wearing fancy clothes,putting on pictures, posing for the clicks of the camera and finally attending the long spiritual ritual as per one’s religion. But what happens after that no one knows. The movies have it easy. Just one line “And they lived happily ever after”, and then comes “The End”. Seriously? How can it be an End? It is just the beginning.

Tilotama and Tapan were having the same issues as well. Soon all the noise, cheer and upbeat mood of both the families came to a halt. The actual married life of the couple had begun. Both of them were equally eager and equally confused about how to make the perfect companionship.

Tapan loved early mornings where as Tilotama loved writing her heart out on the night time. Hence she always struggled to wake up early. Tapan loved to watch documentary films whereas Tilotama never missed a chance to watch fashion and cookery shows. Tapan loved western attire but Tilotama was fond of traditional clothes. In no time they discovered that they were complete opposite of each other.

Hence they found it very difficult to match to each others expectations. Soon initial bickering started. Tilotama would get angry when her favourite channel was replaced by some other channel that she never understood. Tapan would always get irritated, when Tilotama always woke up late and the entire day she would hustle. Being an unorganised creative person Tilotama was also not good at decorating the house and keeping it in order, which is considered a prime task for a house wife. This annoyed Tapan the most.

Only thing that they agreed upon was tea. Yes, tea. As funny and trivial as it may sound. But both of them were die hard tea connoisseurs. Ginger tea lemon tea, masala tea, black tea, cardamom tea, jasmine tea, you name it and both of them enjoyed experimenting it to reach the level of perfection. It was the only activity that they enjoyed doing with each other.

One fine morning, Tapan had a very important meeting at office. His presentation that day would ensure whether he would be promoted to the next level or not. So he got up early that day. Tilotama was still sleeping. Tapan freshened up and made a sandwich for himself. Just before leaving, he opened his laptop and thought of going through his presentation just to ensure that everything was perfect. To his dismay, he found that the presentation was missing. He searched the Recycle bin but it was not to be found there as well. Tilotama had been using the laptop for writing her poems inspite of Tapan’s denial. She also wanted to learn more about operating laptops but Tapan had always admonished her saying, “what will you do even if you learn to operate it?”. This offended Tilotama a lot. But that very day Tapan completely lost it and Tilotama woke up in shock without even understanding what was going on. Tapan scolded her and even insulted her parents for marrying off their useless daughter to him and spoiling his life. The fear of loosing his promotion came out in form of extreme anger towards Tilotama. The reaction of Tapan was difficult to digest on Tilotama’s part. She could not take the humiliation any more. She packed her bags and left for her parents place. Instead of stopping her, Tapan booked a cab for her and thanked her for leaving.

She reached her parents place in tears and Tapan reached office frustrated and fuming with suppressed anger. In the board meeting Tapan came to know that due to a stagnation in the market economy, the company had decided to withhold any incremental promotions of every employee. Rather there was an announcement that the bonus for the same year had been nullified and everyone in the office had to put their best efforts to sustain the market share of their company which was facing tough competition from new entrants in the market.

There was tea break and looking at the tea all Tapan could remember was Tilotama. It took fraction of seconds after the announcement for Tapan to understand what blunder he had committed. For such temporary world he had been terribly harsh to his permanent life partner. He had never complimented her for her beauty, never appreciated what she cooked for him, never had the time to listen to her poetry, never thought of her as capable of giving any opinion. He realised it all.

Tilotama, after crying her out till evening, complained of having a headache. So her mother made her her favourite ginger tea. But while sipping it, she found something missing. Her tea partner, her husband, Tapan!

He was a man of order. Tilotama realised that she had never tried to understand his feelings. Never tried to help him stay organised, never switched off the light of the bedroom when her husband complained about her late night creative mania. She realised her mistake.

Next day, Tapan had reached his in law’s place and the moment he saw Tilotama, he felt relieved. Tilotama similarly felt at home seeing Tapan. This was probably somewhat a different feeling for both of them. Was it love, affection or belongingness? Well, who knows?

Tapan and Tilotama did not consider it important to answer any of the questions that their family members had been bombarding.They left with each other to their own little place,their home. Tapan embraced Tilotama and applogised for his rough behaviour. Tilotama was smiling and simultaneously had tears rolling down her eyes.

It was evening and both of them went to kitchen to prepare their tea experiment which they loved doing. That evening, the tea acted like a potion. It confirmed that both the love birds are meant for each other.

Tapan and Tilotama now did not expect things from each other, rather accepted each other as they were. The promised to fulfil each others weaknesses and become life partners in true sense. And yes, ‘They did live happily ever after. ‘

Many a times it is not coffee but tea that binds the relationship together!

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