Together through a crisis

Every time someone asks you to recall something memorable that happened to you, it is assumed that you will recall something pleasurable, because it's the good things that we try and retain. Interestingly, though, some of my most powerful memories of togetherness have been a mixture of sadness and happiness. Why is that so? Is it because we try to look for the good even in the negative? Or are we grateful for the moments of pain that eventually led to pleasure?  

 I am reminded today of an incident, which happened back in 2005. We had just moved into an independent house in a quiet, residential location in North Bangalore. The house was tucked away at the end of a cul-de-sac and the previous tenants sang praises about the many years they had spent there.

Three days after moving in, I was busy setting up the house, arranging furniture, putting up curtains and lining my kitchen shelves with paper to arrange all my crockery. The time must have been around 5:45 in the evening. I heard a sound from upstairs and paused since I was the only one at home, what with V being at work. I shrugged, thinking it was my imagination. Five seconds later, I heard a pounding on the terrace door which led directly into the house and I froze in shock. It took me a whole minute to realise that someone was trying to break in. Warily, I inched forward towards the staircase and looked up to see that someone was trying to break the door open with a crowbar and had already managed to lift the base of the door by an inch.

Terrified, I ran to grab my phone and dialled V's number. Words refused to form and when he picked up the phone he knew something was wrong. In shock, he urged me to get out of the house, yell my head off and rush to the neighbour's house for help, while he dialled the cops, even as he raced to get to me as quickly as he could.

Panic had gripped me so tight that I could only scream continuously. In record time, V was there, having rushed through traffic. He ran into the house, grabbed me and hugged me tight as I sobbed against his chest in a mixture of fear and relief flooding through me. In the meanwhile, the neighbours had raised the alarm and scared the miscreants away.

An hour later, as I sipped on a cup of tea V had made for me, he looked at me and said, 'I think we should move.' 

In response, I told him that I felt better now and that we had just moved in, so let's give it some time. Then, he said and did something I will never forget. He reached out for my hand, looked me in the eye and declared, "We are in this together. I cannot go to work everyday and think about the possibility of coming back and not seeing your face. I need a home with you, not a house."

In that moment, I knew for sure that we were meant for each other, together and forever. Would I ever want to find myself in that situation again? I can honestly say 'No'. But it is in the rawness of those moments that our humanity, our optimism and faith emerges and we know, trust and value the relationships we hold dear to our hearts. With him by my side, I can be sure that facing life's struggles become easier.

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