In the autumn of life

Can one really find love? Is it not all around? Is it so hard to find, when it is all around?

Representational image (PHOTO: Unsplash)

I started my career relatively early in life – at about 18 years of age, if that can be called early. The reason was more compulsion than focus on what I wanted to do, or could do – not that I had a clue about either at that point in life. The pros were many, as were the cons, like almost everything in life. However, that first assignment paved way for many more, successive ones, leaving me with little room to think about anything else in life, besides work. Not that there were or are any regrets.

Personal life could hardly be called that for the simple reason there was neither much of it, nor much it gave. My perception of the institution of marriage was one of disdain, and motherhood held no meaning for me either. I would often wonder why and how women would undergo the ‘torture’ of balancing so many things in life – profession, marriage, family, and everything that came with it, leaving them, or a majority of those I had interacted with, exhausted. I simply couldn’t understand the ‘why’ behind it all. With the passage of time, I also noticed ‘my generation consistently opting for later marriages, if at all any. The option of starting a family would be a choice of convenience and not pressure. Yes, things had changed, until…

Until one found love. Can one really find love? Is it not all around? Is it so hard to find, when it is all around? Yes and no, as it depends on what you are looking for. I found it, or hope to have found it (and hopefully preserve it), albeit ‘late in life’ (but then they say: “Better late than never!”). It was as sudden as those things determined by fate. One thing led to another, and before I knew it I found my resolve to remain unmarried dissolve rather rapidly, much to the surprise of friends and family, and not to forget myself. I never understood the catalyst that played a role in this rapid combustion of that strong-headed determination, but there it was.

So, after the ‘lived happily after’, I, gradually, got back to what had been routine once. Everything seemed the same, but it was that added presence that supplemented value to my life. I began to realize what I had been missing all this while, after all. The husband wished to start a family, and the idea petrified me. At 42, what were even the chances? Forget about that, did it make any pragmatic sense? For me it didn’t. The topic didn’t mount pressure, but I was constantly aware of what he so much desired. He didn’t press. I didn’t broach the subject either. We left it to simmer; left it to time. Sometimes letting things be is indeed a good solution (the Beatles were not wrong!). I began to let the idea of starting a family germinate – an experiment of sorts. And germinate it did, stemming into a gutsy sapling.

So, one fine day, without planning anything, and leaving the prejudices attached to advanced motherhood far behind, along with all fears and apprehensions, the ‘stork did come visiting’. It was, I must say a shock rather than a surprise, but with the passage of time, and the absolution of challenges, the journey has been an experience like no other – proof of the fact that in this universe, the impossible hold promise, that never-say-die is inherent to human nature and that courage does not always mean lack of fear.

First Published:May 21, 2020, 5:47 p.m.

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