“While everyone is so fascinated by the highs in a relationship, I truly believe it’s the way one handles the difficult tides and the uncomfortable silences that ultimately paves way for any healthy equation to thrive.
Now, having been raised in a normal, middle-class environment, exposed to more conflicts than love, I attribute this change in my thinking to one small yet beautiful incident. It happened in 2017, on my return to Chennai, amidst the whole Jallikattu protests that were booming. As a fellow passenger, I leaned towards the window seat, heaving a sigh of disbelief, after the train stopped for an unusually long pause.
This was in the middle of a forest, just a little from Chennai, but we were stationed there for around 12 hours! Now as a music lover, I sought my escape listening to Ilayarja sir’s songs, when I suddenly noticed the couple sitting in front of me. They were two elders in their early sixties, who were so full of love and life, not just for each other but every single person in that compartment.
And having seen all shades of people, within that single rail journey, I can tell you for sure, that their banter felt like it was taken straight from one of Mr. Mani Ratnam’s movies- so mature, so respectful, yet full of affection! Plus as a young, eighteen-year-old having only seen friends trying their luck with love, I wouldn’t lie, the bond the two shared did feel quite aspirational!
The thing is, they did have their fair share of differences and disagreements but it was the way they navigated through it that stood out to me. Whenever they didn’t see eye-to-eye, they voiced out their individual perspectives and were equally respectful enough to understand the other person’s view as well. No type of ego or dominance was ever asserted and they provided enough space to let each other’s personalities be, truly making it an equal partnership!
Not to mention, like most grandparents, they immediately took it upon themselves to make everyone on that paused train feel comfortable. They shared every last bit of food they’d brought, and further ensured to keep the spirits positive in between all the uncertainty. Within a couple of hours, I saw myself happily ranting away about my dreams and goals to them and was even more thrilled to hear them be supportive of my passions!
I guess, after having always felt alone despite being surrounded by people, that reciprocation felt hopeful! It instilled in me a sense of confidence that I never saw coming! Today, whenever my mind is caught up in its own turmoil, I try to recollect that incident and realize that sometimes, it just takes a moment of happiness to completely steer one’s life into a newer, more happier direction!”