For ever and ever Amen

A wonderful husband, 5 daughters, a house in the village, all these were achievable dreams, aren’t they? What would Amma say when I bring him home? I knew she would never accept him. But more than the fights I would have with Amma or the war he is fighting, there was one thing that has been bothering me a lot and I wasn’t sure when is a good time to ask him. I looked at him. He was looking at the fields on the far right side.
“Can I ask you something?”
“Of course. What is it Nina?”
“You have been skipping a lot of classes lately, will they allow you to write the exams this year?”
“I don’t think so”
“That means you will lose another 6 months”
“I guess”
“Why what Nina?”
“Why do you want to waste time like this? Why don’t you just write all the exams on time and get the degree?”
I hoped I didn’t sound too selfish. The only reason I wanted him to attend all the classes and write the exams was to prevent him from going back home and fighting the war. If he was in the college, at least I know he would be safe.
“Darling, you need to learn”
“Learn what?”
“You need to learn one day at a time”
“What do you mean?”
“You want to do everything today for a better tomorrow. Right?”
“Of course”
“But tomorrow isn’t in your hand, where as you have your today”
“Nina, you got to Live your today”
“Well that isn’t possible. If everyone decided to live just the day, then there won’t be any future for anyone. No one would have invented anything. We wouldn’t have advanced so much in medicine if it wasn’t for the dreams of scientists who wanted a better future, a better tomorrow”
“Ok, let us see this way. Scenario 1. I attended all the classes, wrote and passed the exams, then went for PG and got a job in a good hospital. Scenario 2. I lived my life doing what I want, wrote the exam when I want, completed the degree after 7 or 8 years, started my own clinic in my village where until that time people had to travel 200 km to go to the nearest hospital. Which one do you think is better?”
I so very badly wanted to tell him the scenario 1 is better, But I knew I wouldn’t be able to answer why I think so? How can I say starting a clinic in his village is a bad idea?
“But you have the ability to do well, you can study well, you are wasting your time”
“Am I baby? Right now, we are both sitting on a rock in the middle of a hill almost 60 km away from Bangalore instead of attending rounds at the clinic. Do you think we are wasting our time? Do you think these moments that we spend with each other are a waste of time?”
I didn’t respond. I suddenly didn’t know what to say
“Look at me” He spoke
I couldn’t look at him. All my life I was trained to live for the future, study hard for a better future was the motto at my school and all of a sudden I learned that it didn’t really matter. But it was difficult to accept that ideology. It was difficult to accept that I was wasting my time all along. I wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t. I worked hard, because I wanted to. I burned the midnight oil because I wanted to be a doctor.
He reached out and held my jaw and turned my head.
“Look at me Dr. Nina Thomas, do you regret spending time with me, instead of attending the morning rounds?”
I looked at his eyes. He knew the answer for that question. I wouldn’t have skipped the first day of Paeds rounds if I thought twice about spending time with him. However I didn’t feel like telling him that. He should know that by now.
I pushed his hand away and looked ahead.
“Samohtanin Paradox” He spoke
Curiosity got the better of me and I asked him
“What is that?”
“Do you know who is Samohtanin?”
“No” I shook my head
“Well, she is a great scholar, well read and extremely intelligent. She is also very beautiful. Her paradox is, she is intelligent enough to understand everything, yet she hates to lose an argument. because she is very intelligent, When she doesn’t get her way, she keeps quiet and look ahead as though she has no idea what is happening.”
He started to laugh and I knew I didn’t get something. I have never heard of this Samohtanin. I looked at him trying to see what exactly did I miss and when he saw my face he started to laugh more.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Oh my darling Samohtanin, you look so cute”
What is Samohtanin? Is it something in his language?
“Oh Nina””Oh Sorry , sorry, I forgot you don’t like me to Oh Nina you. Do you know what is Samoht?”
I shook my head.
He used his index finger and wrote on the rock S A M O H T.
“Did you get it?”
Is this an acronym like ITALY( I Trust And Love You). I tried to think of all possibilities. It can’t be the weeks because there was only 6 letters, it can’t be the months What else could it be? I looked at him
“read it backwards”
I did and I realized who Samohtanin is. I was so mad. I punched him as hard as I could on his chest and told him.
“Go, I am not talking to you anymore”
“That is exactly the paradox I was telling you about” He was laughing even more.
I wanted to get up and go and sit somewhere else. But I knew that would only make him laugh at me more. So I stayed put.
“hmm” I answered.
He held me closer.
“Why do you love me?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know how to explain. There is something about you that makes me want to spend every single moment of my life with you. Your voice makes my heart sing. Your songs makes my feet dance and I can’t imagine living life without you. I guess I love you because you make me happy”
“Why do you love me?” I asked him
“Because you are my Chrysalis”
“Chrysalis? What is that?”
“You don’t know what is a Chrysalis?”
“No” I shook my head
I knew I had to let him know why I wouldn’t have known.
“I studied in Malayalam medium till I was 14 years old, then I did my pre-degree in English.So a lot of words I don’t know”
“Oh ok. Do you know the life cycle of a butterfly?”
“Oh yes”
“So you know caterpillar comes out of the eggs and after a few days of eating it becomes a cocoon. That is Chrysalis. The cocoon”
“That is called pupa right?”
“Yeah, but the right word is Chrysalis”
“I am your Pupa?” I was just about to ask him how dare he calls me a pupa.
“Oh Ni” I watched him using his left hand to close his mouth. I knew he was just about to say Oh Nina. I was getting mad by the second.
“Have you seen a Chrysalis? Do you know how ugly it looks? When you look at a Chrysalis, do you ever think what is inside? Can you believe the most beautiful butterfly comes from a Chrysalis?”
“You are telling me I am ugly?”
He took his hand from my shoulders and smacked me on my head
“Why are you hitting my head?”
“Because you are trying so hard to be stupid today.” He sounded annoyed
“Nina, Nobody knows how beautiful you are inside. Everyone around you see the Chrysalis, but I know you have the most beautiful heart. That is why I love you. You are my chrysalis because there wouldn’t be a butterfly without a chrysalis.
I love you Nina and I will always love you, always ,always, always, forever and forever”
I rested my head on his shoulder. We were both silent for a while but we both knew we are in this together. Sitting on a rock, far away from everyone and everything does that to you. It makes you want to cherish every moment you have. It makes you want to forget the life that awaits you outside. It is one of those moments that makes you tell life to go and take a hike.
“Nina have you heard Forever and ever Amen song?”
He held me close and sang the most beautiful song I have ever heard
For ever and ever Amen

3 thoughts on “For ever and ever Amen

  1. Amen!


    You may think that Im talking foolish
    Youve heard that Im wild & Im free
    You may wonder how I can promise you now
    This love that Im feeling for you always will be
    Youre not this time that Im killing
    Im no longer one of those guys
    As sure as I live this love that I give
    Is gonna be yours till the day that I die — oh baby


    Im gonna love you forever, forever & ever amen
    As long as old men sit & talk about the weather
    As long as old women sit & talk about old men
    If you wonder how long Ill be faithfull
    Ill be happy to tell you again
    Im gonna love you forever & ever, forever & ever amen

    They say that time takes its toll on a body
    Makes the young girls brown hair turn grey
    But honey, I dont care, Im not in love with your hair
    And if it all fell out well Id love you anyway
    They say that time can play tricks on a memory
    And people forget things that they knew
    But its easy to see its happening to me
    Ive already forgotten every woman but you — oh baby


    Just listen to how this song ends
    Im gonna love you forever & ever forever & ever
    Forever & ever forever & ever amen

  2. That song brings back memories for me too! Had it in a cassette, black cover, called ‘Grammy Winning Collection’! Back, then it was sooo precious coz I’d to save up for a month to buy an english cassette which was almost double the cost of regional film music!

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