Kuch Kuch Hota Hai!

Over the rainbow…

Today is my Silver Jubilee Anniversary.  And Ritu’s too 🙂.  We were adults when we got married, yet it feels like we have grown up together.  Our lives are interwoven.  Perhaps, that’s why she has never been a focus in my writings.  I have not given much thought to our journey together.  Some say a good marriage is about compatibility, while others say it is based on the ‘opposites attract’ phenomenon.  I reckon the answer is more complex since a good marriage needs to tick all the right boxes.  Let’s find out what these are.  

In 1993, I made a trip back to India for a matrimonial alliance.  Ritu was the first girl I saw.  I took five minutes to make my decision—she took two days.  She would have taken longer had it not been for the surprise engagement party I, reportedly, threw for her.  Both of us have different versions of this incident.  But, over the years, I have seen her eyes sparkle every time she narrates the story.  I have started believing her version.  Now, when did that happen?   Well, here’s how it goes.

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Victorious, I went back to the U.S. for a year.  During our courtship, our communication was through snail mails that took over three weeks to deliver.  I lost some fat and became muscular.  I did it for her.  She, during the same period, received the university’s gold medal for academic excellence.  She did it for herself.   I was disappointed.  Clearly, my presence in her life was not a distraction.

I relocated to Pune shortly after we exchanged vows.  Ritu’s decade-old Kinetic had a new master now.  We followed a routine.  I would drop her for internship (and later for her dental practice), and then drive down to my workplace, which was at the other end of the town.  During our drives, we would cross Pune’s affluent areas.  “One day we will have a house like that”, I would romanticize my new wife.  Our Kinetic would wobble with her laughter as she would playfully sing the 90s hit—O mere sapno ke saudagar’ (O, the merchant of my dreams)!  Our drives continued throughout her pregnancy.

Before we realized, the first kids arrived—Cybage and Misha.  We divided parental duties.  Ritu decided to quit her medical profession and join St. Mary’s School as a drama teacher.  The move allowed her to play an integral role in raising Misha and Aneesh who went to the same school.  She rapidly gained the reputation as the most coveted drama and elocution teacher.  She was frequently invited to judge and compere at several schools, colleges, and social events.

Genetically blessed, the kids picked up their mother’s artistic traits.  I, on the other hand, picked up her students’ parents as friends.  Thanks to her infectious chirpiness, our friend circle multiplied rapidly.  Our social life buzzed with a rich blend of friends and acquaintances from diverse strata of the society—teachers, students, doctors, professionals, artists, businessmen and homemakers.

Years rolled by, the kids neared their teens.  Ritu put brakes on her teaching to focus on the construction of our house.  She worked her heart out for two years—right from coordinating the design to inspecting the execution.  The outcome was spectacular as I walked in as a guest in our new home.  Before we entered, I made her stand in front of the gates and asked her to sing the same song from our scooter days.

Our life in the new house began on a tragic note with my dad’s heart-wrenching prognosis.  She played the daughter’s role and poured everything she had—emotionally, medically, and physically.  Unfortunately, he lost the battle.  As destiny would have it, shortly thereafter, her dad took to the wheelchair permanently with vascular neuropathic disorder.  With no siblings, Ritu once again took centerstage.  Through these tough times, she found solace in her therapeutic dog, Lester.  She was never in favor of adopting a pet, but succumbed under our kids’ pressure.  However, once baby Lester came home, he found his mother in her.  She would feed, bathe, play, take him to vet and talk to him for hours, till the day he died, cuddled in her arms, gazing into her eyes.

Reeling from back-to-back blows, Ritu entered a lonely spell.  The kids had flown the nest and I had gotten busy.  So, she decided to run our two foundations—CybageAsha and CybageKhushboo.  What started off as a distraction quickly turned into an all-consuming purpose.  Her timeless moments now reside in either farmers’ homes in the drought-hit interiors of rural Maharashtra, or in the aspirational embraces of underprivileged youngsters of Pune.  Both, laughter and tears come easy to her as a good portion of her heart dwells in the lives of those benefitting from Cybage foundations.  Today, I stand with her at this crossroads.

VIBGYOR. The colors of the rainbow are perhaps the best way for me to spell out my times with Ritu.  Nowhere have I spoken about her role as a wife at home or as an unwavering ally in my professional journey right from the beginning.  It is not necessary.  For her nonstop passion for everything she undertakes is infectious and reflects in all aspects of her relationship with me.  I am fortunate to be sitting at the front row, watching her do her thing and excel at it.   I feel as if I have known her forever, yet time and again I discover a brand-new color of hers.  How is it possible for anyone to excel in everything?  From student to teacher, from doctor to homemaker, from daughter to mother, from family to friends, from social butterfly to social welfare.  Her versatility amazes me.  Her proximity makes me feel alive, it triggers kuch kuch hota hai kind of love in me!

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Of course, if such multi-faceted excellence is what it takes to be a perfect spouse, then the checklist for a successful marriage will sure be long.  Fortunately, that is not the case, else our marriage would have collapsed long time ago.  You see, unlike Ritu, I have always worn only one solo-colored hat—Cybage.  Sure, from the society’s vantage point, the color of my hat enjoys higher visibility.  But then, the outside world may not have noticed the rainbow peeping out of the clouds.

I believe marriage is not a race between the two, nor a test on our ability to paint rainbows. Rather, it’s the co-existence of all the shades.  Where neither lives in a shadow. Where each tread their own path.  Just being the wind beneath the other’s wings is not good enough.  All of us need our identity.  Identity nurtures respect.  And mutual “respect” is probably the primary checkbox for a happy marriage!



Original, Respect, Style, Team

72 Comments

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  1. Hi Arun,

    Happy Anniversary !!!

    “VIBGYOR” Nicely written article.

    Marriage is a life-changing phase. It is bind with the next seven birth.
    There may be some time which we feel like a roller coaster but it can be the most enjoyable part.

    Thank you.

  2. Amazing. Made for each other.

  3. Magician of words… as always… awesomly written…Happy 25th wedding anniversary to both of you.

  4. Beautifully written , wishing you both a very happy 25th wedding anniversary and to many beautiful journeys together .

  5. Hi Arun… beautifully written.Happy 25th Anniversary to you and Ritu.

  6. Beautifully written! Wish you a very happy anniversary! Cheers 🥂

  7. Dear Arun & Ritu, It’s a beautiful Journey loved reading every bit Congratulations once God bless

  8. In true sense..”Made for each other”

  9. Amazing Arun, just felt like I have been a part your entire journey myself

  10. Happy Anniversary Arun and Ritu!

  11. Happy Anniversary!!!
    Wooow…. wonderful blog!

    Marriage is such a beautiful bond if you love and cherish each other with the continuous support and acceptance to each other.

    Thank you.

  12. Hi Arun and Ritu,

    Wish both of you a very happy anniversary!!!
    You have narrated your marriage journey very beautifully. God bless you guys 🙂

  13. Beautifully expressed and written with a lot of warmth and love. Happy Anniversary Ritu n Arun. God bless you both always.

  14. The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.. Stay blessed 💐 Ritu and Arun.. M

  15. What a lovely article! 🙂 Marriage is all about understanding, supporting, giving that space & respect to each other.. 🙂

  16. You always put your thoughts so beautifully. Wishing many more eyars of togetherness. Happy anniversary to you and Ritu.

  17. Arun, this is awesome!!
    Love the way you ve put your feelings down.
    And Ritu I Love you more after reading Arun s blog. … so very impressed with you, my dear girl💕❤️👏👏

  18. Beautifully explained 25 years of life together. Hat’s of to Your wife.

  19. Happy Wedding Anniversary to the lovely couple…
    Such a wonderful write up about Love… Kudos

  20. Very Interesting BloG by You On Ritu.
    Happy Silver Jubilee and here’s to many more!

  21. Touching post. Inspirational at many levels. Happy anniversary and heartiest congratulations

  22. Very good read. As always you are a man with the right words. I remember your comments to me when we met during an elevator ride on my 23rd birthday (year 2008) in the West Avenue building 🙂 Inspiring then inspiring now. Happy Anniversary and kudos to the Cybage family !

  23. Hi Ritu and Arun.. Best wishes to you both on this momentous occasion . Wish you many more happy years ahead..

  24. Congratulations ARUN & RITU

  25. Happy Anniversary, wish you peaceful life ahead.

  26. Congratulations to you and Ritu for the silver jubilee anniversary, Arun.

    It is really great to see a wonderful, caring, passionate wife standing behind you. A very big thank you from all of us who worked in past and are still working at Cybage. You both are essentially creating economic soldiers for the country. Amazing work is being done on social front too.

    Live a happy married and successful life.

  27. Congratulations. Wishing you many more happy years and Kuch Kuch Hota hai moments. Your blog has inspired me to write for my wife as well 🙂

  28. Happy anniversary!!
    Very nice article, loved it..

  29. Happy anniversary to u dear Arun nd ritu…so beautifully expressed…congratulations on the special landmark anniv..May your lives always be coloured by the beautiful rainbow..keep smiling…keep cherishing…..keep loving! God bless

  30. Wish you a very happy anniversary!!! Both of you!!!
    Nice Article:)

  31. What a brilliant definition of marriage. I loved the way you have set an example here and respected and acknowledged the fact that she has played so many roles so effortlessly with ease. Happy anniversary to the truly Silver couple …

  32. Happy Marriage Anniversary Arun and Ritu🎉🌷

  33. Happy Anniversary both of you..!! Lovely article. 🙂

  34. What a lovely blog…Such a beautiful version of companionship…
    Wish you both a very happy anniversary…

  35. Wonderfully expressed. Happy anniversary both of you.

  36. WOW…It’s truly amazing. Through this article you’ve shown the entire journey of you both. It felt so good after reading this. The true meaning of marriage is explained by you. Cheers..!!
    Happy Silver jubilee..:)

  37. Thought provoking and heart touching!

    Wishing you both a Happy and Blessed Anniversary. God bless your family.

  38. Best wishes for both of you on this joys occasion of silver jubilee of your marriage. Keep loving and cherishing each other.

  39. The article very beautifully crafted, giving vibrations & having connecting chords parallel to everyone’s life.
    Thanks for the nice write up.
    Happy anniversary to the cute couple- Ritu & Arun !!!

  40. Happy Silver Jubilee Anniversary. Have a great day, year and life both of you, Arun & Ritu.

  41. After reading your journey more respect came in mind for women,
    Well said, “Behind every successful man there is a woman.”
    Happy Anniversary!!
    Keep Smiling like always.☺
    #Respect

  42. Happy anniversary to both of you.

  43. So beautifully written…!!! Congratulations to both of you for the silver jubilee anniversary 🙂 God bless you !!!

  44. Very nice article. Happy Marriage Anniversary!!

  45. Congratulations!!
    Such a colorful journey. VIBGYOR..! The strong pillars of marriage!

  46. Many congratulations to both of you !
    Wishing you an eternity of love, bliss and happiness.

  47. Very well expressed from heart …. true love and immence respect for each other…identity nutures respect… very true I like that … superb

    Happy Anniversary

  48. Beautifully written! Wish you a very happy anniversary!

  49. May God bless you Arun

  50. Hello Arun,
    Wish you and Ritu a very Happy Marriage Anniversary!!! May God bless you both and enrich your souls with all colors of life.

  51. Wish you a very happy anniversary! Superb Article !!

  52. Rab Ne bana di Jodi…….Happy Marriage Anniversary .

  53. Loved reading it and have always admired your way with words. Happy Anniversary and wish you both many many more blissful years ahead.

  54. Happy Anniversary to both of you !!

  55. Wish you a very happy Wedding Anniversary Sir and Mam !!

  56. Be lated, Happy Anniversary.

  57. So beautiful article. Happy Marriage Anniversary to both of you.

  58. Years in one article.. Beautifully written…

  59. Happy Anniversary Sir. & Mam
    Very well said article to prove that marriages are not only what we see in the cinema . It is something beyond that. 🙂 🙂

  60. Happy 25th!! to you Arun and Ritu. Wishing for many more years of togetherness…

  61. Well Well Well,
    Carefully narrated and nicely written.
    Most of all, its inspiring for married couple to be with each other while being in different phases of life.

    Thank you

  62. Happy Silver Jubilee Anniversary to both of you.
    Very well narrated journey, I enjoyed every bit of it.
    You are the true magician of words 🙂 and Ritu mam is true gem of your life.
    Have a rocking day ahead 🙂

  63. Happy Anniversary Sir & Mam
    Very well narrated journey, Wishing for many more years of togetherness.

  64. Happy anniversary both of you.

  65. Happy anniversary Arun and Ritu

  66. Heartfeltedly depicted! Perfect couple well decorated with linings of Sacrifice, Adjustments, Dreams, Freedom and Respect to each other!

  67. Truly Magician of words, Happy anniversary to both of you and keep rocking for upcoming years, Hat’s off to Ritu Mam

  68. Arun,
    First of all happy anniversary to both of you….
    I must say the only blog which I look up to eagerly is that of yours, as no other blog attracts me as like what your blog does.

    I see so many elements like emotions, humor, logic, inspiration and what not…
    you bring in ýour blog so magically that make me go lost in my own thoughts of my ifs, buts, past, present, achievements, failures, and what not moments…

    Your blog draws in your readers a big time…everytime when they realize your new blog is about to be up or actually up, it’s another kind of that “something happens” moment for readers who love reading and emotions a big time.

    Thanks for such a beautiful blog…will be eagerly waiting for your next one 🙂

  69. Hi Sir,
    This is an amazing article that I have read on marital life in a while, I can feel the emotions behind your journey. Your hard work and humility is something that always inspires me. I take pride in being a member of Cybage family 🙂

  70. Happy Wedding Anniversary to you both
    It’s a great story filled with emotions and happiness!!!

  71. Hi Arun,
    Happy Anniversary !!!

    Love from Chicago and AFI.

    Rob K.

  72. Made for each other….

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