the other side of the grass

It was only 6 o’clock in the morning and he lay wide awake on the bed.  Post retirement, he had woken up early on almost all days. When he was working, he had always looked forward to the time when he would retire and sleep late into the morning but post-retirement bliss is a myth; he now knew. What irritated him even more is the fact that next to him was his wife of last forty years – sound asleep! On a regular day he would not even notice her mild snore but right now when he was awake and had nothing else to do; he seemed tremendously annoyed by it. He pulled more of the blanket towards himself, closed his eyes, tried one more time at getting some sleep, heard her snore and nudge at the blanket, decided that it was humanly impossible for any man to sleep in that condition, gave up and sat upright on the bed.

“Forty years,” he told himself, “Forty years of my life, I have spent with this woman, and she still would not let me sleep in peace for one night.” He looked at the clock and sighed. It was 6:10. Still twenty minutes before the newspaper arrived. He looked at her sleeping blissfully and wondered if life would have been any different had he chosen to marry Aruna, his college sweetheart, instead of obliging to his parents’ demands and marrying Jyotsna. He shared chemistry with Aruna that he never had with Jyotsna. Probably he would have been happier. Probably they would have gone on a world tour, just as he had promised her then, now that he is retired. Jyotsna on the other hand hated travelling and the farthest that they have gone together, since their marriage, was to Lonavla, that too because her parents had sponsored their honeymoon and she did not want to disappoint them. Bloody in-laws!

You might live through an arranged marriage, he thought to himself, but they never ever are successful. You simply do not have the connection. You never understand each other. He envied his son and his daughter-in-law who slept in the adjoining bedroom. They seemed to be perfect for each other!


Alka fiddled with her hair as she sat thinking something and then typed furiously at her keyboard. She looked as the clock struck 6. There was a board meeting in another three hours and her report had still some work to be done. She had a pretty long night. It was tough getting back to work after two pegs of whiskey followed by two rounds of sex but the damn report could not wait. Memories of the night made her happy for a moment and she coyly looked at Adit who lay there dead drunk and naked. She tried to tickle him with her toes but that did not help. She kept her laptop aside, and pushed herself against his body trying to grab his attention. When that did not help either, she childishly started biting and whispering into his ears, taking time in between to smile at herself.

Adit, woken up by her last effort and still a little drowsy because of the alcohol, flew into a rage. “Why can’t you just go to sleep? It’s 6:10 in the morning, what the hell do you want me to do? For heaven’s sake, I have a client meeting at 10.” He carried the blanket to the sofa and collapsed in there, leaving her on the bed with an explanation that he was not interested in any further.

All of a sudden, she did not know what to do. Should she wake him up and explain that he had no right to insult her womanhood, especially after last night or should she just let him be? Wasn’t she the one who had been working the whole night and needed a bit of consideration? Would men ever understand that love is not just sex? Things were different when she was his girlfriend. She wondered if they have changed, now that she is his wife. Or is it because they were in love before they got married, that she was being taken for granted? She looked at her laptop and was reminded of her pending work but somehow she did not find her enthusiasm back. Suddenly, this was a night she wanted to forget.

You might live through a love marriage, she thought to herself, but they never ever are successful. You just become too familiar to each other. You start taking things for granted from the very start. She envied her mother-in-law and father-in-law who slept in the adjoining bedroom. They seemed to be perfect for each other!


The clock struck 6:30.  Mr. Gujral and Alka bumped into each other as they both came out of their bedroom.

“How was your night?” Mr. Gujral asked.

“One of the best,” Alka forced a smile, “How was yours?”

“At my age, you never have a bad night.”

They both laughed and then went towards the kitchen for the morning coffee.

There is nothing called Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage. There are only you and me, and whatever happens between us!

This is my entry for the Indiblogger Competition sponsored by Sony on ‘Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage.’ Know more about both of them at


39 responses to “the other side of the grass

  1. kartik shrivastava

    Loved it… 🙂

  2. Naveen Sukumar

    Very nice punchline towards the end.

  3. Last line is a winner. Beautifully narrated.

    All the best!

  4. Thanks to you, I am now a little less afraid of an inevitable arranged marriage! 🙂

  5. well-written 😀 .
    All the best 🙂

  6. Nice one… Indeed.

  7. In the end, it’s all about perception. Nicely illustrated! 🙂

  8. Nishajyoti Sharma

    Loved the story… beautifully written. Will follow your blog hence forth!!!

  9. nice post 🙂 all the best! Have a look at this one too whenever you get time 🙂

  10. Just keep on losing count on the no of stories that you have written that I want to turn into short films 🙂

  11. wow.. is the word.

  12. very well written man..!

  13. It was Marvelously fabulously Superb yaar….Really sensed a glimse of piculiarity of our lyf while going thru it….keep writing.

  14. mate, you are karan’s friend right – shreetam ?

  15. dude..great work..The way you narrated was awesome!!

  16. Wow…awesome as always !! 🙂

  17. There are so many long posts on this topic and a very few that are interesting. This one is definitely engaging! Must say you are a good story teller.. All the best!

  18. Two lives. Two generations. They work so differently. Very engaging. Thanks.

  19. This one is such a profound way of looking at relation between two …. Couldnt have even imagined anyone to get an idea to not distinguish the two cases & look at both of them as the same ..!! Amazing writeup .. Beautifullness to the core.. 🙂

    One of my favorites of all ur posts !! 🙂

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