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18 to 80

By Nanditha Ram

He, at 18 Tall slim and nerdy She at 18, Strong, Independent and bold A match made in heaven they said And immediately pushed them together. At 18, young and free They adored each other. Completely infatuated, loved and endeared, In the name of love At 25, hardworking and hasty They chased their jobs every day and every night Soon enough she gave up hers, In the name of love. He said he would earn enough for the both of them, And the little one inside her In the name of love

At 30, always tired and busy, He never had time, he said And chased money for the family In the name of love At 40, tired and weary He would scream out advice every day And she would digest it with sips of regret In the name of love She would smile through the pain When her kids were around Because mothers had to be strong In the name of love At 50, with strands of white He, with all his might would shape his family With screams, advice and guilt In the name of love At 60, old and grey When their kids had kids She would finally learn to ignore him Serving hot chai in silence And he would grimace through the pain In the name of love At 70, fragile and weak He found his way back to her like they were 18 again He would smile through his mistakes But she couldn’t find the courage to do the same He thought all those years translated to love But she didn’t speak that language anymore. He, at 80 Hunched, wrinkly and full of regret She at 80, thin and frail A match made in heaven they said And look what it led to.

By Nanditha Ram

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