Shivani, 26, is a website developer from New Delhi
I was 15 when I fell in love with Deepak – the boy next door in a very Bollywood-esque style. A new family had just moved into our building and my folks – all six of us – went to welcome them. I was struggling to carry the cake that my mother had baked when I saw the boy who opened the door and could not take my eyes off him. Deepak had tousled hair and the cutest dimples. Time had stood still as I stared at him for about forty seconds before my mortified mother snatched the cake out of my hands and walked in.
Love at first sight
I was definitely smitten by him and the attraction was mutual. I could not take my eyes off him while our families were busy talking to each other. By now, Deepak was obvious of my attraction for him and while we were leaving his house, he handed over a small paper to me secretly that had his phone number. I called him up the same evening and we started hanging out practically every day. Luckily, we got admission in the same college and started dating. Fast forward to our graduation day; he proposed. I said yes. We got married the following year. I was just 19, he was 20.
I was a naïve, romantic child who happened to believe that she has found her ‘perfect ending’ but then reality took over.
Opposites don't attract
In the initial days, love seemed to conquer all our differences. We wanted to be there for each other so would take interest in what the other liked. However as the honeymoon sheen wore off, things started to change.
Essentially, we were very different people. He was the outgoing, social and friendly kind. I was the quiet, demure, stay-at-home person. He hated animals, I loved cats and volunteered at a pet shelter. He preferred movies, I would rather read. I did yoga, he preferred kickboxing and MMA. I didn’t care about the gym, he spent hours there. I had a fear of flying, he wanted to travel the world. I was a teetotaler, he had amazing drinking capacity. We even fought over where and what to eat, clothes, the colour scheme of our bedroom, recycling, how to save money, what things to watch on TV. After a point, all we did was just argue till we exhausted ourselves. Soon we started spending less and less time together because we couldn’t agree on any one thing we both liked.
The defining moment
We still could have carried on with our married life adjusting for each other's happiness but something drastic happened a day after my 25th birthday. The whole family had gathered to celebrate my birthday. By that time we had been married for six years. It was obvious for our relatives to ask us about starting a family and I wasn’t wholly surprised when the talk moved on to why I should get pregnant at this right child bearing age.
I was however surprised by Deepak's negative response. He flat out told both set of parents not to expect miracles because we weren’t going to have kids. It came as a shock to me that how little we knew about each other's preferences on such important matters, such as kids. Admittedly, we had never spoken about children because we both loved our work and were quite busy with it. I always assumed we would have children just like a normal couple. The fact that Deepak was brilliant with other kids in the family just made me feel reassured that he would never be averse to this idea of his own kids. But I was so wrong.
The final countdown
That night, we went to sleep in silence. There was no fight. I think we both realised that something monumental had shifted in our lives. The next morning we sat down and spoke. I told him I wanted to have kids of my own and he can't snatch the feeling of motherhood from me. He said he didn’t think he would be a good father because he didn’t love children as much. I tried to convince him how his thinking about kids may change once he has his own children but he was not convinced.
It was a heartbreaking moment because we realised this was one difference we couldn’t overcome, no matter how hard we tried. We parted ways that day. It’s been two months since then and I must admit it is a daily struggle to move on. But deep within my heart, I know this is best for us both. We are still young and have a whole life waiting to happen. I still have the hope to find someone in my life who will not only respect my choices but is also more like me. Few years down the line I look forward to being a mother and my desire is so strong that if I don't find a partner, I will go for adopting a child.
The person in the picture is a model.