I instinctively realised without any conscious acknowledgement on my part that feminine desires were too subtle and introverted to express themselves in terms of direct statements. Rather they preserved their essence and stature through gracious assent and elusive hints. What I had only sensed back then, I came to realize palpably later on. For often I got entrusted with painful accounts of crushed dreams of some of my fellow females. They bemoaned to me their miserable marriages to husbands who exploited their feminine reserve by taking them for granted, or by treating them with emotional indifference. Every such sad story would compound my ardent love for this man, making it inconceivable for me to forget him, or have him substituted by another man. Martin’s attentiveness spared my shy feminine desires the demeaning quest for reciprocity. He perfectly understood me, revered my desires, and fulfilled them, however simple and naïve they were. One fleeting gaze into my eyes was enough to launch him with dexterous sensitivity into the sea of my emotions.
True I was young and raw and innocent, but I was endowed with an instinctively discerning eye for men’s behavioural minutiae. My overly sensitive and fastidious feminine detector always picked up what escaped the antennae of less perceptive women. Martin never failed the test. His capacity to combine virility and tenderness was especially appealing to me. Although susceptibly delicate to the point of spurting tears for the silliest of reasons, I was also capable of being refractory, as I recoiled from countless marriage proposals from men that other females idolized, because they lacked the savvy, elegance and the adroitness of approach that Martin manifestly possessed. My sense of feminine vulnerability responded to and was gratified by his confident masculinity. I had become the proudly weak Eve only because my Adam was manly enough. It turned out that my indulgently weakening femininity enhanced Martin’s sense of virility, heightened his manly love, and aroused his sense of protectiveness.
His love and care seemed an extension of the affection that my devoted parents had lavished on me. Having surrounded me with his prodigious love, he graciously tolerated with astounding patience my childish fits begotten by his excessive indulgence. He always greeted my apologies with affectionate gestures and warm air kisses, coupled with words such as ‘I adore you’, ‘you will always be my precious baby’, ‘if you just know how much I love you’. He really treated me with the same affection and tenderness accorded to babies. And I just loved it, and adored him all the more. I would never forget his wonderfully swift reaction to the pain I was undergoing early one morning from my wisdom tooth. He rushed instantly to his office and came back with a small ampoule of pain pills. He then fetched me a cup of water, and stood there, affectionately watching me taking two pills, while his eyes mirrored incredible delight at this opportunity for a manly display of love. Loving deeds like these surrounded me all the time. And I was enthralled, particularly as such attentive demonstrations of love run contrary to what men of my culture are accustomed to showing women.
But, having been engulfed by such heavenly ambrosia, was I truly oblivious to the barbed wires that walled up gigantically between Martin and me, or was I merely burying my head in the sand?
Well, whatever the truth of the matter, on thinking back, I know I was certainly disinclined to face the painful truth. Assaying to run away from anxiety, I deliberately banished from my thoughts Dina’s list of obstacles. It died hard, nonetheless, dwelling at the back of my mind, craning its neck now and again and instigating stabs of enigmatic fear, enough to hector my heart and freeze the blood in my veins. And that wasn’t only on account of the political jeopardy arising from such ‘wayward’ marriages. Arranging for the marriage to be conducted elsewhere abroad wasn’t quite unfeasible after all. But the thought of the horrid inevitability of a civil marriage, given Martin’s divorced status, had the whip hand, perturbing my mind and muddying my happiness. All too high were the odds on my parents commanding against such an atypical marriage. To Be Continued.......