Friday, September 18, 2009

Irfan And Suniana

Irfan and Sunaina made the most unlikely pair and yet theirs was a very profound relationship. Beyond love, lust and friendship they had found a place where it was possible to be completely comfortable with each other, shed every artifice and pretension and just be. It was a familiarity that had mellowed over time to become this very special, indescribable thing that could neither name or afford to loose.

Then there was the business of life, individual goals, career aspirations and obligations to family. While they were not inherently different in what they wanted, it would be the where and how that would come to determine the fate of their future together. Irfan started out as an intern in an Delhi based consumer goods company and quite quickly came to the realization that his religions and cultural affiliations would come in the way of career growth. When he talked about this with Sunaina, she wondered if he was not being a little too over-sensitive. Maybe there were other factors at play, maybe he needed to be a better schmoozer.

This was going to be one of the things they would have to agree to disagree about and Sunaina was okay to leave it that way. She reasoned that she had no way of knowing how it felt to be in his shoes. Two years out of college and into their jobs, Irfan got an offer from a company based out of the Emirates. Would she accompany him there he asked ? Only a month ago he had proposed and she had said yes but wanted to wait until her career was on stable footing. She wanted to work in America and had been interviewing for jobs. How would that work out ? Sunaina had asked him in return.

How could they now live and work in two different countries while in a marriage. But can't you live and work where I do ? Irfan asked. There are plenty of jobs for your skills and they would pay very well too. Why does it have to be America ? he asked. Because I want to be in a free country, enjoy the right to be myself, do what I want and not have restrictions imposed on my way of life. You can have all of that and much more as my wife Irfan said. But I don't know if I can adjust to the culture of that country. And I don't want to viewed with constant suspicion and disrespect in America because of my name.

This would become the biggest stalemate in their relationship of over fifteen years. She wanted her freedom and he wanted his - it just so happened they could not have it living in the same place. So where do we go from here ? Irfan asked. I think you should go where you think you have a better future, where you will be valued for the work you do and not be judged because of your name. And you ? he asked. I think I should follow my own dreams too - because I cannot follow you to yours.

Why stay behind in Delhi, where all our memories are. I would be miserable everyday without you. In America, I could start fresh. I will miss you always but maybe the change of scenery will make it hurt less. They stay in touch - long distance calls are not as expensive as they used to be and that is such a blessing. They time their trips back to India so they get to meet even if for a few days. Emotionally they are just as close as they always were but increasingly it is becoming clear to them that they have hit the fork on their road together. They can delay the goodbye but it is inevitable.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i know a lot of people who had a successful long distance relationship living in different countries for like 3-4 years and it worked out fine....