Dating : Difference — The Only Similarity

h2>Dating : Difference — The Only Similarity

Padmanabhan Manoharan

His drive back home from office was never this haunting. The ride which once comforted him after a hectic day was no longer comforting. The dream house, of every middle-class family, which he owned gave him a feeling it no longer belonged to him.

Her drive back home from the dance studio was never this less enthusiastic. Her regular metro ride which was once relaxing after her hectic dance routine was no longer the same. Their house which she decorated along with him, to her heart’s content, no longer looked welcoming.

Rakesh usually reaches home first, does the cleaning and prepares a cup of coffee and black tea in the next half an hour. And awaits for Sheela to be back home while pondering about how his life took a turn for the best or the worst. Rakesh works as a Software Engineer. Despite being a monotonous work he understands his limitation and appreciates his job. Sheela works as a co-dancer in a dance group and perform in theaters.

Two happy souls which were travelling on different career paths, that never crosses path, lost interest to find a relationship which they loved after failed attempt . And as fate may have its way, decides to hook Rakesh and Sheela into marriage.

The calling bell interrupts Rakesh’s stream of thoughts. He walks up to the door confused about what should his reaction be when he sees Sheela. He opens the door and is surprised to see Sheela give him a smile and enters. He wonders if that is how Sheela always greets. He does the same and closes the door once she is in.

Sheela sits on the sofa, while Rakesh brings her black tea and he starts to sip his coffee. Uncomfortable silence filled the room for the next ten minutes, neither of them uttered a word. Rakesh finally kills the silence and asks her to refresh while he starts to prepare dinner.

Sheela locks herself in her room. Exhausted, she drops like a log on the bed. She wonders,

“What am I doing with Rakesh ? Is this how a husband and wife ought to live their lives ?”

Rakesh enters the kitchen and prepares to dice the vegetables for dinner. He feels bad for not greeting her first with a smile earlier and starts to think of what to do at the dinner table.

Photo by David Hofmann on Unsplash

Sheela’s aspiration is to be able to dance till her very end. Her father did his best to keep it alive, for which she is still thankful to him. She never fails to express it to him during her daily morning phone calls with him. It has become her custom to call her dad before she leaves to the dance studio.

Rakesh lost his father at a very early age and grew alongside his mother. He has seen the struggle of singe mom running the family. Making ends meet was a tedious task for her, but she made sure Rakesh got the best. Every weekend Sheela and Rakesh would go to meet her and spend the weekend with her.

Sheela closes her eyes and is bombarded with thoughts of her marriage,

“What am I doing with my life ?”

“Am I living with Rakesh only because I married him ?”

Every single aspect of their day to day life has nothing in common. Be it the movie genres, music, food. Sheela completely dislikes Rakesh’s taste.

When Sheela and Rakesh sit together they don’t have anything in common to talk about. Sheela likes to talk about music and her dance sessions. Rakesh barely understands it. Sheela expects a little excitement from Rakesh when dance is involved in the conversation. When Rakesh talks about his IT work, Sheela feels bored. Every attempt which they both made to meet on common grounds was disastrous. Every time they both sat together, one left with disappointment.

Both were certain not to give any sense of false liking to something which they clearly disliked.

Every dice of the vegetable reminded Rakesh to greet her first when she comes to the dinner table. Rakesh needed to understand what makes a marriage work. Having not seen or been in a family environment Rakesh did not know what it really was.

Sheela comes out of her room after half an hour, by then Rakesh had prepared dinner. Uncomfortable silence started to haunt them both again while eating.

Rakesh picks up courage for a small talk,

“How was your day ? Anything interesting happened ?”

and Sheela gets all riled and replies,

“Yeah, today we came up with a totally new dance routine and guess what I am the lead dancer in it.”


“Oh, that’s wonderful.

and there was no life in his reply. He really was interested in knowing more but somehow lost his way.

Sheela stopped eating and continued,

“In this routine, I get to be on the center stage.”

Rakesh asks, “Why exactly do you dance for ?”

“Well mostly because it makes me happy.”

she continues with the same excitement,

“Whenever I step into my dance shoes I feel light. It tends to make me feel like I am the Queen of the dance floor. When I step foot on the arena my blood rush to the brain excites me. I forget most of my worries there.”

This is the longest conversation they have had in their one year of marriage life.

She continues to eat after that. Rakesh now wants to say about his work life and waits for her to ask him about it. But silence gets its turn now. They both finish their dinner and turn on the TV.

Sheela starts the conversation this time,

“How is that you haven’t asked me to cook for you ?”

Rakesh cooks for both of them and has not asked her to do so.

“Cooking feels normal for me and I get to understand your taste of food.”

Rakesh continues,

“What do you say through your dance ?”

Riled up Sheela forgets all about the TV and cooking, and replies,

“Each time we dance to convey something. The other day we danced to convey the agony of a poor kid who couldn’t afford to buy medicine for his little brother. The poor kid runs from pillar to pillar asking for money to get the medicine, which he finally gets from a Samaritan.”

“The current dance routine where I play the lead is about a couple. The couple don’t seem to get together after their marriage. They both pretend to like whatever the other likes. It went on for a year, until the fateful day when neither of them could take it anymore and burst out their true feelings. That is when both understood that they never lived their lives, but pretended for each other and were never happy. The very root of their married life, trying to like what the other liked so that they have something in common started to uproot.”

“Both couldn’t stand their differences which they have in their lives. Now having understood their likes were fake they fail to accept the differences in taste between them. Both get equally hurt in the relationship.”

Sheela stops talking there.

Rakesh asks,

“What happens next?”

Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash

Sheela now realizes why she was able to be the lead dancer for this dance routine. The routine was exactly what she was not doing in her real life. She realized the ending of the dance routine was how she wanted to live her life.

Sheela looks deep into Rakesh’s eyes and the conversation continues,

“Do you know to dance ?”

“No! I have never shaken my leg for a music”

“Well, would you like to dance with me ?”

“I don’t know to dance”

For which Sheela replies,

“We have a whole life to learn to dance and I exactly know what we should dance too. Do you trust me and want to dance with me ?”

“Yes”, he says and continues, “What happens to the couple in your routine ?”

She smiled and replied,

“I will make sure we live the life which the routine shows.”

His rides started to feel more comfortable than ever, his house felt like heaven with a beautiful angel. Her metro ride was more exciting to get back to him in their artistically decorated house.

Rakesh never really understood what Sheela meant, but Sheela danced the “Dance of Her Life” with Rakesh until death took them apart in the Final Dance on their 65th wedding anniversary.

What do you think?

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