Friendship To Love To Friendship.

A friend Karuna published this crytpic statement in FaceBook.

“Friendship often ends in love; but love in friendship – never.”

I did not respond there as I do not know her well enough to but two mutual friends Roshni and Asheesh will find this post to be relevant.

I met my late wife Urmeela in 1960 when I was based in Hyderabad. I met her through her brother Surender, who was a friend. It was after many months of being friends with him that he invited me home once and that is how I met his entire family. At that time I was going steady with another girl and the two of us used to visit Urmeela’s home together. Visiting homes was among the things that one could do for entertainment those days! Urmeela and I used to go to cinemas together along with other friends or sometimes just the two of us as we were quite comfortable with each other and more importantly, my then steady girl friend did not think anything wrong in our doing so. She was then staying in a girls hostel and was not allowed to stay out late and I could not take time off from my work to see many films in the afternoons which she used to see with her friends.

In late 1962, I left Hyderabad and moved to Chennai and my friend Surender followed soon, as did my steady girl. He returned to Hyderabad in 1964 and I stayed on in Chennai till mid 1965. During this period, my steady girl and I broke up and I then moved to Ahmedabad and other places.

By mid 1968, providence took me back to Hyderabad and i caught up with Urmeela’s family all over again. Urmeela and I resumed our going to movies and dinner together. There was no great fireworks or sudden inspiration that one day drove me to propose marriage to her saying that since the two of us were so comfortable together, why not get married?. She was taken aback and took
her time to answer yes. We got married in November 1968 and till her death parted us in March 2009, we were together.

I still hesitate to answer the question often asked of me here as to whether it was a love marriage? The marriage certainly had a lot of love, but I sincerely believe that the love kind of came after we were married and became more acquainted with each other. So, I would say that friendship led to marriage and then to love. That love took its course and like all married for long couples, the relationship became more that just love for each other and the nearest definition that I can come up with for that relationship is deep friendship. We did not need conversation to enjoy our companionship nor to understand each others problems, concerns and needs.

So, Karuna, I disagree. Love can and in my case, did become friendship. Not the superficial kind, but the deep abiding kind that only long personal involvement can bring about.

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