Nobody forced me to marry Advait. My aunt had arranged the match, and I took a liking to him the day he came to see me. I had never been in a steady relationship. I dated a few guys briefly, but the minute they got too attached, I gave up. We’d go out for movies, eat out, make out a little. Almost always, they’d turn out to be vulnerable lovers waiting for my command, eager to please me. “What would you like to have for dinner tonight?” “Do you want me to drop you home after your party is over?” I wanted a man who’d let me be and have a life of his own.
Maybe I was just not ready for commitment. I wasn’t looking for love the day I met Advait either. Advait seemed easy-going. He came home to pick me up and drove us to an unpretentious restaurant. I had my guard up, but it started to melt. We had similar interests, and something clicked within half an hour. I was enjoying myself! He offered to drop me home and when I said no, he didn’t insist. I had found a version of myself in Advait. Ten months later, we got married. We are the epitome of a happily married couple.
And yet, here I am, three years into the marriage, flummoxed and pained. I have been cheating on him for the last eight months with a man I met at my Pilates class. Why? I hadn’t been beaten up or neglected by my husband. I know he loves me and cares for me. Why did I go out looking for love then?
Ranjit is everything my husband isn’t, that I am not—he’s young, carefree, spirited and always ready to surprise me. I didn’t dislike sitting at home with Advait watching movies every Sunday or helping him in the kitchen when he wanted to bake something. We went on our weekly drives and date nights that ended with routine sex. Our lives were routine, and I liked routine. Till I met Ranjit. He came into my routine life and it went topsy-turvy. Initially, I enjoyed the attention but laughed his advances off. Ranjit, however, wouldn’t give up so easily. He didn’t book us a hotel room the first time we got intimate.
Instead, he got me tipsy enough to walk into the tiny men’s bathroom with him and went down on me. He left me craving for more that night as he got me into a cab, and I got home, guilty and thrilled. Ranjit is full of surprises—on the dreariest of days, he’s bunked work, made me call in sick and taken me on a long drive. With Advait, my life feels like a calm ocean. With Ranjit, it’s stormy and exciting. I’ve often thought of breaking it off with Ranjit. Deep down, I know he’s a tantalizing distraction while my husband is my solace. Advait has no clue about my other life, and I don’t plan on telling him. What is the point of breaking his heart and mine too? I still love Advait and I’m not ready to let go of him because even with all fun and excitement that comes with Ranjit, I know he won’t be a supportive and faithful husband and a good father like Advait.
My life is perfect with a perfect husband and a perfect affair. Yes, I am being a little selfish. But it’s my life and I have every right to live my life according to my own rules.