One Year.

Last year, around this time, Shane and I were sleep deprived, exhausted and smiling fake smiles at people we didn't even know. Ah, Indian weddings. But that's not what I want to talk about today. My wedding day was not particularly eventful. It's not something that I feel nostalgic about. And I sure as hell don't want to go back in time and relive that one day, as some do. After gaining a year long distance from the date of our wedding, I have come to realize how a wedding in itself is meaningless to me, but a marriage is beautiful. So, so beautiful.

I still can't believe that we've been living together for a year now. It seems like just yesterday, when the two of us walked into our very first apartment together with one suitcase each. I remember how we collapsed on to the bare mattress and snuggled to sleep for a few hours before hunger kicked in and we ordered trashy, unhealthy burgers from a place called Italian Connection. We still order those burgers from time to time, not because they taste amazing, but because they remind us of that day. 13 May 2015, when we first moved into our own little place and forgot to turn on the heating for a few hours while I almost froze to death.

So, on the date that marks our first year of marriage and fifth year of togetherness, I want to write a letter to my love, reminding both him and myself of the little things, the boring and mundane things about our marriage that I will hopefully never get over.

Dear Shane,

Let me start off this love letter by telling you how disgusting you are. You're funny and cute about it and that makes it easy for me to love you for it. But that doesn't make you any less disgusting.

  • You know that thing you do where you bite your nails and leave them on the coffee table like a gift for me? It's like when cats almost rip off the heads of random birds and leave their nearly-dead bodies on the doormat as a morning present for their owners. See, there's a reason why I can't stand cats. But it looks like I married one. I hate it when you leave you nails around. And you know that I hate it. But I LOVE how you jump in fear every time I catch you doing it. I love how you look like a guilty puppy when I scream your name from across the room when I see you doing it. I love how you grab a tissue and place your nails on the tissue when you notice from the corner of your eye that I'm shooting laser beams out of mine. I hate that you bite your nails. I hate that you never use a nail cutter. But I love you for it.

  • Then there's that thing you do with your feet. The one where you place both your feet on the coffee table and begin to rip off the nail on one toe with the nail on another toe on your other foot. I can't, for the life of me, figure out the science behind it. I don't know how you do it. But I hate it SO MUCH. The sound it makes, the knowledge that you're doing it, the way your leg jerks when you do it, everything. In all my years on this planet, I have never seen another person do it. And that makes you kind of special and I love you for it.

  • Whenever we have our late night talks in bed, you do this thing when you get too excited. You support yourself on your elbow to bring your face RIGHT in front of mine because you want to "see" me when you're talking to me. I keep telling you that we could both lie down side by side, facing each other and you could still see me. But, no. You need to have your face right in front of mine so that our noses almost touch. You need to do that while you're painstakingly supporting yourself on your elbow. It's one of the most annoying things about you. God, I hate having your nose rub against mine when we talk. But, GOD, I wouldn't have it any other way.

  • I sometimes hate how you always wake up before me and lie in bed waiting for me to wake up. If you did the waiting in silence, I wouldn't care so much. But you have to turn me around and hug me. No matter which way I'm already facing while asleep, you make it a point to turn me the other way around before hugging me. I could have forgiven you for doing that because the hugs are great, but I hate the fact that you always whisper "Bow-wow" in my ears as a signal that you need to be entertained. If I wanted a dog (and I do), I would get one for myself. You don't necessarily have to compensate by being my pseudo-pet. Because your "bow-wow" is the most annoying sound to hear first thing in the morning, especially when your scrunchy beard rubs against my ear. But I wouldn't want to start my day any other way.

Now, moving on to some things about you that don't disgust/annoy me. I'm pleased to let you know that this list is a lot longer.

  • You're the tall, dark and handsome mythical creature that every Mills and Boon novel ever talked about! The whole package. You have the height, the broad shoulders, the scrunchy bearded ruggedness, everything. Did I mention the scrunchy beard? Although, that might be just me. Ryu in Street Fighter 5 is okay. But Ryu with the beard is oh-so-hot. Shahid Kapoor was always a chocolate boy. But Shahid Kapoor with a beard is a hottie. That example didn't make much sense, did it? Let's use you as an example.

Here's the boy I started dating 5 years ago:

He's cute. Very cute. (I took this picture on a crappy camera phone at Pizza Hut in 2011 #majorthrowback)

But here's the man I married:

He's hot. Oh, so hot.

Bottomline: Thank God you're lazy to shave on most days because your wife loves scrunchy scrumptious bearded ruggedness in manly men. I'll stop now.

Also, look at that mane! That head full of hair. I wish I had that. Have you considered changing your name to Mane? Shane is a boy-band member name. We don't need that. We need something befitting your personality. Shane Mane Girish, everyone!

  • We're such losers, Shane, you have no idea. Just think about it. Have you noticed how we only have a single throw for the couch? We could easily get a new one but no, that would be too much work. We cuddle up on our tiny two-seater couch every single night with our one and only red throw. And we do that in our tiny apartment which has a broken boiler and no double glazing. The things that blanket has seen and gone through. We've dropped food on it, food that we later picked up and ate but still, greasy pizza slices have fallen on it, dips and sauces have fallen on it, we've dropped tea and even egg yolk at one point. Just last weekend when we got those giant burgers that I couldn't fit into my mouth, I saw most of my burger sauce dripping on to the throw. You wiped it for me. We never like to wash that blanket because then we wouldn't have a blanket to cuddle under for those three hours before bed. So what do we do when we finally wash it? We go out and stay out all night. Because we can't stand to be in our apartment without our favorite couch blanket:
  • Oh, and the cooking. I hate it, you love it, and I love how you love it. I love how every single thing you ever cook is amazing and foodgasmic! What I love even more is how jealous you get when I steal your recipes and make them better. Thank you for providing the recipes. And thank you for being an enthusiastic cook.

  • I like how we're so dependent on each other's company that we try to fit ourselves together into that tiny kitchen of ours. Thank you, for making sure that I don't get lonely while cooking:

And for squeezing your ass into a space where mine fits with ease:

I love you for how you tried and persisted till you got comfortable on that counter-top. Of all the things you have achieved in life, know that this is what makes me the proudest.

  • One of our friends once pointed out that you have wheels in place of legs. You walk so fast, it's impossible for most people to catch up with you. But for some reason, we walk at the same pace these days. I don't know if you've slowed down for me or if my tiny feet are working extra hard these days. But I like it, whatever it is.

  • Speaking of walking, we have walked hand in hand through Belfast, London, Glasgow, Southampton, and Winchester this year while you constantly complained about the Sun and ran for the shade. Your fuss about sunny days is something I should have mentioned in the first set of points but I can live with it.

  • Thank you for being patient with me when we go shopping. You never complain when I drag you through the lingerie section or when I don't know which pairs of socks to pick. Thank you for even helping me choose nail polish colors although you're very annoying about it. Because "that one next to the primary color" does not immediately make any sense to my simple brain.

  • Some of my favorite memories are of us doing entirely separate things in each other's company. Like when I read a book and you code. Or when I write and you code. Or when I watch TV and you code. Or when we both listen to music while you're still coding. What I'm trying to say is, WHAT THE FUCK is wrong with you?

  • But for all that, I'm so happy for you that you've found something that you love and that you do it for a living. That you never go through Monday morning blues and you wake up every day with a smile on your face because you get to code more. That you're hardly ever in a foul mood because you're never stressed about anything except for the Sun. I couldn't be more grateful for that.

  • I'm grateful for our fight ritual and for how well we've both adapted with each other. I like how we've both found a way to try and sail smoothly through arguments and disagreements without having to raise our voices or hurl things at one another. Thanks for being a partner that I can work with. And that's saying something.

  • Speaking of work, I love the fact that we have both found a common hobby that we build and work on together. It changed my life! Thank you.

I feel that most of what I have to say to you is thank you. I'm so grateful for you, for our boring little rituals, for our inside jokes that are incredibly lame and funny only to us, and for every single day since the day we started dating exactly 5 years ago, and living together one year ago. It's been one helluva ride and I'm looking forward to many more rituals and lame jokes and nail clippings and "bow-wow"s and kitchen disasters and couch blankets. I'm looking forward to growing and changing and evolving and adapting with you. I'm excited for life.