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Priya Motiani


Poornima And Lav Tiwari Are Together In Sickness And In Health

  • JWB Post
  •  February 13, 2016


To have and to hold,

From this day forward,

For better, for worse,

For richer, for poorer,

In sickness and in health,

To love and to cherish,

Till death do us part.

If there is anything in this world more beautiful than these sacrosanct vows, it is two people fulfilling them.

As part of our Valentine’s series, wherein we are meeting couples who do things together, I had the privilege to get acquainted with Poornima and Lav Tiwari and their 11 year-long companionship. Take my word when I say, meeting them was the best thing that happened to me, this Valentine’s.

They are gratifying the most sensitive of the vows – In sickness and in health, with a smile and strength as bright as the sun.

Ours is a case where marriage happened before love,” beamed Mr. Lav Tiwari when I asked him about his wife.

His wife Poornima suffers from spine tuberculosis, which is why she’s bed-ridden. I was yet to meet her, but before troubling her with my over-inquisitive mind, I decided to chit-chat with Lav and know their story.

Lav: In December 2012, she was diagnosed with TB Meningitis, and was bed-ridden for a span of 6 months. Gradually, with all the care and medication, she got back to her normal self.

I listened attentively while eyeing their two cuteness-overloaded little kids, Chandana and Siddharth.

Lav: … But, probably destiny wasn’t done testing us. Last year in July, the TB reoccurred in Poornima’s spine. Unfortunately, my mother passed away sometime after that.

At this brief moment, my heart sank. I knew not what to say next.

Me: I’m sure that must have been a tough phase, especially for the little ones.

Lav: It was. But, both of them are very helpful and very affectionate. Chandana takes care of Siddharth entirely and also helps me in the kitchen.

Me: She’s a big girl!

Lav: She’s my princess!

Me: So, what is your schedule like?

Lav: After waking up in the morning, I prepare breakfast for everyone, dress the kids, and send them to school. I feed my wife then, give her medicines, and once she’s comfortable, I leave for work.

Lav: Both the kids study in a day-boarding school, so they’re not home when I come around 1.30 to prepare lunch and to make my wife eat. Then I go back to work, and return in the evening, after which I start cooking dinner. We eat together and watch movies before going to bed.

Me: That’s quite a schedule you have there!

Lav: *Smiles* One thing that I have learned over these years is that there is no point in cribbing and complaining; because if we do, our environment also responds in the same fashion.

I have been practicing Buddhism for over a decade now. And there goes this saying that is the mantra of my life, “It is important to be victorious, but it is more important not to be defeated.”

One shouldn’t have the attitude that they’re ‘living with the hardships’. No! Once you let that mindset dawn upon you, you already lose the battle. Try to win over them by facing them, fighting with them, joyfully.

Me: You inspire us, Lav. Truly. Genuinely.

Sensing the myriad of emotions flash over his face, I sought to pursue a light-hearted subject.

Me: Let’s talk about the hobbies you and your wife share, shall we?

Lav: Umm, we like watching movies. We like traveling. Oh! And both of us, and even our kids love street food!

Me: Haha! Street food runs in the genes of your family!

Lav: When Poornima was well, we used to go out for street food dinner once in two weeks. We also have our particular favorite joints for specific dishes.

Me: That sounds fun! Are you also fond of cooking?

Lav: Well, given the circumstance, cooking is a regular activity now. But, other than that too, I enjoy cooking. My wife says I cook better than her.

Me: Really!? And do you also stand by that opinion?

Lav: *Grinning* Let’s just stick to the fact that the wife is always right! Oh, by the way, we also watch cookery shows together. That’s fun!

Just then, Chandana and Siddharth ushered us into their mother’s room, and I’m glad they did. It was cute watching the whole family together.

Me: (To Poornima) Your husband tells me he cooks better than you, is that true?

Poornima: He does. In fact, he has taught me a lot of things. Gatte ki Sabzi, Sandwiches, Biryani.

Men who cook are the best kind of men, agree with me, ladies?

Poornima: Earlier, I used to forbid him from entering the kitchen.

Lav: *Chuckled* Because she believed that I spilled more than I cooked and that I exhausted 15 days worth ration in one day!

Me: Hahahahaha!

Lav: But now, because I cook regularly, I do it cautiously.

Me: (To both) Tell me about your favorite movies?

They looked at each other, scratched their heads a bit, and spoke.

Lav: Other than Spiderman and Superman, (pointing towards his kids) we like Do Dooni Chaar, 3 Idiots, Jab We Met.

Me: Since Valentine’s is around the corner, let’s hear what message you both want to convey to each other!

They looked at each other, and were all blank and clueless. They smiled. And finally, one spoke.

Lav: Not a message, but I’d like to dedicate a song to her because I love singing, and she’s fed up of my singing. Heard of the song ‘Bade Achhe Lagte Hain’? It’s an old one.

Me: I’ve heard it. (Owing to Ekta Kapoor)

An almost imperceptible smile slowly crept over Poornima’s face.

Lav: (Looking at his wife) Your turn?

Poornima: My only message is keep yourself clean. Keep the house clean.

We all grinned instantaneously! I wouldn’t have ever expected a Valentine’s message like that.

Poornima: *On a serious note* He is an all-rounder. He takes care of everything and there’s nothing more that I could want. His short-temper is something that I can do without, though.

Lav:  Living with a person like me is a difficult task, given my short temper and want of perfectionism in everything. She alone could have put up with me, and put up happily, at that! I am forever grateful to her for these two lovely angels. They are the blessings of my life.

Me: I seek a relationship like yours in future. Do you have a message for our readers?

Lav: Strength is happiness. Strength in itself is victory. In weakness and cowardice, there is no happiness. When you wage a struggle, you might win or lose. But regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is a proof of your victory as a human being.

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