“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrows, to minister to each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?” — These words of marital wisdom perhaps aptly apply to Love Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police, Noida, and his wife Shakti as Bureaucracy Today speaks to the couple over a cup of tea!
He is calm and composed, attentive and responsive, totally involved in his work paying sharp attention to every minute detail at his residence-cum-office and there she enters from the back door holding a cup of tea in her hand, with a beautiful smile. She is spontaneous, vibrant, energetic, and jolly, all at the same time. Suddenly, the utter serious environment lightens up in her presence.
This is the scene of the office of Love Kumar, IPS (UP 2004), known for his soft-spoken persona but the no-nonsense approach and her wife, Shakti Luv Kumar, who flawlessly introduces both as “He is my Love (Love) and I am his Shakti (Strength).” She is a former bureaucrat, selected in the first batch of Uttaranchal PCS (2005) but later resigned recognizing the fact that she was not able to do justice to her job because of her family responsibilities.
“We met during our college days via a mutual friend and that acquaintance turned into friendship and later into love when I moved to New Delhi for the preparation of the Civil Services exam. Love was already there preparing for the same,” Shakti tells Bureaucracy Today.
In the preparation phase itself, they decided to walk together for the rest of their lives. Initially, the response from their families was not very positive as it was going to be an inter-caste marriage but those glitches later subsided and both the families accepted them with their hearts.
“Our courtship period was not so great as we were still in exam preparation phase at that time. Love was living with his two brothers in Mukherjee Nagar in those times and my understanding with them was better than with Love! I was deeply touched when Love moved out from his place to a smaller and tough one so that his brothers could live with a better level of comfort. This was the most impressive memory of those times which I still have in my heart. His love and caring attitude for his family not just stayed but got bigger and bigger over the years. He may have become a busy man but he is still loving and caring the same way. All his time that he gets after his job goes to his family. He is always concerned about all the family members,” says Shakti.
“Nothing could be better than this. He has made my every wish come true. I am blessed to have him in my life,” she says when asked about her journey so far with Love Kumar.
However, the perfect couple also has their “differences”! He is really slow at times. From a typical process-oriented bureaucrat, what else you can expect.” Shakti says with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Anger is the area where she can work on,” Love says straightaway but then immediately justifies it looking in her eyes! “But now its level has come way down and she is not ill-tempered. She is very vocal and likes to speak on anything she perceives as unfair. I feel that is very much justified,” he says.
In the initial phase of their marriage, they faced many challenges as there were lots of expectations with so many responsibilities, but Shakti recognized it at a crucial time when it would be decided that what kind of form their partnership would take! Shakti says, “If you have maturity in your approach those challenges bring you closer to each other and give you an opportunity to develop a good level of understanding. Once you pass that phase with a sense of togetherness then the relationship space becomes hassle-free and smooth for the rest of your life. For example, we are very much different in our habits and thinking of many places but thanks to our eternal bond, there is a space of acceptance, especially by me! (she laughs) which provides us with an environment to grow together even with those differences. This is the most beautiful thing in a marital relationship. There can be tough times, challenging times, and sharp differences, but your love and respect for your partner, the trust that you place on him, communication and cooperation help you to preserve the sanctity of the relationship. The acceptance of imperfections makes our relationship perfect.”
The IPS officer saluted his better half for her never-dying spirit with which she managed her home and the family. He attributed his success to her and said that it was Shakti who set him free from the social front so that he could focus on his work. “Her dedication and devotion to the family responsibilities, children, me and everyone around her inspires me to attain such level of perfection in my work. Shakti left her job for which she prepared so hard just for the family,” the IPS officer says.
“To my amazement,” he says, “How could she micromanage each and everything with such level of perfection? I mean, just how could she? And you know, she does it all the time. As a wife, as a mother, as an individual and as so many things, she is the best. I am telling you…The Best!”
When asked about whether he feels guilty at times for not able to spare enough time for his family, the IPS officer unhesitatingly says, “Certainly yes.”
“There are times when my job demands so much of my time that I do not get a chance to even see my children Tejaswini and Yashaswi for 10-15 conjugative days. Imagine, we are living in the same house but still, this happens. When I come back from the duty, they are sleeping. When we get up in the morning, they have already left to the school. Being a father, it feels really bad,” Love Kumar says.
“But that is the nature of Public Services. You should be ever ready for that challenge. The presence of Shakti assures me that all is going well at home and thereby gives me the confidence to continue with the job and the associated consequences,” he continues.
“Trust is the building block of a successful relationship.” Without that it would fumble and with it everything else will flow automatically no matter what, they respond when BT asks about the success mantra of their marriage.
There was some silence at the end and Bureaucracy Today could notice the visibly moist eyes of Shakti, full with love and memories of the past. She was thankful that she could express her heart and soul to his love of life, Love Kumar.
The Story was originally published at Bureaucracy Today.