When he says he had been a witness to a courtship that ought to have faded before I was born, does he mean he was thinking if a child was born, there will no longer be love between spouses? Can you simplify or parapharse it please?

I didn’t know which was worse—the idea of my father’s remarrying for love or of his actively seeking out a stranger for companionship. My parents had had an arranged marriage, but there was a touch of romance about it, too, my father seeing my mother for the first time at a wedding and being so attracted that he had asked, the following week, for her hand. They had always been affectionate with each other, but it wasn’t until her illness that he seemed fully, recklessly, to fall in love with her, so that I was witness to a courtship that ought to have faded before I was born. He doted on her then, arriving home at our Bombay flat with flowers, lingering in bed with her in the mornings, going in late to work, wanting to be alone with her to the point where I, a teen-ager, felt in the way. “I thought,” he continued, “since your bedroom is a good size, of putting the girls together there. Would you mind terribly staying in the guest room when you visit, Kaushik? Most of your things are with you now anyway. It is just a matter of where to sleep. But please tell me if you mind.” He seemed more concerned about my reaction to a new room than the fact that I had just acquired a new family.


The narrator is trying to say that arranged marriages usually aren't romantic, and even if they are romantic, the courtship almost always ends ("fades away") before children are born. Courtship ends with marriage. But because the father really fell in love with the mother only after she got sick -- years after the narrator was born -- the narrator (at that point a teenager) was alive to witness the real romance normally associated with pre-marital courtship.


Relationships often start with some kind of a courtship, during which one person tries to woo the other person into a long-term arrangement. The courtship phase of the relationship generally only lasts for a short time, after which the couple settles into more of a routine.

In the narrator's case, the father's courtship to his mother was romantic but not particularly passionate. It wasn't until she became ill (I assume seriously ill) that the father treated her with the kind of fervent emotion more suited to a new romance than a couple who had been married for many years.

The particular phrase "witness to a courtship that should have faded" has a somewhat bitter tone, as if the narrator resented her father for acting this way, for shutting her out at that time. There is a sense the narrator feels her father is acting inappropriately, the reasons for which are explained in the following sentences.

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