Marriages are made in heaven!

शुभास्ते पंथानः संतु ! May the tough road of marriage be auspicious to you!


Marriages are made in heaven but we live our life in this world, on the terra firma! To me, this sentence is created by some smart cookie who is an expert in the blame game. Marriage does not work, blame the heaven’s administration! Simple is it not. But on a serious note, marriages are a union between two people of different sex; this definition has now undergone recently in India as now marriages between two people of the same sex are also legal. Another term used is they are blissfully married. By the time we find dictionary meaning of blissfully, the marriage becomes a routine relationship, a pleasant one if both spouses are sensible, practical people.

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between those spouses. It establishes rights and obligations, between them and any resulting biological or adopted children, and  creates affinity. The definition of marriage varies around the world not only between cultures and between religions but also throughout the history of any given culture and religion. It evolves to both expand and constrict in who and what is encompassed, but typically it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged or sanctioned. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity. I know this is 2018, but please don’t laugh!

Enough of theoretical things and definitions. What really is a marriage? I will not delve into complications about marriage between people of same sex for obvious reasons, anyway, “normal” marriages are also complicated. In practical terms it is an event where two people start living together, (I know about live in relationships 🙂🙂) use the same bed, use the same bathroom, once they are comfortable with each other, they are not shy to tell each other that they need to use the bathroom. On a different level, they follow their careers but at the end of the day come to the same home, share the same dining table, though not necessarily the same food, go for movies, go and meet friends some old and many new! Both generally acquire an additional set of parents through marriage, hopefully. They also acquire new sets of aunts, uncles and cousins. With all these changes they are expected to get more joy. In one of my blogs, I had written about the inner circle theory. Husband and wife are in the innermost circle along with parents, to start with, after marriage. When children are born, they come in the inner circle and parents move in the outer circle. This defines the direction in which marriages are expected to move. Oh, yes! I forgot, they openly have sex. If you keep log of all the events in any marriage, sex is almost a footnote, though glorified, not untruly!

What is expected out of a marriage? Love, closeness, close friendship, support, intimacy and many more things that come to mind. The intimacy of couples is the most important aspect but its frequency starts waning as time passes. By intimacy, I don’t mean sex. This aspect gives maximum satisfaction to mind but from what we read, it has the least shelf life in most marriages. Reasons are different but “Honeymoon” period of intimacy is quite limited, pun intended.

What are the reasons for people to marry especially when it is an arranged marriage? Because the girls land is adjoining to yours, his family has a flourishing business, her father was the big farmer in town, or both families are from the same cast or sub-caste. These are reasonable sets of reasons to start with but then comes loneliness, infidelity, abuse, the hardness of heart and shouts due to reason “who should attend to the baby at 3 AM”! The reasonable marriage is not reasonable to start with!  It is based on thought processes prevalent in the society. Hence though we think in terms of bliss due to initial euphoria, on a practical level marriage is a different animal.

The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. As the time passes, thoughts come in mind that one has married a wrong person! Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true definition of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition. There is never a right person but at best there can the best or the least wrong person!

We need to exchange the romantic view for awareness, that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us — and we will in return do the same to them. This can end up in our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. But none of this is unusual or grounds for divorce. Choosing whom to commit ourselves to, is merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for. Is his smoking more acceptable to you than drinking? Is her sense of bold dressing acceptable to you or is her not mixing with your family more acceptable to you? Every single person has his or her quirks. It is how each one handles them in a marriage, maturely, decides the success of the marriage.

In my blog “Tit for Tat” I have suggested “out of box” interpretation of the saying. During any difference of opinion, which happen in plenty in “matured” marriages, taking a step back, saying sorry sincerely or any re-conciliatory measure should be openly accepted, with “tat” doubling the efforts to diffuse the situation. That to me is a blissful marriage. Once the honeymoon phase in the relationship is over, what we have is brass-tacks. Does the husband share some routine chores in the home? Does wife take up some of the “Man type” of work? If both are professionals do both take an equal load in basic things like routine purchases, taking children to doctors, changing diapers, with a smiling face, as the wife has to go for an urgent meeting.

We marry, to make a nice feeling permanent. We think that the joy of proposing someone on the beach with the Sun setting, later going for a lovely wine and dinner, will continue in our lives all the time. At that time, we tend to feel that we are the only couple who has achieved such level of happiness, such a bliss. Based on this lovely thinking we marry and expect the sensation to remain permanent in our lives. In that frame of mind, we tend to forget that there is no real connection between that lovely feeling and the institution of marriage!

Marriage is the most universal relationship but it is one of the toughest one. Marriage is the only relationship where all the details, which are unknown to others, about the spouse, are known to the other spouse. It includes bodily functions, fears, habits, insecurities, fear of the unknown. As the real intimacy, other than sex, comes into  picture, one may get a feeling, in most cases, that we have married a wrong person. But friends, that is not true. It is how you accommodate each other’s unknown quirks, let me assure you both spouses have them, it is how you start taking things in stride, you may become a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian to accommodate your spouse. As the saying goes, with the intimacy, closeness is automatically created. But in most cases there are ups and owns, mostly downs! Someone may feel that the grass is greener on the side. But when you go to the other side, you may find that the grass was the greenest on your side. You never marry a wrong person, you simply are not able to take things in stride. From a little distance, every person seems fine, but post marriage and intimacy, you know the real person warts and all! Happy blissful married life!

शुभास्ते पंथानः संतु! May the tough road of marriage be auspicious to you!

Marriages are made in heaven!

Treat female species as equals for better world!

I have been hoping to write about this for some time but during my morning walk today, I saw some couples. I felt that I must take photos of two of them. Of course, I took the photos discretely. When we look at couples, when we meet couples, we hardly know anything about the details about relationships between the couples. Their secrets, good or bad, their likes and dislikes, their compatibility is only known to them. My judgement is that if a couple is really close to you and your spouse, you may not know more than 30% about them, about their thoughts, their demons, their love. Everyone else is hidden far, far away from others, like the closeness or lack of it between them. What we see are shallow things about them. In some cases, everything looks hunky dory but in reality? Honestly, I don’t know. 

Now about the two couples I saw today. They had come out of their homes for their morning walk or outing! In one case, I saw that husband was walking in front of his wife. I thought this was because there was some water and muck due to overnight rain. I was far behind them, initially. Later on, too, they continued to walk in the same fashion. Another couple was sitting on a bench, husband was talking on the cell phone and the wife was sitting there nonchalantly observing life passing by. I waited, at a distance, to see the spectacle but there was no change. What must have been the relationships between these pairs? What must have been their relationships when they were young? While going for morning walk why would husband walk a couple of meters ahead of wife? Why would a husband be talking away on phone in such a beautiful weather? Only they would know. 

Years back, Jaya used to go to office, in their office bus. A couple, who were her colleagues, would also join her at the same bus stop. They would walk from their home every day. Husband in front, wife in tow about ten feet behind. Wife would carry his office bag and food container along with her own things. Jaya was curious. Once she asked her colleague why did they not walk together? Why did they not carry their own stuff? The colleague said, ” I will let you know later.” Later during the day, the colleague came and met Jaya. Jaya asked her why they did not walk together and why was her husband not carrying his own things? The colleague said, ” How can male carry these things? It is to give him respect that I walk behind him.” Jaya could feel that it’s a veiled statement!  Both husband and wife had same technical qualifications and were holding the same post. Later, only the lady got promoted but the charade at the bus stop continued!  

Recently, I heard a story of doctor couple. They would invite outside expert surgeons  for performing surgeries. One consultant faced an embarrassing problem. He treated the husband’s patient but during surgery he used a new equipment at the clinic. Since the patient “belonged” to the husband, the bill was raised by the husband. The wife called this consultant and asked him why the bill was raised by the husband? She said that the investment for new costly equipment was done by her so the bill should have been raised in her name! Now, now! This was an internal issue of husband and wife, but the issue was raised with the consultant. This indicated the relationship between the couple!  

What is marriage? Marriage is the process by which two people make their relationship public, official, and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is increasingly cut short by divorce. Over the course of a relationship that can last as many as six or seven decades, a lot happens. Personalities change, bodies age, and romantic love waxes and wanes. And no marriage is free of conflict. What enables a couple to endure is how they handle that conflict. So how do you manage the problems that inevitably arise? And how can you keep the spark alive? 

In patriarchal society in which we live, narcissism is prevalent big time. Since time immemorial, male species has been given a lot of undue importance. They have been encouraged to behave the way they want and the way they could. The obvious “drawback” in the mind of female species has been of getting pregnant, only female kids were always trained to behave in a docile way, always listening to male species and agreeing to their opinions, allowing them to behave any which way they wanted.    

Though in last 50 years things are changing a bit and getting improved in treatment meted out to female species, some things may take a real long time to change. Walking behind one’s husband is part of that docile behavior. Allowing husbands to do what they want continues. There are noted changes especially in western world and major cities in India, giving more freedom to females, giving respect to women as humans, considering them as equals professionally. Even with these changes, a lady professional still is required to work hard, maybe 10 times more than men, to achieve the same professional success.  

Marriages are now, at least in many cases that I know of, are showing improvement in male female interaction. Both partners, now share big dreams and work hard to achieve the same. They work hard to achieve it, they sacrifice for each other, even career wise, which in olden times was unheard of. In, many marriages I have seen the marriage as coming together of two families and not marrying a girl only for dowry and procreation! Women power is really seen in many areas and in a good sense. Of course, there are a few ladies who go to the other extreme! But over a period ladies have learnt that they are made different physically, bra burning becomes only symbolic! It is matter of wearing a convenient inner ware to suit the shape of their body. That women have menstrual cycle is an accepted fact and they are supported by colleagues, male and female when required, silently. People accept that it’s no big deal and take it in stride. Their pregnancies are respected and supported in professional life.  

Has utopia arrived in this bad, bad world? No, not all but proverbial silver lining is seen on the dark clouds. In fact, sometimes we see Silver Clouds instead of dark clouds. Will there be no dark clouds in the year 2118? No way, there will be dark clouds but they will be much less; in many families I see male and female births are received with equal joy. I know you must have smiled about Pramod, the optimist! But I have seen this happening in many families and Yes, this trend will hopefully continue! Now when a husband says today, ” Let me ask my wife, before I confirm to you”, people ever so pragmatic don’t laugh but accept it as a practical requirement. While writing this piece, I had taken Jaya’s permission to do so! But I am not called Hen Pecked! Do I dream that one day, a husband will walk behind the wife, carrying her office bag and tiffin? No, never! I want them to proudly and lovingly walk together! After all both are humans only made physically different by Him! Without this difference how could human race have continued to multiply? Only a male child born cannot be Lighthouse showing light beacon to families, you need females in equal numbers, is it not? 



I don’t care!

Inculcate discipline from childhood by your own example!

A news item in Pune’s newspaper said that a 14-year-old kid was stopped by the police as he was driving a two-wheeler on public roads. Obviously, he had no license and on top of it, when the police asked for the vehicle documents, he and his family did not have them. The number plate on the scooter was bogus. Questions arose if the vehicle was stolen? How did the family allow the kid to take the scooter on public roads? When asked, they did not have answers; the police arrested two people, the father and the uncle of the kid. The uncle supposedly owned the scooter. Was this family in some kind of funny business about stealing of vehicles?  

The sheer arrogance, impunity with which people allow kids to use motorized vehicles cannot be believed. ” My kid drives beautifully though he is only 13″, kind of stuff! This reflects poorly on the society and irrespective of income levels, family backgrounds, such incidents keep on happening. The result of such actions is that kids at an early age learn to do illegal things. They have no fear of law as they are falsely protected by the parents. Similar “training” is given to kids when their mothers take them on scooters and jump the red signal. At the young age, for kids, mother is everything. If she jumps red signal then it is their green signal! Another thing, is that it leads to is accidents. There is always a reason when society makes rules. Age allowed to drive motorized vehicles, age for getting married, age for consuming alcoholic drinks, these are all decided after observing human behavior vis a vis their age, over a period of time. Maturity required for performing these activities is lacking at younger age. This lack of maturity gives false sense of confidence to kids! In India, certain low powered scooters are allowed to be driven legally, when the child becomes 16! At the same age, in the US, they allow cars to be driven by kids but an adult with license needs to be sitting next to the kid in the car. We forget or we don’t care that these rules are made for the safety of individuals and in general safety of the people in society.  

Today morning, I was going out for a walk. In our building parking area, a kid 12 or 13-year-old, came on a scooter with his older brother, sitting behind him. I stopped them, gave them a bit of sermon. The older brother was a sensible guy. When I threatened that, I will report this to the police, he immediately agreed that he will never allow the kid to drive the scooter again, illegally. His argument, “Oh I just allowed him to drive in the society premises”! Same thing happened years back when I lived in a large society with good roads. The kid was similar age and he was driving a car. His father was sitting next to him. I stopped the car and asked the kid to get down. His father started an argument, I removed the car key and kept it in my pocket. His father’s argument; “Oh he drives beautifully blah, blah, blah”! When I asked the father about the risks and legality he had no answer.    

Now in India, a law has been promulgated to prevent such use of vehicles. The parents of such defaulting kids cannot hide behind the argument that their kid took the vehicle without their knowledge. But let me assure you that this has been happening from the time cars came into existence. I had a friend Ashok, when we were in engineering college. We used to “steal” his father’s car late at night when everyone was asleep. We would push it to a certain distance, away from home, without starting it, for obvious reasons. Not only Ashok, but all of us had driving licenses.  

We at younger age feel that we are infallible, immortal. Today a major fatal accident happened in Pune. A 20-year-old man had a different idea in his mind. At 4 am in the morning, he took his uncles car and went for a drive on an empty carriageway. He had a brilliant idea that he should send a live video feed to Instagram. He did the set-up on his cell phone, informed his friends and started driving at a very high speed. Can you imagine where his camera was focused? It was focused on the speedometer. The only way he could have done this was by holding the camera in one hand while driving. Great recipe! Empty road, high speed, one hand away from steering wheel! Add to this the exhilaration of sending live feed on Instagram. The inevitable happened, the car crashed against a barrier, the guy died instantaneously. The car was total loss; when I saw the picture in the newspaper, even without reading the news item, I knew that there would be no survivors! 

When such inevitable is known why some elements in the society, do not follow basic discipline? We sing paeans about western society, their discipline, their cleanliness, their organized way of life. But what do we do from our side to ensure that we will follow the same in India? In every phase of life, we break rules, we break laws, we are afraid to confront our kids who want to try something illegal; we never tell our kids that this is the law of land, you are just not allowed to drive a vehicle at this age. Kids just follow what their parents do at home or in the society. I remember an incident that I had seen years back. Two families were having dinner at a restaurant, enjoying their liquor too! No harm! But one of the mothers, drank way beyond her capacity! Her husband told their ten-year-old son, “Beta, take your Mumma to the wash room!” The Mumma could not take two steps in a straight line! 15 years later the same boy who must have turned into a dashing man, must have said when totally drunk, “Mumma was always right”!  

Disciplined, clean, advanced society? Start at home, confront your kids when required, follow the same path again and again. But looks like we definitely have something in our DNA. Leading actor Priyanka Chopda, was asked in an interview recently, what she misses from India as she is in the US most of the time! Prompt came her reply, ” Oh, reaching on time on film sets in the US is a big bore, in India I could reach as late as I wanted”! It might be her sense of humour but it is a bit weird!  

Dil Puakre aa re aa re!

Be a lovely Jodi Life Long!

These are the tag lines of a lovely romantic song from a Devnand movie “Jewel Thief!” He was the Romantic hero of Bollywood. This is a song about two young lovers opening their hearts out to each other. The romantic pairs in films change from movie to movie! But in real life, it does not happen that way. In life, one gets married, produces progeny and life goes on. How many of these pairs continue through their life with same affection and love? It may not be love of the youth but in some couples, it can be compared with a doubles team in badminton or tennis! They are just there for each other as and when needed!  

Life in movies and in real life are totally different; one is scripted by a story writer and other by Him! The cliché goes that “Marriages are made in Heaven” but to maintain relationships is totally left to you. If you look at the life’s journey after marriage, it is Honeymoon to routine to more routine. This many time turns into individual routine where partners are not involved. The life of Jodi, who have vowed ” Till death Parts us” live in the same home but become individuals who have their own ways, their own circles, their own system of living life. In most cases there are no visible differences, at least to the outsiders, everything appears to be hunky dory! But if you just scratch on the surface, you will notice the differences. Why this stage is reached? Why can’t the couples who married, many times in a love marriage or most times into arranged marriage, as called in India, “remain a couple”? They become two individuals living legally together. Why does this happen?  

A couple of years back, Jaya and I were planning to take Alaska cruise. We checked up with friends and acquaintances who had taken the cruise which is 7 to 11 days duration. Most asked us which group of friends are you going with? When we said that we are not going with friends, only two of us plan to take the cruise, they were surprised and some were dumb struck. In fact, one friend said, “What will you do with your wife for such a long duration? I jokingly told him, ” Someone else’s wife is not ready to come with me hence I am going with Jaya”. They were not sure, what we were going to do in the confines of the cruise for such a long period?  For them only two of us going on a tour was a surprise but for us the question was a surprise? 

This made me think why this change happens with such a large percentage of couples; for any relationship to prosper or remain at a good level of interchange, efforts are needed from both sides. These could be sharing of daily tidbits, asking for suggestion in one’s work. Your partner may not be from the same field but then do not ask for technical solution from the other but one can always touch base to find opinion on things. Remain involved with each other; it can so happen that wife has not taken up any profession but has taken decision to remain a house wife. Does it mean that she may not be able to give opinion or suggestion? Of course not. About 20 years back I had bought a bunch of flowers and while going towards my car, I met a friend of mine. He asked me looking at the flowers, “Are you attending some marriage reception?” He expected that flowers were for that purpose, when I told me I had bought the flowers to take home. The expressions on his face told me what he felt! He must have thought that Pramod is stupid guy, buying flowers for his wife!  

When we start getting busier in life, we need to take efforts to find time for each other. We get busier, we have children, our parents get older, some additional family responsibilities are on you, as you grow older. It is very easy for husband and wife to say, “Oh, we just don’t get time, we are so busy!” In some cases one of the spouses or both are required to travel for work. It is very easy to get bogged down, this is where real skills of both individuals need to come out. 

How about a surprise date with the spouse? How about a surprise gift? Why not a surprise hug or a peck? Do you need a reason for that? Why not encourage each other to have independent programs with their groups? Join them once in a while with their group of friends, if it is practical. If you are lucky enough to be in the similar field of work, discuss small anecdotes from work with each other! Why not decide to just go and have coffee at a Barista? Why not buy a special package of teas for the other? All these are so called “small things”. But mind you they are not small! Our life’s journey is a pleasure; and it is sum of “small things”! All of us have friends but make sure that spouse is your closest friend! I have seen couples where a spouse does not discuss or inform the other of major things in life! This too with a person with whom you have shared minutest and innermost things in your life and your family.  

We ensure that we do anything for a friend why not do something more for a friend who happens to be your spouse? We remember friend’s birthdays and anniversaries but forget our own. You may think I am just cooking up something but I have seen this happen with a statement, “So what if I forget?” Respect is another thing we forget. As we become close to each we start taking things for granted, and in some cases, we disrespect the other. That is the last thing expected! Respect your spouse’s opinions, thoughts and persona. They may be different from you. This is accepted once we accept that the spouse is also an individual!  


Come on folks buy her a Gajara next time on your way home! By a packet of cookies, he likes, of course Sugar free! Don’t forget he has diabetes! Suggest to him a dinner at a restaurant which is his favourite for chicken, though you eat chicken only to give him company! Suggest to her an outing for window shopping in her favourite market. It’s not eating or window shopping that is important, it’s what other likes is important. After all you are the best Jodi He has made but we tend to forget this in life’s complexities!  Don’t miss on life’s most important gift!

I take this opportunity to wish all of you a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year for 2018 with a wish that your Jodi reaches great heights; but you have to make efforts! Don’t forget this! 

Last evening, I was waiting in my window to attempt taking photos of birds who fly back home! They deceived and took a different path! But the Sun God was as true as ever. I have made a small video of the photos I took, watching Him go down in 2017 for the last time. Hope you folks enjoy it!!Aq4ckSwupy2SmZ1YBAwIuK-FmuIVMA