Live In, Live Free!

 

The arranged marriage game is not palatable to many young people. Understandably perhaps. But then the alternative, which is the Dating Game, brings with it, its own share of woes. Rejection, lies, deceit, deception; for many, these are the experiences that the dating world earns them – rather than soliciting the ‘one’.

What am I getting at? And how then,  if the two primary sources of finding one’s life partner have their inherent flaws does one ‘settle’ down? Many of my students’ parents might be unhappy to read this – but I’m going to say, Live In! A Live In relationship, in my own experience, is arguably the ONLY true measure or testing ground for compatibility. NO two people are alike. Not even two people in LOVE! It is difficult for humans to co-habit. So what a live in situation does is, it breaks down all the WALLS and FACADE that tends to exist in an ‘arranged’ situation,  or in a ‘dating’ situation; both of which have the people involved at their best behavior, constantly. While in a Live In relationship, which of course you only get into in the first place if you feel ‘seriously’ enough about your relationship; the mask comes off. You are who you are – tantrums, eccentricities, idiosyncrasies, madness, demons – all included.

This then, turns into the ultimate litmus test for not only two peoples’ love for one another, but perhaps more importantly,  of simpatico.

Anuja and I lived together for a good 3 years before we decided to get married. And I think it has held us in good stead, that there were few shocks or surprises post-wedding (at least vis-a-vis  one another). And that is important. Because finally, life throws you enough and more curve balls, and the last thing you want to have to contend with in those situations, is marital problems additionally.

I think for parents as well,  as long as they have a realistic understanding and insight into their children, and feel they are mature and responsible, they should be open to the idea of a young couple living together before they take the proverbial ‘plunge’. Else,  it could just as easily become a plunge into eternal darkness!

Love!

Being at an all-boys boarding school one’s notion of love tends to become, well, a bit skewed. When I got to college, I fell in love, instantly! And in all sincerity and innocence,  thought she was, the one!

After a string of relationships, each of which at the time, in utmost seriousness, to me, would naturally evolve into matrimony; I realized it (love) really isn’t about ONE person. This silly, foregone conclusion didn’t come easy to me. It took time, many years,  heartbreaks, tears, and if I must confess, very shabby treatment meted out by me, for which I am ashamed and sorry.

And then, one fine day, almost 15 years ago, I met Anuja. I’ve written lots about how she stuck by me despite all my problems. Wrangled the demons out of me. Reformed me. So I won’t go on about that. What I do wish to share is that today, a day prior to our 9th wedding anniversary, I think my understanding of Love has finally ripened. And so, I’d like to leave you with a few lines where I shall try to explain that understanding. But before that, I have to say, Love, is the MOST beautiful and IMPORTANT thing of all in this entire world. Go be in love, give yourself, to someone.

Unwrap your heart
Unravel your soul
Untie your ego
Undo your pain
Unhinge your feelings
Unbind your darkness
Unwind your hurt
Un-mind the world
Un-mire the past
Embrace
Listen
Free

 

 

Of The Brood!

When our daughter Krisha was to be born, MANY people, friends, family members, ‘well wishers’ asked us, and advised us on our ‘pets quarantine’ plan. “How are you planning to keep your new born baby and the pets apart?” “How will you ensure that the baby is protected from the pets?” These, and many more questions were raised, and answered by the very same people 🙂

Now don’t get me wrong.. Not for a minute am I demeaning or unappreciative of the genuine concern that all these people had. Having said that, if you asked me WHAT we finally did? The honest answer would be – ZILCH!

Sure, we got lucky. That our daughter, as it turned out, was born, not showing any obvious signs of allergies from the pets – our 8 year old pug Mojo and our two cats Zachary & ZeeZee; all seemed to make ‘no’ difference to Krisha, at least from a ‘medical’ standpoint. THANK GOD! First fear overcome, my wife Anuja and I realized that that ‘first’ fear, really was our ONLY fear. That settled, a distant second concern that the pets would unwittingly hurt Krisha, paled quickly when we realized that pets, and animals in general, are the most sensitive, aware, careful creatures on the planet – much more I dare say, than us humans!

Now 7 months into this new journey with Krisha, aside from the expected pangs of jealousy especially our pug experienced; things seem happy 🙂

                                         

This brings me then to the main point I’d like to make. A child that grows up around pets is bound to benefit in many ways. Pets give love, unconditionally. This can be a huge source of emotional support for a child. A pet can also become that one true confidant to a child, someone who unconsciously helps the child deal with the myriad upheavals of growing up. Of course, caring for a pet, and seeing the pet being cared for, will most certainly instill a sense of responsibility as well as empathy. Also, soliciting interaction will only help a child develop communication skills. So be it psychological well-being, mental stimulation, or character-building; for a child to grow up among pets can only be advantageous.

I am excited for the years that lie ahead and to see Krisha grow with our little brood 🙂

Open Minds, Free Hearts

Yet another brutal reminder of terrorism. The New York attack. Barely 10 hours back. In Lower Manhattan! My brother, his girlfriend, cousins, countless friends; all a stone’s throw from the scene!

A lot of ‘noise’ is made on this subject. There will be news debates galore, social media will be buzzing in the aftermath of this nth brazen violation of our collective freedom.

Perhaps one way of solving this deep-rooted terror problem is to really start with the younger generation. I always try to sensitize my students about the problems of the world we live in.  Terrorism is a tricky one. What is the right way of introducing such an ugly truth to young minds? How, when, where? One has to be careful not to upset an innocent mind; at the same time not bring up kids in a rose-tinted fool’s paradise.

I leave you with the link to a short film. In my senior grades, I tend to use this beautiful short film to initiate an important discussion. Perhaps, this is one way?