Thursday, March 25, 2010

AMBITION Vs SENSE OF PROPRIETY

Our area is quite peaceful but about a fortnight ago there was a commotion at about 10 pm in the block next to ours. I went out to check as there had been a spate of burglaries in nearby localities. There were a few persons gathered outside and I learnt that young couple staying on 1st floor was having a fight. They had moved in here soon after marriage about 5 months ago as both of them are working in NCR while their parents stay in different cities. I got acquainted with them a few days after they had moved in as they both go for jog in the morning when I am out with our dog. They both are dog lovers and that is what got us talking. Anuj and Neena make an ideal couple. They are both complimentary to each other in appearance and behavior. They had visited us a few times and she had also come over alone at times when he was out of station. We too have been to their home a couple of times. They both get along very well with our son and his wife.

There was silence in their flat by that time and I went up to see if I could do something. I found the door ajar. I knocked and as there was no reply, fearing something untoward I pushed it open to find Anuj sitting in dinning room while Neena was standing in the living room crying. On seeing me he came over saying “ Uncle, she cheated on me.” She sobbingly said that it was not true. Under those circumstances I felt it would be better if we spoke about whatever it was after they both had calmed down. I called my wife over and once she was with us, she took her to the bedroom to calm her. I sat near him but kept quiet waiting for him to speak. What emerged was that he had gone out for a meeting with a colleague and while returning to office he saw her emerge from a guest house with her boss. By the time he could park the car to meet them, they had gone out of sight. I told him not to jump to such conclusions without letting her say how she was there. He said that she refuses to talk about it. He further said that he knew reputation of her boss was not good at all. I was apprehensive that if they are left to themselves they might again get into fight. So I asked him to sleep over it and let me get to the bottom of this matter. We brought her to our house and I slept in the guest room letting her be with my wife.

Next morning while escorting her back I asked what was the truth. She told that she would like to seek my advice later as she had to rush to office due to an urgent meeting. I found Anuj better composed and he looked askance at me. I told him to relax as I would speak to her later. He had to go outstation on official work next day and was expected after a week or so. Before going he came over asking me to advise her and find out why she was there as he loved her a lot and had a lot of trust in her. Theirs is an arranged marriage. I promised to do my best. I thought I would make use of Sunday which was 2 days away. I asked her to join us for the day once she free from household chores. She came over around 11 am and we sat in the living room chatting. Our son and his wife were out for the week end. My wife kept moving about the house doing her chores. I am writing what she told me after a little cajoling. Now I am in a dilemma as to am I right in what I did.

She is from middle class family. She is eldest among 3 siblings, sister being over a year and brother 3 years younger. Her father was in government service at decent post and retired as a senior officer. Her mother worked in a private organisaion to supplement family income. Though they were not hand to mouth but could not be called to be very comfortable. Her mother had insisted that they should start education in good schools. So they went to elite schools of the city. They were provided with all basic amenities but very little more beyond that.

She was in company of students coming from well to do families who had lot of things which she was keen on but could not afford. She was not jealous of them but did feel the lack of resources. So she started feeling that to get something in life she needs to work for it. She became very ambitious. She put herself to study hard as well as take part in other extra curricular activities. She excelled in studies and also in sports. She proved to be a good basket ball player and outstanding in debates & dances. She was quite popular. When she was in 11th she learnt that it is not just hard work but her interaction with those who matter also counted. Her being left out of school basket ball team for a tournament made her understand that. Everyone was surprised at her non inclusion as she was one of the top players. This hurt her young mind as her ambition of being in the team was not fulfilled. On asking the coach she was told that she needs to be little more interactive socially. She realised that this was because she had not liked her coach putting his arm around her or holding her close while talking. She had pulled away from him whenever he did that. Next time in practice session when he put his arm around her she stiffened but did not move away. So she was back in the team for the next match. This incident got embedded deep in her young mind. She felt that to fulfill her dreams she would need to compromise on some issues. Thus her innocent mind got moulded that way.

She got into a reputed college as she secured very good marks and was within first ten in the merit list. Here she continued to study hard as well as take part in other activities. She made a lot of friends and had a boyfriend also. They were quite close but she told him that she would not like to go all the way. He was very understanding and they enjoyed each other’s company well. After graduation she took up a job while pursuing MBA in HR part time.

On completion of MBA with good marks she joined the present MNC which is into consultancy of HR. She has been with them for over 2 years and due to her hard work is liked by seniors and respected by peers. She made a good name. Recently company decided to open another office close to our locality. She was told by her boss that though she is very junior, she may be made Branch Head. This position carries good pay and perks package. This will also open scope for her to rise further. She would be surpassing a lot of seniors if selected. Her ambition got strong. Her boss sensed her keenness for this post and fueled her desire. He told her that apart from hard work she also needs to be active socially as in that position she would have to interact with lot of top executives from the corporate world. He took her to a couple of meeting with heads of their client organisations. He went out of his way to prepare her to shoulder new responsibilities. She said that he was very nice and told her a number of times that he would like to see her get that post over other short listed seniors. The day Anuj said he saw her coming out of guest house, she was told by her boss in the morning that he has been given authority to select one amongst the short listed names and confirm appointment. He told her that he was keen to choose her if she is willing to do something for him. Her strong ambition made her succumb to the temptation of getting this position and she agreed knowing what he was hinting at. She started crying while saying that after she did what he wanted, she felt so dirty and guilty. She said that she can not face anyone with pride. By now my wife had joined us and she took her into her arms consoling that whatever had happened is over and now we need to see what should be done. She sobbingly said that she would never ever think of such thing again.

On my asking she confirmed that she has got the position. I advised her that once she has realised her folly it is best to keep it buried. I further told her that it would be in her interest to leave this organisation at the earliest opportunity. I advised her to start looking for another company as she would now be in better position to bargain. We decided to tell Anuj that she was not willing to speak anything that day as he spoke in such a mistrusting way. We agreed to tell him that she had gone for a meeting with her boss, which he knew that she does, and on the way back he wanted to meet someone staying in that guest house but as the person whom he wanted to meet was not there, they came out within few minutes to go back to office. She swore that she would always remember this and never let her ambition overrule her sense of propriety.

Now I am in dilemma if I have taken right decisions.

21 comments:

Ann said...

Yes, defiinitely, you've taken the right decision. As telling the truth to Anuj would might break their marriage and trust for life. So, it's better to bury such things. Rest is up to Neena. Your job was to advice her, now it's up to her that she follows that or not.

So, you are right at your place.

Keep sharing and keep blogging :)

Amrita said...

For the time being yes, what you have done is correct. But then I would prefer being rest assured that the lady in question does nt falter again. Because that would ruin everything.

Tongue-fu Lady said...

hmm..i m not sure how good is the idea of hiding it from the husband. if she wants to earn his trust, she should go ahead and confess, instead of living in guilt her entire life.

it will also be difficult in his part to initially forgive her, but if he truly loves her n most importantly tries to understand how her past affected her present, he can emotionally help her.

also, i have never played the game of marriage. hence i do not know the rules of this game and so my opinion can be completely wrong ;)

BROKEN STAR said...

well well well....is she is really feelin bad?? .coz if a person can take such a step for materialistic resources then i don't think they can feel guilty so early in life..dat guilt can cum may be after 5-10 years ..rgt now she is upset just coz anuj saw them...d only way 2 reduce the guilt is to tell d truth...nd if she is really guilty she has to tell d truth..otherwise she should enjoy her position nd materialistic gains....but i strongly feel truth is d only way...atleast the man in question will get the chance to judge her on the basis of truth... if she was in love with other persn dn it would hav atleatest make a sence....really a complex situation...yyy ppl tak such a step just for sum extra luxuries???

BROKEN STAR said...

@jack sir..thnks 4 readn my blogs...it would b grt if u follow me too..as i need ur expert comments everytime..thnx agn

sulagna ™ said...

ohhh dear !! thats not the right thing to do uncle..i mean about her..i hope she never repeats it again..but yes you did the right thing by supporting her and saving the marriage..and its so wonderful to know people like you and aunty are still around :) god bless you both

Starry-eyed nut said...

I really think she should tell her husband the truth, its not like she had a dinner or a drink with another man. Also, can she live with the guilt?

Di said...

Hey Uncle J...

Neena's lucky that she has such amazing neighbours in you and aunty.. I know you took the decision based on each and every little detail that she told you rightfrom her sports experience. Yeah there are some men who are in good position to takeadvantage of women who want to move ahead in life, these men know their prey and attack at the right time playing their cards very smartly. Stupid women like Neena fall for their tricks. Of course she had the option of saying a FIRM NO to this boss before stepping inside that guest house, she was too careless about her marriage and didn't care a bit about Anuj it seems .. when she was doing that.

Anuj may be told that nothing happened that day, he may believe it too since he believes in you guys. Even though it saves the marriage and saves Neena's ass from getting kicked, a lie is a lie..

She MAY OR MAY NOT repeat her mistake. Who knows! Once a cheater always a cheater. And she didn't cheat for love (her boss wasn't her boyfriend she was in love with), but she cheated for success. A different kind of love. Very materialistic. Her reasons are all wrong. She cannot be excused and called 'innocent'..she should come clean to her husband if she is really sorry. Otherwise she'll take him for granted for life.. thinking that he's gullible and believes anything! I'm with Anuj in this case...

I think this way... the difficult choice is always the right choice... speaking the truth is difficult most of the times.. but it's always better for the peace of mind. No matter what happens after she tells him honestly, who knows how Anuj will react.. he might or might not forgive her.. but at least she will not have 2 mistakes burdening her soul. 1 - sleeping with the boss for a position and perks. 2- lying to her husband.

I hope she gets out of the mess eventually if she's honestly repenting..

Jack said...

ANN :

Thanks for your support. I pray that she sticks to her resolve and does not let her ambition get better of her. Take care


AMRITA :

I agree with you that it is now upto her to keep her word. I sincerely hope she has learnt her lesson. Take care


T-f L :

I agree that there should be no secrets between husband and wife after marriage but at times situation may warrant this for the sake of keeping marriage intact as NO husband will like his wife to have slept with someone else. However now it is entirely upto her to stick to her resolve and also bear the burden of keeping it buried. Take care


B S :

Please do read my reply to T-f L above. There is a famour saying " Once a lion tastes blood it becomes more hungary". But I could feel her honesty while narrating whole thing. Apart from that I do trust instict of my wife, she too felt that feeling of guild expressed and resolve not to ever indulge in such activity again was genuine. I hope and pray that she keeps her word and moves out of this organisation soon.

I will keep visiting you and read your gems. Take care


SULAGNA :

I feel that we should do what could be done to save their marriage as no husband would tolerate his wife sleeping with someone else. She seemed sincere in her remorse and we hope she keeps to her resolve. Take care


STARRY EYED :

I know there should be no secrets between husband and wife. But honestly tell me if your husband came and told you that he slept with someone else what your reaction would be? Even if you forgive him, would it not make you suspious all the time? Will it be out of question to raise this issue at some later date when you are too angry while having arguements? She seemed genuinely regreting this and felt guilty, so we took this chance to save their marriage. Take care


DI :

I agree speaking truth is always better as it removes guilt feeling but NO husband will tolerate his wife sleeping with someone else no matter how educated or modern he may be. Only if they are a swinging couple, he may not say anything. She will have to live with this guilt feeling which hopefully will remind her to keep her words. We took this chance as she appeared absolutely truthful. Take care

Sakshi said...

I think that favours of ANY sort in any organization for promotions are wrong.
Time to put certain work ethics in place. And, well, had I been in her place, I would have gone to the court under sexual harassment at work act, and given that ass boss a dose of his own medicine.
Hard Work, sincerity and being good at what you do, should be the basis of promotions, and NOT deep necks.

I feel, that the system is wrong. And to succumb to it worse.

Shayon said...

My personal two cents...

I notice that you kept on saying that no husband would ever tolerate the fact that his wife slept with someone else.

IMHO, the husband should have been given a chance to decide for his own relationship, than you deciding it for them. You could show them perspectives, but that was the maximum. I am saying this because, if Anuj loves Neena a lot, it was also important for him to understand that Neena too was human, after all. And while she did commit a mistake, it was his prerogative to let her know that he would always be around for her. It was important for him to understand her circumstances and treat it as what it was, a mistake.

And well, he should also have been given the chance to choose whether he wanted the relationship despite this scar, or not. Because, the relationship did not belong only to Neena.

No, I am in no way suggesting that Neena was justified on her part. But I feel that if your own loved ones don't give you a second chance, who else will?

While it is important to love someone, it is equally important to understand that person, their strengths, their weaknesses.

As for Neena, I shall strongly hope that she stays truthful to her relationship. Making a mistake is never wrong, not owning up to it definitely is.

Sheesh! Typing on my phone, and yet wrote quite a bit, I guess :-p

And well, more than hiding the truth, speaking it out and being forgiven (after due reprimand) will make their love stronger, and would also keep her safe, in future.

Jack said...

SAKSHI :

She should not have succumbed to this comprise for getting the said position. She could have confided in Anuj and tackled the situation. But given her background of quest to fulfill her ambitions she did not realise the implication at that time. I do hope that she is now firm on her resolve. Take care


SHAYON :

When I spoke of husbands it was in general sense. There are very few exceptions who would forgive their spouse for such lapse, of course after due reprimand. The scar would remain and there is strong possiblity of suspicion and talking of this in future in any heated arguement. I agree it would have been best for Anuj to take decision but under the circumstances we did feel that no tension be created in their marital life as she had sincerely regretted her folly. We are hopeful that she will remain firm on her words never to succumb to her ambitions in this way.
Take care

Shayon said...

I am not at all suggesting that you were wrong. We all have our own minds and they all have shaped up differently. And anyway, right and wrong are two very absolute and subjective terms.

And well, you guess what? I shall not pray that she keeps staying faithful in her marriage, but I shall surely pray that she stays faithful to the one who trusts and loves her. Human emotions are best if allowed to fly. They should never be captured. But yes, understanding and accepting the fact the human emotions do like to fly, is what maketh a man.

On an unrelated note, here's something I wrote, that's inspired by this blog post of yours.

http://www.shayonpal.com/city-life/arent-you-jealous/

Sakshi said...

Well, Uncle J, End does not always define your means. And, to be frank, given the situation at hand, What good would have it done to Neena to confide in Anuj? I mean, Anuj would not have gone her boss and told him that his wife deserves the promotion.
What I am talking about is the MEANS here. And the fact that, Neena's is not a sole case here, there are so many more, women, sexual favours and promotions.
That is what I do not agree to.

Between Anuj and Neena, I feel that what Shayon said here was right. That the only person who would understand you would be the person who loves you the most. And Marriage is based on trust. But, well, I dunno really, what should she do.. beacause, at times, some white lies is better than the whole truth.
But this is dicey. Totally complicated.

Jack said...

SHAYON :

Read your post and left my comment. You have triggered many thoughts in my mind and I am going to put all that down in next post which I feel should give replies to your questions. Take care


SAKSHI :

There are many Neenas who are in situations of getting exploited and some of them are also. They succumb to such acts due to various reasons. We need to raise awareness amongst working girls to know about these and guard themselves against it. After reading views of Shayon, you and some other readers as well as posts written as offtake to this by Shayon and The Bald Guy I feel that I need to address all their write ups in next post. That should also answer whether Neena should tell Anuj or not. As you have said yourself a white lie may be more in keeping with the situation at times. Take care

Ellen said...

You sure have a good conversation going on in here. And everything your readers have said make up so many truths about the situation.

The thing is -- the matter should be left to the couple. It is their marriage and thus they alone should chart their course. People will have their insights and perceptions on the subject of marriage but each may or may not work in general terms on all or every couple. Thus whatever goes right or wrong in somebody's marriage is their business - not ours. Yes, we may with good intent give our own opinions or advise the couple, if we are privileged to be close to them, but that is as far as it should go. The rest is really up to them, they should decide for themselves as to what solutions would work or what is right or wrong for their marriage.

This is the essence of marriage counseling... give them insights or perspectives and then leave the decision to them to make. They alone know what is right or wrong for themselves. We, as outsiders, are not privy to what is truly happening inside the marriage... or how the couple interact with each other in the privacy of their home... or what is honestly there inside their minds and hearts, as individuals or as a couple.

You're a very good friend, Jack. And your friendship is truly a blessing. God bless your kind heart and caring soul.

Shayon said...

@Ellen

I loved your comment. So true. Not self marketing, but still wanted to share a post I had written. It might strike a cord with you.

What I learnt Today

Jack said...

ELLEN :

Very true. It is upto couples to chart their course of action. Youngsters tend to get overworked even on small issues as they lack experience or broader view as well as because they are the affected persons, so it is upto us elders to look at it with broader prospective and offer options. Ultimate decisions of course rests with them. In this incident had she told Anuj, the chance were high that he would have forgiven her after due reprimand or heated arguements but the scar would have remained. If she does not tell, she has to carry the burden of guilt but this will also ensure that she does not succumb to temptations of her ambition. The choice is still with her.

Kindly do give your views on my follow up post.

Take care


SHAYON :

Please read the above reply to Ellen. Take care

suruchi said...

Hi Jack...
*Oh it sounds like hijack of a plane or something*
A very interesting piece here...
I could fathom from the reluctance to speak of the young lady that she was guilty...
Guilty as in not judging if she has done something right or wrong...
But guilty as in ‘she had done it’

What you did was absolutely right...
If the husband had got into such an outburst with the mere thought of a doubt...
We can well imagine the outburst when reality would sink in...
At least in this way u gave the marriage a second chance...

Though if the lady is really sorry about it...I don’t think she’d be able to keep it in her heart for long...
So your stand on the fact that she did not share anything with you holds good...
Instead of denying though...you should have just pleaded ignorance of the matter...
What a husband n wife do and what happens between them is really too personal...
An outsider should not get involved firstly...*with due respect to the fact that it was very sweet of you to bother about a neighbour so much*
And even if he does...he should not impose a decision upon either or one of the conflicting parties...it should never come down to this “I took this decision because u asked me to”
As a helping hand...our role should be just that...hold someone’s hand to guide them..Their path must be chosen by themselves and the result of it-good or bad rests with them again...

Oooo...I am sounding too preachy here...
I respect you sir for trying to solve something so complicated...
And I also bow down before your experience that what you did was the best way out in that situation...
Thanks for bringing me here on ur blog...
I enjoyed reading n also trying to keep myself in ur shoes to see what I would have done:-)

Jack said...

Suruchi,I am so happy to see you here. Welcome. Hope you do read older posts too and give your views. I strongly believe that how the relationship is to be kept is entirley between two persons. They have to work on it at their own. At times there may be need to give them options due to circumstances but decision should be entirely theirs. Only then they will follow it with their heart.

Take care

geeta said...

I had been thinking on this issue from past three days...I found your advice to be partly correct.
What I feel is she should rebuild the trust in the relationship and at one point of time she should tell him the truth.

She has to be strong enough for not repeating the things all over again.

Its just my point of view ,I may be wrong ..
Take care