Wednesday, June 30, 2010


June is coming to an end and monsoons are likely to arrive soon. Let us welcome July with some humour so we get good rains.

One evening Jojo had gone to meet a friend staying closeby. They got talking of old times and did not realize how much time had passed. All this while friend’s wife kept regular supply snacks to go with their drinks. By the time they finished dinner it had started raining heavily. So his friend asked him to sleep over at their place. Jojo agreed. His friend showed him the guest room and went to get fresh linen. On his return he was surprised to see Jojo totally drenched. On seeing questioning look in his friend’s eyes, Jojo explained that he had gone to get nightsuit from his house.

Tutu was hauled up before court for misbehaving with a woman journalist. When magistrate asked him to explain his conduct, Tutu asked him as to what would he do if it was marked PUSH on the door. The magistrate replied that he would push the door open. Tutu then said if it is written PULL then. The magistrate by now was getting annoyed but said he would pull the door open. Tutu then said, “ Sir, that is it. I just followed instructions as it was written on her t shirt PRESS.”

A village simpleton was crying inconsolably on his wife’s death. People tried hard to pacify him but more they tried harder he cried. After sometime an elderly man told him to get hold of himself as no one comes back after death. He sobbingly said , “ I know but when my father died a few years ago a lot of elderly persons told me not to worry as they are there, when my mother died last year so many elderly women told me that they are there to take care but now not a single girl has come forward to tell me not to feel the loss as she is there.”

A man on his return from work was stunned to see his wife of so many years in bed with a tramp. Before he could say anything, she told him that she could explain everything. She told him that little while ago this tramp rang the door bell asking for something to eat as he had not had a meal for a couple of days. She gave him left over pizza from his dinner last night. She saw his shoes were totally torn, so she gave him a pair of sturdy shoes which he had discarded after buying new pair. She saw he had no socks, so she gave his pair of socks which he had not used for a long time. Then the tramp had asked if she had any woolen to spare as the coat he was wearing was torn at many places. She remembered a decent coat which he had not used for many years so she gave that to the tramp. She said then the tramp asked, “ Is there anything else which your husband has not used for long time and you would like to give that to me.”

She further added, “ And that is how I landed up in bed with him.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I am sure that you all will agree that on a good winter morning it is so heavenly to curl up under a quilt and savour the warmth. I was doing so on a Sunday morning way back in 1975 January in Pathankot. Those days it used to be 6 working days week, so Sunday was something we all looked forward to have this bliss. I was brought down to Mother Earth by a commotion in the attached servant quarter to our bunglow in defence area. I looked for my wife but found her feeding our little daughter, so I had no option but to reluctantly come out of warm refuge to see what was the matter. Our maid was the one staying in the said premises with her family. On venturing out I found that her eldest daughter was angrily shouting at her father. She was about 17 or 18 with two younger brothers and a sister of 8 years. She used to assist her mother in our household work, particularly taking our daughter to park. On enquiry following cause for her outburst emerged.

Her father who was a gangman with some contractor had returned from his native place the previous night and he informed having fixed up marriage of his younger daughter with some man of 30 years or so there. The elder one was married off at same age of 8 or so but before she could join her husband, who was much older than her, died. So she was treated as widow and no one would marry her. She forced his father to let her study but was taken out after she completed 8th standard with view that what was the use of making her study as she had to work in households as maid only. She was telling her father not to repeat his mistake and let the younger one study just like her brothers. She was of the opinion that girls should also be educated to take care of themselves and not be treated as cattle. She even threatened him that she would immolate herself if he went ahead with his plan. All this time her mother was crying silently. I was very impressed with her strong views. I admired her courage to stand up against her father as those days there was nothing like women liberation movement in India though we did read some news of such happenings in western countries. I told them all to take it easy and we would have a talk later in the day.

I called her father over after breakfast to find out why was he was in such a hurry to marry off his minor or rather still a child daughter. He stated that in his native place it was the custom to marry off girls before they attained puberty. On my saying that those were old customs which had no relevance in present time, he agreed saying that having stayed away for such a long time from his native place he had seen the better living ways. I advised him to let both his daughters continue studies and it will surely lead to better prospectus for them not only for being self sustained but for marriage too. Fortunately he saw the reasoning and agreed. I sent for his elder daughter and told her that she should continue with her studies to appear for 10th examinations as private candidate. But I made her promise that she would always stand for the right issues. She gladly agreed. Subsequently I spoke to the Base Commander to see if we could do something as encouragement for this upright girl fighting for a cause, to stand against child marriage. He promised and in a couple of weeks time she was taken as a helper at decent remuneration in one of the unit run schools. We moved out of that place in the following month as I was posted out to another location. There was no contact with them thereafter.

I had an opportunity to visit that Base again in 1987 for a few days on official visit. One of the evenings when I was in the Bar, head barman came over and asked me if I remembered him. On close scrutiny I realized that he used to be a young barboy during my earlier stay at that place. He gave me updates on all those who were there in those days. I learnt from him about that family too. That girl completed inter and thereafter had done primary teachers training. She got employed as teacher in a municipal school while her brothers too did well. One of them joined army after 10th while younger one was employed in a semi government organization after graduation. Their father had unfortunately died in an accident while at native place but they suspected that he was killed. Mother was running a tea stall in local college campus. Younger daughter was also a teacher in the same school with her sister. Both the girls were married to local boys and were happily settled as their in laws had sought them as brides for their sons. I felt a sense of happiness.

This is based on what a friend of mine told me few years ago.

Now what prompted me to write this, is the news of our government mulling over bringing out tougher laws to deal with HONOUR KILLINGS after a spate of these in the recent days. What we fail to see is that no law can prevent this totally. Only way is to educate masses that if we treat our girls as second rate citizens and deny them basic rights of living as per present days, they are bound to rebel against such oppression and try to find better life, be it by marriage to someone whom parents do not approve of. And also no one can do anything for them but they themselves as in the case of young girl I narrated. She stood for her rights. So the girls or rather even elder women have to take a stand against such heinous acts of murders in the name of false family honour. Let them say that no male of their family has ever committed anything which may bring bad name to the family. Why are the males forgiven for such acts then?

Monday, June 14, 2010


I met Ashok 8 months ago. He is Branch Manager of Bank where I have my account. I used to visit the Bank at least once a month to get my passbook updated. But after meeting him a few times I increased my visits to whenever I was in close proximity to the Bank. It was his cheerfulness, ever smiling face and good manners coupled with helpful behavior which made me do this. I felt it as my duty to encourage him in that by showing a customer’s gratitude. My additional visits were mostly just to say hello to him. He is tall, handsome man in early 30s, a little older than our son but younger to our daughter. He is well liked by all working under him whom he always referred to as colleagues.

Over a few months we developed a bond as if we were related. On my saying he started calling me Uncle instead of Sir which he usually called all male clients irrespective of their age or status. I am going to share his life story to show you all how a positive attitude makes one be happy and spread happiness all around.

His father was a Government employee while his mother was a school teacher. They both were God fearing but not fanatics. They did not believe in noisy rituals but silent prayers. They brought him as well as Rashmi, his 2 years younger sister with lot of values inculcated by example and not only word of mouth. They both were given a lot of freedom with just a single sentence advice “ Do not do anything which makes you regret later with shame”. They went to good schools and colleges. They were told to choose their own streams in education with options of each shown. Both of them did well in studies. Here he told me that his grandparents, who stayed with them, had a big hand in this. His grandfather, a retired educationist, used to involve himself by studying their lessons and then discuss with them in innovative ways while his grandmother roused passion for reading by telling them stories and exhorting them to read those themselves once they could do so. Both grandparents passed away peacefully at ripe old age and as per their wishes their eyes were donated. It was a happy model family.

He was 23 and had just joined the bank as PO when his father passed away. His father had gone to the market in the evening to fetch something where he intervened to stop a ruffian from some other locality eve teasing and trying to physically assault a girl. That person had a friend with him and both of them started hitting him. When he fought back one of them attacked him with knife. He hugged the attacker tightly even though he was stabbed a number to times. The other person also took out a knife and started slashing him to get his companion free. By now people formed a ring around them and someone called police. Both the ruffians tried their best to flee but he did not loosen his hug around the one who had first attacked him with knife. Police thus arrested both of them red handed. He lost a lot of blood and passed away couple of days later but not before giving his statement to the magistrate who came to hospital for recording it. This caused his mother to go into depression and she could not recover. She too passed away in a few months leaving him to take care of himself as well as his sister who had just completed college. His father had no surviving siblings and cousins were all at far off places. Though his mother’s brother and sister were there but they were too busy in their own affairs.

He shouldered these responsibilities well and got his sister married off into a good family a year later. All the money he had received from benefits due to parents was used up in that. He is so thankful to God that she is happily settled with 2 children, a son and a daughter. They live with his parents who are massive support to them.

One of his distant relatives living at a town about 5 hours drive from this place highly recommended and cajoled him to get married to a girl related to his wife from same town. He and his sister went to see her there. The girl was good looking and well educated. The family seemed nice. His relative with his wife kept hovering around them all the time without giving them a single moment alone with the girl. He consented and got married a year ago.

His wife joined him but did not seem happy. Within a few days after marriage she told him that she has been forced to marry him as she was in love with someone whom her parents did not approve. She told that she had had that affair for more than 4 years and was physically intimate with him too. As soon as she conveyed to her parents that she would like to marry him, they forbade her going out alone and started looking for suitable match. This is when his relative with full know of things came into picture to look for a suitable match for her.

He told her that past is past and let us start new life with mutual trust and respect. She stayed with him for a couple of month and then one fine day he found a note from her on return from office that she can not take it any more, so she is leaving to be with her ex. On my asking he told me that he has not filed for divorce as he believes marriage is for keeps. However he had sent a copy of her letter to her parents. He is confident that she will realize her mistake and be back. He also told that his relative has informed him that few days after leaving him she came to her parent’s house in the afternoon badly bruised and without any belongings. Her ex had ill treated her and was not keen to marry her. She spends most of her time in seclusion. Her parents seem to feel very guilty to reach out to him. He is just waiting for some more time for her to come back otherwise he will make his move to contact her.

After telling me all this he looked at me and said that he knew what I was thinking. It is that how does he still look so happy and cheerful. He told me that when he looks around he finds so many persons with problems much more bigger than his - health issues, physically or mentally challenged persons, children problem like drug addicts or not interested in studies, money problem, unemployment, family disputes etc etc. He feels thankful to God for not testing him with more complex problems. He said that what is the gain in fretting over what has happened and if he shows his pain to others all that he will receive is their sympathy. He has to be strong to resolve this and that is possible only if he keeps his attitude positive. He then surprised and made me teary eyed by saying that he would like me to accompany him when time comes for him to approach his wife to come back.

I will be more than willing to do this for him. I am sure that you would also like to do it.

There are so many lessons to derive from his life but I am concentrating on his POSITIVE attitude mainly.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Once an elderly washerman went to cattle fair with his grandson. There he bought a sturdy looking donkey. On the way back to their village they lead the donkey while walking little ahead.

Some persons passed them from opposite direction and muttered, “ Look at these fools. They are walking while they have a good donkey to ride.” So the old man told his young grandson to ride the donkey while he lead them.

Little ahead they met another group of persons who said, “ How disrespectful of this lad, he is riding in comfort while making old man walk.” So young boy got down from donkey and made his grandfather ride.

Again some passers by commented, “ This old man is so selfish and heartless, he is riding in comfort making young boy walk.” So old man asked his grandson to also sit on the donkey alongwith him.

When they had gone some distance, they heard some persons passing by saying, “ Oh! How cruel these persons are. They are both riding the poor donkey without any care for it.”

So, remember it is not easy to please everyone. One should do what conscience allows.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I am reproducing a story which I read long long ago :

A reasonably rich businessman was coaxed by his wife to place his old father who used to suffer frequently from cough, cold and fever due to advancing age in a separate room on the outer side of house as they feared he would spread virus to all. They also started serving him food & water etc in discardable earthenware to avoid contamination of utensils. One day he found his 7 years old son washing used earthenware and putting them aside in the store. On being asked the son replied “ Father, you and mother too will be old one day, why should I waste money to buy new earthenware for you two?”