Saturday, February 26, 2011

GUILTY, AM I ?

I do not know how to begin this as I have a guilt feeling for not doing what may have prevented a sad happening. I have to get it off my chest.

In the previous locality I used to take our dog for walk after her morning feed at about 6:30 or so. I became friends with another morning walker, Prakash a couple of years younger to me. Initially we just crossed each other without any contact. After a few days he asked me about breed of our dog and that is how our daily meetings started. In a short time we developed a strong bond as we shared lot of common ideas, major being that we both believed that once children grow up we should treat them in friendly manner thus encouraging them to share their feelings with us without any hesitations. Due to daily rush of life we could not spend as much time together as we may have liked. Apart from our morning walks, we at times went together to market or for some other chore. We did visit each other a few times. He had retired from Government service and his wife too had been a teacher. Their son, Sahas, stays with them. He is their only child. He is working as Manager Marketing in a MNC which involves a lot of travel out of city and many times country too. A very well mannered young man with modern outlook and a lot of compassion for others.

A year down the line Prakash told me that an ex-colleague of his had suggested a match for his son. He wanted us to accompany him and his wife to see the girl as they stayed in the same city. He also told me that he had known her father during his service time but had not met him for a very long time. I asked him if his son knew of this. His reply was affirmative and that Sahas had given his go ahead. He added that earlier his son had liked a girl very much and they too had given their blessings but her father did not agree. So Sahas had let the girl go by her father’s wishes.

We visited the girl’s house in a decent locality. Her father did most of the talking while mother seemed mute spectator. Her younger brother, a final year MBBS student, after initial curtsey stayed out of the room mostly. The girl, Nisha, appeared smart and well mannered but seemed reluctant to speak. I put it down to feeling shy. It was told by her father that she is working as Manager in finance department of a reputed company. Prakash insisted that boy and girl must meet independently to decide. Her father said that once he has agreed there was no such need. But he was ruled out by my friend who stated that it being question of their life, it was they who should decide and not we elders. They met a few days later and decided to tie the knot.

Their marriage was solemnised at their native place as per wishes of Prakash’s old mother. We could not attend it. We invited them over on their return and found Nisha to be rather very quite. Again I thought that she is in the process of adjusting to new role so it seemed natural. Our morning chats continued and Prakash seemed to be quite contended.

A couple of months later I saw perceptible change in his composure. He seemed preoccupied in some thoughts. On my asking reasons for this, he initially said there was nothing to it but a couple of days later he asked for my help to solve what was bothering him. He told me that on seeing Sahas a little distracted for few days, he asked for the reason. Sahas had stated that Nisha told him when her father informed her about their marriage proposal, she had confessed about her liking someone else. She had been in love with that boy for over five years. Her father not only refused to agree for her marrying him but threatened her with grave results if she even talked of it any more. Knowing her father’s strict outlook she had no option but to agree for marrying Sahas. That is why she did not say anything about it when they met before marriage. However she had not been able to forget that boy and they continued to be in touch. On being asked she had stated they both had been very close. Sahas told her that it was natural to fall in love at that age and to succumb to temptations. He advised her to let the past be past and she must stop all contact with that boy to get over her feelings enabling them to have trust in their marriage. She had promised that she would try to. This is where Prakash was worried as though Nisha’s office got over at 5 PM and even with little extra time of work and evening traffic she could easily drive back by 7 but she generally reached home around 8, even much later when Sahas was away on tours. He had not thought much about it earlier but after coming to know of what she intimated Sahas, he was very upset with all kinds of thoughts. I asked him not to let this burden his mind and let them resolve it between themselves. Though he reluctantly agreed but did not seem inclined to it. A couple of days later he asked me to check out on this or speak to Nisha. I promised him I would. He seemed to have changed his routine as I did not see him much on morning walks. We shifted out from there a month or so later.

A few days ago I came to know that he was hospitalized. On visiting him I was shocked to see him reduced to almost skeleton with far away look in his eyes. He hardly recognized anyone or responded to questions. I was told by Sahas that he seemed to have gone into deep depression on something which lead to this. I just could not bring myself to tell him about what his father had confided in me. This makes me feel guilty as I could have at least spoken to Nisha as we did share nice rapport. If that had not convinced him, I could have made a pretence to checking on her and given clean chit. This may have helped him to get over those nagging doubts.

19 comments:

tanvii.com said...

I do not think you are guilty of anything. Your decision was right where you stand. Someone who likes to worry would always find a reason and continue to worry. It was truly between Sahas and his wife. Father could really do little to help them. It was a pity that his healthy deteriorated so much but I do not think it was due to any fault of yours.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Hello!

It can be a matter of worry for parents if their children are not happy in their marriage, but then over concern is harmful, as ur friend Prakash suffered.

I think, ur not talking to Nisha saved her from embarrassment... she could have felt hurt, offended and humiliated, as she had confided this to her husband, and he was supposed to keep this to himself. And u as an outsider, did the right thing to keep a safe distance.

Don't worry, first, we are not sure, whether she was really seeing the guy even now. and she really was, then if her husband could not convince her, how could you, uncle Jack??

pl relax..and take care

regards

RESTLESS

Jigyasa said...

Uncle J

I am sad for Mr.Prakash. I think Nisha & Sahas are grown up enough to sort it within themselves. You being a friend lend an ear to Mr.Prakash and strengthened him....but what if any youngster would have objected you intervention...so on that note what u did is absolutely the right way! As elders one can only enlighten the young ones....so don't worry and take care of your friend.

Starry-eyed nut said...

I dont think so.
Also, while worry can effect adversely I dont think that must have been the only reason for his illhealth.
And as many have said before me, they might not have liked your talking to them

Tongue-fu Lady said...

Hi Jack,

I don't see any reason why you have to feel guilty. The only person who should be guilty is Nisha's dad. If she liked this guy and saw a future with him, the dad should have given his blessings. This is a major fault among the elders of the society, they care more about what their neighbors think. What about the child's happiness?
Haan thik hain ki they look after our well being. But why make every decision for us? If Nisha had a bad marriage with the guy she actually loves, let her learn from her mistake. Look what happened now. The so-called "perfect match" is an utter disaster.

All you can do is talk to the girl, ask her whether she still wants to be in the marriage. If not, maybe you can talk to her dad and convince him( 'coz it looks like she doesn't have the guts to talk to her father on this). Good luck!

Sakshi said...

I don't think that you should feel guilty at all!!! It was not as if Sahas did not know about it. And, sometimes, things happen because they have to, and they are not in your control!
So stop feeling guilty.

Jack said...

TANVII :

Thanks. I felt so relieved by what you said. Take care


RESTLESS :

It is so nice of you to give such valued view. I do feel at peace that I did not speak to her. We did have a rapport but not that close. Take care


JIGYASA :

True, we can only give options if asked for but it is upto youngsters to take their decisions. Hope he comes out of it soon. Take care


STARRY-EYED :

Thanks for your supportive comment. It may have been embarassing if I had spoken to her. Take care


T-f L :

I agree we should not control life of young ones. We should only show them options and let them choose what they feel is best for them. All parents keep the best for their children in mind but one should not control them so much. I do not think it is time for me to talk to her. Let Sahas and she decide between themselves.
Take care


SAKSHI :

You have made me feel relieved with you view. Take care

suruchi said...

it was not your fault...
it was a family matter and even the father took it too seriously on himself...
initially many marriages suffer due to varied kinds of pressures...he should have given them time and more importantly trust, till something happened to defy that...

so let it go, we cannot always help and sometimes that is a good thing, for us and others...
yeh aapse acha kaun jaan sakta hain uncle jack:-)

Ellen said...

Oh it's so typical of your wonderful nature to want to be of help at all times with anyone whenever it's feasible. I admire that in you. So I can understand your feeling of guilt over your stance taken. But it was just the right thing to do.

As we can glean from the story, a lot of mistakes have been made.. by the father, the mother who kept her voice, the daughter who had no guts to speak for herself, and the age-old traditions enveloping the characters and event. Some things can be changed, some cannot. It's all up to the person or persons to decide what to do. He or she has the god-given gift of the freewill... from which rises 'choice' and choices have consequences. Once a choice is made, then one must live with its consequences.

You're fine, Jack. A good person and friend. Blessings to you!

Talha said...

I don't feel you should feel guilty. giving a clean chit will solve the problem until couple themselves solve the problem.

Vinnie said...

Hey Uncle Jack!
this is typically u again...u dont have to be guilty at all. i would like to second Ellen here and add that u can be with ur friend at this difficult time of his life.

btw, this is a classic example of so many lives rotting away because somebody did some stupid calculations reg religion, caste, status, money, horoscope, etc.etc.When will our country grow out of this???

Jack said...

SURUCHI :

I feel so grateful with your supportive view. I do feel that I could not have done more and now will concentrate on seeing that he gets better. Take care


ELLEN :

Thanks. You have given more for my thoughts. I do feel that if her father had little open mind, this may not have happened. Take care


TALHA :

Welcome to my space. I agree that it is upto young couple to solve what is facing them. They have to develop trust and keep it. Take care


VINNIE :

Rightly said. We face so many problems due to our set mind about caste, religion, region and what not. I do hope that sense prevails and we can get over our petty mindedness. Take care

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Uncle jack,

with so many ppl speaking for you, am sure u would be feeling relaxed and nice now!

take care and regards

RESTLESS

Jack said...

RESTLESS :

Yes, it has given me some relief. I will now spend more time with my friend and see that he gets back to normal self soon. Take care

Alka Gurha said...

Jack, an emotional piece, straight from the heart... Do not feel guilty and take care.

Sabi Sunshine said...

Hello Dear

As your suggestion i did read those article in your blog and founded very interesting.

Thank you so much for all of your support.

Love Sabi Sunshine

Jack said...

ALKA :

Thanks for supportive comments. I do feel little relieved and can now concentrate to see that he gets back to normal soon. Take care


SABI :

It is my pleasure that you found those interesting. I would feel very satisfied if I can be of any help. Do feel free to ask if you wish to. Take care

Gayu said...

Hi Jack Uncle,

This is Jaya, I hope u remember me. I don't think u should be guilty. Ur valuable suggestion has saved my life.
Even i have started blogging...just to share my experiences.
Thanks for ur support and blessings.
I wud love to hear ur opinions on my posts.
http://gsaptekar84.blogspot.com/

Jaya

Jack said...

GAYU :

I am so glad that you are not settled. I am very grateful to God for his kindness. I will visit you soon and read your valuable posts.

Take care