Wednesday, May 30, 2012


I have known Shaloo for about 18 years. Around that many years ago we had shifted to the locality where she stayed with her parents close to our house. Her father, JK, became quite close to me as we used to be on morning walks at the same timings. We both had our dogs with us during that time. They have a son, Ajay, who is 2 years elder to her. That time she must have been around 7 years as she was in 3rd standard while her brother was in 5th. Her mother used to visit our house frequently to spend time with my wife. The children also used to visit regularly though our children were elder to them. After about 5 years stay there we shifted to another close by locality. They kept in touch and children or rather Shaloo used to visit couple of times every week. She kept in regular touch with us inspite of our moving to another locality. JK too used to call up often and we used to meet may be once on a couple of months.  In due course of time she graduated and went on to do MBA in HR. She joined a MNC thereafter. Ajay completed engineering in Electronics and joined a leading IT company.

About 3 years ago she confided to us that she has fallen in love with a boy, Sanjay, in her office. He is their Marketing Manager and about 3 years elder to her. They both wanted to get married soon.  On asking she told that she had not yet told her parents as she was afraid because he is from different caste and region.  She told that even he had not spoken to his parents till then. I advised her that in case they both were sure of their love and felt that they would be happy together, then it was time to take it further by involving parents of both side. I offered my help, if needed. A few days later she came over our house in tears. Her parents had refused to accept this match while her brother was on her side. Her mother was more against it than her father. Even from boy’s side, father did not have much of an objection but his mother refused to accept this.  I tried to convince JK, though he seemed to be willing but was afraid of his wife. Sanjay told me that there would be no use of my meeting his parents as his mother insisted that he marry a girl of her choice who was her cousin’s daughter as she had promised cousin that she would take her daughter into her family. I advised both of them to give a little time as it was quite possible that both side parents may agree after some thinking. But then Shaloo called me up after about a month to inform that his mother had set a date for his marriage to that girl and was going to send invitations soon.  She told that Sanjay and she are going ahead with Court marriage in a day or two and wanted me to be there. She told me that his father would be there but would not sign anything. He would maintain later that he did not know anything. She wanted me to bring her father along without telling him the reason.

So on the appointed day  I took JK with me to court on some pretext. On reaching there, Shaloo met us and she told him the reason. She further told that she would not go ahead if he objected vehemently. Sanjay’s father told JK that he was there to give his blessings but would not acknowledge that in front of his wife. JK hugged me saying thanks. He too agreed on same terms as Sanjay’s father. So they both got married with their friends signing as witnesses. After that they moved to a friend’s house for a few days hoping that his mother might relent but it did not happen. So they moved into a small flat on their own.

Next one year though fathers did keep in touch on the quiet and visited them whenever they could but Sanjay or Shaloo could not visit their parental homes because of their mothers not accepting the marriage.  Ajay was married to a girl of his mother’s choice. Right from day one she made it clear that Ajay should move out of parent’s house to live separately. The situation became so tense that Ajay took up an offer for job in USA and they moved out to that place. JK and his wife were left alone. Though Ajay kept in touch but did not visit even once after moving out. In the meanwhile Shaloo was blessed with a son. JK and Sanjay’s father kept visiting on the quiet off and on to spend time with him but no one else from family did. Even Sanjay’s parents were alone after his sister got married and moved out. Sanjay and Shaloo made repeated attempts with some veiled help of respective fathers to diffuse situation but their mothers did not relent or give an inch.

A couple of weeks ago Shaloo’s  mother had suffered stroke. She was taken to hospital and put into ICU.  JK told Shaloo and also called up Ajay. His wife had attended the call and told that her parents had come to USA for a two month visit only a couple of days ago so Ajay or she cannot come to India immediately. Sanjay and Shaloo rushed to hospital and had been of support to JK throughout. On her discharge from hospital a couple of days ago she has been advised full bed rest for at least a month, so Shaloo took leave to be there. Her mother was in tears when she saw Shaloo taking care of her. When Shaloo’s young son sat next to her on bed giving smile, she in feeble voice asked Shaloo to forgive her. Sanjay’s father managed to somehow convince his wife to visit JK’s house to enquire about her health. She agreed as she too was feeling very lonely. When they came the little boy ran to his grandfather shouting with joy DADU  DADU. Sanjay’s father picked him up handing him over to his wife who after taking him started crying while hugging him close.

So all is well that ends well but may I ask why do we not live with changing times and accept happiness of our children instead of getting egoistic?   

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Sometimes life gives a real hard test.

Our granddaughter has made some friends of her age group during time she spends to play in our complex park in evenings. One girl who is about eight months elder to her has become a real close friend. She at times comes over to our place before going home. Her parents have thus become quite close to us, just like family members. Whenever they speak to her about me they refer to me as Dadu. Both of them are working and she comes to playground with their full time maid. Whenever she comes to our house after play, I call up her father to check if it is ok for her to be with us for some time. The maid then leaves to do household chores. Afterwards either one of her parents who reaches home early comes to pick her up or I reach her home.

They know that I advise those who approach me in case of any difficulty. Once her mother told us when she had come to pick her up that she is planning to change job. On asking she told that her boss makes unveiled suggestions of getting intimate. She did not want to tell this to her husband who she felt would go over to beat that man to pulp. When I asked her if that was the sole reason for her looking to change the job, she confirmed. I then asked her what was the guarantee that her next boss would not do so. She replied in negative. I asked her if she would like me to suggest some way out. On her agreeing, I asked something about her boss. After getting information on him, I felt that basically he was not bad but was at an age when men get naughty, 40. I suggested that she tell him some time when they are alone in his glass cubicle “ Sir, I respect you a lot and have met your wife whom I find so affectionate and lucky to have you as husband. Please do not let me lose my respect for you and my feelings for her.”  Nothing more or nothing less and no discussions. I further added that she dress little more conservatively and in case she wears jeans then to use a kurta or longish top.  Few days later she confirmed that it worked.   

Last Friday little girl had come to our place and later I went to drop her as   some friends had come along with her mother when she reached home. I wanted to come back after leaving her at the door but she asked me to come in and meet her friends whom she told that I knew. Sure I had met both of them earlier on a couple of occasions. They both are little more than a couple of years elder to her. It turned out that these friends had come to ask her to be with them on girls night out on Saturday. They planned to go to some disco. She was not very keen as she had never gone like that after marriage but they were trying to convince her. On asking, I told her that if her husband did not mind, it was entirely her decision as she was going with friends. She insisted that I tell if it was ok to go. My reply was that if the place was safe and she kept her husband in picture, there was nothing wrong if she went but they must return before it becomes risky. She told me that she would ask her husband to drop them and then go to a pub few kilometers away. Later she would call him to pick them up for return. This sounded fine.

Today morning while going to market for some chore I met her on the way. I was surprised that she had not gone to office and asked if she was not keeping well. I was taken aback when she suddenly started crying uncontrollably. I escorted her to our house to find out as to what was wrong. My wife and I both made all efforts to make her stop crying and share what caused it. After a while she was in little control and then with some cajoling and coaxing what she told us made me write the opening sentence of this post. I am narrating what she told in her words :

We had gone to disco at a five star hotel. My husband dropped us there at about 9:30 pm. He then went to the pub as decided. We selected a table which gave good view of the place. We were enjoying our drinks and chitchatting for may be over half an hour when a man of about late 30s or early 40s approached us. He asked me for dance which my friends nodded for me to go for. I saw my friends too on the dance floor with some partners after about 15 minutes or so. It was quite a good feeling to be asked for a dance and he behaved as a thorough gentleman. After a couple of dances he asked if I would like to have a drink. I felt it would be impolite to refuse, so we went to bar. He ordered what I wanted and for himself also. While sipping our drinks we got talking. He told me that he was married with two children. He was here on a business trip. I also told him that I am married with one child. He asked about my husband and I told him that we were here for a girls night out and he was to pick us up later. He had ordered refills. I was little reluctant but then out of politeness I did not refuse. He suggested that we finish drinks quickly and return to dance floor as good music was going on. I could see my friends too on the floor. We danced for quite some time and I felt little tired. He asked me if I wanted to rest and we returned to the table where we were sitting earlier. He has signaled for drinks and I did not mind it as I was feeling thirsty and enjoying also. Though even while dancing closely he did not touch me in any wrong manner but proximity was giving me a heady feeling. Our friend too came over with their partners and we all were having a good time. After a couple of drinks he asked if I would come for another dance. We went to dance floor which was quite crowded. It was getting little stuffy inspite of the place being airconditioned. Few dances later he asked if I would like to go out for fresh air. I agreed and on the way told one of my friends on the floor. She nodded smilingly and winked.

We went to the lawn. It was about 12:30 and there was cool breeze. We strolled for some time while he talked about his visits to various places saying that he liked Delhi best because of friendliness of people here. He suddenly looked at his watch and said, “ Oh Gosh, I have to call up my  wife.” He asked if I minded to wait in sitting room while he called up from his bedroom. I did not feel any hesitation and went with him. He poured and handed a drink to me while he took his along to bedroom. It seemed a little stiff drink but I thought I could sip it slowly. I am not much of a drinker but can hold my drinks well.

I was looking at an abstract painting trying to make out what it could depict when he came out and put his arms around my waist. I made efforts to move out of his embrace but not strong enough as I was feeling little high. He started nuzzling me and kissed behind my ears. This gave me shivers and I felt I should tell him to stop but my mind refused to obey. I was in kurta and skin tight stretch pants. He moved his hands under my kurta and started caressing my stomach. He was holding me very tightly close to him and I could feel him. I almost fainted with the feelings it generated. It did not register when he removed my kurta and bra. He turned me to face him and started kissing me all over. It was only when he tugged at my stretch pants to lower those that I was jolted into senses. I loudly told him to stop and forcefully moved away. I quickly put on my bra and kurta heading towards door to leave. He kept telling me not to waste time and we should have some fun. I rushed out and went to the disco. I did not see my friends there, so I waited at the table we had occupied earlier. They both came back one by one with their partners in next half an hour or so. They both gave me sly smiles and asked how was it. I was so angry that I almost hit them but somehow controlled myself. I called up my husband and he told me to come to the porch as he would be there in ten minutes or so.

Then she added that she is at her wits end as to what to tell her husband. He would be so angry and to make it worse her friends keep calling up asking how did she enjoy the outing and would she like to go again some time. That is why she did not go to office as she did not feel she can do any work with her upset mind. I looked at my wife and she gave me a nod which conveyed what I had in my mind was right. This was a tricky situation as they both are close to us. I did not want any friction to come up between them as well as did not want her to suffer carrying guilt feelings. So I told her that whatever happened was due to circumstances and little overindulgence in drinks but as she realized in time to stop, she has not done anything grossly wrong. She must get over guilt feeling but keep this to herself. Also her friends are not her well wishers but want her to be like them. She should distance herself from them.

This is why I said that sometimes life gives a real hard test.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Recent episode of Shah Rukh Khan took me back by many years, say almost 40 years. I was just about a couple of years into my service career. I had gone home on leave. I thought of introducing my father to someone I knew in our organization office at my home town. Of course, at the entrance to that place I had to stop at security to inform of my reasons of visiting. The security incharge called up the concerned person I wanted to meet and we then went to his office. After our meeting when we were on the way out, we were stopped again and the security guard asked me if I was carrying anything from that office. He wanted to check my brief case. I got very annoyed and shouted on him, throwing my weight around. Luckily the security incharge intervened as he was the one whom I had spoken to while entering that complex and we moved out without any more delay. My father did not say anything at that time.

On reaching home he asked me if my name and designation was written on my forehead. I was surprised to hear this but told him NO. Then he asked as to how did I expect that guard to know who I was and why did I not let him do his duty even if knew my status.  I was left speechless. He further told, “ Son, as you grow in stature you will be laying down rules for your subordinates and if you break those rules then how do you expect them to enforce the same?” He added,” As you grow in life and position, you should never forget to be polite and humble. Never let arrogance or vanity take the better of you.” These words made a very strong impression on my mind. Since then I made sure that I obey all rules and speak to everyone politely. Of course, this does not mean that I accept any nonsense but deal with polite firmness when required.

We all know that wealth, fame and power gets into head to make anyone feel, if not God, then he or she is God’s special creation and all others are non-entities. In case such person gets into any tricky situation, he or she will make hundreds of excuses to justify own actions.

Do I need to say anything more?  

Sunday, May 13, 2012


I request you all to read The Runway Kit by Pooja at


Friday, May 11, 2012


Last Sunday two of my long time friends came over for lunch. We had known each other for almost 45 years. We got together after a long time, almost a year or so. On my request children of one of them, a daughter and a son – both married, came with their spouses. Their daughter has a son of about 10 years. Our children are of the same age and they all were very happy to meet each other after a long time. As I had expected small groups formed as per age, including grandchildren. We, oldies, were enjoying our chats. During our reminiscing, name of a common friend cropped up. I had not met or even spoken to him for almost 8 years as his mobile number had changed. I got his new number from them.

Next day I called him up. He was so happy and said some choicest abuses for not keeping in touch. After few minutes of normal banter, I asked him what was he doing these days. His reply has prompted me to write this post.

He told that he was thinking of shifting to some ASHRAM. He has his own house and has substantial pension to meet his needs. Only thing is that he had not married. He is of my age. He had taken care of his parents, younger brother and his children. But for the past more than 10 years he has been living alone after passing away of parents and his brother shifted out with his family. He told me that he had some close friends of his age in the locality but they too have moved out with their children, so he now feels loneliness.  I felt sad, specially that his brother had also not bothered to be of help while he had taken care of them in their time of need.

This set me thinking about loneliness at old age is becoming so common now even for those who have children. I have seen many instances of old couples living alone as children have moved to another city or even country for sake of their occupation. I have also seen many cases where old persons are with their children out of their own hometown. Those who stay with their children are lucky as they have company of children and grandchildren but only if they are given due respect which in some cases may be lacking. Those who live alone, due to children being away or not having got married, really do feel so lonely and are susceptible to all kinds of untoward happenings.  What could be the remedy for this?

In my opinion as a society, we all should understand our responsibility towards such elderly persons. Locals RWAs and Police can join hands to involve such persons in more social activities like educating children of underprivileged or taking on responsibilities of RWA functioning , make them have friendship clubs, inculcate habit in them to inform someone of their group whenever outsiders are let into the house. If possible let their children understand importance of visiting them regularly, not all at one time but in turns so that they have someone or the other with them most of the year. Even grandchildren should be encouraged to be with them whenever they can.

Well, any more suggestions?

Thursday, May 3, 2012


I am sharing a short story which I read some time ago.

A couple of stray dogs came across a dog who was looking very healthy and well fed. They asked him the reasons for his such good appearance.  He told that his master takes good care of him. He is fed twice a day with choice meals. If he does not like it, he just moves away and master gives him something to his liking. He is groomed  daily and given bath once a week. He has a soft bed to sleep on. If he is sick he is taken to doctor for treatment. The stray dogs said, “ WOW! We would also like that kind of life.” He invited them to accompany and took them to his house. On reaching there the stray dogs saw a chain tied to peg. They asked him as to what was that. He told them that his master ties him up there except when he lets him off for the call of nature. The stray dogs told him,” No, thanks. We do not want all these comforts at the cost of our freedom.” And they walked off.

This has  been proved right a few days ago. There was a pup, who could hardly stand on his feet, on the road outside our housing complex. He, wagging his tail, used to come to everyone who came out of our complex or neighbouring ones. He used to follow me when I took our dog for walk. I used to shoo him away but he was persistent. At times I used to give him some leftover food or some tidbits like bones. A couple of times he followed us but got chased by other stray dogs a little distance away. After that he knew how far he could follow us and return on reaching that limit. This went on for about a couple of months. He grew up into a good looking one with light brown spots on his white coat.  About 10 days ago I did not see him around. After a few days of not seeing him, I asked our security guard as to what happened. I was told that he had been taken by someone to keep him as pet. Two days ago I saw him back with a collar around his neck to which was attached a broken leash. Now he is back with his freedom and someone has removed the collar too.

We all are born free but get shackled as we grow up. Some of those shackles are good  not only for the society we live but for us also but some need review from time to time as those are more of restrictions without any logic or acceptable justification. All we need to do is live in our freedom as per our conscience knowing our limits, like that pup knew when to return while following me.