The sea side aroma

You have no pending work on your table.  And yet you have some 3 hours of spare time before dinner.  How will you while away those  180 minutes?  In other words what would you do to get over your boredom?

Some may switch on the T.V and possibly watch the Animal planet channel or some music channel or take some magazines and flip through the pages for the second time. Only a few minutes have been spent on these distractions.  Now what?  Go for a walk.  That’s it. Go for a walk.

It’s nice to spend some time outside the house for a change. As for me, I love to walk along the beach line, from the road end to the water end.  After this visit, I assure you, you would return completely refreshed. That’s the magic the sea breeze and the beach atmosphere would play on you.  We have in Chennai, India, one of the longest and widest sea shores named Marina beach. It could accommodate around 2 million people from end to end. About half this number throng it every evening.

When Shakespeare wrote the line,  “The world loves a lover” he must have had a typical sea side panorama in mind.  When I see young people  either slouching and munching something  or sitting on the sand, legs stretched out  to full length and nearly nestling and  necking, my heart goes out for  them. I used to even wonder if I too could have been like these pairs when I was a newly married man !  I have no memories of such outings now.  These young lovers won’t be aware of the  stares of the onlookers or eaves droppers at all.  In any case, they wouldn’t  care.

We, the old people, would view them with a different eye altogether. “How care  free are they?  Nothing seems to bother them ever.  They are in a problem free world of their own.”  You hail either of them for a pow-wow,  “Sonny or My child “, the communication doesn’t get across; their present world is insulated from all kinds of noise and voice. And you bless them in your heart and mumble, “Enjoy yourselves children, enjoy” and possibly reflect that this is how your own son or daughter would have spent their  boring hours when they were college students.

The sea side  area  is meant for all age groups.   When you see love pairs, middle age and  obviously married or old  age couples, walking hand in hand and talking away to glory, you would find  that  your own spirit gets energised not   by the salubrious Southern wind alone but  by the spectacle of  thousands of jubilant  love birds cooing and singing serenades as well. The evening is thick with the aroma of affections. The delightful partners  would appear to transmit some kind of love-waves at the beach-visitors who would suddenly find themselves covered with  love,  grace and charm.

Beach is the place to visit if ever you feel  depressed.  It may not be easy to find space to sit but  as a loner you need only  a 2 by 2 land to squat. Now look around and watch the happy faces, painted with smiles galore and then your own sorrows would get melted by the sun shine on their faces.

If you have had a tiff with your wife and  left your home with  a huff,  make a beeline to the beach line, select  a crowded area, sit  there and  tune up your ears for the ether waves  of love dialogues.  Hearing those  soft purrs and sweet nothings  you will  experience a special warmth  and  a new feeling  brewing up from some corner of your heart   and  you would develop a sudden urge to  hold your other half and cry out, “Sorry my pet, I missed your sweet voice for so many hours.?”  The tight control you may have  kept on yourself over the previous hour or so  would instantly  snap and all barriers between  you and your wife would crumble to pieces. Then you would  return  to your own love-nest a reformed husband with no memory of the past and make immediate peace with your lady love.

Such is the enchanting effect of the sea side  human environment.  You would try and get  a first hand  experience of this aroma,  wouldn’t you?

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More god men on prowl

I have written earlier an article about the god-men of  India and how they dupe the gullible people with  their  so called divine powers.  They are self appointed prophets kind of persons with no kind of mandate  from God.  They are magicians all right and could produce holy ash or a coin etc from nowhere.  People get tricked thus and do whatever he demands of them. Rich  people are his easy victims and they part with their money just for the asking.

That’s how, these god men become wealthy almost overnight  with people’s generosity.  With this money, they  start an ashram ( a kind of seminary,  so to say) in a large area of land and away from the city limits which could house his disciples, devotees and henchmen..

One particular god man in Southern India, aged around  35 or so, had been seducing young women who come to see him to  get his blessings.  “Doing sexual favour for  a god man is perfectly in order and  it would bring you greater blessings from God,” he would say, to put the  young  worshippers  at ease and  make them bow to him willingly.  And some  innocent idiots  would get swayed and voluntarily offer their bodies to him.

Just a week back, one god man  persuaded  a film star to sleep with him. We don’t  know why she succumbed to his sweet talk, possibly she  received some money from  the  god man.  This actress  was only  a small part star who got a chance to appear before the camera only once in a while.  She must have run short of money and hence sold what she could.  Wait, wait.  The matter didn’t end there.

An  ashramite who knew about the way ward escapades of this fake god man video-graphed the whole  bed room scene  secretly through a hidden camera and had made a CD of it;  and the CD was screened in a few cinema theatres. There were furore in the State;  many of his sincere followers  got dejected.  They are up in arms against him now.  The god man is trying to get out of it and the lawyer he has employed for his defence has stated that the whole thing is fake and there is no truth in it. You know in my country lawyers are available for any type of worthless and un-winnable  cases because they need money and they would never turn away any client.  This lawyer is going to prove in the  court that what people saw was a cock and bull story and his client was not involved in it at all. Even an average prosecution lawyer could shoot down his case and the defence lawyer would  cut a sorry figure  and also lose his case.  He wouldn’t mind it because he would have received his fees in advance before he appeared  in the court premises.

My appeal  to all young women is, please do not fall prey to these fellows.  To have sex or  to have sex with another man while you are a happily married woman, is a sin and a great sin at that. You will receive no blessing  whatever from the Creator God for such service to a god man or any man. If you are a virgin and have conceived, the god man concerned will refute your claim.  As a matter of act, he wouldn’t even remember your face.  How could he when he had enticed so many women like you.

If some dubious and ill-willed  men do want to stir the religious fervour of  simple minded persons and he wants to be  the person behind the movement,  shouldn’t  such a person belong to the higher age group, say around 60, whereof  a man would never look at a woman with evil design?  But to do so during the prime of their youth, when they are sexually dynamic, is a crime  against  women folk. Nor is it  fair on them

Same goes for the catholic priests, who become  priests at a very young age. When I was teaching English in a catholic seminary, my candidates were youngsters just out of school.  They become priests after a training period of 7 years but still in their prime youth.  How could they resist the sexual  temptation at that age?  Celibacy is made absolutely compulsory for  them by the Pope.  And there have been  several cases of priests  indulging in sexual acts with the female members of their congregation or nuns.  The church does try to cover up such cases but some of them leak out.  But the sexual adventures  go on merrily  throwing some priests into sin.

St Paul, an apostle of Lord Jesus Christ, had suggested that in order to preach the Gospel constantly and vigorously , one needed all the time in the world and such persons should  not have the burden of  looking after a family.  But he also had said at the same time, “If you can’t  have full  control over your sex drive, do get married and don’t burn as a bachelor. It’s not necessary to remain a bachelor to pursue evangelism.”    And yet, the Vatican has insisted that only bachelors could become priests. According  to my information, several  catholic priests in some  African countries have defied the pontifical  edict  and  are administering  the church and leading the congregation as happily married men. This is quite in order, in my opinion.

There is no such restriction for the Protestant pastors. They are allowed to marry and run a family. They are much more sincere in their effort and bring more souls to the Lord because they could  preach effectively, face the women folk   boldly without an evil eye and with a clear conscience.

The catholic church needs to rethink on the issue and not subject young men to  unnecessary physical pressure.  If the catholic church insists on them being single men, then   they should accept  only people beyond 60 or so to enter the clergy cadre

The same   norm should apply  also to our  Hindu god men and heads of any other  religious order   all over the world.

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How to impress and win over a woman?

I think from time immemorial, Man has been inventing ways on how to win over a woman for himself.  Some say that women just wait to be conquered  fully and positively  but only  in their heart, and won’t give you a hint that they are  so love hungry. Some women species, though they may have  truly  identified their lover boys,  would put up their price and make the potential suitors  run around her.

Ask any college going young men and they would tell you  dozens of tricks how to hook a girl.  New tactics are invented every day by them.  Scientists too have entered the fray and come out with some novel  approaches.  One scientist says, after he had interviewed some  2000 women over a period of 2 years,  “If you cut a joke on yourself, the woman sitting opposite would get highly tickled and would  surrender to you whole sale..”  I don’t know how many have tried this method on their prospective girl friends. There has been no follow up reports on this technology.

So much about Men and Women.  Do animals also woo the female species and gain acceptance as a partner?  They don’t have a Boy friend and Girl friend system.  They copulate straightway and some brands establish a family  immediately, lions for example. Many animals don’t have any permanent relationship but the purpose is purely reproduction especially when the female comes in season.

What method do the animals follow?  Surely they don’t  adopt  the eye-winking communication technique. We do see on the “animal planet” T.V channel some of their antics like, nose rubbing,  smelling, pulling and pushing with their horns, some males running round a female and so on.  The channel needs to capture more such scenes concerning match-making.

This morning’s paper contains a write up  on the methodology adopted by mice in this regard.

“Male mice woo females with ballads” goes the  headline. The scientist  who had studied their habit is, one  Kirsten Musolf of  USA.  He has revealed that  rats  could hear high frequency sound. Human beings could hear an audio signal only  up to  12 Khz or so; dogs up to 25  Khz and it appears that  Mice too  are ultrasonic savvies with ability  to decode audio sound around 25 khz. The male fellows  would sing at this frequency  varieties of songs and the female if she likes the song would   straightway fall for him.

Does singing come naturally to every  male mouse or will he have to take some training?

I wonder if there are any   Music schools for them? Well, taking a parallel of the human beings, all males could sing;  some may produce awful noise and some delightful tunes. Same holds good for mice, I  should think  If a particular melody is acceptable for a female, it has found a partner instantly for mating obviously. Rats don’t live as families.  Each is on his/her own except at the time of sexual urge. She won’t mate with any male but only a chap who  captures her  by his  sonorous  lyric.

Won’t it be wonderful if some audio engineers  could record a male mouse’s song, reduce it to audible frequency for our benefit and play it over a musical system?  Some scientist may kindly take on this project.

The food grader

There are in our society today ‘wine tasters’, ‘tea tasters’  and  ‘food tasters.’  While the first two verify the quality and flavour of wine and tea, the food taster needs some clarification. They are a  kind of guinea pigs  who must nibble the food at the table to check if it has  any killer poison.  Dictators, as a general rule, will not touch the food  until it is certified safe through a live test. If the taster does not fall dead or swoon within a few minutes, the food is safe to eat. Many communist leaders too go through this drill; they do not trust anyone.  This is my experience when I was posted in a communist country on an UN assignment. But that was decades back. I don’t know if this is the case even now.

Some kings of ancient time too practised this method.

But, have you heard of ‘food grader’? He  is a guy who would eat the full meal and then award marks to the cook.  And it  happens to be me.  It’s not a self proclaimed designation but my wife had named me that. She would say to her friends, “If my hubby had said that the food was ‘good’, there could be no second opinion  on the verdict.”  I am supposed to be  such an  expert !

I didn’t give marks.  I gave only a grade.  And there were only three – GOOD, SO – SO  and  USELESS. The lady wife seldom got ‘good’  and most of the time  it was ‘so – so’ and occasionally ‘useless’.  She was quite satisfied with  my  evaluation.  A wife has to be anyway. Sometime when she sent across, what in my  opinion  ‘use less’ food to our neighbours, they sang praises at her culinary skill. “See, see,”  she would say with an accusing finger at me.  “Everyone appreciates my cooking except…. except… “  You can fill in the blank. Once in a while when I  pronounced the grading  ‘good’ she floated in cloud 9.  “Thank you,” she would  mumble by way of a compliment to me. Inside our home, this was good fun and fine game.  Bu should it go outside our four walls?

Soon my reputation spread to our close relatives who lived nearby.  They  had also come to know that I  was a fuzzy eater who wanted the best at every meal. My standard being so high that even a ‘so-so’ home grade was considered equivalent to ‘excellent’ by others.

The result was that my kith and kin or close friends hesitated to call me over for a treat. The one thing I hate when I am a guest in someone’s house is a query from the hostess, “How is the food?” Not wishing to climb down, I would avoid a direct remark and drawl with, “Well, well, it was quite nice you know?” In actual fact, it deserved only  an ‘useless’ grading  but I couldn’t say it openly.  Sometime, I would evade the question and change the subject.

On one occasion, in a moment of complete absent mindedness I had said, ‘ useless’.  That’s all, the poor hostess went into tears.  Nothing would pacify her.  “I know, I am … I  am ……not a good cook, but was my food  … was my food……so bad …?  “ she howled.  I didn’t know how to get out of the situation.  “No, no, Missus Pande, the food was marvellous  but it was my bad tongue which  had spelt out the wrong most  unintentionally.”  The lady was somewhat appeased at the apology.

From then onwards, I made it a point to say,  “Good food.  I enjoyed it,” even when I  had to push the morsels down an unwilling throat. The modern etiquette rules  call it , “Courtesy”.

But if ever you happen to have  dinner or lunch in my house, we will never ask you for a comment. It’s an embarrassing thing.  We will draw our own conclusion by seeing whether you hogged or  ate it at normal speed.  If you had had  a second or a third helping we knew you loved it.  Incidentally, when guests are around we would have  only a buffet variety.  Nobody would serve you;  you have to do that by yourself. And no one would  compel you to eat more either. And  there is no question of openly  asking for a   judgment.

Why don’t you  also adopt this painless  system?

Pregnancies galore

A news item  in the papers  this morning jolted me.  I wonder  if I should call it good or bad. Some doctors have said that  a few years back they used to get 25 – 30 abortion cases every month and it has now reduced to 5-8. This is a good trend indeed.. Would it drop to zero one day? Possibly not.   The lower figure is due to some  other reason.  Contraceptive oral  pills are available in many medical shops these days and the  girls know which shop would supply the stuff without raising an eye lid.  Their indulgence in casual sex  therefore  seems to thrive without any let up.  But what worries a reader is, the candidates concerned  are school girls and teenagers at that.

I recall a funny story I read some years back.  A grand mother had named  her  little  grand child “Diploma”.  Diploma?  What’s that? And she replied, “My daughter got this baby when she went to an institute for a diploma course !”

And now our Indian girls, girls in my city in particular, are acquiring diplomas even before  finishing school.   The 5-8 percent cases are due to carelessness on their  part obviously.  Otherwise the original figure is valid, I should think.

Doctors have  also conveyed that the affected girls go to them during the fifth month of their pregnancy whereof abortion would be dangerous to a mother’s life. They are therefore  sent back home with an advice to deliver the child and pass it on to orphanages or somewhere. Should we call such babies, “Fail mark”?   I pity her parents.

Isn’t  this development  a result of sex education introduced in schools in recent time. Probably the teachers  dramatise the  thing  so much and make it so interesting that  the listeners can’t resist ‘tasting’ it on the quiet.  Why shouldn’t they talk about the serious after effects of such clandestine sex acts? Why shouldn’t they  paint a horrid picture of the fate of a  sixteen year old  bringing out a child at that age and  that it would be a permanent and irremovable  black mark which she has to live with  for life?

Another statistics has it that 89 % of  our youngsters ask their parents to find a spouse for them. We call it ‘arranged marriage’ in our land India.  During any marriage negotiation between the two parties, if the Girl’s parents hide this fact, the girl’s future is doomed.  Some time or the other the Boy or his parents would come to know that the bride had  gone through an abortion or had borne a child earlier. Promptly she would be chased out of their home.  Where will she go?  Naturally back to her  parents or possibly land in a brothel house en route..

If the fact is revealed during the  talk, the marriage would never take place and  her reputation would spread like fire in the area. Poor girl, she has to  remain a half spinster her whole life because no young man, except possibly a widower with 3 children,  would come forward to marry her. .  This is what the school teachers should portray instead of delving into the pleasure of the sexual act.

So, my dear teen age school girls, resist the temptation.  Wait another 5 years or so, get married to a handsome young man as a virgin and indulge in sex to your heart’s content.  If you get pregnant during the first month itself, you would be considered a very fortunate woman and the elders  around you  would  bless you and adore you for that.

Pre marital sex  is dangerous.  It invariably ends in pregnancy.  You would be putting your entire future in jeopardy for the pleasure of a few seconds. Flee from it.  If a Boy says, “Come, it’s a lot of fun, my love.  No harm in it ete etc ,” slap him and kick him. You need to be strong on this.  You are not going to ruin your 50 to 60 years of  married life just by falling for a forbidden fruit !

Who is God and what’s His name?

The other day I just flipped through some pages in the Indian blog  and to my horror I read all sorts of strange perceptions about God and Who He is etc. etc.

Permit me to throw some light on the various doubts and misconceptions many seem to have,  from my  points of view.

Varieties of names have been given to God and different names in different parts of the world as well.  There is nothing known as God of USA, God of UK, God of Ethiopia, God of Indonesia, God of India and so on.  There is only one God for  the entire Earth.

I would give him  the title, “True God or Creator God.”   The reason why I have used the adjectives ‘true’ and ‘creator’  for Him is,  to distinguish Him from so many self appointed gods.  Indeed,  there are thousands and thousands  of such  gods.  But,  they are not the  ‘True’ nor ‘Creator’ type. However, by definition they are gods all right.  Even the true God has  given them recognition.  In fact, it was very much in His knowledge how these fake gods came about and possibly He permitted them too.

You are confused, aren’t you?  You would wonder, with so many gods around, how do I know who the True God  is?  It’s a difficult task all right. And yet,  the true God  expects you to find   Him out of  the  galaxy of gods.  “Haven’t I  given the world  adequate guidelines  for that?” He would say.

Unfortunately, these fake gods also have somewhat  similar virtues as the True God.  For instance, they  do  have some power – power  of miracles, power of healing, power of wealth etc. Isn’t it strange that they derived these powers form the True God and  it was the True God who   delegated these powers to them?  Why and How, you would ask.  Well, that’s a different story and would call for a separate  article too.

Not all  power have been given to them. The True God has withheld some, possibly to enable us to pick out the grain from the chaff. For example, the fake gods have no control over nature, they cannot create anything nor  take away life.  They cannot harm the believers of the True God in any manner without permission.

The head of all the fake gods  is Satan, a very powerful and intelligent person.  What’s Satan’s role on the Earth?  What’s he up to? He is anti God and is always at cross purposes with the True God. He would mislead the people  and persuade them to believe  that he  and  his minions are the actual gods  by performing some miracles on you.  His healing will never be permanent; a lame man will continue to be  lame after a couple of days.  But he is the master of  the riches of the world.  He can give you  enormous wealth if you pray to him.  Satan wants the maximum number of people  in his camp.  He is the chieftain of Hell.

All the earthlings will have to die one day.  Are you aware that  there is one more life everyone has to live  after the earthly death and you have no option about it?  You can’t say, “Thank you very much.  I have lived a good life on the Earth and I do not desire to live anymore and  anywhere else.” You have no choice like that.  You have to live that second life, whether you like it or not.  And that life is  not limited to 70 year  or 80 years or thereabouts, but eternal and for ever. Eternal, may mean millions and millions of years and a very much a  conscious life  for that  matter.

There are only two places you can spend that ‘after life’; in hell or Heaven.

Hell is Satan’s place and Heaven is the True God’s abode.  Hell is a place of torment, discomfort and sometime a burning fire as well.  You may feel  terribly hot there and sweat and no water to quench your thirst. You may experience pin pricks all over your body or  something knocking on your head constantly. These ghastliness  won’t let you  ‘die’ but keep you alive  and   force you to put up with  the terror.  Your thinking  power will be very much operative.  You could recall to your memory your entire  past on the Earth, all the  misdeeds you had done, about the varieties of gods you had bowed down to, how you laughed and ridiculed the sermons some  Christian evangelists delivered about the True God , how you cursed the Christian pastors and Bishops and so on  and so forth.

Whereas, Heaven is a place of extreme comfort and joy;  you would feel exceptionally glorious there among beautiful gardens,  golden roads, trees studded with rubies and emeralds, a care free life and  all these  in  the  presence of the True God whom you would be worshiping continuously.  You can see Him, talk to Him, probably play some games with Him too.  But you wouldn‘t  know where you came from and who you are. You may not even  know your name.  You will have no memory of your life on Earth.  You could ask the True God, “Holy God, who am I?  Where did I come from?  [Similar  questions a little child would ask its mother on the Earth].  Then the true God would tell you what you need to know about yourself. Actually you  may not even care to know anything  about your past because the present is so marvelous, beautiful  and in  gorgeous surroundings.  You  will also have a  mansion of  your own to live in,  with all kinds off facilities; you will be clothed in velvets.  And you will have a company of thousands and thousands of  believers there with whom you could talk, talk about the goodness of the True God, how wonderful He is etc.

So much about  your future residence, which you have to choose while  you are alive on the Earth and never a minute later.

Many do not know or do not want to believe that the True God visited the Earth some 2000 years back.   But that is a fact. Several certifications and  documentation are available in this regard. Some 700 years earlier, prophet Isaiah   had forecast that  a virgin will give birth to a boy who will be Immanual (meaning ‘God with us’).  And  truly a virgin did give birth to a baby boy.

This baby  had to have a name and it was JESUS.  He lived on the Earth for 33 ½ years. Why did the True god have to come to the Earth? Any reasons?  He came down  to reveal several truths  not known to the world till then.  One among them is the reality of a second life and how to spend it in God’s house.  Man by nature has been seeking the Creator God.  He had his own ideas of how to reach God and be in His presence. This is when several religious heads appeared and gave all types of  discourses. One said, go and wash yourself in the river Ganges and you will go to Heaven. Another said, renounce everything, go and meditate in the Himalayas and you will get salvation. Be kind to all people, give to the poor and do always good deed and you will be in Heaven after your death, said another. Like this, there were so  many suggestions and speculations about the method to reach God’s abode.

Jesus said, “All your  imaginations and  the modus operandi  of how to reach God are wrong. The real truth is something else. To step into Heaven, you have to be 100% holy and not one of you is that  holy.  Even 99.99% holiness is unacceptable.  You cannot live a  100% holy life on the Earth nor could you make yourself holy through any other means. “ Only I could make you totally holy and thus give you the right to walk into Heaven.  For that, you have to  put your entire  Faith completely in me, that’s all.”

Some intelligent person could have asked, “It sounds very simple, doesn’t it?  Is it really so?”  It is indeed simple and the True God had made it simple because He wants every human being to come to him and not to step into Satan’s settlement. Next, Jesus had also  made it clear that “You cannot reach Heaven by any other  way. I am the only  Way. All who  had recommended any other  route before my birth  are  wrong and in fact they are  thieves and robbers.”  And there is no question of Satan or his supporters ever allotting  a place for you in Heaven.  He is a controller of hell only..

During His life on the Earth, Jesus performed several miracles, a kind  which no man had performed in the world history even till today.  Has any magician or the so called holy men brought to life a dead man?  Has a lame man from birth been made whole by any one?  Has any  born  blind man  received his sight either by medical means or any other?  Has nature obeyed any man?  It did  at  Jesus’s command.  Has anyone walked on the water?  Jesus did.  Whatever He did was absolutely miraculous. It was clear that only the True God could do all these things.  Jesus performed these miracles to  substantiate that He was  not an ordinary man.

Some lepers and blind men who were cured instantly, worshipped Jesus.  Jesus did not forbid them.  Even His disciples who did not know much about His divinity, in spite of witnessing so many miracles, did not really believe that He was God Himself in human form until He became alive after 3 days in the grave.  Then they at once knew that he was not a prophet, not a teacher nor any of that kind, but the True God Himself.  And they worshipped him wholeheartedly and Jesus accepted and acknowledged their worship. (Earlier during His ministry, Jesus had said, “Do not bow down to any idols or any  image nor worship anyone except the True God.)

Short of saying that He is God, He had obliquely hinted, “My Father is in me and I am in my Father.  My Father and I are one. ” The True and Creator God is JESUS.”.

Harbour no doubt on that and start worshipping and trusting  Him from today.

Want to lead a happy married life for decades?

I am not a marriage counsellor, nor an advisor of sorts  on marital affairs. But I can talk with some authority  about how a married life is to be lived, based on my own personal experience of  some 57 years. I must say at the outset  that a marriage is for ever.

When I read in the papers that young couple get divorced within an year of their marriage or  some, after about 5 years with a couple of children in their lap, my heart leaps out in  agony and protest. What’s that divorce for?  To get married again? What if the second stint  becomes worse than the previous? Wouldn’t you have then  wished that things could have turned out better if you had reconciled to her/him and started life all over again?  You could have certainly enjoyed a more joyous second innings?

How does a marriage materialize in our land India?  How does it come about?  How are the candidates picked up? I used to laugh when someone said, “Marriages are made in Heaven.”  Over a period of time and having gone through some case studies, I have come to accept the statement. Surely, God is the initiator of every marriage.  He is the silent broker  and controller of all activities  from the planning stage till the marriage altar.

You would have heard of instances whereof  some marriage negotiations have  failed somewhere in the middle or some love affairs got broken after some time. Why?  Did you ever think why?  I am of the firm view that God did not approve of those alliances and it’s He who puts hurdles and  make the parents or candidates call off the whole thing.  Whereas some marriage proposals go through like a shot and get settled   within hours.  Take it from me readers that  God is  behind such  quick  breaking or making relationships.  It is God who spots out  the right partner for you . If He does not approve of the selection of candidates,  He thwarts it straightway.

The other day I read in the papers that 89 per cent  of our Indian  men and women opt for arranged marriages as opposed to love marriages.  That’s how it should be. An arranged marriage is an Indian concept.  In this model, it is the parents who identify their prospective daughter-in-law or son-in-law, meet the other party , discuss and finalise the  pact. [The western nations have no idea of this type of marriage style.]  The agreement  itself  will take place only if  God had approved of  that  union,  in which case there would be no impediment whatever and the married life itself will be smooth and long lasting. Statistics show that 80% of he arranged arranged marriages have been successful.

To tell you something about myself.  One day when I was just around 16 years old and about to finish school, a girl was paraded in front of me. She was from some far off place.  Something struck me when I saw her, some kind of mini storm and earthquake erupted within.  It was like God telling me, “See, there’s  your future wife.”  As if to endorse it, my brother in law, who was some 14 years  my senior happened to reflect, “Dear  chap, one day you may have to marry her, I suppose.”   Then and there I took a decision that she would be my life partner. Told no one about it but I began  to work towards that goal.  Imagine, she was only eleven or  eleven  plus.  Everything  worked in our favour and after 10 years we got married.  God made sure that I fell for no one else during the intervening period. Actually, every girl I came across looked  ‘ugly’ in my eyes. God had shown me the most beautiful woman and the most perfect woman in the world.

We  told each other  during the first two days or so that we would live solidly and never  break up  because  we  had  jointly given a promise in the church and in God’s presence that  we will be one body till death do us part. It cannot be violated. We thanked God for bringing us together  and we kept Him  as our  mentor and  guide and the  central figure in our life  together.

Don’t think our married life was all dinky dory and  fights free.  We did have quarrels, disagreements, arguments some time or the other. But these aberrations never interfered with our resolve to live together. Actually, we used to forget the incident in the very next second and talked with each other  cordially as if nothing had happened.   No kind of sulking, or turning the other side in bed or going  on non talking terms for some hours or days or resorting to  revengeful action to hurt the other or threats like “Enough is enough. I am leaving…”..  None of that sort at all.  The event was fully and completely ‘deleted’ from our memory.

One day, just for the heck of it I asked  her, “Darling, on  what issue  did we have  some  tiff this morning?”   “Tiff?” she said screwing up her face.  “When  on Earth did we have one ?  I don’t remember a thing.  Do you?”

“No, I too don’t recall anything amiss, “ I endorsed.

That’s how, it should be  readers.  If you have to live together for decades, all these minor irritants should be completely ignored.

As regards our outdoor life and activities,  I don’t think we went out  singly ever.  We always went as a pair and sat huddled in any function.  “Hey, are you still honeymooning or what? And that too after 20 years of marriage?”  some well wisher would ask sarcastically and jocularly.  “Sort of..” I would respond.  “Where is your wife, pal?”  I  asked the other   in my turn.  “Oh, she is somewhere around..” Annoyed, I told him,  “Go and fetch her immediately.  OK?”

That’s a prescription for you to copy.

Our years rolled on smoothly without any  hiccups. Our three children held  a grand ceremony to celebrate our golden anniversary. “Fifty years of  togetherness.”  It was an occasion we cherished.

We had no serious health problems ever.  Life had been absolutely fantastic and  enjoyable.

Yet in life, perfect health doesn’t  last for ever.  Old age illnesses  do catch up  when you cross sixty. Wife fell ill at a very late age with all kinds of problems – kidney , high blood pressure, thyroid  and so on. She was in an out of the hospital several times. I prayed to the  Lord, “Lord, won’t you allow us to celebrate our diamond jubilee?”  From all accounts, I had a feeling that she would not recover from her multi organ  ailments. She did not. God had His own time table.  And she  breathed her last after 57 years and  8 days of married life, at the ripe age   of 78.

Wouldn’t you also like to boast that you had lived as an inseparable pair for four decades or five or six?

Develop the Will to stick together  and the Creator God will bless your  marriage.

Why you must read this fiction

In our  great land India, the civilian population do not know much about the Indian  Armed forces at all.  Most of the school students and college going youngsters,  have no idea of the various ranks of officers in the Army, Navy and Air force., much less about their ways and rigours of life.

In the fiction, HIS  PRINCESS  ROYAL , the hero is an Army officer. The book gives in vivid details the problems a married officer goes through, about the discipline and work culture in the Force, the social life the officer community leads and the joy of serving in a Regiment.  It will make an enjoyable reading because it brings out the Indian thinking, particularly that of an officer’s wife,  the wives’ philosophy of life and so on.  Even the Army officers both serving and retired would relish the book because it would be highly nostalgic and bring to your memory your own Army days.

You would also read about a prosperous and  gigantic agricultural village named Ponnur which supplies paddy and rice not only to different parts of India but also to South East Asian  countries, particularly for Japan. The village depends on a perennial lake named Kally. This is an extraordinary lake with powerful springs in its bed. No kind of pumping is necessary to feed the paddy fields.  So long as there is an outlet of some kind, water flows automatically to the fields  even for distances up to 8- 10 kilometers. The lake never goes dry.

Indians abroad would see on your mental eyes glimpses of  life of men and officers of the Indian Army , especially if you had left India long back.

The book  is  available in all the leading book shops in Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

Consisting of 380 odd pages, it has been  published by “ANa books, Chennai – 40” and is moderately priced at Rs 160.

Israel Jayakaran, Author

Are dogs ungrateful animals?

“Dogs are highly grateful animals,” according to my experience.  Once a street dog in my city recognized me  when I stood before him after a gap of some  3  years; it came wagging his hindquarters very vigorously at me. I strained my head.  Ah yes, then I remembered that I had fed this dog with the left overs of my snacks one  fine afternoon.

Yet, in the Southern part of India and in my Tamil language I have heard people curse  an evil man,  “You, ungrateful dog?” It baffles me.  How could a dog  be grateful and ungrateful at the same time?  No one could explain the inconsistency  to me.  But the saying goes on.  I wonder if this is so  in other Indian languages as well ?

Then one day I did discover the justification behind that saying.

Our dog Lassie (a female)  was very fond of my wife.   Lassie virtually was her   personal security guard  following her wherever she went inside the house. After we returned from a shopping trip, it was my wife the dog greeted first with gusto;  she would come to me for a ‘casual’ hullo only later.

As days  passed by, wife got admitted in the hospital with several complaints. I am sure Lassie would have missed her.  She couldn’t convey her feelings to me but I sensed that she was awaiting wife’s return from wherever she had gone.  Then one day,  after an absence of six weeks,  wifey did return home, not as a living  being but as a lifeless human body.  She was brought  home dead at 2 a.m. that great January 2010  morning.  My children, relatives and I collected the body from the ambulance and laid her on a bed – silently.  I expected Lassie to go near her and welcome her home.  She did none of that sort. And she was totally indifferent to her mistress as well.

Next morning, after we had got reconciled to the reality that the lady of the house was no more, I told Lassie, “Lassie, see there is Mummy. Say ‘hello’ to her.”  She did put her paws up the freezer bed to sniff at the lifeless body. No excitement or gurgling noise whatever.   She didn’t even  wag her tail at a person long known to her.  Had Lassie forgotten her erstwhile  mistress and so soon? She did, from all accounts.  It appeared as though Lassie had removed my wife’s name from her memory list. She refused to recognise her.

Two days later, having completed the funeral formalities, I asked Lassie, “Lassie, where is mummy?”  No reaction.  Wouldn’t even look around for her. In the earlier days, just a mention of the word ’mummy’ , Lassie would run to the door or peep into every room for ‘mummy’. Not any more.

Lassie wouldn’t even recall that it was my wife  who used to serve  every meal to her.  Often when she sulked, wifey would patiently sit down by her side and feed the dog with her own hand like she would to her own little son or daughter  and then Lassie would eat up every piece of pedigree.  All that’s gone. Our pet dog had no remembrance of all  these ministration?

Hasn’t she turned  into  an ungrateful dog as far as her late mistress was concerned?

I am missing you

My wife was in and out of the hospital with numerous health complaints, the chief one being her ‘damaged kidney’. During the third spell of  admission, she had a premonition that she was not returning home – alive. So much so, she had announced her will orally to the daughter on how to distribute all her jewellery.  Turning to me, she asked “How are you going to manage?” Though a very   delicate subject,  seeing the way she was  gearing herself up to face the final moments of her  earthly life, I too said very bravely, “Don’t worry my love, I won’t fret, I won’t cry over your departure, I shall be all right..”   “Wouldn’t you like to live with our three children in rotation?” she asked. “No,” I said resolutely.  “I shall remain in the same house and perhaps spend a few days with each child.  Shall never stay with any of them permanently.”  She had okayed the plan.

Although she was in a private ward, she was moved to the ICU at the slightest aggravation of her condition.  Life in the ICU is gruesome.  Visitors were allowed in the morning and evenings for some 20 minutes.  Otherwise she was all by herself;  a nurse was available on hand;  she also used to feed the  patient.  The food given  was pathetic.  When I saw her one day with ‘rice porridge’, my heart jumped out of its cavity.  “Could one  survive with a scanty meal such as that?” I debated. But then, that was that. The ICU staffs knew what they were doing. Then on the following day, she was in pain, wriggling and twisting her body even for breathing.  “Oh LORD, ” I cried out to my God.  “She is suffering,  suffering a lot, don’t you see?”  The doctor on duty said that her lungs have become weak and she had to be put on oxygen.

It was an unbearable sight.  On the third day, I found myself praying, “Lord, if this is  the case, take her away. She will then be free from pain…”  I knew her end was coming and yet I  didn’t want to accept it.” In the  course of the next 2 days, she was kept  on ventilator and also steroid. Became unconscious on and off. She couldn’t recognise people including me because she showed no reaction of any kind when a visitor spoke to her.  Again my silent prayer to my Lord God was, “Take her away Lord. Keep her in your bosom and she would be free from pain and  be at peace.”

The end came at 11.37 p.m on 3 Jan 10.  My second son, who was the ‘attender’ in waiting was summoned to the bed side to have a look at the screen;  the lines were fading or disappearing.  And at dot 11.37pm, the screen was blank.  She was no more.

My son rang me up immediately  to  convey the news.  “Shall be with the body in about 2 hours time,” he had said. At 0200 hours, my wife came home at last – as a dead person.  All my brave words  had melted away.  “Did I send you to the hospital for this, my love?”  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  An active and vibrant person was lying motionless right in front of my eyes.  “She is dead,  she is dead. She is gone,”  I had to tell myself repeatedly.

All the sorrows and downheartedness apart, one had to go through the routine of disposing off a lifeless  body.  We had to wait another day for the daughter to arrive from Bengaluru, some 350 km away.  The eldest son couldn’t attend her funeral on the  5th  of Jan 10.  He is stationed at Atlanta, USA.

Much as I disliked, I had to be a witness of the final ceremony.  Her coffin was taken to the church for the final service and from thereon to the cemetery, where she was to be buried.  My heart broke when her body was lowered into the grave for her final rest. And I had to witness all these.

Have attended so many death ceremonies of friends, my own sisters and brother. But  when the victim is your own wife, your whole attitude is different.  At times. one felt like shouting at the Creator too.

I am now missing her daily. We had been married for 57 years and she would have been 78 on 16 Jan, just 13 days short. “She is no more, boy.” a voice keeps reverberating in my mind and I am still trying to come to terms with the reality.  “So, help me Lord.”

Israel Jayakaran