Friday, June 19, 2015

Security Encounter!

A few months back I was at a shopping center with my wife and my three year old son. While she was looking around a store, my son and I went for a quick stroll. We walked through the reception area of the building where a coin-operated massage chair was placed. There was a payment kiosk for a bunch of service providers next to the massage chair. While I was getting a massage done for myself, my little one started exploring the kiosk.

After a few moments I saw the security guard at the reception walking towards my son. I was sort of 'trapped' on the massage chair and was watching the scene with caution! He came next to my boy and started looking at him with a lot of interest. I could see his gleaming eyes and a tiny smile on his face. My son, oblivious of a stranger looking at him continued to check out the various buttons on the kiosk.

After a few moments, I was released from the clutches of the massage chair and I promptly got up. The security guy looked at me and smiled. I was still not sure what his intention was and so I returned the smile though with an element of suspicion. He looked at my son again and asked me, "Sir, how old is your little one?"

I replied, "He turned three last December".

He then asked me a few more questions about my son. He wanted to know about his schooling, playtime activities and a few other things. I answered him, though was not feeling very comfortable with these questions being asked. I felt an intrusion to our privacy.

I was almost ready to take my son away from the scene since I was getting worked up with these queries. That's when the man spoke again. The next statement he said disarmed me totally.

"Sir, I'm from Pakistan and it has been two years since I went back home. I left home on my son's first birthday. When I saw your little one I was wondering how mine will be looking like now."

I was speechless and soon my eyes got welled up. I took my son out and this time it wasn't because I was uncomfortable with the security guard, but because I didn't want him to see me in tears.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Suffering in Silence!

Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Jun 2015
 
A few years back I got an opportunity to work at a mid-size IT company in Bangalore for a marketing project. I had my friend KC as well with me. One of those days we reached the office in the morning and I saw KC being a little tired. When asked he said he got up with a mild fever. He thought he could manage through the day and hence didn't take an off. The day progressed and soon we'd our regular debrief meeting with our mentor Gopal sir who was known for his military-precision planning. 

During the meeting, KC was seated next to an air-conditioner vent and was quite uncomfortable being there though he said nothing fearing a possible retort from sir. After a while KC started slightly shivering as well. Gopal sir stopped the debriefing in between, looked at KC and asked him what's wrong. KC told him that he was not feeling well from the morning and the air-conditioner was not helping either. The next statement we heard from him left a lasting impression on both of us. He said, "You should've just told me that you are not well and asked for the air-conditioner to be turned off or reduced. Always remember this: Never suffer in silence!"

Many of us would've experienced a similar kind of a situation in our lives, married or otherwise. There are quite a few who are passive about their pain or suffering and strange enough they accept it as a part of their life. The scenario gets even more complicated in a married life. People assume that there is nothing that they can do about this and instead continue to suffer in silence. If someone ever asks, they've a standard reply stating they are helpless and hence accept it as part of the life they've chosen. 

It is not meant to be like this! Marriage is not a contract you enter into, where you agree for all sufferings. It is a bridge which you need to build along with your better half across the river of challenges. If there are sufferings that come along with it, you need to face it together and not alone. You being married do not mean that you are above or below someone. It is a relationship at par. Both of you share an equal level of respect in this Holy initiative named marriage. 

It is not a matter of pride to say that you are suffering something in marriage. It could be insignificant things such as your partner's choices of clothes to food or more critical things such as your interests in planning finances or your child's education. Whatever may it be, it needs to be understood that when you can't reach a consensus, swallowing the bitter pill is not the best option. This will definitely lead to the construction of bridge left to one person and the other one really becomes less active in building the blocks of this beautiful monument called life. 

The truth is bare. Any suffering should be explicitly discussed between the couple. It is quite important to know that there is hardly anything in this world which can't be resolved beyond the four walls of your bedroom. You do not really need a third person's help to sort out an issue between the two of you. If one solution doesn't seem to be working, try ten others. For sure, you will reach a state which is happily acceptable to you both instead of one having to accept it as the way of life. 

Stop thinking of married life as a need of being part of the society! You are getting married to love and being loved. Period! Anything else is just another challenge in your bridge construction. Find the alternatives, place the bricks,build the bridge and never let the river of hurdles stop you from getting across together happily.

Remember this simple yet powerful thought: Never suffer in silence! 

God bless you.

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