Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Dial 'G' for God

Do you have days that you feel like you are the victim and that God is snoozing and not doing His job?
Have you failed and thought that all is over?
Have you had a broken marriage or a torn relationship?
Do you have a wounded heart?
I am sure all of us have would nod our heads at atleast one of the above.

I've failed many times in the past. I've failed at exams, at work and at relationships. I've contemplated suicide exactly 2 times but could never take that final step. Somebody up there really loves me.
I've heard someone say that you are immortal until your purpose on earth is not served.
So if you would like to live for ever and ever, go ahead, don't answer your calling. Don't live the life you deserve to be living, Don't be what you are supposed to be.

But for the rest of us and the many followers of the the Bible, as it is written in the book of Philippians 2: 14-16, 'Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.'




We are precious, so precious that Jesus, the Son of God, Himself died for our sins, my sins, your sins and your children's and their children's and their children's sins.
When He died on the Cross, His body was the sacrifice that paid for all sins that every human, that was alive or is yet to come. He paid for all the sins that you and me and all the people who ever lived on this planet would ever commit. How wonderful and AWESOME is God!
BUT, there is a condition. 

Oh yeah, We need to surrender ourselves totally and completely to Him.
What?!!!
Normally, we come across conditions that have strings attached but this?
Yes, He wants us. God wants us to love Him and trust Him completely and let Him be the Guiding Force in your life. Oh yes, we wants to do all the work for us!
As if letting His Son die for our sins and the sins of all humanity was not enough, He wants to make sure that we all get to meet His one and only Son.
I can almost picture Him gushing with joy when we let Him take control of our lives (which by the way, He created)

I remember the feeling of absolute joy when I let God take control of my life.
I and my ex had just finished our first and only counseling session and I for the first time, stopped rebelling and gave away the reins of my life to God. The sensation that
swept across my soul is indescribable. It was the most peaceful moment that I'd ever experienced.
The nearest that I can come to describing what I felt can be like how in a bitter freezing winter night, and you wrap a warm wool quilt over yourself instantly warming yourself or like that long deep breath of air that you exhale after holding your breath for long.

There is so many things that we can want to do, but there is so little you actually NEED to do. All you need to do is SURRENDER yourself completely and unconditionally.
Why are we so determined to struggle when the blessed life is so easy to get? All we need to do is listen to the still soft voice of our Lord.

He is all we need..
He is all for us....

He is knocking...
Will you not answer today?


Saturday, April 17, 2010

When the beauty fades ...


Love fails and beauty fades...
This touched me because many times, when couples are dating themselves they fail to see the pitfalls and red flags.
You could be in love with a person who is an absolute pole apart from what you are, but all the pheromones in the planet cannot give you a happy marriage.
But what happens when a successful long distance relationship breaks up and you are left wounded?
Ordinarily, it shouldn't be as traumatic as a relationship between 2 people who lived in close quarters.
But I know a couple who was in a long distance relationship.
There was a lot of connection, love and no end to the promises to be with each other.
But there was the slip between the cup and the lip.
Promises were made to move heaven and earth and all else in between. But when the time to act came, all were conveniently brushed under the rug of societal obligations.
I respect the girl who chose to fulfill her parents' wishes over the guy she knew only for a year. If only we had more virtuous women, could we overcome the many evils of our society today.
What started as ordinary emails being exchanged blossomed into something incredible.
What was incredible ended with a lot of trauma. Both of them suffered. All the guy did was fall in love with a girl that he had never seen, but felt a million times through the many hours of phone calls they shared. But when she broke the news, all that he did was to stay silent though within him he was shattering into a million pieces. Not once, but a million times every minute of every day.

That guy was Me.

When I heard her tell me, I hung up and cried, until the pillow was soaked.
Then turned over the pillow and cried until my eyes ached, until my voice cracked and the pillow soaked.
That's when a dear friend of mine expressed his sympathy and encouraged me to grieve. "But in 3 days, you will get up. figure out what you want to do with your life and move ahead."
At the moment, I thought he was being too optimistic. 3 days?! No way. Though it was just a year of relationship, I knew things would never be the same again.
But in 3 days, after hundreds of sessions crying and many many hours of grieving, I woke up and realized that I didn't feel quite as bad as I felt on the first day. Little by little despite the agony of being dumped for the 2nd time, my emotional and spiritual condition improved significantly. I knew that I died to my old reality and was reborn to a new Me.

I guess it has to do with the Death, Burial and Resurrection.

I recently met a friend who stuck with me, through the toughest and most excruciating part of my breakup. She didn't take the moral high horse by blaming either of us, but allowed me to retrospect and heal.
The trauma of a bitter breakup still fresh in my heart, I decided to insulate myself from plunging into a rebound relationship.

Not very long ago, I heard the story of a couple who were getting married.
Very much in love, as all couples are, the love struck pair look at each other ready to orate their well written vows to each other.
The pastor stops them. He tells them to trash the pieces of paper and to look at each others hands and tell each other how much they mean to each other from one heart to another.


This is what ails our marriages. In a society that glamorizes sex and promiscuity, we plunge into a marriage with as much frivolity as a kid in a toy store, but fail to understand that what we do with our hands is what keeps a marriage moving and no amount of physical attraction or tall promises can salvage a marriage.
No big fat weddings for me, because I would rather prefer to marry a woman, who respects herself just as much as she would respect me.
A relationship that is build on mutual trust and inherent understanding, where we don't need to talk to be heard, when a mere nod, look and a touch would do.
A bond where we are not conceited but implicit and honest.
Every man sees his second mother in his lover and every woman gets her first child in her lover
    -William Shakespeare
Having been love-deprived all my adult life, I have craved to be with a lady who would be a mother, lover, confidante, closest friend and most passionate wife. I've seen you, I've loved you.

When the party is over... the crowd moves on... when your age catches up with you... when the body gives up and mind gets rusted.
Love, Trust and Communication is all that you'll need.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Love and Loss..

Were you ever in a relationship where you felt like you gave up too soon?
Have you ever been in a relationship that you knew was a dead end but regretted breaking up?

We give up too soon and too easily.
Humans are driven by love. We are constantly looking for affection and acceptance from others. But we often deny that person who truly loves us in our selfish pursuit of love.

Infidelity in relationships doesn't happen because we love the other person any less, but because there is a new recipient of all that love. There is a new person that we have trained our eyes on.

Some relationships are convenient escapes from reality and act like vacation homes that you head to when you want a break from the mundane grid of daily life.
Yet some other meet your physical needs, while starving you emotionally and spiritually.
Some relationships start with a lot of odds against them, develop into a strange coexistence of logic and reason.
The luckier relationships start platonic, and develop into something really beautiful. Weddings happen.

Marriages however can be tough, for most this is where the honeymoon ends. Real life begins here. Graduating from the Lover-boy to a Family-man is uphill pedaling.
The Wife takes it easier, for her it's just a new surname.
He will need to earn for the family. He becomes a one woman man, like it or not.
Probably, nature programmed the homosapien man to be monogamous.

However the Wife now ends up living with a Lover that does not shower all the love that he once showered. She is stuck with making his house. She needs to cook and clean after the Husband. 'Where did I make the mistake?' .. 'Is he not in love with me anymore?' ... 'Did he ever love me?'
Questions that the husband will need to answer real quick. But unfortunately these are questions that a man does not know how to answer without being hurt. While he grapples with these potent questions, the Wife takes his visible confusion and trauma as answers that complicates their once beautiful marriage.

They marry the man they love, hoping that they would change and become that New and Improved Man of their Dreams.
Men marry the woman they love, hoping that the woman will never stop giving him the 'emotional orgasm' that he experienced when courting.

Disappointment awaits both of them
Women fantasize so much on the wedding that they forget they have a marriage to live.
Men don't improve. Correction, men do improve, but improvement in men ends with potty training.

All relationships are hard work.
All our lives, we are tied with that common cognitive bond of emotion and duty.
From the cradle to the grave, we carry a lifetime of bonding. Some that will bring us immense peace and satisfaction and some the exact opposite

I remember a couple who once lived in with each other. They had a relationship of convenience. The guy's sexual and culinary needs were met and the girl's shelter and clothing needs satisfied. Why would they ever need to break up? Most men fantasize about relationships like this, but somewhere down the line they broke up. The girl grew distant and the guy could not take much more of her cold shoulder. They split but years later, he is still pining for her. He only wishes that he should have shut his mouth although he knows that she would have never satisfied his emotional needs.

If only we could look inwards, deep inwards, and plug that 'God shaped hole' in our soul, would we be able to fathom the unfailing love of True Love.
While our society gently slides and shimmy its way to greater depravity and spiritual vacuum, are we forgetting how transient our lives on earth are?
All the arrogance, infidelity and sex in this world cannot save nor satisfy you when your time to go comes.
All the pretty flowers and glowing eulogy wouldn't make a difference to you in death, if you didn't bother to make a positive difference in your relationships when you were alive.

All love on earth is transient and expires, and no matter how much that girl or guy might have professed to have loved you.. the only love that is true and tested is the love that our God showers on us. Your lover may not know all about you, but the Lord who knows all about you, even the really dirty stuff, loves you with a passion that none can match.
While lovers talk the talk, its only our Lord who talks the talk and walks the walk.

Look Within, Love Heavenwards. You can never get disappointed because you know that no matter who you are with and regardless of how much he/she professes to love you, you will have The Love that lasts.. unto eternity.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Living the Live-in


Woke up to a heated discussion on a popular News channel.
'Is Live-in a Sin?'
As predicted, 4 quasi experts plus the Anchor engaged in bitter battle for the sake of their nation.

The root of this heated debate is a recent Supreme Court judgment terming 'Live-in relationships and premarital sex legal'. The court contended that since Krishna and Radha of Mythology lived in, it is legal and hence Indian. Since when did the highest court of our Nation, start quoting Mythology.

Nonetheless, I bet all those teenagers and 20 somethings are celebrating with wild romps in their beds since.

Religion and Mythology are very often used as crutches when authorities lack the will to do the right thing at the right time.

But this decision shocked me.
Of all the major religions in the world, none of them advocate premarital sex.

Personally, I feel sex is more than the carnal and lust filled moments of passion. It is about 2 adults coming together to show their love for each other. It is about 'making love' work.

Modern media have sensationalized sex, to such a tantalizing point of no return that some of them are simply soft porn. Men and women are encouraged and tempted to experiment. Peer pressure does not make things easy. The Media glorifies Sex and Promiscuity. Hollywood rules the roost, Bollywood is catching up, TV channels use them to increase TRPs.

Though living in appears to be straddling the best of both worlds, I still believe in the sacrament of marriage. I wouldn't have it any other way.

While I still think it is possible for a man and a woman to live under a roof without any sexual relationship, are we so prudish to think that a live-in couple who profess their love for each to abstain from premarital sex? If the love was true, they would have rather married each other.

There could be many reasons why a couple in love decide to live in. Convenience and a fairly economical way of managing the household is a primary reason. But put sex outside of marriage and you have just opened a pandora's box of social ills.

Unintended pregnancies, abortions, sense of failure, intense feeling of vengeance and the vicious cycle just goes on.

I know a certain girl who lived in with her boyfriend who professed undying love for her that would last an eternity. She believed him. They took an apartment together. Had sex, got pregnant and his promise of eternity ran out. He dumped her, would not respond to her emails or calls. He changed his number. Bitter and disillusioned, she is juggling boyfriends just to overcome her growing sense of insecurity. She knows where she went wrong, but is too scared to admit it lest the world ridicule her.

Safe Sex is a myth. The psychological, physical and emotional scars that women, in particular go through take a lifetime to heal.

Live in, but do so only when circumstances disallow you to marry.

When a couple in love starts to live in, there is a lot of anticipation and optimism. Our body plots against us too. Endorphins block our ability to look beyond love.

The truth is love does wear out. We wake up to bad morning breath and body odor. We open our eyes to crusted lip corners and pillows with our drool.

But the fact is, that is when we need to make love work. More often than not, we believe that love is about talking sweet nothings for many hours, telling things that we know the other person loves to hear. But the real trouble begins when you start living in with a person only to realize that the person you loved is not the person he/she is.

Legalizing premarital sex is akin to allowing Men to exploit Women under the guise of love.

The women in the live-in relationship have a lot at stake; their chastity, their safety and well being. Most of the time, men who live-in see this as an opportunity for regular sex sans all the responsibility that a marriage would bring.

If only we removed that gene inside us that would stop us from cheating the person we profess to love abundantly and unconditionally...
If only we could respect our lover's body and soul just the way God does...
If only we saw making love as the physical act of a cognitive emotion and not just humping...

That would be the day that we can finally say, we are Humans. That is when we can truly understand why having sex is not the same as 'making love'. That is when we can truly understand how marrying can be many times more fulfilling than a many night stand.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Battle of the Sexes

Women are historically referred to as the 'Fairer Sex' and Men, the 'Weaker Sex'. 
This could be true in more ways than one.
Almost all battles in history have been fought over property or a woman.

A recent study indicated between 50% and 70% of the women polled from among the southern Indian states of Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka thought that 'Wife-beating' is acceptable.

Growing up, in a matriarchy society, I have had my Mom, Sister and other Women of the family, fawn and nurture me immensely. Thankfully so too.
Today, I cringe at how women could accept violence as a way of life.
Did the numbers lie? Was it an anomaly? Were the right parameters used?

Men rave about equality and woman's empowerment, but the moment, Men have a Lady managing them, they plot to malign them.
Many urban Men think it is fashionable to be called a Feminist. Maybe it is, it has a nice ring to it.

Someone once quipped 'Behind every successful Man, there is a successful Woman'.
It is true.
My Dad and my Mom were one of a kind. They were from different spectrums of the same society, met, loved each other so infinitely to marry inspite of all odds and remain married, despite all the pitfalls. My Dad and Mom were an excellent example of how interdependent married couples should be. Sure they were not the richest or the smartest. But they loved eachother and never stopped loving eachother till his last breath. I remember how my Dad was so concerned about his Wife even to his last excruciating breath, that he switched off the lights so that she could catch a nap after spending weeks of sleepless nights.
When she woke up, she saw that he had already passed away, but he had a peaceful smile on his face.
Ofcourse, they had the bitterest fights but love conquers all. It surely did. She stood behind him, always the anchor that kept him grounded. Humble even to be described 'down to earth'.

In me, most of the women I've dated can be termed as the 'Who's Who of Social Crap'. Yet, the reason why I loved them was because I wanted love, the kind of love that my Mom had for my Dad, True Love. Although I could not articulate my need for this love as well as I can now, I was searching for true love. I never got it. Not from any of the half a dozen that I dated.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (Corinthians 13: 4-8)
It took almost a decade for me to realise that it is our Mom and she alone who can give us the love that we crave for.
Yet, we fight. The moment we even smell women's empowerment, we take up arms against them. Maybe, we need to have stronger women who can talk the talk and walk the walk. We need women who can show that they are not second rate citizens. Maybe, we need women who will not use sexual harrasment, dowry, divorce and rape as a tool to get back at Men who are actually good hearted. Maybe, we need Women who know their rights and will enforce them, while still be equable. Maybe we need Women who will stand up for their families and will kick some serious butt when needed.
I know a girl who once explained why Women, who follow Islam strictly are restricted from dancing in the public, showing any skin or even hair.

"If I come and dance in front of men, then what if the men would start desiring me?"

This comment shocked me. But this is surprisingly right too. Men oogle. That is no secret. Men leer and drool at any Women. As kids, we are innocence personified. But as we grow older, we develop emotions that build a wall of mistrust and mutual hatred, loathing, fear and anxiety.

A Lady does not have it easy, mind you. Women are constantly being preyed upon. With so many leery and lustful eyes latched on to you, it would not be surprised if I start getting suspicious and insecure.

Helen of Troy lent her name to posterity by having the face that launched a million ships. But with the majority of the Women in the 21st Century, survival is a constant battle against a million lustful eyes.

When will men realise that we need them as much as they need us. When will men realise that respect starts from the way they look at women, and not when a Bill is tabled? Our Women need us. They need our trust and we need their love and caring compassion. They need our security and respect as much as we need their intelligence and kindness.

Is it not time we made the first move to living a civilized mature society?

And in the battle of the Sexes, true victory is when we gain the unconditional trust and love of our women. The question here is, are Men strong enough to do this?


Monday, February 22, 2010

Emotional Atyachar: The flip side

I didn't catch the movie (Dev D) and was too turned off by the song but when I first heard about Emotional Atyachar, a show on UTV Bindaas, piqued my interest.
This show bears a lot of resemblance with 'Cheaters', a show that used to come on 'Reality TV'.
'Emotional Atyachar' (which means Emotional Trauma, in Hindi) though a very new show, has managed to grab much attention. EA is right up there with 'X Files' on my list of must watch TV shows.

Voyeurism is such a carnal passion. Sensationalized, packaged with a good name and catchy tune you've got a Super hit series.
The concept though similar to 'Cheaters' in the US, is specially adapted for the Indian audiences. It involves one of the person in a active relationship wanting the EA team do a 'Loyalty test' on their significant other. The 'Suspect' is baited with an attractive model/actor ('Undercover Agent') who will test the loyalty of the suspect by feigning physical intimacy.In almost all the shows, the suspect falls for the bait and is finally confronted by the 'Lead'. All hell normally breaks loose. Though the level of violence is not as much as in 'Cheaters', the consequence is pretty much the same.

Sin has the charms of a seductress. This is as true now as it was a billion years ago as it will be in a million years from now. I have been cheated upon a couple of times, but what really lingers are the thoughts "Why is this happening to me?" and 'What went wrong?"
You figure out the answers to these and you've cracked an age old code for a joyful relationship.

Infidelity in relationships are so common yet, you never think this could happen to you. It is like one of those diseases (like AIDS) where you feel it would happen only to people of a certain demography or lifestyle. You could not be more wrong than a chimpanzee in an Alaskan ice berg. All it takes is one wrong step, one misplaced act, one thoughtless word and one ruthless lie. And if this happens in a marriage, then you are heading towards a divorce unless you overhaul your lives in a massive way. 

My Dad, as I was growing up, used to ask me to cut the grass when we were visiting our home in India so that I could go out and play with my friends. How I used to curse all the grass and weeds and wish I could just vacuum them up like the dust on the carpet. How I used to envy the other kids who didn't have to do all this to earn some play time. Now, I was clever (or I thought I was). I used to just cut the tall blades of the grass just till its roots. This was quicker. 'Man, I am a genius!!'
But come next morning, the damn grass has grown up again. 'Darn! What are they eating?'
Dad's play time condition stood. Unwavering, I went about 'pruning' it again. Day 3, same thing. I decided enough is enough and admitted defeat to my Dad. With all the loving and patient hug that only a Dad can give, he told me that every time I cut the grass, I am leaving the roots in there. 'As long as the roots are in there, you are not getting rid of the problem. Take the roots away, and you won't have a problem.' Why didn't he just say this before?, I thought. I haven't had a problem with the grass since.

Sin is very similar. In a fit of realization, we often cut the visible part of the sinful habit or behavior but leave the roots in us. Over time, we let it grow, eventually realizing that we are back in square one. Whatever be our sin of choice, over time we give up and resign to the thought that we are no good for God and that we might as well, enjoy the sin. Wrong again. God does love us. And He is giving us a chance to admit defeat to Him and ask him for guidance. I can hear Him tell me exactly what my Dad told me, 'Pull the sin by its roots and you will not have a problem again'.

I had my sin and I am sure all of you have yours. I had mine for over a decade and a half. I tried every possible method known to man to overcome it, but it was pointless. In a world which teaches you, 'If you can't fight it, join it', I joined forces with my sin and reveled in it. Contrary to the joy that I thought I would enjoy, I was raked by relentless thoughts of guilt, anger, frustration and utter hopelessness.
My latest relationship was an eye opener. I realized that I had to uproot my sins. A pilgrimage to the Divine Retreat Centre, Challakudy helped me exorcise my demons. 

As any addict would testify, you cannot change what you do not accept. The relief and the joy that I have to know that I am free from addictions is incredible. 
Every morning is a joy. Every hour away from the addiction is another hour spent in His Grace.

Unfortunately, I had to wade through a lot of emotional atyachar myself to get through to the other end. I lost several years of my life trying to grapple with the addiction and the many relationships that failed. All is not lost. The old age adage 'Better late than never..' ironically stands tested here. 

Been there, done that, worn the T Shirt.



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