Friday, February 26, 2010


Sri gurubhyo namaha.

' If I had just shoved a knife into her heart the day I met her, I would be a free man by now!' He said, as he introduced his wife with nothing more than the above few words. Accumulated wisdom, born from the toil of a marriage that spanned decades, was at once evident. His wife didn't seem to mind the introduction too much and had an expression on her face that suggested that this was not the first time she had heard him say this.

' Marriage', he began again, ' is not a word. It is a sentence'. Ha ha ha. He seemed to be enjoying himself thoroughly. The two empty and one half full pint glasses of Guinness on the table, perhaps the reason for his state of elation. But the real reason for his jovial mood lay in the fact that I had approached him for some advice - being the wise, old neighbourhood know it all, he was at his best when he was trying to offer advice on just about anything to anybody within earshot. And, it didn't bother him in the slightest if nobody paid even the slightest bit of attention to his ministrations. Truly, he was wise!

I was about to get married to the woman who was the love of my life. Just so you don't get a wrong idea about me - she was the only woman in my life. Like most of you out there, I too was smitten by the fragrant arrows of Cupid (once)! And like most who are so smitten, I was busy planning my whole life ahead with this woman. Naturally, getting married to her was high on the agenda. The powerful hand of Fate had brought me face to face with the woman who until then was only the woman of my dreams. She ticked all the right boxes! I was surely not going to miss the boat with this one. So, we decided that we will get married and we had chosen the date for the wedding. And here I was, in a pub, listening to sagely advice on being married from a highly inebriated yet very affable ould sod.

'Listen to me carefully, young chap', he continued earnestly, ' look at me. I have been married to her over there for over fifty years now. And not a day goes by when I don't wake up in the morning and think, oh God, what have I done!' Even this Guinness inspired confession from the old man did not attract any notice from his wife - obviously, they were a couple who knew each other quite well. ' Don't waste your life in the search of suburban bliss', said he, ' remain till the end of your days a single man. Live your life as a free man.'

Thankfully for me, I didn't listen to his advice. Nor did I pay any attention to the words of many a great Hindu sage. Selfishly, I listened only to the thud thud of my heart. And the words of the prophet Khalil Gibran -

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together.

For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

And now, I am a happily (well, almost) married man and the proud father of three fine children! Eleven years to this exact day have I been married. We have walked through life, hand in hand, through thick and thin and I have to admit it has been the best thing I ever did in my life!

PS. To my lovely wife of eleven years,

If you are reading this - I love you.