Monday, 14 May 2012

Marriage is like a Laddoo

Written by Harb

"Marriage is like a laddoo, he who eats weeps and he who does not eat also weeps," my sister used to tease me when I completed my degree in civil engineering, landed a good government job but refused to marry.

I felt marriage will impinge upon my freedom to live and enjoy life the way I wished. Like most young men then I too did not savor the sight of someone taking scooter-full of children to school or to cinema etc.

To further reinforce my decision those were the days of the spread of Naxalite movement* and I sometimes felt-like riding that boat too. Who knows....I thought and then the idea of marriage will further move away from my mind.

At the same time luxuries of life which came with the government job, of course egged on by my abundant 'vital force,' would constantly tug at my heart to have someone to share those with. The situation got further fuel from my frequent forays into women college where my sister studied and where I had the chance to talk to very many beautiful girls even though in the garb of the "universal brother" - going by then unwritten dictum that all the friends of my sister were my sisters too.

In fact from my frequent forays into her college and playing "hero" to her friends as she sometimes jokingly said my sister got the idea that I can't be all that against marriage. After which she began to tease me to eventually entrap me. It is an other matter that Nature had even a bigger trap waiting for me for the same purpose.

Thanks to my left, idealistic leanings I soon offered to marry a matriculate though beautiful girl of a very poor family then living in our neighbourhood with her relatives.

But I was aghast to learn that the girl's drunkard father refused, thinking that I must be having some defect to offer to marry the poor girl and that too without dowry. "Doesn't seem to get any rishta that is why he is begging us," he further added for good measure.

Stung, I promised myself that I will marry within one week and with one of the richest girls, thinking of all those who were already eyeing and even approaching me for the same. I would not even refuse dowry which I previously did not allow even to be named in my presence, I thought.

The upshot was that I married within a week or so and even got a brand new Ambassador car in dowry in those days got only by a very few rich people of my region and even state.

I can't say I am better off now or could have been better off remaining unmarried. But reading an article in a newspaper today reminded me of my sister's words, "Marriage is like a laddoo..."

The article titled "A wise investment" was written by a retired convent-school Principle. While describing the envious position of those lucky ones who had the knack of investing in shares or real estate at the right time and thus earning tons of money unlike him who never could make a penny, he yet described a few incidents of his life in which a few old students of his now on high positions met him and more than compensated for all that tons of money.

He felt it was no less successful investment. Here is one incident in his own words:

I was on a flight to Banglore. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was the captain. "Do you remember me, sir? I can never forget the way you carried my haversack when I hurt myself on that trek." I was upgraded to business class and treated in a way Ambani brothers would have envied.

Reading the article I felt the poor Principle could not be all that free of envy. Such incidents happen few and far between in one's life but richness is relatively for ever.

But the Eureka moment (ecstatic moment of suddenly discovering something new) for me came when I suddenly felt that perhaps all things in life are like a laddoo. One who gets them weeps and one who doesn't also weeps.

Rich weep for the simple life of "stand and stare" like the Principle is now enjoying and the Principle obviously wants to be always travelling in Ambani class.

Indeed, as the saying goes, grass is always greener on the other side.

 *An extreme left-wing movement, named after village "naxalbari" in Andhra Pardesh from where it originated and whose members following Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung wished to bring revolution in India through armed struggle.


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