I WISH MARRIAGES ARE MAINTAINED IN HEAVEN AS WELL!

I have always loved watching man and the wife spending quality time together. It gives me joy when a couple displays their affection for each other in public. No, I am not talking about public indecency. I am talking about holding hands in a gathering as they walk, entwining their fingers as they sit side by side, looking into each other’s eyes as they sit across the table at a coffee shop. When I see a couple happy together, it feels like their world is filled with love. The number of these true love birds are very less or negligible I can say, in today’s world. There are more broken families that I find than witnessing some awesome companionship when I look around. And I feel really very sorry and sad about it.

The world divorce rates reveal, Luxembourg is number one with 87% whereas India is 1%. India’s stat looks better but 1 in 100 is so much. In one lakh marriages, the number grows to 1000 divorces. 1% divorce rate in India doesn’t validate that the marriages are without any hassles. There are many in India who forced stay in their marriages either for the sake of their family, society, children or survival. The brokenness still remains if not divorces. Horrible it is!

Trust me, this intensity is growing daily. The Divorce rate was 12% in 1960 whereas it is 44% worldwide now.

https://www.unifiedlawyers.com.au

The divorce not only breaks down the couple it affects their families especially their own children. A child’s trust and dependability get shaken up when his or her parents split ways. 

I have a few friends who go through such brokenness even if they are still in their marriages. And both of them are silent and managing because of their children. They don’t want to part ways even if they struggle in their lives because they are more concerned about their child’s future than their own. I have a few more who struggle even after they got out of the wedlock. For all of them, brokenness has never come to an end until today. 

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Image Credit: Google Inc.

In the beginning, God created family in so much care and love. But it hurts me and I feel pain in my heart when I see families broken, whether divorced or forcing themselves in a bond along with their children suffering with them.

Since many years, I have been bearing that burden for all those broken families and I keep praying for all of them who go through that brokenness. And when I got married, God let me encounter a few challenges for myself too to deal with; probably, to train me and to equip me more, so that I can be a help to others.

It is true, “marriages are made in heaven“, but if I have to add further looking at the world around me, then I would say, “yet they are maintained on earth“. If they would have been managed and maintained in heaven as well then there would not have been any brokenness at all. 

I feel really sorry, worried for those broken people out of a marriage – a spouse or a child. I literally cry for them and also pray for them so that they reunite or reconcile with their loved ones. 

Stay Blessed! 

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THE EYE: THE LAMP OF THE BODY

In my school days, I used to play a game with my friends called the Blindfold Challenge. There are many variants to the game. In one type, one has to chase a friend who would call out the name and then run in a different direction. In another variant, one has to identify objects and name them. In another type, one has to trace one’s way out of the room and reach the spot where the rest of the friends are (it goes without saying that they keep on sneaking from room to room silently). The game is fun! Especially those who are on the running side enjoy it a lot. But for the one who is blindfolded, it gradually begins to feel as if a state of perpetual blindness is creeping in to take a grip. I remember many of my friends used to remove the blindfold out of frustration (even before completing the task) just to get rid of the darkness. And how relieving it felt to be in the presence of light once again!

I’m sure many of you would have played this game as kids! Blindfolds are often used in reality shows on the television when participants are to be given a surprise (either a surprise gift or to welcome a surprise visitor). Have you ever thought why the eyes are the ones which are blindfolded and not any of the other sense organs? The ears, the nose, the tongue, the skin are left to function normally, whereas the eyes are covered, when a person is made to guess/identify/recognize something or somebody. Ever thought why?

In human beings, vision/sight is neurophysiologically, the most dominant sense. Research says that thirty to forty percent of our cerebral cortex is devoted to vision while the other sense organs together make up the rest. Isn’t it now easy to understand why blindfolding is so much made use of?

So tough for those with partial or complete visual impairment!

To add a tinge of humour before delving into some serious lessons, I would like to share something that happened just a few days back. I stepped out of my house in the scorching summer heat around noon, all the while feeling that something was wrong with my eyes – especially with my right eye. All along the way, I was trying to figure out the reason for my blurred vision. The problem was not with my sunglasses. And yes, I had remembered to wear contacts in both the eyes. I closed each eye with my palm by turns and tried seeing through the other. A few times of this exercise and I was sure that my right eye was at fault. Somehow I managed to finish the chores and return home in a few hours. And when I set to remove my contact lenses, the one in the right eye wasn’t there! But, I was sure that I had put it in place. After a little bit of fiddling, I successfully traced and removed the lens from beneath the eye lid!! Though I did smile to myself, I also decided to check and rectify any fault without delay should a similar thing recur in future.

So crucial are our eyes! And, they are placed at just the right position to guide the other important parts of our bodies. That is why the Bible aptly says, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness . . .” 

A lamp lightens the place in the absence of other sources of light. And so, with the help of the light of the lamp one can find his/her way around without much difficulty. In order to get as much light as possible, three things are crucial. Firstly, the lamp has to be placed in a location where the light rays would cover the maximum area. Secondly, the glass/fibre covering of the lamp has to be clean. Thirdly, there has to be a continuous supply of energy to generate light (without which a lamp becomes an useless object).

You may visualize the above three requirements with respect to an oil-lamp or electric lights. Applies just the same!

These three requirements apply to our eyes as well. Our eyes are the natural lamps fitted in our bodies. They serve the body by being windows to the world. The eyes not only help the body to perform its function well, but also help the body as a unit to function normally and usefully with respect to others.

  • Imagine that you had your eyes near your toes. You would then be able to see only the area under your feet. The rest of your body would go berserk without a lack of guidance. Since you and I have had no role in placing our eyes (of the human species) where they are, we just need to thank the Master Designer for His remarkable design. So wonderfully are our eyes lodged that they can see and make seen the maximum.
  • Our roles gain significance in the second requirement, i.e, in keeping our eyes clean. Keeping the eyes clean not only refers to keeping the sclera (the visible white part of the eye) clean, but also to guard the eyes against seeing anything wrong. Here, I would like to mention that our sense organs are crucial gateways to temptation. It is important to keep our eyes externally clean and healthy. Eye exercises are a must. If nothing else, then looking at a stretch of greenery for 10-15 minutes regularly helps ensure good health of the eyes. Any irritation in the eyes, needs to be addressed on an emergency basis. However, once the eyes are clean, what do we see? For the sake of brevity, I will not go on to elaborate the wrongs that the eyes are exposed to, but I sure will leave some food for thought. Deliberately watching things that may be sensually pleasing but are wrong (acts of rage, injustice, sexual perversion, porn) or letting the eyes gaze around lazily and aimlessly – are sure grounds to invite trouble in our lives in the long run.
  • What do we fuel our eyes with? The sclera is just the visible outer covering. It is a protective layer. The mechanism of sight operates when light passes through the cornea and the lens and casts an image on the retina and this information from the retina is sent via optic nerves to other parts of the brain which process the information and allow us to see. If there occurs a disruption in any one stage, vision is affected. In all this, the electrical signals play a crucial role is transmitting to and from different parts of the eyes and the brain. What external signals do we permit our eyes to carry? If we fuel our eyes with sights that are good, healthy and edifying, the signals sent by the brain to other parts of the body will be good, healthy and edifying as well. In certain cases, people are forced to witness what is wrong (for example, a child witnessing the murder of a parent or a husband being forced to watch his wife being raped). These are cases beyond one’s control where the healing touch of God and the comfort of understanding people are needed to come out of it. However, when we decide to deliberately fuel our eyes with all that is destructive and wrong, we prepare grounds for our physical and spiritual destruction. In recent news in India is a couple where the husband has been convicted and jailed for forcing unnatural sex on his wife. Five years of marriage went by smoothly and happily, after which the husband entered into the world of pornography which resulted in his atrocious behaviour. A family shattered!

The eyes indeed are the lamps of the body. They have been placed in the appropriate position by the Creator. Let us resolve to keep them clean and fuel them with supplies of edifying energy!

DO YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR BODY LANGUAGE?

When God created mankind, He gave them all the authority to rule over the whole creation for their own benefit. And He left us ample instances to make us understand the way He wants His creation to be maintained and managed. 

The human body is one such instance which teaches us some fabulous life principles which are very important for us to lead our lives on a day to day basis. And that was the reason why I thought of talking about our body.

I want to quote a passage from the Bible which is actually written in the context of the Church, its members and their relationship with Christ. But from another angle, I see there’re a few more principles in that passage which can be applied to our daily living as a member of a family or a society or a community at large.

Let’s read the passage,

Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part.

If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body.

And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body?

If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it.

How strange a body would be if it had only one part!

Yes, there are many parts, but only one body.

The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.

And the parts we regard as less honourable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So, we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honourable parts do not require this special care. So, God has put the body together such that extra honour and care are given to those parts that have less dignity.

This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other.

If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honoured, all the parts are glad.

Whoa! The principles derived from this passage are as follows:

1. All the body parts are different – We are created uniquely. We have different names, we have different looks, we have different skills, we are differently built altogether. We have a different and unique identity to be recognised by all. The living creatures other than human being don’t have names to identify them. They are always identified by their species, in a group. But we humans are identified individually by our separate and different names like all our body parts.

Do I give that recognition to my fellow humans?

2. God has put each part in its place – Like each and every part of our body, we humans are created by God having unique qualities, placed at a specific position to execute a specific purpose. We take pride in doing this or that so successfully but unless we are created in a certain way, we can’t even think of doing all that which seems easier for us.

Do I reckon my God-given talents and position that I flaunt around among all?

3. Part of the body – We as members of the same family, society or community can’t isolate ourselves by saying “we are not part of this” and stay away from our responsibilities that are bestowed upon us. I have seen many who like to live a secluded life and separately from all in a given community. I have also seen some relatives as well who like to be with their immediate family members, away from all of us who gather together on vacations. I have also seen some who deny taking any responsibilities of the family or community by giving excuses of lack of finance and time.

Do I feel part of the whole group or keep myself isolated from others in the community?

4. Can’t say, ‘I don’t need you’ – It would be very strange when someone else says, ‘I don’t need others’. As humans, we are all co-dependent on each other to survive on this earth. I find it very strange when I see some excluding themselves from taking help from others. I was brought up in a joint family where sharing and caring was the most important and unwritten principle to be followed by all of us. But if we see the world around today, things are way different, sadly.

Do I ever feel I don’t require anyone to depend on?

5. Least or more important – This is the most fabulous principle of all. We always have a habit of ranking everything, everyone as the best or the worst, fabulous or bad, important or worthless and so on. But we all have different abilities and self-worth; we can’t be ranked as less or more important. We all have a certain importance in a family or a society or a community that we are part of.

Do I have a superior or inferior complex about myself in the community at large?

6. All suffer when one part suffers – Whoa! Isn’t it amazing? But I know, Love has grown so cold that we don’t feel that pain of others who are part of the same system. Selfishness and self-centeredness have replaced that love and concern in our hearts. We don’t suffer when we see our brother suffering. We are so used to the daily news we read and see that we don’t feel it at all.

Does my heart prick when I see my neighbour in trouble?

I will conclude my article by giving an illustration from my own life.

When I was a young school going boy, I hurt my palm while playing with a dot pen. I was throwing it high and catching it by diving on the bed. And while doing so I hurt myself when the nib of the pen pierced the flesh of my palm. It didn’t bleed even though the perforation was clearly visible but the pain was excruciating when something was hit the wound by any chance. I remember, at school, I could not resist but catch the ball coming towards me and I can’t explain the way I felt when the ball hit the wound. I felt a pain in my whole body even though I knew the pain had only surrounded the wound.

When I recalled the above event, I could relate to the principles of my own body which teaches me such an important yet very practical lesson for my life.

Friends! Stay tuned to all the articles of this week while we discuss different body parts in the following days.

Keep reading, keep giving your valuable feedback!

Stay Blessed!

DEAR MOM

Dear mom,

I have never written about you. I have written about girls I have liked but never written about you. So here I sit down and type this letter just for you, dear mom. Although I don’t have clear memories of my early childhood and never asked you if it was easy for you to give up your job as a nurse to look after me, to take care of me, help me grow up, I thank you for that. It may have been a difficult decision for you to make I assume, but you still did it for me. Women are hardly asked about the effect of quitting their jobs to care for a baby or look after the family. It is expected of them, so much so that in certain cases if the newlywed wife doesn’t intend to give up her career she is criticized unfairly by others. Of course, things are changing in the present times but men are never expected or asked to give up their careers to bring up a son or daughter. You were so practical and did it anyway just for me so that I could receive your love from the moment I was born.

Mom, we don’t talk much. I mean at least when I compare with my friends talking to their mothers I don’t think we talk much. But I tell you things I would never have the courage to tell dad. I tell you about the girl I like, about the time I went to meet her. You ask me if we watched a movie and I say “no, no”. And I always feel very happy when you ask me to get KFC’s zinger burger whenever I go to a mall. Can I tell you something more? I have many close friends who are women, and also if I wanted to have a sibling it would be an elder or younger sister. Perhaps it’s the way in which women-kind can empathize and sympathize that makes them such amazing people, whom one can easily confide in, and talk about most things under the sun without being made fun off. I have guy friends too who share this trait but they are a rarity.

You know the one thing which is so underappreciated and equally undervalued is the immense hard-work you put in maintaining the home and family. It might seem that you are duty-bound to do it but the commitment and perseverance you show is just unbelievable. I have seen you washing clothes early-morning during the winters, do the dishes, when dad and I either just sit in front of the television or doze-off. I have seen you enthusiastically waking up early to prepare breakfast so that dad can go to the office and I can go to school on time, even though you might be running a fever. You never have any designated days as holidays. Dad has off days at work. I have off days as a student. But you never have. I heard you saying once “we women never have a day off”. I didn’t understand it then but now I do. Especially after you fell ill last Christmas and I had to help out dad with the household work. I realized how effortlessly you do the entire body of work without complaining about your grievances. I know I have let you down, by not providing more help in maintaining the house and share the chores to reduce your workload. But I intend to work on it. Men have so-called “more important jobs” and women are left to do the “unimportant, menial tasks”. I don’t think anymore that women do unimportant tasks. Their contribution is as important and sometimes even more as the husband’s or the son’s. I have to make sure that you have holidays too and that we share the household workload more.

Mom, I love your liking for water-less puchkas and excitement for an occasional “yum-yum chili-chicken”. I love your eyes lighting up for steamed-momos, rosgollas and misthi-doi. I love the sweet mango pickle, our “jelly-pickle” you make during the summers and the kheer you make whenever I return home for holidays. I get so delighted when you prepare “tikhil-asma” and “bairka-asma” and our favorite, though tasteless yet very fulfilling “thappa-roti”. I miss the “osa-dishes” you made when I was small. I used to love mushrooms at that point of time. I miss our walks back from primary school. Mom, you know what quality of yours I love the most. Well, it isn’t just one. It’s your humility, your perseverance, your silent sacrifices without ever making a big deal about it, your quiet stillness and calm amidst all chaos, the way you stay calm and brave even during earthquakes when dad gets all panicky and scampers out of the house like a rat. We both know about that. I have grown up to be a bit like you, mom. I definitely look like you and I have some of your qualities, though not up to your level but I am working on it. And I have so much more to say and write but I will stop here now. I know words are never enough and I don’t say this enough but I love you, mom.

WHEN VALENTINE’S DAY WENT WRONG

Teenagers wait for this season with a valuable reason in their hearts. 15 years back it was not even in the picture. 14th February was just a very normal day like all other days. But once the colour of VDay stained this 14th Feb it got a different significance since then.

In the first article, I mentioned Valentine’s Day as a reminder to love but sometimes it so happens that even if we are reminded to love we fail or miss the mark somehow for some unexpected reason and we feel sad or hurt about it.

Two days ago when we reached Howrah station, we both husband and wife started walking on the platform to get out of the railway station. My wife walked ahead leaving me behind and I was walking behind slowly and at ease on the platform. There were a lot of people rushing out as well as walking into the station and we lost each other though I was calm knowing that we have our phones with us. A thought came to my mind as I was walking slowly…

Sometimes in a marriage or any relationship, when one tries to go ahead of the other instead of thinking the growth of both together, then they both lose each other for sometime till they find one another after much difficulty.

Do you remember, I said above that – “I was calm knowing that we have our phones with us”. Yeah, Love works as those phones to bring the partners, lovers, families together again. Kalpana said rightly, “If it’s the love it’s always there, just break the monotony to realise the beautiful feeling of being in love“. The moment we lose our track we should immediately turn back to Love and true love never fails.

After walking ahead little more, I saw my wife standing at a point waiting for me to come so that we both can walk out of the station. My co-passenger would not have waited for me, other passers-by would not have waited for me. But it was only my wife who waited for me because we have a relationship and love holds that relationship together like a knot.

Coming back to what I was saying at the beginning of this article that there can be many possible reasons for failing to observe a proper valentine’s day but a love life doesn’t end there with that one particular day of failure. Love is something much bigger and larger than Valentine’s day.

Dear friends! Are you feeling bad that you missed gifting your beloved on this day? Do you feel hurt because your spouse scolded you on this day? Is it hurting for you to find your lover was cheating on you instead of celebrating V Day with you? Are you angry because your husband slept without little love talks with you on The Day? Are you suffering from many hurts that the present marriage has given you and V Day is nothing but a taunt for you? Remember, Valentine’s day might go wrong but Love will never go wrong.

Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.

Love brings joy because God is love (love is not God), who is the source of our joy and happiness.

Stay Blessed!

GEEKY WAYS TO SAY I LOVE YOU

This article will appeal to most of the geeks out there. Here are a few of my favourites. It is really fun to express love in geeky ways.

It is tough for geeks to relate with people since they are low on socializing and do not have much exposure to romance. Nonetheless, girls always demand the guy to show his affection in terms of words, which could be a disaster for a geek. Here are some lines to impress your girl with words.

  1. I love you as much as there are helium atoms in Sun.” This could be replaced with “I love you as much as there are H2O molecules on this earth.” The purpose would be to show a geeky way to measure your love for her. Almost always, when a guy says “I love you”, girl questions “How much?”
  2. My heart is orbiting around you like an electron around the nucleus.” This is another way to simply tell her how much you think about her.
  3. Out of all the star trek movies, I enjoyed the second one the most because you were sleeping on my shoulder and I could smell you closer than ever.”
  4. No matter how much you reject my feelings, I know you will come back to me since Newton said that for every action (of love), there is equal and opposite reaction (of love) and Newton’s laws have never failed the world.
  5. The four chambers of my heart are overflowing with the love for you. Probably that’s why it beats so fast when you look at me.”
  6. The inter-connection of my neurons seems to be broken or is it my testosterone that is making me go crazy for you?”
  7. If I had to give up my mac, iPad, Wii and PS3, I would do that with tears in my eyes – tears of happiness.
  8. You give me enough energy, I don’t need caffeine.”  
  9. I can see high oxytocin in your eyes for me.”
  10. If I was an automobile engine, you would be the fuel to drive me.

As a female myself, I really wanted to help all the guys in this matter because expressing our feelings especially expressing love for someone we love is of uttermost importance. Many times we lose life’s this important battle or stay on the back foot because we fail to express ourselves at the right time.

So, go ahead and express… But remember, don’t use these lines on just anyone to flirt but use them carefully and responsibly for the one you love and care so much.

MONOTONY IS CAPABLE OF BREAKING HARMONY – BEWARE!

A regular scenario:

A woman murmuring angrily and washing dishes “how I wish I haven’t had accepted the marriage proposal, I was blinded by your rosy words.  Every friend of mine is leading a dream life – holidays, gifts, maids – what not and look at me here I am stuck in a vicious circle of breakfast-lunch-dinner-dishes-dusting” and as the obviously upset wife was continuing with her complaints and work ‘Boom‘ a strong sound from another room disturbs her rhythm.  She hurriedly washes her hands and rushes in the direction of the sound, wiping her hands on her sides and shouting “what happened, what now” and suddenly all her angry/complaining tone took a U-Turn to worry.  She saw her husband lying down on the ground as he slipped on a wet floor (thanks to kids getting hyper on a weekend) and wriggling in pain.

Oh! You have to be watchful, you are not a kid anymore. What if I was not around.  Look what have you done to yourself” and the flow continues (in-built in a woman’s genes 😁) while on other hands she was blasting up kids for such irresponsibility.  And she helps her husband to get up and get to a comfortable place. Hurries to get medicine, applies it and sits beside him to comfort him.

All the angst she was carrying disappeared in the air in a fraction of seconds and her love and care for him came to the surface.

It’s a pretty normal scenario we are grown up watching, experiencing in our own lives.  More miles we cross together, more milestones we reach more and more monotony sets in (majority follows the suit) making us doubt the very root of our relationships. But time and again many situations arise that restores our faith in love and determines our strength as a unit – a couple.

Reason beyond monotony:  When we mark the beginning of our relationships (committed ones, marriage or otherwise) we are set out to discover each other – likes, dislikes, mood swings, characteristic traits and much more.  This journey of discovery and self-realisation is always interesting. And definitely with an ample amount of Romance sprinkled the commencement is always colourful, bright and interesting.

But things take a different turn (not a U-turn necessarily) when we know each other really well and responsibilities of providing a safe & secured future occupy our priority list.  Efforts to thrill, surprise or cajole each other definitely take a back seat.  Perhaps sometimes we take each other for granted as well when it comes to the “Romance” part of life.  A petty example: a boyfriend reaches his girlfriend at her short notice leaving everything else at the helm of fate.  But when the same person is a husband and additionally a father can’t do the same thing unless an emergency is awaiting his attention for he is working to shape a better future for his beloved family.

Well, I won’t start off again on concepts of Love-Romance-Responsibilities, boring, right?

But Monotony has to be broken. For a simple reason – too much sedimentation of monotony could push love into the darkness of oblivion which is present but not obvious.  And that’s the point where harmony in a relationship is at stake.  Monotony in a relationship is one of the reasons resulting in issues like infidelity, extramarital affairs because “New and Undisclosed” always attract.  Comparisons and fall outs could also be probable outcomes of a never ending uninteresting routine.

How to break monotony:  I am not a columnist working for a magazine answering questions concerning relationships but I have few things in my mind (thanks to observation & experience) that I want to share, might come handy someday 😊:

  • Revisiting past is important to rekindle the lost giggles. Watching photographs, DVDs, a small talk over a cup of coffee about the treasured memories can help a lot in bonding again and again.
  • Quality time together.  Not necessarily expensive holiday trips but a stroll hand in hand, chirping or sometimes saying nothing just letting the golden silence sink in to dispel the disturbance caused by the clutter of words resonating in mind.
  • Cooking, yes you read it right. Cook your partner (oops I mean for your partner 😂😂) for the way to the heart is via the stomach. On contrary, you can also skip to cook sometimes, for the first step in breaking the monotony comes from breaking the schedules and anyways online ordering is so easy, use it, folks!.
  • Sharing chores often helps two ways – reduces the work stress and more time spent together in disguise, productively too 😁.
  • Gifts (though not a great supporter, yet won’t reject it completely) do work wonders.

Always remember one thing: Romance may fade over a period of time but love doesn’t.  If it’s the love it’s always there, just break the monotony to realise the beautiful feeling of being in love.