Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was once at a dinner elsewhere with a German lady. She was client of mine, a divorcee and now in a live in relationship with a man who himself was divorced and living with his two children. I remember it was my birthday and C had called her a few times to tell her and also remind her that.

To give me a pleasant surprise she kept C’s call a secret of sorts and took me to a restaurant in the country side. I did not tell her about the birthday either. I was quite surprised when the cake with lit candles was brought to our table by the steward.

In course of the conversation and dinner she shot me the question, “how do you manage to live with the same person for long; see the same face both at the office and back at home,. isn’t it terribly monotonous, boring”? I could only smile and perhaps laugh the question away. But for her that was a pertinent question and wonder.

Did the strange habitation happen because I was born to Indian parents and was brought up and lived in this country? Definitely so! Though social cohabitation habits have changed and are also fast getting amended here as well. Virulent western life styles and culture besides assertion of women, perhaps may be the reasons for this change happening .

“When a man has more than one wife, the relationship is termed ‘polygamy’ and when a woman has more than one husband it is termed ‘polyandry’. But the habitation the German fruauline was perplexed about was not polygamy or polyandry but why a marriage does not breakdown  out of being ‘ill’ from seeing the same face and of long time, and long term proximity. And also either or both wandering off to different and newer pastures.

If I told her that boredom and contempt out of proximity, or even mutual necessity are not in vogue she will not believe my eloquence. I still wonder if I will ever find a logical answer to her question whereby she would be convinced and also understand, ‘why’?


The Holy Lama said...

Because for us, it is not the only relationship that sustains us and because we have six seasons:D

Insignia said...

Hmm love? care? sense of belonging? habitual? Hhmmm...Even I cant get a logical answer.

Oh yeah, why bother? As long as it keeps us and our folks happy.

The Holy Lama said...

An award awaits you at my blog

scarlet pimpernel said...

I think we have some inborn capacity to endure(suffer ;-))!

anilkurup said...

@ scarlet pimpernel

I like that !!!! good ha ha

amalg999 said...

I think it is in our Indian upbringing,(not of this generation ), but those of our elders who have inculcated in us, from our very young age, that marriage is a holy alliance and that the man of the house is the master of his household and his word was law.

Today, this is being given up, slowly, for the more "free"and "unencumbered" lifestyle which is being copied by some of this generation of Indians, whose apex of life is following the Western ways of looking at life and trying to live it. Does this work for us ? The answer is definitely "NO". Look at the statistics of the number of divorces nowadays, as compared to those of our earlier generations ! This lifestyle has failed overseas. We see our results here. Please bear in mind that we are talking, generally. Of course, there are cases where such a lifestyle has succeeded but they are in a minority.

Arranged marriages have stood the test of time for many centuries, here in India. Not only arranged marriages but also the older ways of living have proven to be ideal for Man, otherwise it would not have survived for so many centuries.

Relationship in today's modern world is, at best, tenuous. It seems to be always in transit and not stable. Hence, people find that they cannot commit themselves to long-term contractual obligations, for they are not sure of their present partners and circumstances. Therein lies the weakness of a free-living society.

deeps said...

That’s cultural gap..ha? what is strange for others is natural for us :P
That’s a pleasant encounter you had… and you have shared it with us not missing the pleasing effect …

sujata said...

ours is not just a man and woman relationship, marriages in India havve the extended family, we love, we bicker, we fight, we play, we twease, and then where is the time for boredom?

anilkurup said...


You are right.
And we value relationship . That was inculcated in us by our culture , tradition and our parents.
The West can never understand. Its like Kathakali , they watch in awe but cannot comprehend.

Balachandran V said...

Don't you worry, the younger generations are catching up!