Story 1. Life Outwardly Perfect.


I met Tej as an adult for the first time at his wedding reception in 1977. He was all of 24 and his lovely bride Usha was all of 22. Both the parents were good friends of mine and I had a small role to play in arranging the match. Both are single children for their respective parents.

Tej’s father ran a one man business trading with just one Munim to assist him. A munim in India is the equivalent of an accountant. Tej inherited the business and since his father’s death twenty years ago, been running it again as a one man show with just one secretary and a peon to help him. His mother too passed away two years after the death of his father.

Usha inherited five small businesses from her father who was into manufacturing rather than trading. He was supplying various components to various big industries in and around Bombay. He his wife tragically passed away ten years ago in an automobile accident.

Tej is now 60 and Usha 58. They are both what in India we call high net worth individuals with large fortunes. They have a son and a daughter, both highly qualified doctors practicing in the West, both married to doctors and have two children each.

You would think that Tej and Usha would be the happiest people on earth. They are but, not in the way you would imagine.

They live in a huge six bed room flat in an upmarket locality of Bombay. This flat is actually two flats on one floor converted into one by knocking off the separating wall. Tej’s father had bought them as residences for himself and Tej and after the death of both the parents, Tej knocked the wall off. The drawing room is huge and the dining area, smack dab in the middle where the separating wall should have been.

Usha lives on the Northern side of the flat and Tej in the Southern. They have not spoken to each other for the past fifteen years. They have breakfast together every morning prepared by Tej’s family retainer who weeps at this situation every time he meets me. After that, they go their separate ways and see each other only the next morning. Their lawyers and accountants are sorting out the cross holdings of the various investments, and both are in the process of winding down their businesses. Their children and grand children do not want to have anything to with either of them unless they become normally married people.

Tej is an introvert with very few friends and tends to be spiritual. Usha is vivacious and extrovert with many friends and interests.

Once all the accounting and legal complications are sorted out, which is expected to take place before the end of this year, they intend divorcing each other by mutual consent.

Tej spends at least one week end every alternate month with me at his farm house where we discuss and debate earth shaking matters and come up with ideas to set the world right. Both of us would like to do this more often, but my own preoccupation with other matters prevent such more frequent male bonding. Hopefully that too should change before too long. Among the adventures that Tej has had, a ship with some merchandise that he had shipped overseas, was hijacked by Somali pirates and for a while there was a lot of tension about that. It is all resolved now, but I can lay claim to the dubious fame of knowing someone who was a victim of piracy.

Tej and Usha use me as a conduit to communicate with each other on personal matters. I have not had much to do with their children and to that extent my involvement with the children and grand children has been minimal. I tried my level best to get the two of them to resolve their differences and failed and since the past seven years have stopped trying.

Yes, Tej is the same friend who I sounded out before I set out on this story writing. He not only agreed to my writing his story, he also encouraged me to start the series.

At the time of writing this post, none of the three of us can imagine what the future holds for them. Since neither of them is bothered unduly about it, I have stopped bothering about it too.

I enjoy my friendship with Tej as does he and as long as that lasts, some updates may be in store in the future.

24 thoughts on “Story 1. Life Outwardly Perfect.”

  1. “Normally married people”? Can’t stop smiling. Tej and Usha must have something in common, apart from their progeny, and that’s a definite sense of humour. You can’t beat it. It’s absolutely brilliant: You haven’t spoken to your spouse for fifteen years yet will have breakfast together every morning. That has style. That is true class. And if their children and grandchildren can’t see that: Their loss.

    Ursula recently posted..Open or shut

  2. I like ursula’s comment. hadn’t thought of it in that light. i too have always thought of humor as the magic glue in any relationship.
    but sitting opposite each other in stone cold silence simply sharing a meal for convenience sake is rather daunting. perhaps they are comfortable enough with their situation that it seems totally natural!
    only unnatural to their children and others!
    if we read it in a book we would find it fascinating maybe! not sad.
    many undercurrents here.
    you tell a good story.
    tammyj recently and snoopy

    1. The major undercurrent is a clash of egos between two wealthy business people, who tried to butt into each other’s businesses. Cross holdings and the flat, itself worth a small fortune has kept them together,

  3. Such a shame, it sounds as if they could have the most perfect life, & yet they are separated. My wife & I have been together for 40 years, & I don’t even want to imagine life without her.
    Regards, Keith.

    1. My late wife and I knew each other for eight years before we got married and we stayed married for forty plus years Keith. These two should have divorced each other long ago but money and that flat has resulted in this imbroglio.

    1. Urmeela and I knew each other for eight years before we got married and we stayed married for forty years before death took her away from me. I can write many interesting stories about our married life, but I think that would not be very interesting to my readers. You know the gooey gooey stuff!

  4. I have a relative who officially have never lived in the same home with his partner…they were “together for around 3 years” before they got officially married. But that was more than 3 years ago and they still do not live in the same house!
    I have lost count of the whole thing but it does seem rather silly…
    Cathy in NZ recently posted..Taking The Tour…

    1. I know some stories of that nature too. In India it is not unusual for married men to have what we call a smaller house, to keep his mistress. I however do not know of any women who have had smaller houses! Jokes apart, my son and his partner do not live together. Manjiree does sleep over at our place often and when she is here, has a free run of the place.

  5. Hi Rummy,

    I will not comment on the couple’s falling out: it wouldn’t be appropriate.
    But I will comment on the piracy issue: now we have double troubles because now it isn’t only Somalia that produces pirates; now we also have West Africa producing them (who allegedly are more sadistic than the former). Either way, they are a problem that needs to be dealt with. I heard Somali pirates had decreased but when they hit the vessels carrying your products…you don’t even care about the statistics.

    You are a good friend, Rummuser – God Bless you!

    Max Coutinho recently posted..The Rare Interview of Angola’s President: Frivolity or Fraudulence?

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