Minimum Age For Marriage.

I quote from Wikipedia the minimum legal age for marriage in India.

“India: 21 for males and 18 for females. If any partner(s) engages in marriage at a younger age, (s)he can ask for the marriage to be declared void / annulled. A recent recommendation by the Law Commission aims to equalize the marriage age for males and females to 18, automatically declares marriages under 16 as “null and void”, while marriages at the age of 16 or 17 are “voidable”

That it is often ignored with impunity is besides the point. There is at least a legal provision to challenge such a marriage. There are a number of instances when such breach is reported and action taken which receive wide coverage in our media. All attempts are being made by various organisations and methods to stop such below age marriages from taking place.

It therefore came as a surprise to me to read this article in the CBS news about a marriage between a 51 year old actor and a 16 year old aspiring actor with the latter’s parental permission.

This is cradle snatching and I am appalled at the parental permission. I am also appalled that the local Nevada law permits such a marriage.

I am not an American and may be out of touch with the realities there, and will be very glad to be educated about this aberration by my American readers.

Tiger Woods

I cannot but feel sorry for Tiger Woods. Just read this story about his own feelings of remorse. I personlly wish that I had been a close friend of his to advise him when the s*** hit the fan, with him ramming his SUV into a few trees. Had I advised him, he would not perhaps, be in the predicament that he is in today.

Just Swing it!
Just Swing it!
With Sania’s tennis career at an all-time low, golf may be the way to go for a reasonable afterlife. With Kapil Dev as coach, prospects couldn’t be brighter. Of course, Tiger Woods will only be too glad to help if Sania is serious. At a recent cancer awareness event, the tennis sensation did exhibit a penchant for swinging the club.

The above news item is from the “Gliterati” page of one of India’s popular weekly magazines. Kapil Dev is an icon in India’s cricket loving world as a great cricketer who after retirement has become a scratch golf player. Sania Mirza is a tennis icon whose looks and tennis have floored India completely.

The point of this post is not about Kapil Dev or Sania Mirza, but the quip about Tiger Woods in the story. Tiger Woods is also an icon in India among the golfing fraternity and the sports crazy Indians who follow all global sportsmen.

I think that Tiger has completely mishandled the situation.

Had I been Tiger Woods, this is what I would have done.

1. Hold a press conference immediately after the discharge from the hospital to admit to whatever had happened to give me the bruised lips and cuts.
2. Explain the reason behind the happening.
3. Admit to women voluntarily chasing me to have affairs with me whenever the opportunity offered and my agreeing to have such affairs whenever the opportunity arose.
4. Advise all concerned that I would sort out the differences between me and my wife in my way and no one need to be concerned about it.
5. Be out on the links practicing or playing tournament golf without any further ado,

Why would I have done that?

1. The media actually envies me for my peccadilloes. To maintain otherwise is hypocrisy.
2. Most men, given the chance would do precisely what I did.
3. Most women of the type that follow celebrities around would want to have affairs with those celebrities.
4. Item 2 and 3 is natural and part of our deepest instincts. Women will go after alpha males and males will go after attractive women. I am of course talking about heterosexual people here.

As long as I am willing to own up publicly to what had happened and openly inform all concerned that I shall handle the fall out with my wife and sort out the matter to her complete satisfaction the matter should be treated as closed. I am entitled to my privacy and if any one did not like that aspect of my personality, he can stop being a fan.

Had Tiger Woods done what I would have done in his place, I think that he would have come out of the whole affair better than he has. His sponsors might have hemmed and hawed for a while but no major hiccups would have taken place. His male followers and admirers would have adjusted their admiration a couple of notches up. His female fans would have decided to take their chances too whenever the opportunity arose.

That leaves the wife. Not being a woman, I am unable to figure out what she should have done. I of course admire her for going after him with a niblick. Should she do something like what Heather Mills did with Sir Paul McCartney? Unlike Heather Mills, Elin Nordegren dropped out of public sight after their much publicized marriage. Perhaps one of my lady readers would like to offer some ideas!

Equations.

I received this mail from a ‘well wisher’ who thinks that I should live happily ever after!

Equations!- This is the best I have read in a LONG time

Equation 1
Human = eat + sleep + work + enjoy
Donkey= eat + sleep
Therefore:
Human = Donkey + Work + enjoy
Therefore:
Human-enjoy = Donkey + Work

In other words,

A Human that doesn’t know how to enjoy = Donkey that works.

+++++++++++++++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ ++

Equation 2

Man = eat + sleep + earn money
Donkey= eat + sleep

Therefore:
Man = Donkey + earn money

Therefore:
Man-earn money = Donkey

In other words
Man who doesn’t earn money = Donkey

++++++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++

Equation 3

Woman= eat + sleep + spend
Donkey= eat + sleep

Therefore:
Woman = Donkey + spend
Woman – spend = Donkey

In other words, Woman who doesn’t spend = Donkey

++++++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++ +++++++++

To Conclude: From Equation 2 and Equation 3

Man who doesn’t earn money = Woman who doesn’t spend

So Man earns money not to let woman become a donkey!

And a woman spends not to let the man become a donkey!

So, We have: Man + Woman = Donkey + earn money + Donkey + Spend money

Therefore
from postulates 1 and 2, we can conclude

Man + Woman = 2 Donkeys that live happily together!

LIVE LIFE HAPPiLY !! Ho Ho !!!!

old+couple

Marriage, Divorce And Just Being Single.

My blog friend Jody wrote a robust post in her blog which coincided with two other separate articles about the change that is taking place in relationships. One from the USA and the other from India. The institution of marriage is certainly undergoing change and I am musing about it in this post.

I was married to the same wife for a little over forty years. We knew each other for eight years before our marriage. Our marriage, by any yardstick was a highly successful and rewarding one. It had its ups and downs like all marriages do, but bar one occasion when Urmeela decided to go away to her Mother’s place, the marriage worked and stayed afloat.

With that background, when I discuss the current trends of divorces, messy separations and people having relationships without the formality of marriage, I find it extremely difficult to understand the break down of the institution itself as an important aspect of human relationships. The older friends agree with me, and the younger ones call me an anachronism.

My son and daughter in law, after being married for five years decided three years ago, that they would rather be friends and got divorced by mutual consent. Both of them are in different relationships with other partners. Neither is planning on marriage again. They continue to meet each other regularly, and out daughter in law is very much part of our household with regular visits to me. I have got accustomed to this relationship but I have not understood it.

Delayed marriages, live in relationships, just being single etc are all part of the modern world and so apparently is the institution of marriage counseling. In our times, we sorted out our grief ourselves, or at best someone from within the family knocked some sense into our heads. Marriage counseling has become a good business and I am seriously considering going professional after a recent burst of young people seeking my counsel. I shall be writing about two of them shortly from a different angle, but shall leave my readers with the following story to lighten up the post.

After 25 years of marriage, a husband and wife came for counseling.

When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a passionate, painful tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the years they had been married.

On and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured.

Finally, after allowing this for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to stand, embraced and kissed her passionately as her husband watched with a raised eyebrow. The woman shut up and quietly sat down as though in a daze.

The therapist turned to the husband and said, ‘This is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week. Can you do this?’

The husband thought for a moment and replied, ‘Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays…, I go fishing.’

Marriage, Sugar Daddies, Mommies And Other Possibilities.

An interesting title for an article in the New York Times, ‘Keeping Up With Being Kept’, intrigued me and I went to the net edition to read it and found it quite ineteresting. I am sure that this post will receive some interesting comments from some of my stalwart readers!

Before one or more ask me my take on it, let me straight away disabuse any thought of becoming a sugar daddy soon, and also assure my readers, that even in my younger days, I never could have afforded to be one either. And now in my last lap, it is purely of academic interest.

I however come from a background, where many elders of the community established their status within the community by the number of mistresses that they kept. While drinking alcohol was totally taboo, chewing perfumed tobacco and keeping mistresses was accepted as normal behaviour, provided one could afford it. Today, it is not common, but I suppose that it is more covert than overt. It is all a matter of supply and demand, I am told.

Oddly enough, I was reminded of a famous quotation from Oscar Wilde when I read another news item in our local news paper about a wife killing her husband when she found out that he had married another woman. The quote is “Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is also the same.” This led me to wonder if the bigamy is applicable only when a man marries more than once when a wife already exists or whether it is applicable to both sexes. I am told on excellent authority, confirmed by a perusal of the dictionary, that this is applicable to both the sexes. My excellent authority, Padmini, a lady of much fire, further went on to elaborate that it is a typical male doubt. Men do not expect women to be up to such shenanigans. She did not stop at that and said, “just look at the Indian situation, there is no equivalent word in any of the Indian languages for a widower!” We have vidhwa for widow, but no equivalent for ‘widower’. This assures me that the root for both English and our Sanskrit word for widow, must be the same. The English must have developed the word widower due to necessity. In the Indian situation, Padmini strongly believes, men have no business being widowers and must quickly get married again! Interesting thought that, though not quite appealing to me just now. I would rather stay with Oscar Wilde’s thought to comfort me. I consulted Grannymar about it and she concurs that the quote should be amended to read as “Bigamy is having one spouse too many. Monogamy is also the same.”

Now, Sugar Mommies, is a different issue altogether. Either I do not move in the right circles, or it is most covert. I have not come across the ‘gigolo’ syndrome yet in my fairly eventful life. I would certainly like some of my younger Indian readers like Sandeep and Ashok as well as our India expert Phil, to throw some light on this aspect. While at it, they may like to throw some light on age restrictions if any too! I am also depending on Grannymar to illuminate us with her usual candour.

I have a feeling that I am heading for some serious trouble with this post, but the topic is too intriguing not to post about.

Grannymar’s Story Of How She and Jack Got Together.

While commenting on my post “How People Get Together”, Grannymar had mentioned that she had posted a blog about it some time ago. She promised to look for it and subsequently sent it to me. When I read it, I knew that I had to reproduce it as a guest post and pleaded with her to permit me to. She, in her inimitable style wrote back –

” Ramana,

I think you kissed the Blarney Stone!

Today, 10th February would have been Jack’s birthday. I therefore will say yes to your request and let it be my tribute to him. We had twenty short but wonderful years of married life together. I have Elly as a constant reminder of that love. I am so fortunate

Lán grá
Bahut Pyaar Key Saath ( With lots of love in Hindustani!)

Marie”

Yes Marie, I did kiss the Blarney Stone. How else could I have met you?

I wish that we did not have time zones. As I write this post, it is already the 11th here in India and without much more ado, I reproduce below her wonderful story.

Do you like Hallowe’en?

Back in 1976 I was happily working away in Dublin for a computer company known to most of you by its initials. The days were busy but the toy boys were fun to work with. The summer holiday season came and went and I worked on. Since I managed to suffer sun-stroke at least three times in Ireland, the thoughts of heading to warmer climes for annual leave during high season were not my priority. In late September I began to think of taking a holiday, but a situation at work had all of us in our department under pressure so the holiday was put on the long finger.

While crunching through the autumn leaves along the Grand Canal during a late October Friday lunchtime, a sudden gust of cool air woke me from my day-dreaming. Immediately I longed for some warm sunshine on my back. ‘Warm Sunshine’! What was I thinking about, we were at the end of October and I had not taken my summer holidays! If I didn’t get my act together quickly, I would lose the holiday entitlement at the close of the year.

I quickened my step and headed back towards Baggot St. On the way I passed a Travel Agent. I went inside to make a few enquiries.

“Do you have anything going out tomorrow” I asked?

“For how many people” enquired the young sales lady?

“Just me” I replied cheerfully.

Fifteen minutes later I left the building holding my tickets for a two week holiday in Sunny Spain leaving the next day, Saturday 30th October. I had visited most of Mainland Europe over the years, but this was to be a first visit to Spain. Back then we did not have Credit Cards so my next stop was the bank to purchase some travellers Cheques and some pesetas. With the business done I skipped my way back to the office, mentally packing a case.

Oops!

Back at the office I had to announce my plans. Fortunately nobody else in the department was booked for leave and there were several people available to provide cover for me. Next I phoned my mother to tell her.

“Do you need clothes washed” she asked?

“I have no idea what I want, so wait until I get home and I‘ll sort it out.” I said.
The first step was to check that my Passport was in order (I knew it would be) and the evening passed selecting and sorting my clothes. The only thing missing was a swimsuit! Never mind I could always pick one up in Spain.

It was to be my first holiday alone so I packed three books and some writing materials to keep me amused. I also had a pack of cards so I could play patience. It would be a very quiet holiday with plenty of walking, resting and reading!

I arrived at my hotel in the early hours of 31st and decided to head straight to bed, catch a few hours sleep and set out to explore my surroundings after an early breakfast.

The sun was shining when I awoke around 7am and I quickly showered and dressed not wanting to waste any time indoors. I headed out and walked the length of the prom to a small harbour at the next village. I sat and watched the birds calling to each other. Being a Sunday morning there were very few people about. My return journey was along the beach and I enjoyed listening to the lapping of the water as I paddled at the water’s edge, arriving back in time for breakfast.

After breakfast armed with a sunhat and scarf for my shoulders, sun cream and a book I headed out once more taking the other direction this time. The outside world had come to life and there were plenty of people about walking in groups of twos and threes. Most of them were travelling in the direction that I had taken and I soon became aware of a church bell ringing. On impulse I followed the sound of the bell and joined the congregation in a very small church for the celebration of Mass. We were mainly holidaymakers and at a guess English speakers. The priest was assisted by a lady in her mid to late fifties. When the time came she passed a silver collection plate around the congregation.

Unlike a Mr Paisley collection, it was rather noisy mainly consisting of coinage. The Lady assistant carried the plate from the back of the congregation to the Chancel while the celebrant continued with the service. As she climbed the first step she tripped and the coins rolled loudly across the terrazzo floor before spinning for what seemed like an eternity. Alas the solemnity of the mass was lost in the almost suppressed titters around the church.

Suddenly feeling hungry I headed back to the hotel restaurant for lunch. After a short wait to be seated, I was guided to a table with three other young ladies. We introduced ourselves and I discovered that they were all from Belfast. Like me they arrived the previous night. Their journey had the added hassle of a delay before take-off. Our chatter covered the journey, our resort and expectations for the holiday ahead. Their holiday was for one week, while mine was for two.

The meal was simple, tasty and satisfying but we succumbed to, and lingered over dessert. Two gentlemen from a nearby table stopped on their way out from lunch. They were known to the girls as they had all travelled out to Spain on the same aircraft. One of the men stood behind my chair. I was introduced and immediately he said he had noticed me in the church. The men entertained the girls with the story of the collection plate.

At one point the man behind me called Jack wanted to tell me something so he placed his hands on my shoulders to tilt me in his direction. I do not remember the story he told but I do remember his laughter, the twinkle in his eyes and the touch of his hands. Later that night he danced with me and for the remainder of the week he sought me out when planning his activities for the day.

I discovered that Jack, like me, had reason to make changes with holiday plans. He wanted to have a week away earlier in October, but there were no places available. The only week free was leaving Belfast on 30th October.

As the week went on we spent more time discovering shared interests, our likes and dislikes of food and music, the type of work we each did and the stories of our lives so far. All too soon the first week was over and Jack returned to Co Antrim and a town I had never heard of before in my life. The second week seemed dull without him and I spent my days travelling about the countryside and reading.

For some reason on Hallowe’en morning when I first felt those hands on my shoulders I knew they belonged there and without looking I had found the final piece of my life’s jigsaw that I never realised was missing. We made contact with each other by phone when I returned and met again at Christmastime. From then we travelled up and down the road every couple of weeks. We became
Engaged in February and married in July.

For many years Jack dined out on the fact that we met at Hallowe’en. He told everyone that he thought I was wearing a mask, but by the time he discovered it didn’t come off, I had my hooks in him! This was all said as he winked at me and gave me a gentle squeeze.

I have often said to young folk who are on their own that you can’t go looking for love, and you certainly can’t buy it. Love bites, when you are least expecting it and even sometimes when you don’t want it. If you are lucky enough to find love, CHERISH it.