I called on a dear friend after a long time last week. He had been unwell as has dear wife but I was unable to visit them earlier due to my own preoccupations with other matters.
During the course of catching up with all that has happened during the period that we had not been in touch with each other, it turned out that two major events have shattered their peace of mind.
To understand the problem, some background. Both husband and wife are devout Muslims who observe all the tenets of their religion.
They have two grand daughters and one grandson that I know personally. One granddaughter lives in Pune where we too live and the other is now in Canada. The one in Pune has got married to a Hindu and has also produced a great grandson whereas the one in Canada has married a lad from their own community and is yet to produce a child. The grandson lives in New Zealand and is now in a live-in relationship with a Maori girl and the couple plan to eventually get married.
The grand daughter marrying a Hindu and the Grandson in the current situation is what has upset the two friends. No amount of my pointing out to them that the world has changed and that we have to accept that things are different now than they were during our youth would help them come out of their despair.
Their stock response to my pointing out to them my own family’s cosmopolitan marriages covering inter caste, inter religion, international marriages, was that it was acceptable to them that their friends could be quote modern unquote (said with derision) but they were not prepared to accept such transgressions.
Sad. I left them to their misery and have promised them not to raise the subject when I next visit them.