To the one who made me forget time

As we complete 31 years of journey together, someone just said the traditional gift idea – The Time Piece! I wonder if it is even appropriate gift especially to Aparna, my companion in this blissful journey who made me forget time. 31 years went away in a jiffy and it would be inappropriate to use this gift idea.

Happy Anniversary Aparna

28th March 2022 – In a wedding of our friend’s son. An appropriate occasion to use this photograph

Yes, 31 years of cohabitation or rather living it up together, though ups and downs, in bliss and in challenge, in abundance and scarcity – nothing mattered – it was so easy living it up after having seen both the best and not so good moments. When one of the kids asked me how different it was on this day 31 years ago, has the love diminished, have the dreams remained a dream, given a chance what would you like to change and do things differently? I chose to answer the last question first and that has the answer to all those questions. I would change nothing at all. I will do things exactly like the way it has been done every moment of 31 years and nothing differently. That starry eyed me still remains at the core and left wondering what and where I would have ended up, had this amazing lady not chosen to walk alongside me.

When all our kids decided to get together at home to make this a memorable and special day for us and be with us to usher in midnight of 31st March, it got even more overwhelming. Each one of them make it special for us at every step, in their own ways. Ever grateful to the divine for the presence of each one in our lives. Thank you Kids! You make every moment worth living.

As always here is the song, miraculously found it while uploading some songs onto my channel. And it was Michael Matta’s tribute to his better half on their 31st Anniversary (Coincidental or Law of Attraction?). And every word is just a reflection of what I have to say. Thanks Mike for saying it for me.

Heart of Gold

It is 10,227 to this day when I carried the best bundle of joy, a precious Gift that I ever carried in my arms – just seemed that the entire family waited for that day for lifetime to see her appearance into the world. The first Girl of the family in generations and how lucky we are to be her parents, uncle, aunt, cousins and most importantly Grandmother. (I so badly want to add Arun into the equation but then let me confirm if he really is :-P)

A lot of what I write here maybe a repeat, because she never ceased to be the great human being she was ever since she came along – it only got better? To write instances will need Terrabytes of webspace, but suffice to say “Trust me, ask anyone who has crossed her path – what I said is truth and nothing but truth”

From that day on 3rd April 1993, to a being a bride last year and first Birthday as a wife, you have grown gracefully into an amazing young (and beautiful – my genes you see) woman. You are that human being that I often wished I could be. You are beautiful, confident, smart, and well-liked by everyone.

This was the journey so far. My Precious one in my Arms at 28 hours and 28 years

Thank you Divine, for this wonderful gift – Akhila a.k.a. Divya – who has been more a friend than a daughter. It is always tough to write my heart out in limited abilities with words – because there is so much to write and to choose some is a challenge when it comes to writing about you. To start with, incredibly proud of you darling for the way you managed our expectations, by and large exceeded meeting it. You made up more than for small little disappointments when in the rare event you did not meet it. Looking back, it was great that you yourself set such a high expectations on yourself, which means you never ever felt you are undeserving of anything great that the creation has on offer.

As I have kept saying, I only pray that you continue to remain as confident and experiment. Best learning we all drew from you is not to be afraid of making mistakes. Many doors opened due to that, a lot of lessons learnt making you even greater person. As some wise man (don’t know why it has to be a man always :-P) said mistakes create the path to the amazing life one can aspire for later.

Isn’t it a great virtue of how you make friends and people are so easily drawn to you – highly magnetic feature that is everyone’s envy. You can go to a God forsaken place, half way across the globe, or into a desert, where you know nobody, yet I am sure you will come back with loads of new friends (and yet a few more of Whatsapp groups, Amma would say this). No adversity has ever dragged you down as we saw over the years. Just shed the moment and keep moving forward. I pray to the Divine that all these characteristics are never lost on you ever.

You are the best daughter, best grand-daughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend and now (assumedly) a great wife too. Keep smiling like you do while you make light of navigating the worst and most choppy seas of challenges. The way you, Arun and Vishnu managed along with everyone in the family those days when a lot of us were down with Covid, was simply unbelievable. Made it so easy for all of us to come out of it unscathed. Those words you wrote after it was over (in a week) was very touching – not showing any worry outside but what you were going through was so evident in that FB/Insta post. WoW Darling – You are unmatchable

Loads and loads of love from all of us here

Happy birthday Di, my beautiful and invaluable Friend! It’s still unbelievable that it is 28 summers ago on this day that we met for the first time – as a few minutes old, 3.1kg lively “staring” bundle. Keep your chin high and stay happy and progress in life retaining all those great traits that you possess. I love you more than you will ever know. Have a lovely day and a great year ahead.


From Grateful Dad

On this special day, here is my pick for you (or rather for me)

Thanks I am Not-a-Philosopher

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” … Socrates

Well! It is exactly at the moment this blog is published, 25 summers ago that a very nervous me tied the 3 Proverbial knots that began a journey (with the benefit of hindsight) a journey away from the seat of a Philosopher, with a co-passenger, Aparna that I was extremely fortunate and blessed to be bestowed with.

The Last but one Moment - Proverbial Knot
The Last but one Moment – Proverbial Knot

Wedding - MangalSutra
And here we go.. The journey as man and wife begins

 

Two songs of those great initial days (that only got better) comes to the top of my mind) when I think of you. Here we go

“All the empty yesterdays have disappeared, now that you have filled my life with love,” the feeling does come that when the right one comes along, life is indeed better. Thus goes the lyrics of the famous Hot Streets Album

And for tolerating me for 25 years here is the one borrowed from Stevie Wonder (Remember? This was a super hit during our initial years. It appeared that he did not need vision to see what I thought about you. “I have found strength in you…you and I can conquer the world…” Here is the song with a special dedication on this occasion

Recently on my trip to Sao Paulo a friend (Brazilian on his way home) whom I met on the flight asked me, you have been married for 25 long years and that too to the same person – A rarity in our part of the world. He wanted to know how the journey has been. Humorously I replied (borrowing from someone more experienced) – “Yes indeed, we have been married for 25 SHORT years and it has been happiest 12.5 years of my life.” I clarified that it was not a joke – life has not been just 25 years of happiness – we had our share of trials and tribulations, ups and downs, elation and grief too. But I was lucky to have a co-pilot (or rather the pilot) who navigated around all the air pockets and turbulence to hold this flight steady, ensuring that  we never crash landed. He quipped to a very proud me – “this is what makes India & its tradition so different from other parts of the world”.

Not many can boast of being so lucky. As I mentioned in my earlier blog, what would I do if I get a chance to relive my life again – marry even earlier (than 23.5 years when I walked the aisle this time)

From someone who asked me do we have to use water in pressure cooker to cook rice during our initial days, the transition to one today, who uses ordinary and available ingredients and capable of making a royal meal, is indicative of her quality of sacrificing all comforts to keep the family happy. For proof of this – don’t lool beyond my waist – from a 32 to 42 in 25 years is an endorsement of her culinary abilities.

Each one of us by the end of the day are dying to get home – that is the kind of a cosy nest that she has lovingly created for all the birds of the family to fly in and repose.  We have to agree that God has indeed been very kind to us, to each one of us and more specially to me.

Clicked by Vishnu 20 minutes ago (He ordered this to be used in this Tribute Blog)
Real love is not looking at each other but looking together in same direction – Wise Man 🙂

She is my biggest fan. The one who instilled all the confidence in me, when in those rare moments I lost belief in myself.  Many wouldn’t believe this, but this is a fact – I have gone through those moments and thanks to Aparna, those moments were so rare. She prodded me along, when I had thoughts of quitting and I owe it to her for what I am today.

A great thing about Aparna – She just loves as I am, never trying to change me into something that I am not.

And what a mother you have been to two lovely children, we bought into this world. Let me confess, both of them have revealed that they love you so dearly simply for the unconditional love – everything else is relegated to second priority when it comes to them. They are proud and happy to be born of you.

But I do have some complaints though – her perpetual prayers to God and the Divine to keep all of us happy. Her nagging me and children to practice our Yoga and Kriya (Gift of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of the The Art of Living Foundation to mankind), Junk food quantity meter and check valve that she suddenly becomes, chasing everyone to keep home (and the closets) in an orderly manner – all those pleasant complaints.

Taking off from a quote attributed to Winston Churchill – One of the significant achievement  of my life was my ability to convince Aparna to marry me.

It is not an exaggeration if I say that you highlight every moment of our lives. Those evenings when you instilled Indian Values in our Children, through numerous stories at bedtime, for which they remain indebted to you forever (they already speak about it today)

IMG_20160206_191622

Thank a lot dearest Aparna, Wishing us a great 25 years of Married life – though everything seems like yesterday. What a journey it has been.  On this special day for me, I repeat You complete me!!!  Prayers that this blissful journey of togetherness continues for unending number of years and more.

20130728_193127

Now you know why I am not a Philosopher!

PS: Message to my Brazilian friend: Yes! This is how it happens in India. Wife or husband never gives up on themselves or each other 🙂 She means a lot not because she is a perfect wife but only because she is a perfect Aparna – That is good enough!