August is always a depressing month for me.
I hate the fact that the summer is over. I hate the fact that everyone is going back to school, and even though they hate admitting it, they are looking forward to a change, a new beginning. I hate the fact I did not do much fishing this summer.
I ran into some desi guy on the tennis grounds a couple of weeks back. After Saturday's game a bunch of us went over to his place for some BBQ chicken and drinks (the non-alcoholic type). He was older, 33, and lived by himself. As I looked over at his various degrees framed on the wall of his study (he actually had a 'study room'), one thing struck me as I glanced over the MBA, the BBA, the BSc and the Project Management Certifications.
He was 33.
And the highlight of his day was tennis with a bunch of younger guys.
Yes, he was educated. Yes, he was making the big money, driving a BMW. But I did not want to be that guy. I could be him, that was depressing. But I would not want to be.
Rarely have I paused and taken stock of where I was heading. This was a sharp wakeup call. I have become used to coasting through the days.
The other thing that struck me over the weekend was one word. Family.
I know for me, family is paramount. These are people I take for granted, drop all pretense and they accept me for what I am. Even with close friends, if there are fights, disagreements or clashes, they can drift apart. Family is family. For me, family comes first.
How important is family in marriage? I have a few friends who married into families that were drastically different from their own. Some marriages have succeeded. Others have failed, or on the verge of failing. One thing I have noticed - if the families are too different (for example a conservative/modern clash, or rich/poor clash, or cultured/fobby) then the marriage has a (far) better chance of succeeding as long as the couple live by themselves.
That was the case with a friend of mine whose husband came from a far richer family. She had to live with the 'friendly' taunts, until she decided enough was enough and coaxed her husband to accept a job in a far away city. Their marriage is now far stronger and happy.
Growing up in a culture that has touted the values of arranged marriage with joint families, where family members strengthen each other through difficult times, this was indeed a troubling find.
Yet, there is no denying the fact that marriages are more often likely to succeed if the families are of similar stature, education or 'mindset' - the magic word. Does that mean that we throw out all those filmi stuff - such as love, honour and respect, along with all the religious stuff about moral values and religion being supreme, out of the window? Do people 'fall in love' anymore, or is it just a business? Tick some questions, answer some forms, and 'adjust'?
Looking forward to some answers. Cynicism, here I come.
Meanwhile, September, please be good.