We all live our lives in shades of gray. But there are certain areas where gray shouldn’t be the color. These are core values and beliefs, which if compromised , leave us as lesser beings. So we need to think, see and act in either black or white. At least, that is what I do or try to do.
Two incidents of two separate people have inspired this post.
1. Where I thought in Black, when actually it should have been White.
This about a former colleague of mine whom I couldn’t stand till sometime back. When he was unceremoniously thrown out of the job, possibly I was the one who cheered the most. Sometimes his name would come up in conversations and I would make sure I made a vitriolic comment about him. Everyone would laugh and marvel at my ”wittiness’.
This guy comes form a very orthodox Brahmin family.Old money and respected.He is reasonably good looking and went on to earn a pretty decent salary. Read: No dearth of parents wanting to get their daughters married to him ( This is India, folks. We have a strange system of ”arranged marriage” , which is widely accepted http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arranged_marriage)
He chose to marry a divorced Muslim woman.Actually, the woman was abandoned very perfunctorily by her husband. You know, just bloody dumped.Everyone felt sad. Shed tears too. Some true, some false. But just that. And people moved on with their lives.
She was known to him since childhood, but its not the usual childhood sweetheart story. They were just family friends. From her first marriage, she had two daughters.One of them has Down’s syndrome. He has given both the girls his name.
Family and friends protested. Religion, social stigma and Down syndrome figured in the protests.All he said was ”Who is going to look after her now ? I can’t just turn away and do nothing”. He converted to Islam too ( necessary or else the marriage is considered void according to Muslim personal law). Said it didn’t/doesn’t change his being. He was still ‘he’.
Married now 9 years and going strong. Inshallah.
2. Where I thought in White, when actually it should have been Black
This is about a former ”friend”, couple of years elder to me. I admired her greatly. She had lost her husband at a very young age and single handedly brought up her three children.All of them settled and doing very well in life.She is witty, confident, beautiful.And the quality which endeared her to me the most ?Her love for animals.
I was with her when she picked up a poor little stray pup from the road on a cold winter night. She adopted him and called him ”Tintin”. The pooch lived a life of luxury and love.
Sometime back she quit her job.Decided she has made enough money, has no responsibilities and now was ready to ‘live her life’. I cheered, Oh to be a free bird!
We had dinner last Sunday. Fabulous momos and thupka. She told me that she is moving to a very up-market locality and has bought a fashionable apartment.
She added that the housing society there doesn’t allow dogs. So she would leave Tintin at the shelter. Of course, she would pay the shelter some money to look after him.
I couldn’t eat dinner anymore. I said good-bye to her and Tintin.