Love, Marriage and Divorce

Why are so many Indians marrying inter-caste?

I was probably the last in my family to marry through arranged marriage. I saw my wife and a week later I was married. As they say “unlike poles attract each other.” But she is a prefect wife. When she cooks, she cooks delicious food, when she spends time with me, I feel very happy, when we eat together, we enjoy each others' company. By far we are the perfect couple. We are also blessed with two children. I am the luckiest person.

“Life is full of surprises.”

I was born on a hill station. We use to walk a lot. Every weekend was a hiking day. I also enjoyed roller skating, walking, jogging, morning walks, driving to a nice place, poetry reading, printing, photography, etc. Most of the time I do not like doing it alone. My wife came from a different world.

One of my uncle was six feet tall. His wife barely 3 feet. My mother told me our father would often tell him if he had a choice and if he would exchange; he would have exchanged his wife. They were married all their life; had two healthy sons and one daughter. Life has changed considerably since. Hardly anyone wants to marry without seeing the prospective match. No matter how much you respect your parents you would never want to marry without seeing the other half.

GIRLFRIEND

Mother, Rekha is feeling shy of me.
I went to see her home
But her mother lied that she was away.
Just yesterday Rekha said that we are grown up
And should not play together.
She says that we should not write letters to each other
Nor call on the phone
Because we are grown up.
You know, mother, I really love her.
Do friends stop talking or exchanging letters
When they grow up?
Mother, Rekha is feeling shy of me.

To a good extent, marriage is a lottery. You can never know what you are getting into. Life takes you through different phases.

How do I speak about my love? My first love happened before I knew anything about love. I was too young. She lived in my neighborhood. I would stand in my verandah and call her name. Those were times when telephone service was not very common. She would come running to me to play. She was very innocent. She believed me. I didn’t know I loved her until one day I heard she was going to move. Who would play with me? I was crying.


ANAND KARAJ

Love is beautiful.
First love is unforgettable.
My love, like a wound in open heart
Tortures me again and again.
What if you are a Hindu. What if I am a Sikh ?
Your father did not like me. Her father does not like me.
At times I think I should not have married.
She works during the day, I work during the night.
My stranger does not like to be alone with me.
She likes parties. She has friends, even boyfriends.
I have none. She attends parties during her weekend.
I drink alone during my weekend and remember you.

Ah love, where am I looking for love ?
In the lustful arms of a stranger ?
How can a stranger be my love ?
Dreams of children and family
Lead to talks of abortion and freedom.
Respect from everyone
Would lead to insult?
A sweet drink with you was more beautiful
Than the parties I attend.
You accompanied me everywhere,
To the parks, to hiking, to walking along the beach.
We worked together for our dream of writing.
You had no friends but I.
I had no friends but you.
We were together. We are now separated.
...I live a separated life with a stranger.
I can't find my love. My love, my very first love.
How do I forget my love ?
How do I forget remembering you ?

My real understanding of love happened when I realized that I was not settled. She was more of a luxury. She was very beautiful. Our interests matched perfectly. We both enjoyed poetry and reading. We both enjoyed hiking. We had too many interests together… I finally lost her. I am sure she must have had a wonderful life with her husband. I was going through a turmoil in my life.


I LOVE YOU

I saw you. I talked with you.
Yet I could not speak the words
I wanted to say:
"I love you."

I was afraid. Maybe, you didn't like me,
Or, I may offend you.
But I want to tell you:
"I love you."

I walked out. You said bye.
I wanted to hold you and kiss you
And speak in your ears:
"I love you."

I walked away. I brought something of you with me
And I left my whole self with you.
I looked back. You weren't at the door.
In my heart I whispered:
"I love you."

My last and final love was my marriage. I was probably the last in my family to marry through arranged marriage. I saw my wife and a week later I was married. My neighbor in the USA was shocked! She said she didn’t even know I was seeing someone. Everyone at my work was surprised too. They didn’t think marriage could happen that fast. Maybe, I too didn’t realize it. As they say “unlike poles attract each other.” But she is a perfect wife. When she cooks, she cooks delicious food, when she spends time with me I feel very happy, when we eat together, we enjoy each others' company. By far we are the perfect couple. We are also blessed with two children. I am the most fortunate person.

LITTLE THINGS

It is the little things we do that count
It is the little things we do for each other
That makes life wonderful.
When I can't stand alone
You hold my hand.
When I am feeling down
You pat my shoulder,
"Ah, it will be over!" are the most beautiful
Words that ring my ear.

It is the little things that make a difference.
"I love you,"
Your soft words of love give me strength.
Your fingers combing my hair make my day.
Ah, it is the little things that count.

When I am hurt, you dress my wounds.
When I am sick, you sit by my pillow
And give me my medicine.
It is the little things that change my world.
It is the little things that help me pull out of my pain.

We used to walk a lot. Every weekend was a hiking day. I also enjoyed roller skating, walking, jogging, morning walks, driving to a nice place, poetry reading, printing, photography, etc. Most of the time I do not like doing it alone. My wife came from a different world. She had very little interest in sex or, like she said, “You are not romantic!” (Whatever that meant?) At first I thought I could not satisfy her, but who knows? I do not know anything of a woman’s chemistry.

We were, to most people an ideal couple. We would cook together. I would usually help her in the kitchen and with other chores. We would go out. We sometimes would eat langar together. I married late and soon started planning for the future. We didn’t have much time to get to know each other. We started building a home. We were blessed with wonderful children. We were on our path to spiritual bliss. However, she was more social. As life moved, she got more social and I withdrew. There was no more togetherness. We hardly met. I was working late evening while she was working days. I soon realized we had entirely different interests. Therefore, to keep myself busy I buried myself with work and 20 years later it showed its ugly face. As I researched I saw more divorces have happened after 17-20 years of marriage. Why?

If there is happiness and peace at home; your home itself becomes a Sangat. If there is no love, you look outside to appease your thirst. Things are lot different today. One elder Sikh told me – wife is just for sex and producing children. He hardly ate with her. He would go with her to Gurudwara or to parties, but she was what she was to him. He went to Nankana Sahib instead of going to her mother’s funeral. He attended most of the weddings alone, leaving her at home or sending her to their daughter’s home. People do not know what Sangat means? At the Gurudwara Sahib you can see women gossiping about their husbands or mothers-in-law while men are busy talking about Indian politics or a fight at the Gurudwara Sahib.

Who does not want to enjoy with an other woman or another’s wife? Everyone wants to know what is happening in your family, but hardly speak a word about their own. Anyone would happily destroy your marriage, but save his/her own family. Check their facebook pages, or other media. They are enjoying their life, at the expense of yours. I know of a man who played a major role in his sister-in-law’s divorce. Well, maybe the sister-in-law was herself a little crazy too. Her husband was far more handsome. Forget about Sikh Schools or Khalsa Schools. Take care of your family. Of your children. In Sikh religion, people will fool you in the name of SEWA. They want to enjoy you. They will make you do sewa with your husband’s competitor. Please do not do it. It may hurt your relationship. When you see the bad about each other, this is what is going to stand out.

SEWA! What do you call SEWA? Every business in Sikh religion is under SEWA. Everyone thinks he is doing the best SEWA. In Seattle there are two Khalsa Schools probably two miles apart. Both are Khalsa Schools. Their names are similar and confusing too with the GURMAT word jumbled into them. Will the principal of one school like his wife to do Sewa with the principal of other School? All in the name of SEWA? One son-in-law had no experience in School. He may not have even volunteered in any school either. When he saw his rich father-in-law he moved to the same city. He started talking about the Khalsa School. He said it is very easy to fool Sikhs. You do not have to do anything. You only have to talk big. His father-in-law folded his hands and said he had kept the money to expand his business. He said he can afford to buy land but then the son-in-law will have to get the money to build the school.

I think it is ok to miss Sunday Gurudwara once a month and do path and kirtan at home and eat together and take care of the home. Otherwise, your home will be a mess with dirty dishes in the sink and dirty laundry all over the place. I know of a boy who thought his in laws would send American women to marry his friends and family. The father in-law thought the son-in-law would sponsor his relatives. It was frustrating for both when neither would sponsor. A father in law once asked his future son-in-law to do court marriage and then go to the immigration office to sponsor his relatives. And then, when the mother-in-law and other relatives arrive, he will do the religious ceremony. This marriage should have never happened. But, as they say marriages are arranged in heaven (or hell) but performed on earth. It meant according to the court he is married but he can’t live with the girl till the religious marriage. Therefore, the boy said “No.” He will do the religious marriage before doing the court marriage.

 

Sarab Singh wearing Divorce Signs and walking around. Let us organize “Divorce Awareness Day.” Sarab Singh is willing to wear Divorce Forms and walk. If you want to invite him to talk about Marriage or Divorce Awareness please email at [email protected]

At one time I got involved with some family who were going through divorce. The father-in-law would tell stories of the boy’s family. He complained of how his son-in-law would just sit and watch TV while his poor  daughter had to put the big garbage bins out. When one is bent on divorce they see only nasty things about other. Uncle ji would always say: “After divorce it is all 50/50. And women have more authority and freedom if you divorce in the USA.” Sure, he got his daughter divorced. Uncle ji was very interesting. At one time he asked his son-in-law how many times he has sex? His son-in-law got very nervous and said “2-3 times a week.” To which Uncle ji replied: “That is too much. You should only do it once a month.” I think sex is most beautiful. Of course, my enjoyment has disappeared. But till you can't anymore, enjoy it every day. Just the feeling and warmth of each others' bodies is so relaxing. And it is good for health. If nothing, it is one of the best exercises. Divorce is so common these days but we do not know its magnitude. I think there should be “Divorce Awareness Day” where everyone who is going through divorce, or has had a divorce, should wear signs to indicate its magnitude.

 

THE END

My marriage is a disaster.
10 years of our life together
It took only 10 minutes to shatter.
Ten years of our dreams,
Ten years of our goals,
Ten years of our life together,
It is all over. It is all ruined.
It is all done.
How do I start again ?

People want love today. They want to have togetherness. Therefore, if your daughter marries out of her caste; please accept it as love. Who cares if she goes seven times around a fire, or a Granth? Or, like most he/she 11 times combined? Or, says: “I do” for the vows. Love is more than the vows. Love is a vow in itself. Forget about the bloody politics. Who gives a damn? Today, Sikhs are so scared they want to monitor weddings. They want to stop inter-caste weddings. I think it will hurt the Sikh religion itself.

Churches are cleaner and they welcome others. I know of a family whose daughter married a Hindu boy. Of course, her parents were hurt. Her mother had planned for a Sikh boy from India. But then the girl’s parents would have to sponsor the boy’s family and settle him in U.S.A. As one father-in-law said, his son is very “Honhaar” (capable). He said his son would take care of the girl’s family. He will take care of their 7-11 and Subway Stores and then they could retire and enjoy themselves in India. Thinking about business or settling in U.S.A.? You just have to be Honhaar. You can marry a girl or a boy and take care of their property. No law in the U.S.A. can turn you away. You will be “Dulha Raja” or “Dulhan Rani”. Sponsor your family and enjoy.

FRIENDSHIP

I am looking for a friend,
A friend who does not walk in front of me
And becomes a social hunk.
I am looking for a friend
To hug, to kiss and to cuddle.
To hold me tight.
I have no friend.
I want someone to share my life with.
To stand by me when I am going through hard times.
To tell me it will be all over.
To lay out dreams and fulfill them.
To work together towards our goals.
I am looking for a friend
Who will tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel
Because I have lost hope.
I am discouraged. I can't pull anymore.
I am not a religious person
But I respect love.
I am not a social hunk
But respect friendship.

You are beautiful. I love you.
I want you to walk with me.
Bask in the sun and rejuvenate.
I want soft hands to massage my body.
Alas, I am alone,
Waiting for a friend.
Will you be my friend ?
I dream of making a difference.
Of doing things. Of exploring.
Does anyone else have the same dream as I?
Then be my friend.

Dowry is an age old custom in India. It is a Taboo. Free money, however, is a pleasure for everyone. The Dictionary meaning of “dowry” is: Money, property, or material goods that a bride's family gives to the bridegroom or his family at the time of the wedding. However, today even the girl’s parents begin seeking dowry from the groom if the groom is richer. Money or property is something of bygone days. At one time cows and goats were also considered dowry. Today sponsorship to USA or a ticket is a much saught after dowry.

Maybe it is because of the politics in India or the Government's intent to control the life of common people, or perhaps a lack of work and equal opportunity or bureaucracy; a lot of the Indian community has found safe heaven in USA. A lot of Indians feel at home because of the fairly decent weather in the Pacific Northwest. There was a time when dowry gifts were common. Today the main demand is how many guests can you sponsor. These “Sponsored Guests” are introduced as trophies during the Wedding Reception. If the girl’s parents are rich they are asked to sponsor the boy's guests. If the boy is rich then he sponsors the girl's relatives. I know of a boy who was saving money to do business but was repeatedly asked to sponsor the girl's relatives. Even divorce is accepted to be a cash cow. Today the essence of marriage is lost in “divorce.” I have heard all sorts of stories. Lot of people got married just to be in this country. One man did a “friendly divorce” his Indian bride in order to marry a US citizen so that he can settle in the USA. He then divorced his US citizen bride, went back to India and married his own wife. They are all well settled in the USA now. Some have made it a profession. They have done “Contract Marriages.” Contract Marriage is one of the best ways to come to USA. As a bonus you can even go back and bring the rest of the family.


A father-in-law wanted the boy to sponsor his sister-in-law for the marriage. He actually intended to sponsor the whole family. The boy cunningly told the father-in-law that if he is so adamant in bringing his sister-in-law then he can divorce his wife and sponsor his sister-in-law. The boy wanted the father-in-law to sponsor his friends and relatives. After marriage the father-in-law made his son-in-law’s life a hell and made him sponsor. He even threatened divorce. Being a community property state, the boy was to lose everything. Sadly, the boy had to sponsor the in-law’s relatives. Another man suggested marrying his brother’s daughter to a doctor well settled in USA. When the wedding talks were going through, the old man was dreaming of all his relatives coming for the wedding. He was calling every relative to get their passports and other papers ready. Had the wedding gone through, the doctor would have had to book a whole plane of his relatives. At one time he was also making lists of unmarried boys and trying to match them to his relatives. He had almost started an “Indian Matchmaking” company.


Sikh – I am my own Grandfather

A young Indian bride came to USA after marriage. She left behind her young sister who she wanted to sponsor. That was going to take a long time. Her widow father in law said he will go to India and bring her through marriage. The father in law went and married the young sister. When she came to USA he would not divorce her. He said she is his wife. He is not crazy to divorce a young girl. Lots of adults are now marring inter-cast. Even the best Sikh Matchmaker’s own son married inter-caste. I had told him of some girl for his son but he was looking for a bargain. Though he owned some franchise stores but his money was mostly coming from matchmaking deals. All of the matchmaking talks revolve around as to how many guests one can sponsor. The old tradition of “arranged marriage” is fading away. They do not want to do anything with the parent's "dowry sponsorship” mess.

I did not end this article. Because I myself do not know the answer to a happy married life…

TIRED EYES

Peep into my tired eyes
When I close them in sleep.
I will draw the image of your beauty
On the dark canvass of the night.

Let your bracelets tinkle with
The cool whisper of the wind.
Let your tresses grip me like a serpent.
Let your moist lips pour nectar in my thirsty cup
And your lotus hands
Massage my body to provide relief from the hardships.

I shall bath you in the moonlit night
And drench myself in the tears of our meeting.
Whisper in my ears your beautiful words
To soothe my pain
And celebrate with me the joy of the silent night.


The only way to flourish or achieve your business goals is to reach out to these communities. It is very easy to connect. It does not matter what faith you believe in, or what religion you follow; by the end of the day we have to put food on the table. Every politician reaches out to the communities. They even try to speak a little Punjabi language. And everyone in the gathering applauds as they try to learn the foreign language. If this article were in Punjabi alone you might not be reading this article or other poems. I have to reach out to you. ...I hope you will reach out to us. I think I can find the perfect match for you. Indians are beautiful. So how do you meet? Try inserting a matrimonial ad? You never know where you meet your love.

CARE

Who are you to me ?
Who am I to you ?
What is our relation ?

Strangers meet on this land.
Strangers from far off lands.
To know each other, to love,
To care.

When we love, we sow happiness.
When we care for each other
We belong to a family.
Ah, it is more beautiful to love.
More beautiful to know each other.
More beautiful to care.
Only then we belong to a family.

Family does not hurt family,
Family cares for each other.
Family loves each other.
Family shares the grief
And rejoices in happiness.

PLEASE NOTE: We are looking to feature couples who have married inter caste. If you will like to be featured, please email me at [email protected] Thank you.

Photo Copyright: auremar / 123RF Stock Photo

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