Friday, February 24, 2006

Raj Singh

When we keep hearing the grim prognosis on the institution of marriage, why it is facing extinction and how the rate of separation of couples exceeds the rate of marriage of singles, it is gratifying to report that my marriage has stood the test of time. Thanks to some sagely advice I received on the day of our wedding.

Many decades back, , after we had exchanged our wedding vows (I agreeing to take her under my protection and she pledging total and passive subservience to me), my wife and I came down the steps and sought the blessings of a Sikh Guru.

“Take my advice, my boy”, he told me, “from now on, stop being the timid TamBram that you are and learn to be a toughie like some of us Sikhs are. You must assert yourself and insist that you take all the major decisions. Brook no interference whatsoever. And don’t waste your time on minor decisions. Leave that to your wife. If you stick to these simple rules, trust me, your marriage will be as smooth as butter on a baby’s bum”. Thus spoke the Sikh Guru, incidentally the maternal grandfather of Navjot Singh Sidhu and from whom the latter inherited his colourful language.

Photo, from author’s wedding album, shows Giani Banta Singh proceeding to the Dining Hall, for a well-earned lunch, after dispensing sagely advice to author and wife
So, all these years, my wife and I have treated these words as gospel, divided the responsibilities as major and minor and shared the burden as suggested by Guruji.

My wife takes decisions on petty and minor matters such as- which school my daughters must go to, which house we should buy or rent, where and what we eat, where we must invest our money or what we must spend it on, where we should holiday, the career paths that we should follow, and so on – all the small things in life.

But on real major issues such as – “Should US bomb Iran, should Britain abandon the pound sterling and change over to Euro, should India be elected a permanent member at the UN, what should the world do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% before 2050, should the RBI increase the prime lending rate by 0.5%, etc, should FDI be allowed in the retail sector - my views prevail clearly, emphatically and unequivocally.

(Okay, okay, this is an old Sardar joke and you have heard it before. But now you know how and where it originated)

So, in short, I have always enjoyed the position of a roaring lion whose authority to take decisions on major issues has been unchallenged, as this recent photo will illustrate.














Photo shows author (on the left and with the imposing mane) delivering his verdict to wife on a major issue, in no uncertain terms and with telling effect)

That’s why, when I got this sms from my wife last week, “Come home early. No fooling around in office today. Major decision needs to be taken at home”- I was a little puzzled.

Driving back home, I thought of various possibilities. What was the major thing that had come up? Had Kofi Annan (the elder brother of Tea Thambi) contacted my residence to take my views on whether the UN must intervene in the Danish cartoon crisis? With the Union Budget to be presented soon, did P.Chidambaram send a SOS message to get my opinion on whether he should introduce a service tax on blogging? Maybe the US Secretary of State wanted some tips from me on how to correct the anagrammatical error in the 'Indo-US unclear deal' and change it to 'Indo-US nuclear deal'. Or perhaps the BCCI Selection Committee was desperate to reach me, wanting some inscrutable yet ingenious logic to retain Ajit Agarkar in the team. My mind kept whirling….

When I reached home, it turned out to be a complete anti-climax. The “major issue” pertained to my daughter who is in her 10th standard and we had to decide which of the subjects- Bio-tech, Biology, Computer Science or Commerce- she had to pursue next year. Apparently, this decision was irreversible and could have far-reaching implications on my daughter’s future.

I was shocked. Had my wife dragged me away from office to discuss such a minor matter? I had been in the midst of some serious discussions on an HR initiative- “Should we measure the deliverables of the employees and then deliver the measurables or the other way round?” I left this midway and came rushing home on getting her sms, only to be presented with a trivial and inconsequential issue. Why was she abdicating her responsibility and rocking the foundation of our marriage, by inflicting such a minor issue on me?

Luckily, my daughter cut short the proceedings and informed us that she had already taken the decision. Following the principles of reductio ad absurdum, she had ruled out bio-tech (“the teacher is horrible”), biology (“the labs stink”) and computer science (““bah, programming and suchlike”). That left only Commerce, a subject she knew nothing about and therefore could not be eliminated. So, Commerce it would be, she informed us cheerfully.


Photo shows the author getting an affectionate hug from his daughter after helping her take the first major decision of her life.
Our marriage survived the test, but it was a close call. Phew!

28 comments:

neha vish said...

ROTFL!
:))

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

:D LOL! (not to be confused with lollu)

ccskl said...

Thanks for lighting up a gloomy friday :-)

Nandya said...

ha h ah aha ha ha haa....

incredible dude......damn funny

gawker said...

Goddamn funny. Looks like your daughter is already well versed in becoming a lioness after marriage.

Sowmya said...

LOL!! very funny..I have news, same old same old. I have tagged you again. I promise this will be the last time :-(
http://shallowthgts.blogspot.com/2006/02/7-x-7-meme.html

Shpriya said...

:))) So now you can say "I am the boss of the house and I have my wife's permission to say so!"

shakester said...

ha! what a jolly laugh! the 1st lion pic is priceless

thennavan said...

Remember this song from Duet "Sirippukku NSK, Sindhanaikku Valluvaru"? - slight modification to "Sirippukku Raj(u), Single Tea-kku Taj(u)". Good one as usual :-)

Casement said...

When I saw the pic, I thought the post had to do something with Khushwant Singh. But, Raj Singh turns out to be even better - the REAL Sher e Punjab!!!:))

Aditya Bidikar said...

Hee-hee. Excellent post. Thumbs up.

Dhaval Shah said...

LOL :-) Nice write up.

Patrix said...

Not married yet but I hear ya! Loved the pictures too...placed very appropriately in the post :)

Pareshaan said...

A masterpiece - very funny, and the pictures are great, the first one is Khushwant Singh right?

m. said...

super cute! lovely post :)

Abi said...

Nice one, Raj. Thanks for brightening up my Saturday!

L said...

ROFTLOL...!! Good post... I was actually contemplating midway... what wd I have advised or taken had I been in 10th.. tough call ...!!

Am still thinking..!!

Raj said...

neha, shoe fiend,ccskl,nandya, gawker, sowmya, shpriya, akr,thennavan, casement, aditya,dhaval,patrix,pareshaan,m, abi, L : Thanks. Glad you enjoyed reading it

MumbaiGirl said...

I've had the picture of the lioness roaring at the lion for sometime-my husband gave it to me-to make matters worse I'm a Leo, hee hee-so I was really delighted by this story.

BangaloreGuy said...

ROFL.
good one.
the HR one(deliverable/measurables) was too funny.

Hawkeye said...

raj,

bale! wonderful!. had a hearty laugh.

especially the commerce part. my wife apparently made a similar decisin when she was in X std.

her father has not heard the end of it from me.

Shruthi said...

As usual, Raj, wonderful! :)

Raj said...

mumbaigirl: Is your husband also a member of the "Lions Club"?

bangaloreguy : Thanks, but await a separate post on HR mumbo-jumbo

Hawkeye : Don't tell me that I am going to be held responsible for the Commerce decision, by a son-in-law in future ?

Shruthi : Glad you found it wonderful. Thanks

Anonymous said...

nice one!so so cute lion pics.

iyer education said...

what do you do for "policy" decisions? are those categorized under minor or major... the post just rocked... too good and very very hilarious

chitra said...

Ha ha ha ... too good. Blogrolling you !

Apss said...

hehehe ... good one
Also would like to add ... speaking for the women folk ... its better if the men stick to the bigger issues of the world and leave the minor ones to our able hands

Anonymous said...

super blog...it would be valid for ages

Prasanna.