Babble Without a Pause

April 29, 2016

A love letter

Filed under: Love and Happiness,Random musings,Uncategorized — rajivmathew @ 4:50 am
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If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

 

A little under 2 years ago,  here I sat, hunched over my laptop the night before your first day in Business School, trying to put words to paper. That day, back in May 2014, you were at a crossroad, and you were about to embark on a journey you had seen and touched in your dreams, but never experienced. As I sat in the living room and heard you sound asleep, many thoughts crossed my mind. Worry, elation, stress. But the overriding emotion that night was pride.

2 years on, and that feeling hasn’t changed. You will graduate today. It is a dream I feel I have dreamed almost as often as you have. And I am proud to have been taken along for the ride. As I sat back these 2 years, the silent observer in the corner witnessing you take on everything the world could throw at you, that feeling of pride has only grown, and grown, and grown. Today, its almost the end of April 2016. Pride in you continues to override all else.

What you have done my dear, I have seen no one else do. And that isn’t just husband-speak for “Congrats”. It is my sincerest yet failed attempt at capturing the enormity of what I have witnessed you do. Full-time job 40 hours/week. Bi-weekly flights cross-country and back. Late nights scrambling to complete assignments. Leaving the relative stability of an amazing job, risking it boldly to go searching for your big break. Through it all, your pursuit of perfection never ceased to amaze.

Lately, (and by lately I mean for the past 2 years) I tell my colleagues and our friends every chance I get: “I have no clue how she does it”. And they agree.

Years, decades from now, we’ll both be sitting down to tell our children the importance of chasing their dreams. I’ll point to them, then to that degree certificate you’ll be receiving today, sitting up on the wall all those years down the line, and say “Your ma knows”.

For a guy who  is pretty seldom found short of words, today you’ve done just that to me. I love you. I am immensely proud of you, more than I can explain right now. And because something deep inside tells me this is the start of something amazing for you, I want to tell you babe, that I can’t wait for the rest of this ride.

❤ ❤

 

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October 3, 2010

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Filed under: Love and Happiness,Random musings — rajivmathew @ 8:14 am
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January 14, 2009

AM I WITH THE RIGHT PARTNER ?

During one of our seminars, a woman asked a common question. She said, ‘How do I know if I married the right person?’ I noticed that there was a large man sitting next to her so I said, ‘It depends. Is that your husband?’ In all seriousness, she answered ‘How do you know?’

Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it’s weighing on your mind.

Here’s the answer.


EVERY relationship has a cycle. In the beginning, you fell in love with your spouse / partner . You anticipated their call, wanted their touch, and liked their idiosyncrasies (unconventional behavior/habit). Falling in love with your spouse wasn’t hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn’t have to DO anything. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love… Because it’s happening TO YOU .

People in love sometimes say, ‘I was swept of my feet.’ Think about the imagery of that __expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened TO YOU. Falling in love is easy . It’s a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few years of marriage, the euphoria (excitement) of love fades. It’s the natural cycle of EVERY relationship . Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies , instead of being cute, drive you nuts.

The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship, but if you think about your marriage, you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your spouse might start asking, ‘Did I marry the right person?’ And as you and your spouse reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when marriages breakdown . People blame their spouse for their unhappiness and look outside their marriage for fulfillment.

Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes. Infidelity is the most obvious. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, a friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your marriage. It lies within it. I’m not saying that you couldn’t fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you’d feel better. But you’d be in the same situation a few years later. Because (listen carefully to this):

THE KEY TO SUCCEEDING IN MARRIAGE IS NOT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON; IT’S LEARNING TO LOVE THE PERSON YOU FOUND.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. It’ll NEVER just happen to you. You can’t ‘find’ LASTING love. You have to ‘make’ it day in and day out. That’s why we have the __expression ‘the labor of love.’ Because it takes time, effort, and energy . And most importantly, it takes WISDOM . You have to know WHAT TO DO to make your marriage work.

Make no mistake about it. Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your spouse) to succeed with your marriage. Just as there are physical laws of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. Just as the right diet and exercise program makes you physically stronger, certain habits in your relationship WILL make your marriage stronger. It’s a direct cause and effect. If you know and apply the laws, the results are predictable… you can ‘make’ love .

Love in marriage is indeed a ‘decision’… Not just a feeling.

Remember this always :

‘God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.’

Dr. John C Maxwell

http://www.johnmaxwell.com

December 17, 2008

Imagine

In the tormented times we live in today, only love can conquer hate. One visionary song composed in 1971, by John Lennon speaks of a world with no possessions, no wars, no hate. ONLY LOVE. Watch his original song and follow along with the lyrics, and you can also dream of a world united by love, not torn by hate. Imagine, 37 years after this song, nothing has changed. Maybe the time is now, Maybe we are the ones who can start the beginning of the new world. “Its easy if you try ….”

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one


November 27, 2008

On life … or what has become of it

As i write this piece, a lot of conflict is rushing through my mind at a million thoughts a second. On the one hand, I barely have 24 days remaining to complete my Masters, and I am so rushed and found wanting for time that I’m not even sure of completing my project in time. On the other, over the past 48 hours, I’ve heard and read about things happening in the world I live in, which have made me stop, take notice of the life i live, and how it impacts the ones around me. All said and done, I sit down to this piece, with a heavy heart, and a lot of soul searching. In the past 48 hours, I’ve read with absolute horror, as I’m sure many of you have, of the shooting in a Syrian Orthodox church in New Jersey, in which 3 people were killed. I don’t know the victims on a personal level, not sure how many of you do, but to hear that this is what the value of life has become, is indeed saddening to me, as it should be to all of us. Life, a human breath, reduced to an angered man driving 3000 miles, from Sacramento to New Jersey, with the sole driving thought of killing his estranged wife. A wife he loved till not too long ago, and whom he had children with. I cannot imagine what must have driven him into this uncontrolled rage, a rage which in the process, consumed the innocent life of 2 others, including Dennis John, a man in the summer of youth, who by all accounts, was a young man dedicated to his church, his friends, and in church that day worshiping his God. What kind of pathetic existence are we leading in this world, if we aren’t safe in the sanctuary of God ? A place where we go to get away from the pains and struggles of everyday meaningless existence for some soul searching and meaning in life. Its high time we wake up and realize we’re sinking deeper into the ethical and spiritual decline the moment we aren’t safe in a mosque, or a church, or a temple, a gurudwara or in our own little place of spiritual reconnect.

At the heart of this issue is a persistent nagging question that has been eating at me for a while now. Besides the value of our lives, which I’m sure is a question that has haunted us at some point of time, it also brings into strong focus the futility of religion, of marriage as an arranged event, of a man and woman being united in holy matrimony, till “death do us part”. Lets face it, we live in a time in history which accords no value to dignity of life, to the sacrosanct nature of marriage. Marriage after marriage ends up in divorce, bitterness, or suppressed hidden failed marriages, or in the most extreme cases, they lead to people getting killed. The very woman Joseph M. Pallipurath promised on his wedding day to “have and to hold, in sickness and in health….” was the target of his inhuman, brutal revenge flooded mind. He was so blinded by rage, he walked in and shot her point blank, then walked out and drove away. He didn’t care that she was the mother of his children, that she was the love of his life, at some earlier point, or that her life mattered to others, that she was someone’s daughter, or sister, or niece.


Marriage, from my eyes, represents the love between 2 people (man & woman, man & man, woman & woman  that’s your decision to make), who through a process over time, have realized that they represent a crucial missing link in each others life, which only they can fill. I have been in love but once, and I love her with all my heart. It pains me to see myself part of a larger world, where marriage is often, a means to dowry haggling, greed, strife and needless fighting between families. What have we become, when statistics show that over 50% of marriages end in divorce. When a man cannot stop being a mamma’s boy, yet ends up marrying by force, or to keep his parents happy. When the same man who promised to love and stand by her, and protecting her from all the evils in this world, ends up being the very pitch black out there she sought protection from. When a man who marries a woman, chooses to leave her within the 1st year of their marriage, for reasons only he knows. A man ought to be ashamed of calling himself a man, if he isn’t grown up enough to respect and love his wife, and be with her in her pregnancy, if he doesn’t care enough to see her in the hospital, or even bother to turn up for his son’s baptism. To this man, I say, If the only purpose of you marrying was to carry on your lineage, or your family name, you should have adopted an orphan. Then again, given your immaturity levels, and clinginess to your mother, you probably should have abstained from marriage altogether. By marrying to keep your mother happy, YOU, a moron with no sensitivity to the life of a girl, chose to enter into a loveless marriage, while all the time convincing her you loved her. You are lower than scum, than fungus, and if you’re out here reading this article, you know THIS IS YOU. You deserve no place on Gods green earth, and i despise you more than anything in the world for ruining the life of someone I care so much about and love.


Marriage, for our parents, was about marrying a person their parents thought was right for them, and had arranged and alliance with. It worked in their case, and their generation lived to tell us the same story, and to convince us that parents are the right ones to choose your life partner. Marriage today is disturbingly gravitating towards the bizarre, the ridiculous, and in extreme cases, as in the New Jersey church shooting, deadly dangerous. When I see things like this happen, at that moment, I forget everything else on my plate, the project due in less than 4 weeks, the job hunting, the other things in my life at the moment. Because, being in love, I know what it feels like to have someone hang on every single word of yours, to have someone who trusts you so inherently and love you to the core. I am lucky to have that, and maybe you (reading this) are too. Maybe you are in love, maybe you aren’t. For those in a relationship, this is a word of advice. Do not do this to  (a) Pass on your family name or have a child (b) To please your parents (c) To show society you’re not a failure. If you’re doing it for any of these reasons, this article was probably meant for you. You need to re-assess your priorities and purposes in being married right now. Don’t use marriage as a crutch to achieve your selfish objectives from it, and cast your spouse aside like trash. I don’t care if you’re man or woman, whoever you are, you have no right to ruin another person’s life.


Besides this one case i recounted, I have recently come to discover an animal side to another person I thought I knew. Always with a smile on his face, with an ever cheerful persona, little did i know of the character that lay beneath. A guy who can’t be responsible enough to manage his finances, to support his wife, who can’t even save enough money from his salary for their newborn child’s future. A man who lives with his in-laws instead of taking care of his wife, and hides behind his parents protective shield, as though he were still a child in diapers, rather than a married “responsible” man. When i observe such instances from such close quarters, I have all too often made myself a solemn promise not to repeat the same mistakes i see. Being only human, I have obviously failed too at times, and have been found wanting in implementing these thoughts. But let me put a word out there for all of you seriously considering marriage, or those already in it. Marriage is mutual, its sharing of love, life, and a little one, of respecting and loving your family and hers. Not letting things simmer till they reach boiling point, then reaching for your divorce lawyer’s phone number in the speed dial, or reaching for the gun in your pocket.


In a deeper sense, we may have become numb to these incidents given their alarming regularity in societies across the world today. Each day we see something new about a man killing his wife, a wife abusing her husband or vice versa, and we let it go and turn instead to the sports or comic section to get away from having to face up to the harsh reality. Truth is, as a collective species, its high time we realized that Darwin was indeed right about evolution. We have stepped back in reverse gear though, and each coming generation will be more and more de-humanized and more and more  automaton, unfeeling and void of emotion. As a collective race, its high time we stop ourselves from sinking into the process of reverse evolution, from turning ourselves into bitter, selfish and cynical human beings with no respect for human life. The sooner we realize and take a step backward from the filth that surrounds us. Man or woman alike, we all deserve happiness, and in making decisions that affect the happiness of other people, we should stop for a second, and think again. Life, specially another’s, is meant to be treasured and nurtured. Not torn down in one fell swoop. And if you feel you can’t nurture or love or care, ATLEAST don’t hurt, or kill, or tear down their world.


Love, and marriage defined by today’s standards, is bound by the heavy chains of same-caste, same-religion, with any deviance forbidden, and strictly frowned upon by society. To people who do this, and to parents who are adamant that their children marry only within their religion, and not “defile” their family, by marrying outside their self-imposed boundaries of religion, I ask, Whats more important. To ensure you marry within your caste ? Or to ensure that whatever the caste of your son/daughter’s spouse-to-be, they love your child more than anything, and will do anything to keep them safe and happy. If your answer is the former, you have some serious thinking to do. If, however, you’re in the latter category, then you know you’re doing right by your progeny, than doing right by society and its churlish norms and rules. Agreed, there is no guarantee that marriages borne of love, last longer than those arranged and set up by parents. Neither is there cold, hard fact to show that a Hindu-Christian marriage would last longer than a Hindu-Hindu marriage or a Christian-Christian one. However, atleast be open minded enough to acknowledge that a sincere Hindu/Muslim/Sikh/Jain/Buddhist/Jewish girl loves your son as much as a Christian girl would have. In making that acknowledgement, you subconsciously tear down the boundaries of mistrust, and foster in its place trust filled relationships with the people you love, than forge meaningless, loveless marriages that end up bringing into the world a child born out of necessity than true love.


We’ve all seen loveless marriages and relationships of convenience among friends, family or relatives. Dont bother about what society thinks. Make a promise HERE and NOW,  that YOU won’t ever be a part of one.

September 22, 2008

In HIS time :)

It had to happen …. she knew it, I knew it. Our friends knew it. Only thing was, because of a few setbacks along the way, we had begun to forget that it would. We started to doubt it would ever happen. But therein lies the beauty of faith. Of unconditional hope. Sometimes a little faith can go a long way. Way back in September last year, SHE had been offered a chance to go onsite. For whatever reasons at the time, SHE was unable to, since her visa approval didnt get done in time. The position went to a colleague of hers, DESERVING or UNDESERVING, I’m not the judge of that. For a woman this strong, this dedicated and this sincere, better things lay ahead. I knew it, never doubted it for a second and I tried everyday for the next 1 year to convince her she deserved better.

But the human spirit does stretch stronger than the flesh does, than the physical form does. And although the human spirit is the stuff of fabled legends, hers, and in a sense mine, was beginning to wear thin i felt. Yet, in the midst of an uncertain looking future, here was God throwing us a lifeline. It is all well and good to talk about faith, and the need to trust God, but when you’re at your lowest ebb, in your toughest days, sometimes it feels that bit harder to reach out and grab that lifeline. But WE did, and together, WE held on tight to that lifeline. As the days went by, the lifeline grew stronger, a symbol of a promised change, a deserved reward for a long time of toil. I’ve never missed her this much like I did in these last 2 weeks, knowing that it could so easily be the mirage we thought was an oasis so often in the past, knowing she was this close to making it happen.

The past 2 days were one of intense prayer and collective intercession. Amongst my close friends and loved ones, I asked everyone I knew to pray for the matter at hand. I’ve prayed before for things I wanted, but more so alone than in collective effort. More often than not, they were left wanting. This time though, I knew I needed more faith, more prayer and more earnesty. God answers prayer they say, and he stuck true to his word. I surprised myself in church this morning, when instead of my usual prayer, “Lord do this”, or “Lord, please help me achieve this”, I said the same prayer over and over as i sat in the front pew …. “Lord whatever be your plan for HER life, let YOUR will be done”. Maybe it was the fact that for once in my life, I realized that having brought HER, and ME this far, He wouldnt let go.

2 days of fasting brought with it a lot of hunger, but the thought of receiving that call from HER made it all worth it. At the end of it though, it was the perfect way for me to show that there were things other than food that mattered in my life. God is good ….. all the time. And today, he showed me yet another example of just WHY He is so good. Because that is the beauty of God ….. he does what he feels is best for us at that point of time in our lives.Today, He showed ME, and HER, another instance of that. HE MAKES ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL, IN HIS TIME.

August 22, 2008

SHE

What can i say about HER that I haven’t already said and isn’t already known. The SHE i’m talking about isn’t the charming Julia Roberts in my favorite movie of all time, Notting Hill. Elvis Costello sings of SHE, i sing of a different SHE.

SHE is the one who makes life go round and round. SHE is my ethereal beauty, the small child lurking inside the professional woman of substance, the mature and yet so youthful face. SHE is the childish innocence, the adorable voice and deep soulful eyes that look deep into you. SHE is the friend I’ve always wished I’d have and so much more. SHE is the shoulder I’d lean on, and the one I’d lend mine to. SHE is the perfect woman in every sense of the word, at so many different levels. SHE is the one i long to talk to everyday, even though i’m so far away. The one with whom i can be myself, in one word …… COMPANION. SHE‘s the one I’d never wanna lose, SHE knows it too.  I always say SHE was born to be a mother. SHE’ll probably be the best mom ever. SHE‘d pamper our kids so much I’d never stand a chance to be the FAVORITE PARENT 😦  I could settle for being their 2nd favorite …… cause SHE‘d love to be with our kids. HERS is the smiling face that shows itself very very rarely, but that smile, when out in full bloom, can put everything else before her to shame. SHE loves her parents, loves her friends and can do anything for those she loves.

SHE is the one who inspires me each day to be better than I am, who can make me angry by pointing out my weaknesses and shortcomings. SHE is the one I’ve misunderstood more than anyone else in my life at so many different points. But SHE is also the one i UNDERSTAND so much more than anyone else can comprehend. SHE is the best friend and sweetheart i always dreamt my life partner would be. SHE is the beauty in all its fullness that no other girl can have. SHE is my biggest fan, my sternest critic, yet the familiar face in a crowd of strangers. SHE‘s the one I’d love with all my heart until the day i die. SHE is the one for whom i can do things i never thought possible. Maybe one day I’ll get the chance to show her how much I can sacrifice for HER. SHE is the quietest face in the party, yet the most talkative when SHE talks to me over the phone. SHE is the most contemplative being I’ve encountered, always criticizing herself even when the mistake was committed by someone else.

At the heart of all this complexity is a simple being, one untouched by the world, unaffected by the politics, the wrangling, the world out there. The innocence in HER is something i have never been able to comprehend, and there’s something so very endearing and adorable about that quality. SHE has and always will remain the same, the same quiet voice, the tear in her eye that tells you SHE loves you, the quiet moments you share. SHE has carried on when lesser mortals might have faltered, or even given up. SHE has made it through such tough circumstances in her personal struggles, that I am ashamed to call myself a man, cause i know i never could muster that courage. SHE is destined to do great things in her life, do be SO VERY different from the ordinary, and to rise above what she’s faced.

SHE is the complete package. SHE is the one i was meant to spend my life with. I found HER late in my life after having been through hell because of some worthless beings. SHE was always the friend always right in front of me, who I did not recognize until it was almost time to say goodbye. Yet, throught it all, I learnt that there is a time for everything, and I’m glad I got to know HER when I did rather than lose her forever. My past is one big mistake, but SHE is the reason i can and want to forget my past and look forward to OUR future. There is ONLY 1 OF HER IN THIS WORLD, and I’m the luckiest guy alive, to know her, and have her as my soulmate.

SHE.

August 14, 2008

Death

I’m surprised too, that I’ve chosen such a morbid topic to talk about. It is never the right time to hear about a friend or close one passing away, going to a better place. There never seems to be a right time for death. Whenever or wherever it strikes, everyone is unprepared. Why do we always wait to hear tragic news about a loved one, before we realize the value of that person, the void that person filled inside your heart without you knowing it until now? Sometimes death can do more than just take a life, it can also leave behind a sense of regret, not having done the things you should’ve done, or saying the things you should’ve said. “I LOVE YOU”, “I’M SORRY”, “I MISS YOU”.

Today, when you see someone walking down the street towards you as you walk past them, don’t hesitate to smile. The next second, a random car cruising on the highway could have them crushed beyond repair. When you talk to your parents, tell them you love them and that you’ve always wanted to make them proud. When you see a friend, give him or her a hug. Let them know how important they are to you. Friends are the ones who give us a sense of belonging, of not being alone out there in this world. Tomorrow might be too late. When you talk to the one you love, your soulmate, focus on it 100 percent. Dont let yourself get distracted by other things when you’re talking to her. Tell her I LOVE YOU.

This is by no means a self-help book. I need more help than all of you combined, so I’m the last one to dish out advice. But every so often, i watch a sad episode of one of my favorite shows. You know …. the episode where a really popular member of the cast dies. Wierd isn’t it. Something as artiifical as TV can make you think about how fleeting life is. But it did. Strange that if we knew today was our last, how different we’d live our lives to the absolute fullest, living it to the extreme. Why don’t I do that everyday? Is it the misplaced sense of false security that today CANNOT and will not be my last. Maybe i need to start getting it into my head that I’m taking my life too much for granted, and that i need to stop and take stock.

This awakening happens to me every few weeks or so. I get a heightened perception of my life and the meaningless wandering I’m doing in my life and career right then. Right then i resolve to change my life, to escape the aimless wandering along the meandering path of my life. 2 days later, back to square ONE. Maybe not this time around. Possibly. Maybe. Check back at this space 2 days from now. How would you face your last day ??? Say the things you want to say right here and now. Not on your deathbed, seconds away from breathing your last. Cause maybe then, it’ll be too late. Time would be slipping out of ur grasp, and you could be in a coma. What can you say then ? All those words you wanted to say, locked up, with no chance of ever being told.

All i know is, when I go, i dont want to leave behind any unfinished business or any unspoken words. That would be the perfect sendoff. Now off to work, trying to do something about it.


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