“The family is one of nature’s masterpieces”. ~ George Santayana
MY FAMILY – MY WORLD !
I used to ponder over having my own family and often discouraged myself with the thought that I am not cut for rearing my own. As I was like a wild untamable bull. Often, I had these thoughts that its hard for me to afford family life as well as nomadic together, but time proved it the other way, for me. Thank God, some sense prevailed and now I love it the most. I am blessed to have a family of my own!
I used to push and bend my life like most of us do. In spite of the fact that we do hear a lot from the wise that let life take its own course and one must take life as it comes. At one stage, I thought it was all weird thinking and not practical. Why shouldn’t one bend it like we like? Well, there is truth in that that we should bend it like we want, but are unable to decipher the codes of life accurately, thus the result is a mismatch. I think, the twists and turns of life bring a lot and life has a lot to offer, but we deprive ourselves much of happiness in life with our pushy attitude. Now, I understand what it means. Have a direction, be focused on it, one should do one’s work with passion; be rest assured one will get rewarded with plenty of happiness.
In the true Indian culture, marriage has the status of `sacred institution’. And house of a happy family is considered as a temple. We have to understand about what marriage is and what is the role of a life partner and our duties towards each other and the family. Most of the time, our expectations are out of proportion from our marriage. Anyway, when I met Rajbir I had no plans to get married ever. As we worked together on the mission to educate people about snakes and snakebite, I found her to be a good human being, which I consider to be the best quality of a `life partner’. I proposed her for marriage, which she neither declined nor accepted. She told me that it may not be possible, as she is from a very religious Sikh family and her family members may not approve `inter caste marriage’.
As its often said `marriages are made in heaven’. Probably, its true and I agree to that. We wouldn’t have been married being from different religions, in normal course of life. The biggest surprise was unfolding soon, as Rajbir’s father suggested her to propose me for marriage, which is a very unusual thing for an Indian father, that too being a Sikh. On one of her trips to her home town, her father Sardar Avtar Singh, discussed with Rajbir about what marriage is and what kind of life it brings, how one has to live as married and all the related aspects. At the end of the discussion with her, he suggested her to find out if Capt Suresh could be interested in getting married to her. It was the most pleasant surprise for Rajbir, as well as me, of our life time. He also had no conditions about anykind of issues, like most Indian parents have. His point was that one should get married to a good human being and where you gel with each other and can develop good understanding about the ways of working and living together.
I consider Rajbir’s father as a real PhD about life in real terms, he understands `life’ and the practical aspects of it, whereas I find most educated people having turbulent family life, as they do not understand the nitty-gritty of happy family life.
Finally, on April 23, 2000, we got married in a simple and Spartan ceremony defying the custom of ostentatious and lavish Punjabi marriage functions. By mutual agreement, we spent the money for the Snake Cell.
I often say that if there is something good which could happen to me, is that I am married to Dr Rajbir Kaur. A very fine human being and has really shown me in life about how to be courteous and respectful to even a simple pedestrian on the road, while I am driving. I confess that in India we have no respect for others while we are driving. I am proud of being an Indian, but we do have this serious flaw, probably genetic disorder.
I never forced Rajbir to join me for any of my activities, she has taken everything herself, like `water and milk absorb each other’. She loves being on outdoors, she loves to maintain her household herself, unlike others she has no domestic help. Rajbir is a qualified homeopath and most people wonder why she is not practicing her medicine. Her reply to all is that she wants to have a happy family life, which is the best practice and leads to contentment. God bless her with a happy married life.
At the time of writing this Blog and this page, Sukhmani, our daughter is about 10 years and our son Chirag is about 8 years. Our strong family values include, grooming of children in the best possible manner to make them good human-beings, unflinching faith in God and in ourselves and leading the children by example. We try to follow traditional Indian culture and values with adaptation for the modern times.
We sincerely believe that travel is one of the best forms of education for the children and for ourselves. Our extensive travels far and wide have only further reinforced this belief. In 2003, when Sukhmani was only six months old, we travelled for six months and 12,000 kms by road. In 2004, we travelled for four months in Rajasthan and Gujarat again by road, stopping frequently wherever we found audience for nature related lectures or subjects for photography. Our travel to Egypt with our children is unforgettable and a unique experience to them as it was to us.
Our deep faith in God, combined with our confidence in ourselves and our well-wishers help us lead a contented and happy family life. Happy in the thought that there are people who care for us in the Heavens and on earth, and in the satisfaction that we try to selflessly do what we can for Nature.