Embracing Imperfection..

27 09 2007

These days I seem to be on a forwarding spree. Yet, I found it quite relevant to ponder upon. Some relationships are for keeps and they indeed effect us in many ways. I see many people going through some crisis or another on that front and unfortunately there is no degree to help you around that corner. Some balance, acceptance, semblance, accommodation and sensibility is demanded from us in such situations. Yet, often thats what we miss in an emotional situation. I like the idea of ‘accepting imperfections’ that resonates in this article by Deb Graham. Do enjoy.



By Deb Graham

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I’ll never forget what he said: “Baby, I love burned toast.”

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides, ­a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!”

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner and the kindness my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it’s a cherished memory from my childhood that I’ll never forget. And it’s one that came to mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home late… as usual… and decided we would have breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to take the toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day — and had we had more than two pieces of bread in the entire house — I would have started all over. But it had been one of those days; and I had just used up the last two pieces of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment about the toast. But all I got was a “Thank you!” I watched as he ate bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast. But instead, all Jack said was, “Babe, this is great. Thanks for cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day.”

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my mom and dad… how burnt toast hadn’t been a deal-breaker for them. And I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast wasn’t a deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to find out that Jack isn’t the perfect husband! He likes to play his music too loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he watches far too many sports. Believe it or not, watching “Golf Academy” is not my idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept the imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to make each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our differences. You might say that we’ve learned to love each other for who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I’m a perfectionist, and I’m even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a marketer’s dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less! Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we’re also very much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he’s thinking. I can predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other hand, he knows whether I’m troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still best friends. We’ve traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many mountaintops. And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every minute of every day to make this thing called “marriage” work!

What I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults – and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences – is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting marriage relationship.

And that’s my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your married life and lay them at the feet of GOD. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a marriage where burnt toast isn’t a deal-breaker!


Some Funda for Longterm Marriage

4 07 2007

I can see some people smiling their heart out, yet if its not late for you yet, do read.. This article has a ring of truth for it. Certain things that he points out are quite pertinent, and are quite useful if you preparing for an arranged marriage. My own two cents on Marriage is that do be yourself, and let your partner be him/herself too. If you can discover compatability and can cherish eachother, there you have concocted your own magic formula!


Rabbi Dov Heller, M.A. a relationship coach lays out his 5 golden rules for reviewing the prospects of long-term marital success.

When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50 percent (in USA), it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr./Ms. Right!

If you ask most couples who are engaged why they’re getting married, they’ll say: “We’re in love.” I believe this is the #1 mistake people make when they date.

Choosing a life partner should never be based on love.

Though this may sound not politically correct, there’s a profound truth here. Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love will come.

Let me say it again: You CANNOT build a lifetime relationship on love alone. You need a lot more. Here are 5 questions you must ask yourself if you’re serious about finding & keeping a life partner.

Do we share a common life purpose?

Why is this so important? Let me put it this way: If you’re married for 20 or 30 years, that’s a long time to live with someone. What do you plan to do with each other all that time? Travel, eat & jog together? You need to share something deeper & more meaningful. You need a common life purpose. Two things can happen in a marriage. You can grow together, or you can grow apart. 50 percent of the people out there are growing apart. To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life – bottom line – & marry someone who wants the same thing.


Do I feel safe expressing my feelings & thoughts with this person?

This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship. Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of having good communication is trust- i.e. trust that I won’t get “punished” or hurt for expressing my honest thoughts & feelings. A colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express your thoughts & feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feel emotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.

Is he/she a mensch? A mensch is someone who is a refined & sensitive person.
How can you test?
Here are some suggestions. Do they work on personal growth on a regular basis?
Are they serious about improving themselves? A teacher of mine defines a good person as “someone who is always striving to be good & do the right thing.”
So ask about your significant other. What do they do with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialistic person is not someone whose top priority is character refinement.
There are essentially two types of people in the world: People who are dedicated to personal growth & people who are dedicated to seeking comfort.
Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know that before walking down the aisle.

How does he/she treat other people?

The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure. Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they wrapped up in themselves & self-absorbed? To measure this, think about the following: How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to, such as waiters, bus boys, taxi drivers, etc. How do they treat parents & siblings? Do they have gratitude & appreciation?
If they don’t have gratitude for the people who have given them everything, you cannot expect that they’ll have gratitude for you-who can’t do nearly as much for them!
Do they gossip & speak badly about others? Someone who gossips cannot be someone who loves others. You can be sure that someone who treats others poorly, will eventually treat you poorly as well.

Is there anything I’m hoping to change about this person after we’re married?

Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to “improve” them after they’re married. As a colleague of mine puts it, “You can probably expect someone to change after marriage … for the worse!” If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them. In conclusion, dating doesn’t have to be difficult & treacherous. The key is to try leading a little more with your head & less with your heart. It pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating, to be sure to ask questions that will help you get to the key issues.

Falling in love is a great feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don’t want to find yourself in trouble because you didn’t do your homework!


I see that a successful marriage becomes a piece in any ordinary person’s dream of perfect life. We live by instinct and sometimes we can really sniff those Ms ya Mr perfect out in really no time. Sometimes we succumb to tradition or reality and rely on the customary route. Whatever is the situation with you, do get your priorities and equations balance right. Love flows from heart, but making marriage work is a matter of heart, tact, expectations and life. Wish you the very best!

A Post That Made My Day!

11 05 2007

I discovered ‘Life Is A Lark‘ Blog today and this post titled ‘On Husband-hunting‘ made my day! I must have read this five times till now and I couldn’t resist posting it! There is a wicked glee in my face as I am typing this! Do enjoy!!!


“Oh this Kumar is really good”, you enthuse
Even as I look at his picture and muse
If his bald head is worse than his fashion sense,
And you shake your head at what words you call nonsense!
Raj is dashing and debonair, you say
Even as I stare at this profile in dismay
“I am a hardworking person”,is what he seems to love to type
“I am looking for one who’s domestically trained”, what tripe!!
“I am no dog!”, I scream and shout
And you ask me what the fuss is all about.
“Siva is devout and pious
And is not a little bit ambitious”,
I ask why having no ambition is good
And you say, “He will never be in a bad mood,
He is no go-getter, he will never be stressed,
He will not expect much and will never get vexed”,
I shake my head in mute agony, do I laugh or do I cry?
Even as relatives drop in, time-to-time, to poke and pry
“Why do you say no to them all?
Are you seeing someone whom you want to marry this fall?
You are turning them all down citing age, looks, profession
What do you have against an elementary education?
He is an Iyer, and Tamil to boot,
What more can you want? A royal suit??”

You now have given me a month’s time
To make up my mind, or you say, my preference will not be worth a dime
“Select someone soon or else..”, is the threat you make
And my protests are ignored, when they fall in your wake
I scream and shout, “How can I tell you if I want to marry him
By just looking at the website and deciding on a whim?”
But that makes no difference to you as you shrug
And I am down on my knees, pouding at the rug,
How can I tell you that I no longer have the time
To stop and gaze at the stormy sky, or gaze in wonder at shrubs of rosemary and thyme
To skip along the road or to run on the grass,
You would only tell me to stop being an ass
To go out there and start hunting
And to stop all this ridiculous shunting,
Watch out, guys! I am now on the prowl, a husband-hunter
And I do not intend to lose this bet to any punter!!!
Watch this space with glee, even as I now run out into the world
And select and prune and gild my prey and will, one day, to my family unfurl!!!

The Binding Vine..

17 02 2005

The Binding Vine written by Sashi Deshpande is the narration of Urmi, who was grieving over the death of her baby daughter and surrounded by the loving care of her mother, Inni and her childhood friend and sister-in-law, Vanna. Through her grief, Urmi is drawn into the lives of three very different women. As the stories of these women unfold, so does a tale of quiet courage and strength.

The first woman Urmi is drawn to her long-dead mother-in-law, Mira who exists only in the notebooks she has left behind, discovered by chance in a dusty storage trunk. Mira’s journals and poetry reveal the pain of a vibrant young woman trapped in an unhappy arranged marriage, and of a gifted writer whose work, because she is a woman, must remain shrouded in secrecy and silence. Then there is Kalpana, the survivor of a brutal rape and a young woman who has also been silenced. As she hovers between life and death in a hospital ward, Kalpana is watched over by her impoverished mother, Shakutai, with whom Urmi forms an unlikely bond of mutual comfort. The lives of three women who are “haunted by fears, secrets, and deep grief” are bound together by strands of life and hope—a binding vine of love, concern, and connection that spreads across chasms of time, social class, and even death.

Memories from the past stray to Urmi’s mind and a journey to the past helps Urmi uncover mysteries about herself, but not her past alone: “The past is always clearer because it is more comprehended”. One theme that was stressed in her book is rape – both as a random violent act and within marriage. The disgrace is not the girl’s, the disgrace is the criminal’s. That is not how it is. It’s really the dilemma which Urmi, the narrator, faces because, if she makes it public, it’s possible the family is going to be affected, and if she does not, you know it’s like saying the woman is the one who is in disgrace, who has done wrong.

When Bhaskar, a doctor in the hospital, raises the question of why it’s so important for women to marry, his question is raised right after Shakutai pleads with Bhaskar not to release the report of rape because it would ruin Kalpana’s chance of marriage. In his eyes, she is focusing on false significance. She should be more concerned with the fact that her daughter is lying in a hospital bed unconscious. Reputation becomes everything for a woman.

The issue that has mattered the most is the conflict between the idea women have of themselves and the idea that society imposes on them of what being a woman is. And there’s a struggle to conform to this image, the guilt when you can’t do that. Though, the characters are women, they represent the human being lurking inside. And that human being is often a lonely one though not one who is alone. It is a loneliness deep rooted in their souls. It is a result of being honest with oneself.

A question Urmi often asks herself is why does she feel the need to forget her dead daughter? Women are tied to their children, and the binding vine, as written by Mira, signifies the umbilical cord to which mother and child are physically connected. Urmi is emotionally numb in the beginning after the realization that her daughter is really gone: “what’s broken cannot be mended” She learns, however, that pains can be mended after she learns to reach out to those who need to find their own strengths.

Shakutai’ s decision towards the close of the book, to reveal the truth about her daughter’s rape gives her a new sense of liberation. The Binding Vine beautifully brings about the feelings, which are left unspoken in the Indian women, and shows the pursuit of love in their journey of life. It’s a triumphant story of victory and defeat, when women find their voices.

Marriage- A funny role play!

10 01 2005

People marry because they want to become secure.. To feel that they can come home to someone.. And also they own certain rights on the other person which guarantees a certain commitment. I have absolutely no issues on the reasons as to why people marry and I do believe in the institution of the marriage, but I just want to be a little bit critical about it.

Marriage becomes intolerable when people cant transgress the boundaries of the relationships and do a role play which may not gel with their real personalities. Yes I do agree that rules and unwritten norms do exist but then one has to know when to come out of them. If wife has to take the role of a wife and husband has to act like one, wife has to please the other person and she has to adjust and mould according to him. And the husband bechara has to appear strong, and he has to defend his territory ,no? That’s the basic reason why men don’t like to come into kitchen- that’s wife’s job. The guy may feel as if he is ran down by 1000 trucks, but he has to put a brave face and be pleasant, why is that hypocrisy? What do one ultimately expect of life? The big joke is he thinks its because he loves his family, which is okay with me, but he ultimately deceives himself with an entirely wrong notion of love where he actually wants control over his family!

Even I long to feel secure, I don’t want to lose my identity, independence and freedom: My spirit and enthusiasm which basically define my identity. May be I live in an idealistic world fantasizing that there is a person for me who will respect my identity. But if I like to have a realistic picture, is it really possible? I find that hope is a painful thing as it paints a romantic picture out of draconian surroundings.

Well,love should make life worthwhile..You grow by it. You learn the fun of giving and taking. One has to be aware of the role play and the unmentioned boundaries they set for themselves. Understanding the unwritten norms leads to awareness and helps in creating mature relationships. Am I being dreamy? If so that’s the way I am!

Marriage-A Bond for life!

7 01 2005

I was a little engrossed in thought related to marriages. Its real fun to see the way in which marriages happen in our country. On oneside extreme we have the so called love marriages where in the other end we have the arranged marriages which supply the feel good factor to everyone. Recently one of my friends had a love marriage where in the parents from either side were forced to comply. And one of my friends opted for an arranged marriage to make his parents happy.

Looking at both the cases, I started thinking about the institution of marriage. Is it an agreement between two people to share life together or is it for convenience of the society? I agree that arranged marriages reduce the insecurities between the two families but does that really ensure a true bondage between the two people who choose to spend their life together? Institution of marriage enhances itself if there is a little bit of understanding and compatibility between the two. I hope that every couple has an opportunity to examine that before they enter into their vows of lifetime commitment. As someone says, Even a minor acquaintance can make people enter into marriage but in order to take divorce, one has to truly understand the other. Irony but true.

Expectations n Relationships!

8 10 2004

It may happen with us that I may want the company of the person without whom I cant live or my life may seem incomplete. But it can also be true that later I may feel constrained in the relationship or my illusions may get shattered. Well all I want to say is the real culprit here is my mind. It makes expectations, and creates an aura or image of an ideal person whom I want, without any connection to the real person. And all the life I may try to fit that person into that image. No wonder there are ripples in the relationship. Here what I have to consider first is whether I am flexible and open enough to consider and understand the person as he is? Or else that perfect marriage with a perfect person would be nothing but a MIRAGE. Think about it!

Actually, expectations in relationships increase because of repeated behavior of the other person and also on your own emotional attachment with her. But,when you have expectations, you are bound to be either satisfied or dissatisfied. The way you react will alter the relationship, and may even constrain it when you try to restrain or bound the other person. Well, I guess you can be aware of the expectations you have and hence so you can actually discover the joy of the relationship.

Everyone may share different perspectives, but I can at least examine my own assumptions as I don’t think that expectations form the basis of relationships. Well, there may be an inherent need to associate with others, still will it lead to expectations? May be I have to look in myself..