I was pointed to this song first by my friend Shahid Charania. I do not know the name of the original poet who composed this but my favorite rendition of this is by Ataullah Khan. The tune is the same as a Hindi movie song of the past (“Tumhi mere mandir Tumhi meri pooja”). I do not know which came first.
The poem starts in the following way:
“Idhar zindagi ka janaza uthega
Udhar zindagi unki dulhan banegi
Qayamat se pehle qayamat hai yaaro
Mere samne mere duniya lutegi
Jawani pe meri sitam dhaaney walon
Zara soch lo kya kahega zamana
Idhar mere armaan kafan pehen lenge
Udhar unke haathon pe mehndi lagegi”
Roughly translated… all improvements are very welcome..
“Here (my) life’s funeral will be held
And there (her) life will be a bride
My day of judgment has come before my day of judgment
In front of mine own eyes, my life will be plundered.
Oh! you who brought suffering to my youth
Just think about what the world is going to say
Here all my wishes will covered by a shroud
There her hands will be decorated with henna”
… for a phone (that too landline) and a car. Those were the demands she had back in Oct 1992 before she would agree to marry me. (To put this in perspective, in those days in the small town we came from, both a phone and a car were novelties and not owned by most). Not one to give in to negotiations too early, I had simple frowned at her. She conceded immediately that it did not have to be very soon – just some time in our married life. I had un-frowned.
Two days later, I told her that we might have to get married earlier – in fact before even she could finish college – and get the passports ready because my company was transferring me to US.
First day, I land in US, my company had a landline and a rental car ready for us. Easiest sale ever!!
7 miles for seven “pherey-s” – which is actually a custom for Bengali traditional weddings. That is not what Sharmila and I went thru (ours was a court marriage – there is a hilarious story of how the judge divided some cattle among two feuding brothers before taking up the case to get us married).
Instead, it was 7 miles today because the trail ended after 3.5 miles and I had no option but to turn back…
Ran into good old Sridhar on the trail. He has just started running and is gearing to run his first 5K race in May. If I can open up the morning on that day, I might go and run with him just to support him on his maiden race!!
Over dinner this evening:
Me: “I do not have any scheduled meetings in the morning. If you are free, we can go out for lunch.”
Sharmila: “No. The pest control guy will come at 10 am.”
And the dinner proceeded.
After about half an hour (when Nikita declared she did not need any more help from me for her homework)…
Me: “Okay, then I am going to go upstairs and retire.”
She: “Are you going to sleep now?”
Me: “No. It is 9PM. I will probably catch up on some reading”
She: “Or you can help me clean up the kitchen”.
[She said this pointing to the one ketchup bottle that was still left after I had cleaned out all the dishes. I will leave the topic of irony here since more is to come]
Me: “I already did it” [as I put the solitary bottle left back in its place]
…and to add some twist to that I continued…
Me: “Now I am going to go upstairs and reflect on twenty three years of our marriage. By the way do you know how many years we have been married?”
Now, if you follow my blogposts regularly, you probably know by now that she absolutely cannot remember our birthdays, our anniversaries and all those good stuff. She will remember your face and name if she met you twenty years back, but she can’t figure out how many years we have been married! I got my twentieth anniversary gift on our nineteenth anniversary!
She knew I was just picking on her. So, she retorted – “I don’t know and I don’t want to know..”. I know she said that but in her mind, she was trying to start the subtraction process. You know how I knew that?
Because, about eight seconds later, she turned around and screamed “IT IS OUR ANNIVERSARY TOMORROW”!
And I stood there scratching my head wanting to ask her – “So, what was your first hint?” 🙂
The best part of twenty three years of marriage? Exactly this kind of moments of comic relief!!
I like to think that they are “appropriately” late. For example, I think their flight to Atlanta being 15 minutes late makes total sense to me. Otherwise, I had no chance at all to make it to the flight 🙂 When I ran into the plane, I had already violated the 10 minute rule. Fortunately, I had called in Delta from the rental car center and requested them not to give the seat away.
Everything had gone swimmingly well per the plan after I pulled over from the highway. It was a great park and the Delaware River views were beautiful. Managed to even run into some interesting fellow runners – okay, maybe they were just strolling around.
Finding the LA Fitness near the airport though took quite some time (it was on the second floor). And my plans hit a big hitch when I realized that I was about one towel short!! Had to make do with yesterday’s shirt!!
But I am in the plane now and the views and the run was totally worth it!! Maybe I should have put in a couple of miles more… The way the thunderstorms are rolling in, I don’t think we are getting out in a hurry…
Finished with all meetings in Philly area. It is nearly 3 PM. Should I put in a run by the beautiful Delaware river?
On one hand, I have barely two hours for my flight to take off. On the other hand, I am only thirty minutes away from the airport, there is a beautiful park by the river off the highway and there is a LA Fitness close to the airport to take a shower…
I might just be able to make it to the plane if I do not check in luggage and TSA Precheck is not crowded….
Tempting…. very tempting…
One perk of my job in the geospatial data analytics is that we get to acquire a lot of data from airplanes and helicopters. And therefore, I often get access into the airports where the flight operations are.
Today, I finished a meeting with one of our partners and as I started to drive towards the secure gates, had to stop at the STOP sign to let this helicopter go.
Technically, I came to the sign first, but I looked at the rotor fan sizes and who the helicopter belonged to. I was very happy to let it go first 🙂
We have a decision on the college!! After a careful selection process befitting how the pope is chosen, we seem to have come up with an answer.
I can’t wait to talk to my dad tomorrow morning about it. I have a vague idea how the conversation will go…
He: “So, she is going to the college near home”?
He: “But did you not say that would be totally free?”
Me: “Yes. But she is not going there”
He: “Oh! Okay. Is she going to the one that is giving maximum scholarship?”
He: “No? The one with the next highest scholarship?”
Me: “Not that one either”
He: “Hmmmm. So how much is this college giving where she is going?”
Me: “Actually this is the college that is giving no scholarship?”
A few moments of silence…
He: “What was the highest scholarship she was getting?”
Me: “I think the highest was $25K per year”
More silence as he struggles to multiply 25000 by 67 (exchange rate of dollar to rupee)
… that is when he is going to kill me 🙂