Saturday, January 3, 2009

If love was all you need...Story of a friend..

I would like to delve into a very interesting topic of what else is required apart from just being in love or loving someone to make a relationship work. I want to understand and gather your comments, by narrating a story of someone that I know very closely. Respecting this guy’s privacy, I would give a fictitious name to him, let’s call him “Lucky” – and in many ways he is, but by some ways he would hope to be, you decide after you have done reading this. Now, as I write through this post, there are many incidences that come to my mind that I would love to discuss here. But, for now I would like to stick on to one, that is far more impacting to both his and my life, which is the center of this post. As, I said Lucky and I go back a long way, right from our school days. I remember him being a guy who is good hearted, average performer (in terms of studies), more interested in the practical aspect of textual knowledge – so basically ace performer in Lab experiments – but when it came to mugging up paragraphs and regurgitating it in exams, this would not be his top talents. I also remember him being a jolly fellow, trying to find ways to keep his peers laughing. Cracking a joke – again, more on the practical side, was his hobby, and I have to say he was darn good at it. His family was pretty nice as well. He didn’t have any brothers, one sister – elder – at this point she is married and well settled in overseas. His father was into consulting field, so travelled a lot, but the good thing was he always got Chocolates from all the countries he visited – My personal favorite always used to be the European brands (duh!!). After schooling, Lucky and I got into the same Bachelor’s Program but ended up going to different Universities. We used to be in touch via the usual teenage route of SMS, emails, on-line gaming etc. After my graduation, I decided to come to US. My regular readers would already know about MY life, if this is the first post that you’re reading in my Blog, you are more than welcome to go through my other posts – which talk more about my own journey. As Lucky is the central character of this post, lets talk more about him and less about me . After I came to US, our contact broke for a while, and the last I heard was that he got a job, may be an Internship, in his Dad’s consulting firm. One day, and I will never forget this, my summer break was almost over, and I get a phone call, and the voice on the other side says – “ Guess Who?” – I couldn’t believe it, it was my very own buddy Lucky. He had come over to US for pursuing his MBA. And unlike our Bachelors, this time, his school was not as far away. Just 2 hours drive from mine. I was glad that my child hood buddy was here, in a land far away from the loved ones. This would help me to overcome my homesickness. Throughout our Masters, we used to make it a point to meet atleast once a month. It was glad to see that since all these years, he hadn’t changed a bit. Same good ol’ lucky. I graduated almost a year and a half before him and when I was moving out of for my job, I told him to apply to the same firm. He did, and got in the same company. So after a short break – our hanging out continued. During his last days in college, he was in a relationship, and this is where I would like to take you all the main part of the discussion. So basically the post revolves around Lucky and his Girl. Lucky used to tell me about her, before he was committed. They were just good friends, and what prompted them to take the next step was the similarities they started seeing in each other – which obviously when found between two people, doesn’t take long to instill the question, that if two guys hang out with each other, love each other’s company – then why not be more than just friends. And so they did it, the got into a relationship. I was happy for both of them. When Lucky moved to my company, as he and his girlfriend were from the same Major, she ended up working in the same field. Her company was not in the same town, but it did allow her make the home base where ever she see fit. And fly out from there. She was also a great girl to hang out with – as she was not a typical girly girl. She was very understanding, when it came to a lot of things. One of the examples, where most Girlfriends would get pissed out, would be Saturday night online gaming marathon. Infact, I saw her jumping into action lot of time, if not, then she would be the one cheering our team. All in all, she was a great girl. Lucky used to talk to me about, the right time where both of them should take the relationship to the next level – he loved this girl a lot. Even back in school, he had girls for friends…but, I knew this one was ‘the One’. And looking at both of them, they would have felt the same, when they met each other. And just like, you can see the distant face through the mist of uncertainties– You’re certain what it is, but you only get assured, when the mist settles down. A very similar scenario would have happened with them as well. They were cruising all along. During the second year in relationship, the practicality aspect of things started to look up – or rather I should say – look down on both of them. At this point, Lucky came to know that, though there were lot of similarities between him and his girl. There was a fundamental difference in opinion. Lucky, who was very much into the Western Culture, had a very deep attachment with his family. Right from the start, if anyone used to ask him about his future plans, (that is being in US), he used to promptly reply, back by saying, “ US will be always my home away from home, but I would like to see my self settling back in India, in the long run” – it was almost like a recording. I sometimes, thought that he would change his mind, as he would spend more time here in states, but he was very determined on sticking to his plans. He said that, he wants to get some experience here in states,4 or 5 years and then head back to India. But on the other hand his GF was of a different opinion. She never fathomed the idea of going back to India (I think didn’t take enough time to explain her background to you all. So here it is - She was also from India, not from my city, but a major one. She was completely opposite of lucky, in terms of being the School Ranker, overall best student, serious thinker – girl of few chosen words – the list goes on – But one thing to say it all– Apple of Lucky’s eye). Her childhood was also spent in some financial downturns, so she had seen more bad days than good. Her mother, always had advised her to be “Independent” at any point of time. She (her mother) had an attitude that in today’s world if a girl is not independent, then her own Man would not respect her, the way she should be respected. I came to know all about this when Lucky started having very hard time convincing both his GF and her mother. I too was perplexed with the thinking that her mother had. You love a girl, promise her the world, decide to spend your entire life with her, then why wouldn’t you give her the same respect. Why does it require to claim financial independence just for that piece – I can understand if its just being career oriented. But, this was not that – may be she (Her GF’s mom, was arriving to this conclusion based off her own experience. Well, three are example of homemakers in my own family, and they get equal and more respect in the household) . Now even Lucky never said anything about his GF not working after marriage, the fact was well accepted. The show stopper, as I would say, was Lucky’s idea of going back to India, in couple of years. When both, him and his Girl would have got enough International experience, so they can pretty much lead the same life style as they were leading out here. His GF’s mother, was at times very American centric. She was utmost impressed with lot of things, that were trivial in any relationship – for example – She just couldn’t stop talking about the ease of life in US as compared to India, everything can be done by the click of a button, how clean the roads were as compared to India. Listening to all this, also gave an impression, which turned out to be true in later stages, that for someone’s children being in US was a matter of pride in certain societies in India. Unfortunately for Lucky, his GF’s parents belonged to that sect of people.
It was very hard for me to digest the fact that as India, the biggest Democracy in the world, one of the leading economies, people of that country still thinks that being an NRI is a matter of prestige. I have discussed on the same topic widely in my previous posts, but sadly now seeing my friend facing this tough fact was very disheartening. Lucky tried his level best to convince his girl otherwise, he told all the positive sides of he going back. On the contrary his girl always thought that his decision is being influenced by his parents in anyways. But, I knew that it was not. He was the only son left, after his sister got married and settled abroad. To see his parents getting old and spending their life without, their children were something he never wanted to see. He in fact didn’t like the view of seeing his GF’s parents stay like this also – she had an elder brother, who was already well settled abroad. Lucky could not see, even his GF’s parents living all alone. He tried his level best, but in vain. She always viewed lucky’s request as a “contract”, something that she can never say a yes to. Getting married and always keep on thinking that you have to go back in 4-5 years. On lucky's side, though he always wanted to go much earlier back home, but the 4-5 years time frame that he had said was an extension just to respect his GF's wishes decided to extend his stay, just so that, he didn't wanted to loose the girl over a pity issue as this.I on my end tried to mend the ties, tried my best to explain both of them, to try to hit a common ground instead of calling it a quit. I just couldn’t see them part away of something that can be totally worked out if dealt in the right way. But, both of them stood their grounds, and reached a deadlock. I too gave up after sometime, as it was doing nothing but creating more heartache for everyone. I have, from that point, not brought this topic up – and to what I can see, it is seeing its last stages – unless something changes for the good. I know that Lucky is still looking for something to get worked out –I hope it does and if not then I hope everything happens for the best …

Concluding this post – I would like to ask my readers on what should have been the right way to solve this issues. On one hand you have a guy who thinks that love is all a girl needs in life, and he goes off to make silly (well now what you would call them ?) assumptions, that the girl can change her own planned course, only if she can be guaranteed love through and through, and being anywhere in the world with the person you love should only be a trivial issue, you are guaranteeing all her wishes to be fulfilled – including her career plans – and he asks only thing in return is to head back to India – not just for his parents, but the girl’s parents as well – and also that he wishes to take back all the experience he will get from US & try to replicate it for his own country. But, on the other hand, her family closely identifies and quite honestly wishes for her to stay back in US – as she has worked so hard for this, it’s a matter of perceived society stature, only being independent is the way to earn respect in a relationship? And making it big in US is the ultimate career making move.