Saturday, 1 October 2011

Love, Sex aur Divorce!! (A physio-psychological analysis)

This is a materialistic world, where love and sex are up for sale - if you are ready to shell out good price for it. Love, by definition - the bonding between two souls, who complement each other's weaknesses and sharpen the other's strengths - are just things of the past! The craving is still there, but limited to fulfilling cheap sexual desire of each other. The emotional bonding that typically strengthened the love and affection between two souls have given way to cocky lust and intense sexual pleasure - even if it is short-lived.
Break-up is inevitable
in some cases
Young couples, who have accepted the way of life - in meeting, mating and moving on (in their own directions), minus the emotional bonding - have created a new urban social dimension. Many among them, who even end up marrying to their so called soul-mates - end up breaking their marriage rather early. One of the main reasons being their failure in gauging marital bliss and responsibilities beyond their sexual desires. The initial years of intense sexual pleasures - pre-marital and post-marital, soon become a stressed out routine exercise, which if not compromised, lead to unnecessary turmoils, in most cases leading to divorces.

A study conducted by a leading research firm has revealed that most of the divorces take place in the following two chronological system:
1. within 5-7 years of marriage: this is the time when a child is born or is growing up; expectations are built wrt taking responsibilities for the child and the family; conflicts and disharmony sets in.
2. around 10-12 years of marriage: as individuals the partners have matured; already have a kid in the 5-6 years age group; mid-life crisis with stressed out work-life and family life, leading to loss of intimacy and connection - even if some of the couples tend to compromise with the situation, in most cases there is undoubtedly an outburst, leading to a break-up or divorce

Sex and divorce are two of the most emotionally potent subjects of our time. When combined, they create a psychological cocktail with all the portents of both ecstasy and hang-over, of pleasure and pain, of risk and failure. And, as with any strong elixir, the subliminal message reads: handle with care. 
In this article, I would try to elaborate the second point - that is the breakups in marital lives that are effected because of a poor sexual relationship and how to cope with the same.

So, let's  take a look at some of the causes that lead to a reduction of sexual intimacy of couples:
Loss of intimacy in bed after a 10-12 years of married life,
is a major cause of breakup
1. The biggest flaw that leads to uncompromising loss of sexual intimacy in the post-marital life (within 10-12 years) is a lack of work-life balance of the 30-40 year olders. A highly stressful working life, coupled with competitive urge to create more moolah, most often lead to compromising the sexual desires of the partner. The concoction becomes even more frothy when both the partners are working and are equally stressed-out with their life. The couples tend to get directionless and with the absence of proper counseling systems in a country like India - where the race to be the best and reach the helm of all affairs is quite intense - love most often ends up becoming a dhoka, an eye-wash.
2. One of the partners may voluntarily opt to dissociate from regular sexual intimacy - citing physical/physiological reasons - a common cause of worry in this age group - but most often ignored  till something awful comes up suddenly. If the other partner is not willing to understand or compromise, this certainly leads to a stale marriage. Do remember, most of the cardiac problems and other lifestyle diseases hit this specific age group of 30-40s. One would never preempt what is coming up, unless one fine day you realise that your partner is lying cold in bed! Hence, one needs to treat this phase of life with a lot of understanding - any knee-jerk reaction to one partner's abstinence from regular sexual intimacy  may cause a lot of discomfort to not only the couple but the greater family as a whole. 
3. Regular mental agonies bred from family related situations or caused by the immediate environment (neighbourhood, friends, relatives, colleagues) can impact an individual's personalilty, leading to a gradual  dissociation of the person from any physical intimacy. This is a typical social dissociation process as defined by social psychologists. Human mental processes are greatly affected by their social environment which reflects in physical relationships as well. Situations like this needs to be handled with a lot of maturity.

Hence what am I trying to establish here? Very simple. In a mature relationship, closeness, affection and sexual intimacy is a physical or physiological need. But this need is driven by certain psychological stimuli. At a  mature age, understanding these stimuli are easier than at the high-school or college levels. Kids in the age group of 16-24 end up getting into some form of physical relationship - guided by  peer pressure, physiological drives and various other environmental stimuli. In many a cases these kids end up tying the knots and soon realize how these knots stifle them to their own end. India surely needs a strong network of counselors at high schools, colleges and even at the university levels. The role of these counselors is not to dissuade these young couples from loving or tying the knots, but rather to give them a positive stroke of understanding life better. Sexual drive alone will never make one's life happier...  

Bhalobasha o Mrityu (Love and Death)

নীল আকাশ, মিষ্টি বাতাস - 
   আমি ভ্রমর হয়ে উড়ি
তোমার নয়ন-জোড়া দেখে আমি,
   পুষ্প ক্রোর ছুই.

ভাবি আমি বসে বসে -
   সবুজ ধানের খেতের ধারে
এ হেন অপ্সরা তুমি,
   কেমন তরে দিবে মোরে,
তোমার ওই হৃদয়ের মাঝে
   এক টুকরো ভালবাসার ছওয়া. 

এক বর্ষা রাতে, মহাপ্রলয়ের মাঝে
   শুনি এক আর্তনাদ
খুঁজি আমি এপাশ ওপাশ
   দেখি না আমি কাউকে - 
আবার শুনি সেই ভয়াবহ আর্তনাদ
   ভেসে আসে যেন 
তোমারি দ্বার থেকে
   ছুটে যাই আমি - সন্ধানে.

উপড়ে গেছে সেই পুরাতন বট-বৃক্ষ
   ধ্বসে গেছে কুটিরের ছাদ
রুদ্ধ-শ্বাস বেগে ধেয়ে যাই আমি
   জীর্ণ সেই আঙ্গিনা পেড়িয়ে
এক কোনে শায়িত দেখি
   সেই দৈবিক সৌন্দর্য
কিন্ত এ কি? এত রক্ত কেন?
   থরথর বক্ষে, আমি তুলে নি তোমারে
হদিস হারিয়ে ছুটে যাই বাইরে
   আরো প্রলয়, আরো আর্তনাদ চারি-পাশে.

এক পাশে, একটু পরিষ্কার জায়গা দেখি
   হালকা হাতে তোমায় মেলে ধরি
পাই না কোনো প্রাণের শ্বাস
   ওগো, একবার চেয়ে দেখো-
আমি তোমারি সেই ভ্রমর
   তোমারি প্রেমে আমি করেছি 
কতই না তপাশ্বা... কেন এখন মেলে ধর না 
   তোমার ওই নয়ন দুটি?

হে ঈশ্বর, আমার এই প্রাণখানি
   নয় কোনো অমূল্য রত্ন
যারে আমি দিতে পারি না বলিদান 
   এ হেন দৈবিক অপ্সরার নেয় -
তুমি লও মোরে, ফিরিয়া দাও তারে.
   হঠাত এক নিস্তব্দতা চারি পাশে
তবে কি আমার প্রার্থনা শুনিয়াছে সে?
   বৃষ্টি থেমেছে, বাদল সরেছে
ভানুর রশ্মি ছেয়েছে চারি পাশে - 
   কিন্ত আমার কোলে এখনো
নিস্তব্ধ, নিস্তেজ সেই দেহখানি
   এই ভ্রমরও গেছে হেরে.

এই সত্য, এই প্রকৃত
   অপেক্ষায় থাকিব আমি,
আবার কোনো এক কালে
   মিলিব তোমারি সাথে 
হয়ে ভ্রমর তোমার পদ্ম বক্ষে
   ভাসিব এক নতুন মধুর রসে...

Friday, 30 September 2011

Durga Puja Celebrations - A Thought!

(Translated for Mr. Ashok Bose, President - Dakshin Pally Durga Puja Samity, C R Park)

The eternal mother (Ma Durga) has started her journey on the majestic airavat – the elephant, from Mount Kailash to her paternal home on earth. The land is filled with the sweet fragrance of the shiulis and the shimmering beauty of the white kash-phools, that wave in the thin breeze announcing the arrival of Ma. With Mahalaya, it has been the onset of Matripaksha. Sounds of conch shells and temple bells reverberate the morning hours everyday. A sense of enthusiasm and excitement prevail all around as young and old, male and female, take out time from their mechanical life to rush up with their last minute puja shopping – sarees, denims, shirts, trousers, and many more. This is as if, everyone has woken up from a slumber to be part of Sharad-utsav or Durga Puja.

In the middle of all the happiness, the razzmatazz, the showbiz and the commercialization of Durga Puja festivities, one group of people have somehow been neglected or even unintentionally pushed in the shadows of gloom and despair. They are an integral part of the society, like anyone among us – you and me. These are the physically challenged and underprivileged kids. In pursuit of the minimal happiness that the family can get, the parents leave these little ones back home – often neglected and unprotected, while they try to earn a living. While we all drench ourselves in the fun and frolic of the festivities, these timid and helpless kids tend to get further shoved away from the general mass – and we do not even unfortunately realize this. These physically challenged kids end up becoming a loner all throughout their life.

While deliberating on whether we, as a society can do something for these kids or not, the Dakshin Pally Durga Puja Samity decided to take up their cause and start a small movement. We have contacted various NGOs and have requested them to get all these kids, at our own expense in chartered buses, from across Delhi and provide them with the best entertainment possible during the festivities, which include showing them around different pandals in C R Park, treating them with sumptuous meals and showering them with lots of gifts, love and affection.

This is just a small initiative and probably a lot need to be done for them. People from across India should think of doing something in getting these kids in the mainstream social spectrum in making them more self confident and giving them a sense of acceptance by one and all. I thank all the NGOs who have decided to associate with us and would plead with other puja organizers to take up this cause in their own way. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous Durga Puja.

Thank you.

Monday, 8 August 2011

What ails the mango man??

(This blog-post was waiting to be posted for over 2-months (around May-June), and hence, reference to certain thoughts/ideas are time-bound - kindly ignore the same)

The 'mango man' (read: aam admi) is today in great dilemma!! The green, yellow, red 'aam'-s out there in the market, are beyond his arm's length! Affording these 'aam'-s is no more 'aam-baat'... and hence, the 'aam'-s find their place of glory on the tables of the not-so-aam janta (read: the people who can afford them). Huh! That's the state of affairs for almost anything in today's socio-political-economic environment in India. On one side we have the netas, trying their level best in getting everything away from the aam-admi, leaving behind the 'chilkas' and 'gutlis', while we have the civil society representatives who have made 'Bhu-hartals' an aam-affair. Luckily with Navratri on, Anna ji did find pleasant company in Jantar Mantar during his stage-show, while the Yoga Guru, Baba Ramdev ensured that no aam-admi goes to bed empty stomach, beyond 2 days of fasting (till the time the cops decided to feed the aam-admi-s at Ramdev's camp with the taste of 'danda'.)
Now, what options are left for these poor 'aam-admi'-s? Nothing much, except for them to pray hoping that  next year there will be a bumper crop - so that the aam-s can make way to their dinner tables as well (sic!)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Have a Heart!! Bring a smile on this V-Day!

Just imagine the amount of energy generated on a single day worldwide - which probably is sufficient to keep the entire world's light bulbs (more appropriately the modern CFLs) glowing years after years... Sounds confusing, eh! Well, I am referring to the warmth, that will be generated through acts of passion, through literary efforts (like the way you are reading mine indiscreet thoughts currently) and other means on Monday the 14th - aka Valentine's Day. Without getting into much details of this warmth (which if possibly stored and then converted to other forms, would create an energy bank as per my introductory reference), let's try and find a way of using it more effectively. Hmmm... so we have these 'couple' things happening at the colleges - some bold moves by the 'pretending-to-be-macho' guys, some shy flirtations by the genuinely introvert girls and some eye-to-eye contacts of the people seeking the middle path and the FMs playing their daily roster of love songs in the background - wow, we have a concoction brewing all around of ''Love is in the air''! Certainly, love is in the air, but you still cant take it lightly... it will leave a heavy heart at the end of the day for many (sigh!) - who would be termed unlucky in love or losers by their straight faced competitors... Anyways, I actually did not wish to analyse the debit or credit of love, but had to discuss this to reach a point of reference, which I now have... Love ke liye kuch bhi karega. Well said, then let's do it! You need not bleed to death. Neither do you have to eat 40 spicy and tangy gol gappas and turn upside down seeking nirvana the next 2 weeks and obviously, you need not burn your pockets (literally and symbolically) in getting your loved one the kuchee-kuchee stuffed bunny or teddy or all those voluptuous object-o-desiree... You just need to ''Have a Heart''! Even more confused! Then read on...
You love someone doesnot mean you just need to prove it on one special day... any of the 365 days can be made special for the other person, whom you genuinely feel for. With millions of couples running head over heels to express their love on one V-Day, actually doesnot give that exclusive feeling of togetherness that you guys should really enjoy. So, how else can you make 'love' work on this day. As you have already read above - Have a heart (Hey which I already do have! you may exclaim!!) and share your love with those who do not stand a chance. Visit an old age home, or an orphanage or a cancer home and try to ignite their hearts with the warmth of your love and affection. Hold out their hands and just say - I love you - and you will see a star twinkle in his eyes - you will also get the goosebumps buddy!! Love is contagious. The more you share your love with others, the more it comes back to you in some form or the other... love is ever lasting (remember the conservation of energy stuff that you read first time in your 8th grade science book?)... you lose love somewhere, you gain it elsewhere. Never feel that you are all alone this V-Day... just make your love work with someone who actually needs it, someone who is truly lonely. People say love is blind, I say love makes a blind man see. Visit a Blind School, a special school for kids, an orphanage or IIPM on 14th and share your love with all who crave for it... you will feel yourself as a superman (without the wardrobe malfunction) being hugged by people whom you never knew, being loved by people who you have never loved before... never run for love, as love will find you all by itself. So, have a great V-Day and just do it right to make this day the most memorable day of your life...Ola!