Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to meet each one of you.
I read my wife's blog while I was in Tel Aviv and could not suppress a smile. It gave me immense pleasure to read about her plans to destroy all my worldly goods. After 17 years of togetherness, I can claim to know a little bit about her. She does not have a violent streak and I knew all my possessions would be safe. ( Although I admit I counted the CDs once I reached home.)
I must say some of her ideas were pretty fierce. My gratitude goes out to all those who tried to reason with her and asked her to spare my CDs and my IIT ID card. Of all the things I possess, I cherish my IIT certificate and the ID card the most. That degree is my pride and joy. Both the certificate and the card are now tucked away in a safe place, away from my wife's eagle eyes. The Blu-Ray player and the DVDs have also escaped her wrath and for that I am grateful. I can be a pain in the wrong place if I do not have my weekly dose of Marlon Brando. The Godfather series is intact and I am thankful to the Almighty for giving my wife her forgiving nature.
I also read all the comments this particular post drew. This was a daunting task as there were quite a few of them. Some were amusing, and some made me think a bit.There were a few issues I felt I must address here. Hence the decision to write this post. My wife gladly agreed to lend me this space.
I do not always teach my daughter. I just guide her when she needs help in Mathematics or Science. Similarly, my wife teaches her if she needs help in Geography or English. We still do not know what she will ultimately decide to study. Although there is no pressure from our side for her to achieve a certain percentage, we have tried to instill in her the value of an all round education. Moreover, if I have the required expertise on a certain subject, why shouldn't I guide her? Why depend on an outsider if I can do the tutoring? It also gives us the chance to spend some time together as father and daughter. As parents, isn't it our duty to pass on our knowledge and wisdom to our children? So to all those who felt that we should let her study on her own, let me just say that I would prefer it if my daughter approached me for any problem, be it physics or any thing else, rather than go to a stranger. My daughter is quite independent. But she knows that her parents are always available in case she requires help.
The second issue concerned the branded items. It is only after my wife wrote about them that I realised there were some expensive items I have acquired over the years. Although most of those things, like the shining, gleaming car and the LV bag have been given to me by my company, there are some good things I have bought myself. I passed out of my college when I was 20. Now I am almost 46. All these years I have worked very hard to reach where I have today. I have gone through my share of local trains and unreserved travel in sleeper class coaches. I also cannot get over the fact the Louis Vuitton bag as well as the music system cost not just more than a return New York ticket but also more than the apartment my parents bought during my father's last few days before he retired. Ditto for the Salvatore Ferragamo ties - each cost more than my dad's last drawn salary. If I fly first class today, it is because I have earned it with my hard work. So, to the younger generation, let me just say that there is no short cut to success. If I am proud of my possessions, it is not because of their brand value. It is because I bought them with my own hard earned money. Sure, the IIT degree helped, but so did my willingness to work hard. Someone up there was more than kind to me.
On a lighter note, let me just say that the lady who suggested I watch a Ranbir Kapoor or a Fardeen Khan movie as a punishment was spot on. I would do anything to escape watching these two gentlemen, including watching an episode of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. So if there really was a prize, you will be a winner.
So thank you ladies and gentlemen for reading this bit. I am glad to be back home, defending what is rightfully mine. So sorry there was no actual award. I was also a bit relieved to know that my wife did not think of offering herself as a prize. Now that would have been a disaster, for me as well as for you.
To prove that I was actually working very hard, I am sharing some of my memories here. If it seems like this was a tourism trip - let me tell you it was not. The business addresses that we visited were so heavily guarded (even some of the employees carried handguns - I am not joking) that I had to not only leave my camera behind, but my cellphone as well. Hence the pleasant pictures only - for you to enjoy.
The ultimate fusion of religion - you have a minaret of a mosque on top of the room where Jesus had his last supper and then King David's tomb below. I can tell you that I sorely missed Vishwa Hindu Parishad here ! Some combination !!
The famous wall in Jerusalem which separates the Jewish and Arab settlements. The Jews are giving it back to the Arabs in style what happened to them during WW II.
A view of the Mediterranean Sea from Herzeliyya beach.
This is the tomb where the shroud of Jesus was found.
The wailing wall - the most sacred place for the Jewish religion. This was part of the original temple.
Jerusalem is not just about religion. The night life rocks as well.
These are the caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were found hidden.
The Dead Sea - finally. It is a crazy experience. I could actually sit on the water in "Dhyanmudra".
The Dead Sea again - you can see the "running horse" image on the hills - which are actually in Jordan.
Israel has an identity of its own. It has a great survival instinct - it exists right in the middle of the Middle East - surrounded by unkind and at best hostile Arab nations. It became independent about a year after India - but the progress is awesome. As I left the city through Ben Gurion airport (and landed smack into the hands of the famous El Al security) , I could not but feel a deep sense of respect for the country and its people.
P.S. I know the pictures are small. I would appreciate it if somebody can tell me how to enlarge these photos.