Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Homecoming

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.


Swatantra said...

Oh the pictures are beautiful specially the last ones..

Sakshi said...

Ahem Mr. Aparna ji, we were just having some fun and trying to make ur wife smile while you were away. One thing I know is that if she had offered herself as a prize SJ and me would have fought over her. We want to learn writing skills from her so badly.

The pics are awesome and it's easy to make them larger (yup thanks to SJ's coaching skills). You can upload the pics to flickr and then from there just copy the code and paste it on ur blog. For further info I think you should contact SJ with some knitting yarn from Tel Aviv.

Nona said...

Welcome back to India! Awesome post!

After reading the post, one thing for sure. Both of you have the similar sense of humor which is evident from your writing.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. As you rightly said, Israel has a great survival instinct. I also felt sorry when you said some of them carry handguns. It is not so easy to live in a place surrounded by hostile people. The pictures are great!

Smitha said...

Oh dear god! Aparna, Your husband is funny as you are :)

Wonderful pics, by the way!

Blunt Edges said...

i didn't find any mention about them, but i sure as hell hope the pink floyds are safe!!! ;)

The Panorama said...

This is such a nice post and I love the pictures:)

The Panorama said...

This is such a nice post and I love the pictures:)

Neha said...

nice pics...aah, you are happy seeing ur cds intact, but my husband is disappointed that his cd collection will stay at 350 only...after aparna's previous post, he was sure of striking 500...anyways, I am celebrating ur return :)

ZB said...

Hey Husband of Aparna, you are a better writer, so write instead of her from now on. She can write sometimes too, like a guest post or something.

You went to Tel-aviv? Bravo....I thought it was a risky place to go. BTW arabs hate Israel, so dont tell anyone before you travel to the MEast. Most Arab countries dont give Visas if you have an Israeli entry stamp.

Nice post...its OK, dont bother about her last post. Wife's can be nasty sometimes. Most wives are.Thats the punishment we got for eating adams apple. Now no point regretting. TC, Keep writing. :)

ZB said...

Sorry, i meant forbidden fruit and not Adam's apple. TC. :)Wish you a happy Onam BTW.

P said...

this post is cool... you have deftly published ur views with an undercurrent of humor :)

BTW..Mr. IIT how bout signing off wit ur name.. or do you prefer Mr. Aparna? :) :)

Loved ur pics.

Nupur said...

Hi, I think you are writing here for the first time,unless I have missed earlier posts from you! Anyways, the whole episode of you going away and Aparna being left alone with the studies and all rocked ! Really :) I'm talking on lighter notes...

On serious notes, I really liked the one thing that you mentioned and that too so clearly. The hard work that brought you all the goodies. And all that you have expressed about your dad's salary and sleeper coaches and all that ! It's all true in real life. Not many of us are born with silver and gold spoons and plates as well ! And I would always prefer that I earn it on my own...

The last line- IIT degree and the willingness of the hard work..Very very true and should be inspiring for younger generation !

Overall, I had a great great feeling reading your bit..And I understood how you and Aparna are so much connected to each other ! I'm happy for you guys !

Sharmila said...

I missed the last post and got to read the two together. You can enlarge the snaps with blogspot's option ... but that may show noise .. so better still .. increase the file size in your camera. That way you will get good quality large snaps.
Am Aparna's fan .. and do know that her last post was in keeping with her sense of humour and in jest. :-)

Smita said...

hehe...safeguard ur IIT ID Card and lemme see where I have kept mine :-)

The pictures are beautiful & am glad you are thankful that your wife isn't really violent ;-)

Sandhya said...

This post has not been updated in my blog list. I will read (looks interesting!) and comment later.

Now, please do the musical tag, The details are in my post. Anyone who is interested to do this tag, can do. It is fun.

Shankar.Nash said...

haha.. nice enlightening post... i think the next time you go on any trip, you will lock up all your prized possessions....

anyway.. tat was a nice post by you and some good pictures as well...

PS : To enlarge the photos, it can be done while uploading the pics alone. It will ask for the size of the pic.. you can try uploading them again, choosing the picture size as 'large'

Niti said...

Impressed and Inspired :)

Sandhya said...

After reading this post, I have come to a great conclusion...both of you are made for each other! God bless you and your family!

Aparna said...

Hi every one, I am back.
Let me first say that my husband's name is D Gupta and all of you can call him just that. Mr. Aparna is also fine.

I am here to do the thanking on my husband's behalf. I am also kicking myself for not thinking earlier that I could have offered myself as the prize too. Lacked that IIT stamped brain you see.

Thanks Swatantra.

Sakshi, your suggestion has been noted.Will picassa work too?
And where is SJ? That woman is always late. Must be spending some quality time with Zulfie.

Thanks Nona, but my husband lacks my humour. He is serious and boring. But some of my sense of humour must have rubbed off on him.After seeing these pictures, I want to go to Israel too, specially Jerusalem.

Thanks Smitha, we are trying to enlarge the pics. you can come and see them again.

Blunt edges, the Pink Floyds are fine, so are the numerous other cds.

The Panorama, thanks.

Neha, go ahead and ask your husband to increase his stash. They will be very safe.

ZB, I think you do this deliberately.You try to get a rise out of me all the time. My husband's writing skill is better? In your dreams. And aren't you glad we women consented to marry you men?

P, I already gave his name at the top. As a google search gives out a lot of his details, he was initially a bit hesitant to reveal his full name.

Nu, thanks. He was alittle upset that people might see just the brands and overlook his efforts and hard work. So he decided to write this one. This is the first time he wrote.

Sharmila, thank you. where had you disappeared? there have been some suggestions on how to increase the size of the photos. Let's see what works best. I missed your comment on my last post BTW. I thought it would have appealed to your sense of humour.

Smita, will let you on a secret, I can be pretty violent if I want. My husband just doesn't know everything about me.

Sandhya, Thanks a lot, I do not know whether we are made for each other, but we are doing pretty fine even after 17 years. I am pretty bad about tags. Already I am sitting on some. Let me see if I can do something about it.

Shankar, thanks. I ma glad you liked his post. I will try to increase the size of the photos. Come back and see them later.

Niti, thanks.

Mr Happy said...

I agree with ZB :) ,And Mr D gupta
u r absolutely right there is no short cut for success ,

Pics are beautiful , i wish to visit this place sometime in future

anamika said...

How sweet is this Mr Gupta...Both of u compliment each other..and as Aparna said that you have acquired the humor from her only.I agree to it because as heard after 10yrs of marriage husband and wife becomes each other xerox...:D

NR said...

Oh lovely inspiring post Mr.Aparna!!
Thanks for sharing it with us...i loved the pictures they were really awesome!!!

sujata sengupta said...

How come my comment was not mentioned by him..i think it was too painful for debabratada to even acknowledge the evil thoughts i am capable of putting in your head. What about Julio Eglesias? post a pic

Kavita Saharia said...

Welcome back to India...looks like it was a very interesting trip..yes,back home Aparna was missing you a lot ...all this Physics-Viysics is a cover up .But ise bahane we got to read two very great posts from mia-biwi.Because you liked my idea i would like to take this liberty of requesting you to get her few diamonds this Puja...plzz.

Unknown said...

Hello Mr. Aparna's Husband,
First of all, let me congratulate you for two things-
1. You write as brilliantly as Aparna does...so plz let her know that she has a tough competition living with her. ;) and
2. All your beloved possessions are safe n sound! Ahem!

Secondly, if you have noted, I, in no way have contributed to the Aparna's seething ;) earlier post. (would have loved to btw). I'm glad that Aparna shared this space with you to present your side of the story. and amazing snaps too. Thanks for sharing them with us.


Gayathri said...

Mr.IITian,omg you went to tel aviv??cooool...and really glad to know that the place rocks as much as it stakes important in the world map..
btw,how was the homecoming emotionally??a catfight??a violent scream? ;)

Zeba said...

This is the best post EVER on this blog! Sorry Mrs D Gupta!!

BK Chowla, said...

Very interesting.I must say you both are very supportive of each other.Seems to be a great chemistry.Lucky you.All the best.

Meira said...

She gave you her blog to post on? You are one lucky person :)
waise that the brands are all earned, was evident in the way she wrote, or probably I'm too much of a fan of hers :D

er...she told me I'd won the Johnnie Walker ?:P

nsiyer said...

You should have given me the award. I whole heartedly supported you.
Chalo, both of you have fun.

Sid said...

Loved the pictures a lot. Israel is one place that somehow manages to captivate imagination still. I agree to it's place in the middle of the middle east.
Hope the business deals went well :)

Sharmila said...

It did Aparna .. thoroughly enjoyed it .. only I was late. Don't want to hog your space but I'll mention here .. as I did in my blog too .. my other half was very ill. So was on a break. Had I been here earlier, could have suggested a few much easier & absolutely foolproof ... read sentiment proof ... recipes for your vegenance ;-)
But let's just keep that for another day. :-)

NG said...

whoaaa...what a mindblowing post...
full of inspiration

i loved the fact that u think its important to take time out for ur daughter and look at it from the bonding point of view too

well about brands...what can i say... all i need to say is ur company gave u a LV bag...what firm do u work for :)

the pictures r great and so is ur expression... u should write too...or such guest appearances will be very very welcome too...

Tech Guy said...

very good

Sandhya said...

I came back here to show the Israel Photos to my husband and your article! He read both the articles and is very happy about it. Very rarely couples show their closeness, this way, Aparna.

The photographs are beautiful.

Don't worry about the tag. I am not very fond of fast numbers, but songs with nice soothing tunes. Just did this for fun. This is the first time I am tagging people and I have done just 3 tags out of 6-7, till now!

SG said...

Nice post. With all the unwanted publicity, Tel Aviv is cool.

ani_aset said...

lovely pictures and a very good response i would say :P

Parita said...

A Lovely post, an inspiring one !!
I must say Aparna is a very lucky gal :)
Clicks are beautiful, to enlarge them simple upload to photobucket or flickr, then take the direct link them there and use the same when uploading the pic on your blog, hope this helps :)

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R. Ramesh said...

ya... a perfect made for each other couple...cheerss..

Anonymous said...

I don't like your husband. Most of those comments were addressed to me... Hmph!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

That was a very 'male' post. Although I admire and appreciate the IIT degree and the hard work, and although I enjoyed the photos 9esp the Dead Sea pictures), I have two questions:
1. Despite the busy schedule, how did you manage to check out the nightlife?
2.What did you bring back for the lady whose photo smiles back at us from the blogger profile?

Urmi said...

Thanks for your lovely comment. I love all types of animals and reptiles very much. The baby crocodile was very sweet and it was nice to hold it as well as the snake.
I liked your post very much and enjoyed reading it. The pictures are wonderful and I appreciate for the beautiful photography.

Aparna said...

@ Lincoln, agree with you and my husband on the success part.

@ Anamika, Xerox copies? Very funny.

@ Nazish,thanks. Glad you liked the post.

@ Sujata, I think he deliberately ignored that part. That does not mean I have stopped thinking about it.

@ Kavita, I love the diamond part. You sure come up with some fabulous ideas.

Purnima, thanks. But letting you know that not just him, my daughter also writes pretty well. She has also started blogging recently.

@ Gayatri, no cat fights no violent screams. Just a sleepy welcome. It was 5 in the morning when he came.

@ Zeba,I think all of you are trying to make me jealous. Glad you liked the post.

@ BK Chowla, thanks a lot.

@ Meira, this Diwali we are going to Delhi. I think we will organize an official handing over ceremony of old Johnnie Boy. What do you think?

@ Nsiyer, that award was for my supporters,since you sided with my husband, you were disqualified. He should give you an award instead, right?

@ Sid, the business went pretty well, thanks.

@ Sharmila, I am sorry to hear about your husband. Hope he is fine now. Missed a few blogs of yours so did not know. Blogrolled you since then.

@ Neha, thanks. Glad you liked his writing. Will ask him to write once in a while.

@ Guy, thanks.

@ Sandhya, thank you. I hope your husband liked reading the two different versions.

@ SG, thank you. He says Israel was beautiful.

@ Anirudh,thanks.

@ Parita, thanks for the suggestions. Will see what options work the best.

@ Ramesh, thanks.

@ UnsungP, you and also countless others! But it was nothing personal!

@ Sucharita, he just got me some chocolates(which the kids promptly ate)and some skin products. I at least deserved a beautiful purse I thought. The people he had business with had organized a tour. Thats how the he sampled the night life...at least that is his version.

@ Babli, that was very brave of you. Thanks for reading and appreciating the post.

Neha said...

loved the layout...and the header...its so vibrant...gives a very fresh look...have a great durga puja fest gal...:)

Corina said...

Beautiful corner you have here :-)

G S Pillai said...

Hi Mr.Gupta,

I am one among your hopelessly outnumbered foot-soldiers while you were away, we who tried to argue your case where we could or at least beg for clemency where we could not.

Anyway good to know the car's still in one piece.


Ire said...

Awesome! Love the pictures and this post brought a smile!

All the best to your daughters and you both!

Kavita Saharia said...

Header is beautiful...can feel pujo in the air.

Onkar said...

Very well-written. I particularly liked the part relating to teaching your child. I do the same and I think, we are right.

Aparna said...

@ Neha,Thank you. Durga Puja is coming and we are all very excited.

@ Corina Stoica, thank you very much. I am glad you visited my blog. Do come back again.

@ Bluebird, the car is in one piece, and so are the numerous other things.My husband is grateful to all the foot soldiers, including you, who supported his right to keep his valuables. So i am thanking you on his behalf.

@ Nikki, thanks, I am glad it brought a smile to your face.

@ Kavita, I miss the 'shiuli' flowers here. The work on the pandal close to my house is on and everyday I see the progress. The excitement is palpable.

@ Onkar, thank you. Yes, both of us give a lot of attention to our children's education. I think it works out better.

Tomz said...

enjoyed the way of writing from another's perspective..

Manish Raj said...

Very nice post...and beautiful pics..have fun..

Kavi said...

I guess different folks have different way of toasting their successes ! That said, its the success and the relishing of how it was achieved, that finally matters !

And the pictures of Israel were fascinating. Not that i was seeing them for the 1st time, but this was through a new lens !

Anonymous said...

I had missed this post....I was LAPTOP less for a while..

Nice Pictures Mr.Gupta. And a nice ending to the previous post. You really do complement each other.

@ Aparna - I have cursed you with another award..check my blog...

Deepanjan Ghosh said...

Lovely pics. Thanks for sharing. I have a fairly large music and movies collection myself, so it's always nice to hear from fellow collectors.