We live in a day and time when the very institution of marriage is being mocked at. Values and morals have dwindled drastically, infact they have gone down the drain. I see so many posts floating on the internet and movies depicting selfishness, vengence, pride, vanity, bitterness and resentment. We live in a world that tells us kindness is foolishness. It tells us, that we have to be selfish and look into our own interests. It teaches us to be arrogant with arrogant people as it is the only language they respect, as they confound kindness with weakness. But let me tell you about a couple who lives by the opposite principle. Writing about someone else always makes me feel skittish. I am attempting to tell a couple’s life story in one page and that is a herculean task. 🙂
Meet Mr. Abraham Varghese & Sareeta Varghese, lovingly known as Mohan & Munni, 🙂 🙂 for all those who know them, are legends in their own sight.
I’m here to tell you a real life story about a couple who not only got married after falling in love but also succeeded in everything they did.
Falling in love in a very small part between two individuals; staying in love and hanging on “till death do us part” is what is important.
I still remember the first day i met them, almost 15 years ago. They were complete strangers to me. I was invited to dine with their family, not knowing how they would eventually become the most integral part of my life. Uncle Mohan was serving the Indian Navy then as a Commander and Munni Amma was layering love and affection brick by brick in the family. I felt really odd to dine at their place. How would they treat me? Would I be asked too many questions about my life? Would they be too nosy and introspective? It was a tricky and an embarrassing situation. However, I obeyed and went. I was so astonished when I got invited to sit around their family table and eat with the rest of the family. They have three boys, Adarsh, Alex and Ashok. They all had a beaming smile at the family table. Munni Amma personally got up and served me, followed by Uncle and the boys. This was the first time i was away from my family and some one showed kindness to me, even though I had nothing to offer. I felt tears well up in my eyes and a familiar lump in my throat. But I swallowed it along with the sumptous food that was served on the dining table. I made a vow to myself that day: I would always remain loyal to this family until I had breath in my lungs. This family has stood by me, believed in me and supported me in everything I did. They gave me a helping hand when I needed one and they patted me on my shoulder when I succeeded and made something of myself.
They had a Maruti Van in those days. I once asked Uncle, “Why do you need such a big vehicle for a small family ?” He politely replied, “Many people can fit in and we can take people around”. I was bewildered to see this man, whose actions spoke louder than words. They helped people move houses, get to the hospital in the wee hours, drop and pick up from the train station, get the elderly to the bank and the list goes on .. I have seen the entire family leaving packets of milk, a bunch of banana’s. rice bags, groceries at the door step of people, struggling with their finances. One winter, i saw them leaving rugs on the pavements for those who have no roof on their head.
They say – You can tell a lot about a man and his values when you meet his family. These incidents is what sealed my friendship, respect and honor for this family. I have so many memories with the whole family and they are engraved in my heart and mind forever.
Young and old would come to this family pouring out their woes. I have never seen them or witnessed judging anybody. They would give them a listening ear, do their best, keep their confidence and pray for them too. Uncle Mohan and his family didn’t just extend a helping hand and a warm heart of kindness to me. This is their way of life. There were days when Uncle retired from the Navy and his income was not at its usual high and someone would come to Uncle for help and he would just take out his wallet and give the note/notes without even looking at the denomination. Strangers eat at their table, laughs are shared, memories are made and the best part is, they don’t expect anything in return, apart from your love and friendship.
Both of them not only invested their time and energy bulding other’s life, but also believed that marriage is mosiac one builds with their spouse, millions of tiny moments that create a love story. Together they built a life together. If you’ve spent time in their company, you’ll know what a unique loving couple they are. So many times i have asked Munni Amma, how she coped building a beautiful marriage. She smiled and said, Uncle Mohan was a Blessing. He was her pillar of strength and and helped her even with chores at home. What can be more enriching than this for a woman; to see her man being there to cheer and support her as she crosses milestones life has to offer. It is very rare to come across a couple like this. It is not just about falling in love with a person … It is about falling in love with their soul, falling in love with their dreams, falling in love with their aspiration and then building a home based on togetherness. This is what they have managed to achieve. They both fell in LOVE and keep falling in love with each other, everyday. This is what makes marriage work. You stand by each other thought the thick and the thin. You support your spouse in whatever way you can to see them succeed. They have been married for 36 years now and they have had to build a life on their own.
Just the other day i happened to bump into the loving couple at a retail store and it was raining cats and dogs. During the course of conversation i’ve learnt that they’ve come to purchase some essentials for a family who happened to stay over night for their journey the next day. I was baffled beyond measure for their heart of gold and the time and energy they invest in people’s life. Before the boys do anything for themselves, they are taught to share food, fruits, stationary etc etc to someone or to a family that is in need. An entire family, two generations that has been helping people and the community around them grow.
What I learnt from observing the Varghese’s family:
1) Accept people as they are, do not judge them, love them unconditionally, and pray for them.
2) Give the best you can without any expectation.
3) If you want to teach the next generation or your kids about generosity and kindness, first do it yourself and they will learn watching you as they grow up.
4) When GOD increases you standard of living, you increase your standard of giving.
5) Down the line people will not remember how much money you made; they will remember how much kindness you showed.
When God measures us, he puts the tape around the heart instead of the head.
How does God measure a man?
Does He span his shoulders to test his strength?
Does he check his height to determine his leadership ability?
Does he measure his head to check his brain capacity?
The obvious answer to all these questions is obviously “NO”.
God measures a man by the depth of the man’s devotion to HIM. God wraps HIS measuring tape around the heart
Let’s be sure the “measure” by which we examine ourselves is the same one used by God.
I hope The Varghese’s family inspires many young people to give as much as they can to the community around them. It’s not wrong to build a career but more than that it’s important to invest in lives. 🙂 😉