The Perfect Formula For A Great Life
It will be appropriate to begin this short treatise by quoting two eminent individuals of bygone eras, on their take about marriages…
“There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye, keep house as man and wife” by Homer (the author of the epics – ‘Iliad’ and ‘Odyssey’, believed by the ancient Greeks to have been the first and greatest of the epic poets); and
“A marriage is successful when a husband is glad to come home to his wife from work in the evening and the wife sorry to see him go to work the next morning” by Martin Luther King.
Parsis – may our numbers increase exponentially – are a unique community. Living life to the full, nary a care in the world courses through our veins. Our focus is limited to the present – living a good life, usually bypassing planning for the future survival of Parsis as a race. Our scanty marriages and plummeting birth-rates have unfortunately evoked limited response or concern about our future survival.
Today, we stand at a crossroad – with one fork leading towards survival and the other – extinction. The future of Parsis, or the lack of it, rests on the shoulders of a very small segment – the youth of marriageable age, capable of reproduction. Now is the time for our youth to render the same importance to marriage and procreation, as they do to careers. Hoping and praying that our Gen-Next will realise the importance of marrying early and begetting children, as one who has been very happily married for close to 50 years – I gladly share my experience and familiarity of enjoying marriage to the full.
Successful marriages that have endured and fused into long-term, unbreakable commitments have been built upon foundations of not only love, but mutual respect and understanding of each other. One of the best ways to enjoy and succeed in a marriage is to have the mindset that it will usually be hard work. There are always times of disagreement and hurt feelings, even in good marriages, because marriage revolves around two individuals who have thus far lived their entire lives only for themselves. A successful relationship requires each to put the other person first. The rewards are worth it all.
Issues and complications are bound to arise but with mutual respect and understanding, they are smoothly sorted out. The reality is that some things that seem important at twenty-five years of age, mean far less so as we begin to grow and mature. Living a happy and contented life together with your spouse and family is a wonderful experience, impossible to surpass. As we live life together, we increasingly learn what’s really important to our spouse and to us. Marriage can be compared to fruit on a tree. Time will make it a sweet fruit that both partners will enjoy. A nurtured marriage will always get better with time.
Some disagreements will certainly arise, and when they do it is best not to keep short-term peace by lying. Marriages built on lies in order to keep from arguing, is certainly not the done thing. Lies destroy emotional intimacy which is one of the most essential ingredients for a happy marriage. Honesty in marriage is the wisest path.
In the Indian context, a reality that is important to accept is, though the grains of the Aashirwad ceremony are showered only on the couple, it is three families (wife’s, husband’s, and the new one) that get intertwined for as long as they live. Marriages, where both the man and woman will commit to stay with each other, together work out problems and seek the best for the other, survive wonderfully.
Let our youth realise that in spite of our insignificant numbers (57,264), the contribution of Parsis to the development of India has been considerable. Let not the past and present successes achieved by our community threaten our very future survival and become the reason that leads to our extinction. As a community, there is much to be proud of – we are educated and progressive – other communities elevate us to a special status on account of our diligence and integrity, our youth hold good positions in the corporate sector, earn well above the Indian benchmark, our entrepreneurs and businessmen are doing splendidly. We have everything going for us, except our falling numbers! Early marriages and active procreation are now the only lifelines that will ensure that we survive as a community in India. This will be achieved only if our youth decide to ensure the survival of our community.
Let us all realise and appreciate that though our country is battling with efforts to contain its growing population, the Government of India, recognising the asset that Parsis have been to the country, established the ‘Jiyo Parsi’ programme in December 2013, which provides ample financial support to encourage Parsi couples to add to the number of Parsis. The small but creative, committed and dynamic well-knit JP Team, led by Shernaz Cama has been doing commendable work to create awareness amongst our youth about the need to marry and procreate. Cheers to their efforts and here’s hoping that their hard work bears fruit.
It seems only appropriate to conclude with a quote by Mark Twain – “Love seems the swiftest but it is the slowest of all growths. No man or woman really knows what perfect love is, until they have been married a quarter of a century”.
Here’s offering heart-felt prayers and all good wishes to the dear youth of our community to realize the unparalleled joys of happy marriages and raising families – thereby creating a win-win situation for themselves as well as for our community!
Atha Zamyad, Yatha Afriname!
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