I am always astounded whenever I hear Vijay?s opinions. They always seem to be out of the Dark ages. Certainly on many occasions after talking with him, I feel that he was born in the wrong millennium.
All of us were sitting in our cafeteria discussing our group?s latest developments. We had learned recently that Rajesh, one of our colleagues, was getting a divorce. This had come as a shock to all of us except Vijay of course. He had predicted their divorce, and he was reminding us of this.
Many of us at the table had attended Rajesh?s wedding, including Vijay. Rajesh had married Cindy, a nurse that he had met during his training two years ago. They were from different backgrounds. He was mostly born and brought up in India. He was about as ?Indian? as an Indian can be. Cindy was born and brought up in Canada. She was Caucasian and as ?Canadian? as a Canadian can be. Their differences seemed to bring out the best in two of them and they seemed to be very much in love from the moment they met. They had a storybook romance and when they announced they were getting married, it seemed to be the natural next thing to do given the level of feelings they had for each other. But to certain people like Vijay, their union seemed out of place.
I still remember the conversation we had with him about Rajesh?s marriage shortly after he had announced his engagement. We were all sitting around a table in a coffee shop, very much like we were now.
?It is not going to work,? Vijay said rather dismissively at the time. He felt obligated to defend himself after we all gave him an irritated look. So, he poured out his opinions on mixed marriages. According to him, Rajesh was making a big mistake. The marriage was doomed to failure because they were not of the same culture, not of the same religion etc. The marriage was already causing tensions between the families. And any union that starts off with tension will end with tension according to Vijay. He even went so far as to say that he would not ?allow? his children to marry outside of their culture and religion and that he would disown his children if they ever were to have a mixed marriage. As usual, Vijay?s bigoted opinions had sparked a spirited discussion. Everyone offered examples of mixed marriage couples. Some talked of success stories, others talked of failures. Of course Vijay could only cite examples of failures.
So when we were all at the cafeteria the other day, Vijay was only too happy to tell all of us ? I told u so? about Rajesh?s divorce.
?I told you it would not work. They were too different. They don?t understand each other. He should have listened to me. Now he is going to go through hell,? he said smugly.
We all have rolled our eyes at him after that statement. But as much as I dislike saying Vijay is right, he is definitely right about one thing. They probably did not understand each other. We all did not know exactly what it was that was causing those two to separate. But it was clear to all of us, including Vijay, that both of them did not wish to work out their differences. Maybe their differences were due to culture. Some of us had raised eyebrows when we had heard after marriage that Cindy had decided to stay with Raj and his family. Maybe that caused them tensions. Or maybe their differences were due to personality. Maybe Cindy got tired of Raj spending all his time at work and not spending any time with her. Or maybe it was due to circumstances. Maybe there was an affair (although that seems less likely knowing the two). Or maybe they did not even understand what was involved in being married. Maybe they were not wiling to compromise and sacrifice. Whatever it was, it was clear that both were not interested in working out their differences.
So Vijay was right even though he got his original premise wrong. They did not understand each other. They either did not understand where each other came from or they did not understand where each was going. Or perhaps both. Being from different cultures, just means that more work needs to be put into understanding each other, but it is not impossible like Vijay is saying.
Vijay just seems like a lazy soul who does not want to work.
Author: Tanya Pinto- Canada