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Dhanu is one of my nearest relatives in London who was born in Kenya, but brought up and educated in London where she studied for a Degree in Pharmacology.

She has been working in a famous Pharmacy in the City of London for the last six years, earning a fat salary. She is now 32 years of age but still unmarried and not even engaged yet. She is quite good looking and smart enough to attract any choosy man.

I had a reason to ask her about her not marrying till late as her parents could not talk about it freely with me. According to them, she was looking for a man of her choice, but so far she had been unsuccessful. They had tried to persuade her to enter into an arranged marriage for the sake of her future; she would be unlikely to find a man of her choice when she was older and it was not considered safe or advisable to stay unmarried for too long in her society. After all, she was living in London, where sexual freedom between men and women was uninhibited and there was a danger that she may attract or be attracted physically to the wrong person and ruin her future.

My questions did not move her at all. She merely smiled sweetly at me and asked me if I really wanted to know the true reason for her unmarried status.

I said that I did and she very politely responded.

“I am waiting for the right person, you see. It has become very difficult for me to find the man of my choice!”

“Are you really serious, sister?” I asked her, “or is your excuse for not getting married due to some other reasons?”

I needed to clarify that point with her.

“Brother, I am really serious and I still say that I am waiting for the right match. I would be very happy if you could help me to find a suitable husband.”

She had thrown the ball into my court now and I became serious in my desire to help her, as the girl was speaking with sincerity.

With great sensitivity, I asked her about the type of husband she was looking for, and how it was that she was still without a husband when there was a shortage of girls in the community. She was quite right to want to choose the right man and there were still several unmarried young men of her type if she was really serious. I thought she must have wanted somebody very special; otherwise a pretty girl with her income would have been married by now. She would surely get a good life partner without any set-backs, I was sure.

So I had no alternative but to ask her what type of husband she was looking for.

She very calmly replied,

“An intelligent, good mannered and good looking person, but someone who could live with me in my house with my parents and help me to look after my aged parents. A gentleman who would treat my parents as his own. I do not mind his age or income, as money is not our problem, but if he does not come and live with us, then he should be willing for my parents to come and live with me in his house.”

And there I had the answer to all of my questions. I had the story of her parents who were by now retired and not in good health. She had two brothers who had parted company with their parents a long time ago and never bothered to visit them, let alone contribute to their care. She had another sister, who had problems of her own and so the question of her helping to care for the parents did not arise.

Now, it was only Dhanu herself who was earning and looking after the house as well as her aged parents. Her parents had enough money for their future, but what was the use of money alone if there was no one to look after them? They could easily stay in India and employ somebody good to look after them, but it would not be as plain sailing as that. Both parents had health problems and they required daily help with medication and suitable food.

I was really very moved to see this genuinely good-hearted and generous girl, living in the western world and putting the plight of her parents before her own future. Dhanu had the right point of her staying unmarried till the later age.

She was willing to sacrifice her entire future for her parents and that was the excellent spirit of a girl who was brought up in Kenya and studied in London. How many girls would we find like her in London, where sons abandon their parents merely because their wives do not want the bother of looking after them? They do not want to take any responsibility for the old parents who have sacrificed their lives to bring them up and get married. Most of such sons side with the feelings of their wives and ignore or overlook their duty and committement towards their parents who need care during the old age.

It made me really happy to see a very sincere and loving girl who was ready to do everything she could for her parents. I congratulated her for her brave decision and assured her that I would look out for the right man for her in the near future, and I meant it. It would not be difficult to find the person of her choice in India, I was sure.

And within short time, I was able to find the right suit for Dhanu from India who was very sincere and ready to look after his in-laws for ever.


© H V Kerai 2009


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