Travel Diaries 2: Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat in Mokashi, Khopoli

Sometimes we don’t get what we strive to achieve for years. But how cool is it to suddenly receive a gift from life which you never planned for?

Shubho and I happened to have a fabulous trip up there around the Tapola lake in the Sahyadris, and I just thought it’ll be plain wrong to not share the experiences with my friends here and lo! Most of you seemed to just love that post (if the shares are anything to go by) and since then I’ve received many requests asking for more of our romantic getaway experiences.

So here’s the second helping. :)

Off to Village Mokashi, Khopoli

Our quest for discovering the gems off Maharashtra’s beaten track had started with an early November trip to the Lake of Kalote. A mere 70 odd Km (or 2 hours) drive from Mumbai, Kalote is a natural lake situated in the village of Mokashi, near Khopoli, off the old Mumbai-Pune highway. We started around 6 in the morning, and were already in Tudor Retreat – a quiet lakeside farmhouse – by 9.

The Lakeside Farm House Tudor

Situated around the banks of the Lake Kalote, the Tudor Retreat is a 10 acre plush green garden and meadow complete with resident farm animals. Including the don of village Mokashi…

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

An almost three feet bird-zilla, aptly named “Fighter”, who unfortunately had hurt its leg at the time, and had to be carried around from place to place.

I instantly made friends with (most of) the inmates. Not this one though.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

We took up the Tudor day-package – which included a one-room cottage for the day, along with breakfast, lunch and evening snacks. The price might make you faint so I’ll tell you about it only in the end. :P

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

The Tudor Greeneries

The cottage had an inviting porch outside, complete with the romantic cradle. We started off our day with a satiating breakfast here in the midst of the greens, the silence and the chirpy melody.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

After breakfast we started out on a stroll around the winding leafy trails among the quiet green acres. The towering hillocks all around with their grass burnt brown were almost scaring me with their solemnity.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

The silence was tangible – punctuated only by the sounds of the gang of egrets, gossiping as they perched listlessly on the trees or promenaded in the fields.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

To our surprise we discovered a machaan by a quiet side of the lake, hidden away from the main cluster of  Tudor cottages. To our disbelief we also found it unlocked. And to your utter shock you’ll now discover that I promptly took the opportunity of going right in, climbing straight to the top and…

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Shubho had tried to discourage the whole idea but I’m sure he wouldn’t regret the view of the Kalote lake that he captured from up there.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Lake Kalote – A Picturesque Blue Nest Of Peace

I wouldn’t have believed that anywhere within 100 miles of a major Indian city there could exist a lake so clean that it would actually act like a giant mirror – like those pictures in children’s books.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Look! The waters have found a way to even replicate the pink glow around the Sun.  

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

We met quite a few friends of Kalote here. From little cormorants…

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

… To yes – boating tourists! :D

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

A Lazy Lunch in the Lush Lea

 Lunch was simple, home-cooked and abundant, topped off with a delectable gulab jamun in the end. J But most importantly, it was out in the open, in the middle of the grassy pastures, and right in front of those grave and dignified Sahyadri uplands.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

After some more frolicking around among the bounties…

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

…And snacks which included so many pakoras that we packed some of them for the journey, we turned back, with a fresh scoop of life in our hearts.  

Travel Trifles

For those of you who still want to know more:

Our cottage – It was basically a clean but no-frills four-walled space with a tin-roof, a bed, a bathroom, a TV and an AC (all in working order … but then we never checked the TV :D). We had no plans of spending a lot of time inside the cottage anyway, so we were happy. Especially with the porch and the cradle as I’ve already said. J

Food – The biggest good news – both veg and non-veg are available. We had a simple eggs, toast and coffee breakfast. Coffee was too sweet, as you’d expect in most Indian villages. So far as lunch is concerned – I totally savoured the refreshing home-cooked-ness (no it’s not a real word) of every bite. However chicken was a little too spicy. Snacks consisted of onion pakoras which were hot and a lot but not very crispy.

Cost – Now, the biggest news – Tudor Retreat charged us only Rs. 2500 for 2 people, including the cottage for the day and 3 meals! (I did warn you.) The overnight charge would’ve been Rs. 4000. Add to that a fuel expenditure of about Rs. 1000 for the trip. So total cost of trip = Rs. 3500 for 2 people.

Contacts – Tudor Retreat, Khopoli. Contact person: Mrs Khan / Saif bhai, Contact # +91 98 210 26639

Other tips & trivia:

  • There’s no clear road-sign on the Mumbai-Pune highway indicating the way to Lake Kalote or Village Mokashi. We went around in circles many times confusing people and getting confused. Follow Google maps, and if you’re coming from Mumbai you need to take the first left turn after Nishiland water park.
  • There’s absolutely no road from this left turn to Tudor Retreat. It’s all a rustic ride through Mother Nature. So be very careful with your car.
  • It’s good to carry a change of clothes as it might get very hot in the afternoon.

Here’s a nice little practical summary for you.

Lake Kalote, Tudor Retreat, Khopoli, Mokashi

Let me know when you’re starting off by leaving a comment. ;)

How I Ended The Stressful Fights in My Relationship by Throwing Logic Out of The Window!

Shubho and I used to fight like dogs.

Fight in relationship or marriagePhoto by MadRussianPhotography

Yes. Shameful but true. Those maddening evil games would go on for hours, especially in weekends when we seemed to find nothing better to do. When our jobs seemed to bore us to death we’d even pick up the phone and start the gymnastics.

Like all addictions, this favourite sport of ours also quickly started taking its dark toll on our mental and physical health. I guess I would’ve gone completely insane (which is the ultimate nirvana of all addictions anyway) but fortunately or unfortunately the me in me stopped me before I got there. Or did it? Only you can tell. ;) But for the rest of this post I’ll pretend that it did.

So like I was saying, one day the me in me (some call it survival instinct, but I was never good with big words) said No. This was hard, as you can understand, given that I have a bit of a history with anger addiction too. But something in me decided I’ll not fight anymore, because I can’t afford to.

That’s when I realized how we were constructing unnecessary Abysses of Logic and drowning ourselves in them.

That’s when I came up with the Deflection Technique.   

Today I want to tell you about this ONE basic crucial concept of conflicts in a relationship and how you can use it to stop the silly fights in your relationship from building up.

The Abyss of Logic: The fuel to fights in a relationship or marriage

What’s an abyss of logic? Let’s take an example.

Jane: “Why haven’t you watered the plants?”

John: “Look who’s talking? As if you haven’t forgotten to pick up the groceries for two days in a row now!”

A possible way in which Jane can reply to this is: “Yes I’d forgotten to pick up the groceries, but we already have enough supplies, so at least there was some back up. On the other hand if you continue to neglect the plants they’ll soon die – there just isn’t any back up option.”

As you can see Jane has moved away from her simple complaint about John not watering the plants to a relatively more general issue of whose mistake poses higher risks to the family.

In answer to this, John might say: “Jane. Are you trying to say your silly little plants are as important as our basic needs like that of food?”

Now this discussion has gone to a completely new level. John has attacked something very close to Jane’s heart – the plants – calling them unimportant. This would hurt Jane emotionally and she’ll start screaming and you know the rest.

This is what I call the Abyss of Logic – the use of logical arguments one after the other to defend one’s position in a fight.  

Why is the Abyss of Logic dangerous?

Silly fights in a relationship don’t occur because one person is “right” and the other is “wrong”. They usually occur because of things like minor annoyances partners cause each other, silly frustrations they take out on each other etc. So basically it’s about releasing that momentary stress. That stress might well have been built by something your partner has done. But when you lash out at them ask yourself – are you doing this to set right whatever they did wrong? No. The reason behind your immediate action is your stress, not whatever your partner did. Hence assimilate the following fact once and for all:

The only objective of fighting is stress relief.

Fight in relationship or marriagePhoto by Ed Yourdon

However, the irony is that the moment you attack your partner you create more stress – on them. They then try to release it by attacking you back. But as rational beings, we humans tend to take a more sophisticated approach to relieving this stress because we don’t want to admit that we’re just following an animal process of stress relief by fighting for the sake of fighting. We pretend we’re having a logical discussion. The moment we combine our animal need of stress relief with our human rationality we make the ultimate mistake. Once we make this mistake a fight can go on forever – the more opposing arguments someone is faced with the more stressed they are and the more they attack the other person in order to release that stress. But when they do their human tendency kicks in and they fashion yet another perfect logical argument as ammunition for the attack. Thus the vicious cycle of fighting in a relationship or marriage continues.

How do you magically dissolve the fights in your relationship or marriage? The “Deflection Technique”

So how can you escape this abyss? By not letting the logical steps to build. I call this the “Deflection Technique.” Remember this:

If you want to resolve the fights, throw logic out of the window.

Counterintuitive as it may sound, the more logical approach you take to the fights in your relationship, the deeper you’ll fall into the abyss and into nervous stress.

Let’s look at how Jane and John could have applied this technique to resolve their silly fight.

Jane: “Why haven’t you watered the plants?”

John: “Look who’s talking? As if you haven’t forgotten to pick up the groceries for two days in a row now!”

Jane: “I wasn’t saying anything about the groceries, John. I was just asking what could be the reason why you haven’t watered the plants.”

Note how Jane has effectively deflected the build-up of argumentative attacks by refusing to respond to an attack which was made on her.

Now. Of course it’s possible that John will in turn refuse to respond to Jane’s accusation. But if Jane applies the Deflection Technique consciously and consistently, she can dissolve the fight under any circumstances. Here’s how:

Jane: “I wasn’t saying anything about the groceries, John. I was just asking what could be the reason why you haven’t watered the plants.”

John: “And I wasn’t saying anything about the plants. I was talking about the groceries.”

Jane: “It’s ok. My objective is not to fight with you about the plants or the groceries. I was only expressing my disappointment over the fact that they’ve not been watered. It’s not that big an issue. It’s ok.”

Note how Jane has now completely eliminated any chances of the evil logical build-up. She’s once again refused to be led on by John in the direction of a blame game. At the same time she’s also shown restraint and maturity instead of obstinacy, without being forced to apologize. John won’t give up on his point. If Jane had also chosen to go for a tit-for-tat reaction of holding on to her own, this would have blown up into a long and stressful argument. Instead she’s used the Deflection Technique consistently in order to dissolve the fight.

And that’s what I do nowadays whenever we’re faced with a potential conflict, irrespective of who started it.

You can too. ;) Try and let me know how it goes by leaving a comment. J  

20 More Unique Anniversary Ideas: Saucy Saturday Version

After yesterday’s 50 unique and creative anniversary ideas, I thought why not add some more spice to it and make it completely one-of-a-kind? So here are your bonus 20 special anniversary ideas after yesterday’s 50. I’m sure you’ll love them. ;)

  1. Forget about the whole thing.
  2. Remember it but pretend that you’ve forgotten all about it.
  3. YouTube yourself announcing that you actually remember the anniversary.
  4. YouTube her reaction when she realizes that you’ve forgotten about it.
  5. Add the above two videos into a single video and YouTube it.  
  6. I realize you don’t have time for video editing and all that s**t. So forget about #5.
  7. If you don’t have time, go for gifting flowers and other such dim-witted gestures.
  8. But if you wanted dim-witted you wouldn’t be reading this, so on second thoughts – don’t trash #5.
  9. At the start of the year, set a reminder in your phone for the anniversary.
  10. Tell all your friends to do the same for the anniversary (yours, not theirs).
  11. Tell them to call you whenever it goes off, just in case you haven’t found out (yet).
  12. Make sure they don’t call your wife first.
  13. YouTube yourself singing her favourite song.
  14. Turn up the sex quotient by performing a dance routine from her favourite movie hero.
  15. Don’t buy a traditional gift. Materialism is overrated. Go for thoughtful anniversary ideas instead.
  16. Gift her a basket of all the ingredients for your favourite dish.
  17. If the invitation to cook doesn’t seem super-sexy to her, throw her a surprise anniversary party. Invite all your guy friends.
  18. Anniversary IdeasPhoto by lydia caps

  19. Order her favourite chocolate cake. Hide some green chillies inside in a random fashion. She’d never forget the surprise.
  20. If she’s already hinted that a much less creative, simple gift like a diamond would do, insist that you love her and would like to do something totally unique.
  21. If she doesn’t appreciate your uniqueness…there’s always next year. 

50 Original & Unique Anniversary Ideas for Sweeping Your Spouse Completely Off Their Feet

If you’ve followed me on Facebook of late, you must be wondering what’s all the sudden flurry of fiftyness all about. So here’s the mystery:

Today’s post is Love in india’s 50th baby step towards growing up. Yes, you’ve guessed it right – today’s is our 50th post. In order to celebrate our 50th step, today I bring to you 50 completely unique, thoughtful, creative and inexpensive anniversary ideas. Most of the ideas – as you’d see – are also applicable to any celebration in the context of a romantic relationship.

No point wasting time. Let’s get started.

  1. Write her a letter teaching her the “Alphabet of your love”. For each letter of the alphabet, find a word which is associated with your relationship/marriage. For example, A for Ahmedabad – where we first met, B for Bombay Blue – our favourite restaurant, C for Chocolate – the first movie we saw together, etc.
  2. If you want to make it even more special, you can do the “Alphabet of our love” in the form of a photo book – each page for a different letter, accompanied by an image of the item for that letter.
  3. Make a flashcard for each letter with the item and photo. Place them all over your home for her to discover.
  4. Create a funny timeline of the story of your love and marriage. Here’s an example I created for you.
  5. Love timeline

  6. Leave a note on the bedside table saying, “I’ve locked up by cellphone, laptop and ipad.” Make sure you’re not in the room when she wakes up. On the bathroom mirror stick a note saying, “Because…”. While she’s in there, come back in the bedroom and place a big placard on the bed saying, “Today is your day.”
  7. Order a custom made cake with your couple photo on it. For example, India Cakes offers unique custom cakes with a photo and text of your choice on it at reasonable prices.
  8. Recreate your first date. Do exactly the things you did then. Ours involved a dinner out, followed by visiting different sea faces (almost) all around the city. (I came home around 3 AM that night :P). Simple fun first date activities are usually easy to replicate and deeply romantic for any couple.
  9. Give her a calendar in which every page has a different picture/theme, but for the same month – your wedding month, with your wedding date highlighted.
  10. Order custom anniversary key chains your and her names around a heart shape etc. – get creative with the design. Needless to add – don’t forget to order a pair. :P
  11. Try the following for a unique key chain dangler design: Use square danglers with the calendar of the month of your wedding in it. Mark out your wedding date creatively. A bit like this picture.

    Love timeline

    Imagine this inscribed in tiny 1 inch by 1 inch sheets of plastic/metal/wood to be used as danglers in your key chain.

  12. Make a scrapbook of all (as many as you can remember) cute messages you’ve sent each other during the heady days of first love.
  13. Make a scrapbook of all the romantic thoughts you’ve ever had about her but didn’t get a chance to tell her. Like, “I used to post cute cat photos in Facebook just to get your attention, ’cause I knew you love cats.”If you can, add relevant photos to your messages. It doesn’t have to be all your and her photos – get creative.
  14. Make a few simple little paper envelopes, stick them onto a big sheet of paper (a bit hard), and put a notes with the above messages inside them. Here’s what it might look like:
  15. Wedding anniversary ideasPhoto by

  16. Put your notes in the little envelopes but don’t stick them on to a piece of paper. Create a “Goody basket” with chocolates, framed photos, flowers and those little envelopes with your love inside them. If you have any special gift for her you can hide it in here too.
  17. Write “I love you” in different languages and fonts and present to her in the form of a love letter. You can also choose from steps #11 – #13 & repeat with these “I love you” messages.  

18. Write a “50 unique things about you which make me fall in love everyday” letter to her. You can also choose from steps #11 – #13 & repeat with these “unique things about you” messages/notes.

22. Do you know “cafuné” in Brazilian Portuguese means “The act of tenderly running your fingers through someone's hair”? There are many such awesomely romantic words and phrases in other languages which have no English equivalent. Use these creatively in a love letter describing your special feelings for her, or use these as messages/notes in #11 – #13.

26. Create a “Memory Box.” Things to put inside – prints of your photos together, some of the (smaller) gifts you’ve exchanged over the years, the cologne you used on your first date, the clutch she carried on the day you first kissed her, your wedding handkerchief, her wedding slippers … You get the idea. Even if you’ve (unfortunately) lost track of some of those (really old) objects, you can replace them with newer ones, only under one condition – they all should hold some special memories for both of you.  

27. Strew short romantic notes all over your home for her to find out. Start with one on the bedside table for her to discover first thing in the morning, then one on the breakfast table, one of the sofa … go crazy!

28. If craziness is not your thing, don’t hesitate to ask me for help with the messages. ;)

29. Choose a love quote (better still – create one), get it framed nicely, and gift her. Quite like this cute framed marriage quote. Again, if you need help with the quote you know where to come. ;)

30. Create a playlist of songs which fit in with your story – starting from how you first met, to your first kiss to how you fell in love and got married.

31. Do something new & lasting to mark the anniversary – like bringing a pet home, planting a shrub together or starting a new project together.

32. Take her to where you first met.

33. For effect, keep her eyes blindfolded on your way to the place (I’m hoping you’ll not use public transport :P), till the time you reach the place.

34. If you want to go beyond the romantic dinner, go out on a day long photo shoot. Visit all the places in the city which hold special memories for you and take couple photos.

Anniversary ideas

35. What if you could recreate elements of your wedding day – only now, as a piece of art? Her wedding sari, or dress, your wedding suit, bouquets and accessories? My Dreamlines lets you do just that. Here you can upload photos of your wedding attires, get them hand-sketched in a size of your choice, and delivered to before your anniversary day, so that you can stage a grand romantic moment on the D-day! Actually if you plan it right, you can use a customized sketch for a wedding gift to your bride on the wedding day too. A totally out of the ordinary, personalized, thoughtful gift to celebrate the most special day of your lives.

Wedding anniversary ideasMy Dreamlines

36. Make a scrapbook/album of your memorable photos together, at different stages of your relationship. Don’t forget to add captions.

37. Give her a calendar/photo book with her name written in custom themes in all pages.

38. Create a photo book with pictures and stories of each of your anniversaries so far.

39. Write down your special dates, add a caption to each and get it framed. Any local crafts shop will help you with the format, frames etc. Here’s a lovely set of framed dates from Kojo Designs

Does he like mePhoto by Kojo Designs

40. Order a cake with your names and message iced on it. You can arrange for a special delivery from the bakery along with flowers – most confectioners offer the service.

41. If you have any special gifts for her (like a ring or jewellery) hide it inside the cake. She’ll love the surprise of discovering it from within mounds of chocolate. (Make sure none of you choke on it!)

42. Cook her favourite dish as a surprise for dinner. “Cook” means “do it yourself.” :D

43. Blindfold her and feed it to her. She’ll be doubly surprised by the taste of her favourite food and to know that you’ve made it.

44. Recreate your wedding day menu, or at least one special item from it. No you don’t have to cook it yourself this time. :P

45. Play her favourite music in the morning to wake her up.

46. Wake her up by starting to kiss her all over.

47. Wake her up by starting to give her a body massage.

48. Wake her up by starting to touch her sensually. Nothing like starting off your special day with lovemaking.

49. Write a simple love letter or pick a style from the ones described earlier. Use it as background. Paste your wedding photo in the centre and get it framed. Don’t forget to give a separate copy of your love letter to her (what with all that hard work? :P) The end result would look something like this. 

Wedding anniversary ideasPhoto by Lenny Photography

You obviously need to replace the odd bottle with your and her picture. :P

50.I discovered a great website for creating your custom love poem. You can customize it with her name and favourite gifts and then download it in the shape of a heart like I did. All of this for free!

51.Bonus idea! Girls love flower bouquets and girls love chocolate. Why not combine the two in the form of an exquisite candy bouquet like the one here?

Wedding anniversary ideasPhoto by josanne70

Of course you can go for simpler ones like this one:

Wedding anniversary ideasPhoto by litree

So there you have it – your exhaustive supply of unique and creative anniversary ideas for the rest of your married life! Do let me know what you think of them by leaving a comment.

“Matrimonial Businesses Promoting Casteism Will Soon Find Their Existence Questioned,” Sanjoy Sachdev, In My Exclusive Interview with Love Commandos

Mandeep had found Lata through a common friend in Facebook. She was a student, and he worked in technical support. After two months of online chatting, he called. One more month and there they were – meeting each other for the first time at a coffee shop in some town towards the north of the country. Within the next few months Lata had got her phone confiscated by her family. They had found out.

Lata’s family tried to lure her with the hope of getting married into a rich family, but she was adamant. Her boyfriend was the only one she was ever going to marry.

Determined to escape and create a life of their own, they called the Love Commandos.*

Meet the Commandos – a group of aging journalists and businessmen based in New Delhi, who provide protection and legal assistance to couples who dare to choose each other over the diktats of their families and clans. They operate a helpline for couples under threat and requiring assistance. On receiving a call the volunteer Commandos rescue the couples and provide them temporary shelter.

I was fortunate enough to find an opportunity to chat up with the Love Commandos leadership. Here are some excerpts:

Sanjay Sachdev, Chairman, Love CommandosSanjay Sachdev, Chairman, Love Commandos, Photo by Mandeep Gulia

How did Love Commandos start? What was the inspiration behind starting it?

Sanjoy Sachdev, Chairman: We had gone to Tees Hazari courts in Delhi. It was a case of son of a friend of Mr. Sonu Rangi (Presently our Commando Co-ordinator), who was in jail on charge of Rape. The girl had deposed before the magistrate that she was in love with Sanjay (accused) and even refused to undergo medical examination. She had stated that the relation was with consent but the Delhi Police had under the pressure of the family of the girl put the boy behind the bars.

We argued the case and got him bailed out the same day. We were assisted by Advocates Mr. Vinit Jain and Mr. Sanjay Kumar. While on way back Mr. Sanjay Kumar, advocate Delhi high court suggested that we should do something to stop crimes in the name of honour, as we have been having Valentine peace Commandos (helpline for couples under pressure from families and needing assistance), for 15 days a year since 2001.

After reaching back we were discussing the proposal in our core team of activists when a call from a journalist Mr. Rajiv Tyagi (Then working with Mid Day Delhi edition)  came and who wanted to know our reaction on Khap dictats. We said that soon we would be converting our valentine day helpline to 24X7 helpline for lovers to combat and counter fundamentalist and orthodox dictats of Khaps and other such elements. It was while answering his queries that Mr. Harsh Malhotra (presently our Chief Co-ordinator) said finalized the name Love Commandos along with the helpline number.

It is worth mentioning that Mr, Malhotra has made a world record in Love by marrying his own wife six times.

Have you ever had any negative experience of your own related to any marriage against the advice of the family?

Sonu Rangi, Commando Co-ordinator: None in the members of the core team had any such experience. I’m proud to say that our parents never considered it necessary to obstruct our freedom of choosing our respective life-partners.

With the social pressures Indian rebel couples usually face, you must be receiving a considerable volume of calls. How are you handling it logistically?

The Mid Day Delhi story I just mentioned was reused by NDTV and Dainik Jagran on July 5th 2010, followed by many other TV channels and newspapers. As media coverage spread the message of the Love Commandos all across the country we started getting a huge volume of calls, starting with 7000 calls the very first day, as against our expectation of 100/200 calls a month! As you might have guessed – we didn’t have the logistical capacity to handle that kind of volumes in the beginning. Gradually we put together a network of attending the calls on same number on 12 lines by using call forward when busy to other numbers. It was getting too expensive for us. Now we have got CUG system from Reliance (As all numbers are in the 93 range), and thus been able to get operational costs (relatively) under control.

Two years into our operations we were also lucky to meet Vinay from who who offered us a free website which is still functioning as our official website The website has been instrumental in spreading our message not only in India but to the entire international community.

Love Commandos provides food, shelter, protection and legal assistance to runaway couples. Financial challenges must be there…

In this country you may find hundreds of people donating money in the name of religion but it is tough to find people doing the same to protect the freedom of the youth.

Harsh Malhotra, Chief Co-ordinator: We are under heavy debts. We have sold out our belongings to run the Mission because in this country you may find hundreds of thousands of people donating money in the name of religion but it is tough to find people doing the same to protect the freedom of the youth of this country. We are grateful to the Journalist community. Media people, film and documentary makers from India and abroad have all contributed financially to our cause and that’s how we could maintain our operations till date. Couples who feel strongly about our cause have also extended help from time to time. Most of the couples we’ve supported are still in the process of settling down and getting their lives in order. We hope they also come back and help us whenever they’re ready.  

We request the couples to bear the expenses of their lawful marriages, registration (if desired), legal applications (generally no fee is charged by our lawyers), official process for protection or rescue etc. But in many cases we end up supporting this process partially or fully, as the couples are often financially unprepared. Shelter, food, medical assistance, beddings and sometimes even clothes are totally free and are provided by us.

The couples manage cooking and cleaning of the shelters themselves, giving them an atmosphere of home away from home. They get both affection and scolding so that they can realise the difficulties of life in future.

What's your operating structure like?

Harsh Malhotra, Chief Co-ordinator: Our network of volunteers is our backbone. We have no formal structure, no records as we are missionaries, not clerks. Anyone willing to become a volunteer can fill in a simple form at or send an sms with his or her name and address to 09313784375.

When we get a call we search in our computer or manual records and call volunteers from the area. So far we have 11,00,000 plus intending volunteers all over the country but as we have no resources to get such a huge number of forms printed and posted there are no records.

Our experience has been that each and every volunteer had rushed at the cost of his or her life to save couples and that signifies victory of Mission Love for me. We feel that the youth needed a voice and we have become the instrument for that.

Love Commandos provides assistance to couples marrying against their families’ preferences. I understand that a large part of these couples were not accepted by their families because of being intercaste. Are there any other types of social rejection of couples that you’ve seen in your work with Love Commandos? How is each type of challenge/risk different (intercastevs inter religion vs any other type)?

Sunil Sagar, Commando Trainer: General problem is of inter caste and inter religion. However some gotra, near relative, distant relative, financial position, educational status, total opposition to martial freedom from families have also been causes and it has always been more difficult to handle such situations.

Have you ever faced opposition to your operations from clans/police/other bodies?

Govinda Expert Commando: Yes it’s very common. We have heard that many clans have announced rewards on the heads of Mr. Sachdev and Mr. Malhotra totalling to over 10 Lakh. However we never care about such unlawful opposition and continue to fight for justice to Lovers. What we do is to support the law, not to oppose it, and we’re thankful to Central Delhi District Police for always helping us do so. We are also thankful to NCW in many cases.

I’ve read mostly about relatively less educated couples from the so-called lower strata of the society seeking help from Love Commandos. Are there similar cases you’ve handled with couples from educated, so-called better off backgrounds too?

We’ve even had MBAs, doctors and sports personalities of national fame deprived of marital choice and asking for our help.

Harsh Malhotra Chief Co-ordinator: You would be surprised to know how many. We had engineers, doctors, advocates, professors, policemen, government officials, bank officials, MBAs and BCAs, MSW, sports personalities of national fame, people with families of political background, people with families of judicial background, rich people  – all come to us for help on facing opposition to martial choice. Many of these cases have been reported also. We can’t talk about specific cases as we honour the privacy of the couples.

Love Commandos has completed almost three years in operation now. Have you noticed any shift in the way people think about marital choice?

Sanjoy Sachdev, Chairman: India is changing. So far as marital choice is concerned, it’s clear that the youth want a casteless society. But Rome was not built in a day and there’s a long way to go before we start seeing any real change.

In the Indian popular culture – starting from Bollywood to music to literature – we’ve glorified love and freedom of marriage for ages. Yet when it comes to real life the general attitude towards these issues seems to have remained largely unchanged over decades, across social and economic strata. Why do you think the regressive outlook towards marital freedom is refusing to let go of its stronghold in the Indian society?

Children are considered property and female children more so.

Harsh Malhotra, Chief Co-ordinator: Children are considered property and female children more so. But I’m convinced that the youth of India is rising and Love Commandos is proud to lead the change they want.

Today we’ve online-ized the whole process of choosing one’s life partner and then matrimonial websites give you options to choose castes for potential partners. On the other hand Bollywood movies glorify so-called traditional outlook of life and marriage and K-series TV serials exalting arranged marriages gain wild popularity. Do you think intolerance towards sexual/personal freedom is making a comeback as “cool” in today’s Indian society?

There will come a day when you will find such promoters of casteism finding it hard to support their existence.

Sanjoy Sachdev, Chairman: Films and serials are a face of the society and all stories are taken from goings on in real life. I’d say that’s the reason all hit films tell love stories. As far as the matrimonial industry is concerned – they are profit-making entities and have no option but to sell what customers demand. But the youth believes in love and I’m sure given a choice most would desist from such sites or advertisements. I’ll go on to say that there will come a day when you will find such promoters of casteism finding it hard to support their existence. Sexual and personal freedom is guaranteed by our great constitution and by Hon’ble Supreme Court, and it has to be honoured.

When a boy can choose the leaders of the country at 18 by casting his vote why can’t he marry at the same age?

However our laws are still male dominated. Like the one which says that the minimum age for marriage for a boy is 21 as against 18 for a girl. In my opinion it should be 18 for both. When a boy can choose the leaders of the country at 18 by casting his vote why can’t he marry at the same age? Indian Majority Act says a boy of 18 is major but Child Marriage Act says that till 21 he is a child whereas a girl of 18 is major.

I would urge the youth to come out on the streets against such discrimination.

What are your thoughts on how we should go about stopping honour killings at the grassroots level?

Sonu Rangi, Commando Co-ordinator: Only awareness can do so, not administrative measures alone.

What are your thoughts on how we can create a culture more tolerant of personal choice in marriage across social and economic strata in India?

Harsh Malhotra, Chief Co-ordinator: The onus lies on the youth. The youth has to be committed to protecting their own freedom and if they’re in love they should say so with pride. They should never succumb to the pressure and emotional atyachar of parents, families or so called society and should work for a new social order which exalts love, not vilify it.

What is your vision for Love Commandos?

Sanjoy Sachdev, Chairman: We are a voice for the youth as is mentioned in our theme song. We’ll continue to support and protect the freedom of the youth.  We believe that love shall conquer the world one day.

What message would you like to leave for the Love in India readers?

Prem Ka Vikas Ho, Premi Premikaon Main Vishwas Ho, Prem Virodhion Ka Naash Ho, Garv Se Kaho Hum Premi Hain


Pyar Karna Paap Nahin Hai Aur Virodhi Hamara Baap Nahin Hai


Jo Premion Ke Saath Chale Ga Woh Vishva Paar Raaj Karga


Naya Sawera Ayega Premi Samaj Layega


Dunia Bhar Ke Premi Premikao Ek Ho

Lovers Unity Zindabad

*Names and other particulars changed.

Control Your Anger Like I Did, Before It Destroys Your Relationship – Part 2

Good morning penguins! In Anger Control 101 – Part 1 we looked at how you can prepare yourself mentally for controlling your anger when it starts building inside you. We also discussed a few steps you can take to control your nerves and your actions even after you’ve already started feeling angry. Today we’ll look at further steps you can take to calm your nerves after a moment of angry excitement, and also some long-standing habits you can develop to cultivate a mental state that will help you gain more control on your emotions, including anger.

Let’s get started.

Control your angerPhoto by James Wong JH

C) Aftermath: Relaxing can prove to be difficult even long after the real waves of wrath have subsided. Here are a few things you can do to help yourself after the moment of crisis has passed.  

5. Calm yourself: I used the following steps to calm my anger.

a) Keep a hilarious joke book in your bag at all times. Reading this can make you control your anger and feel better instantly. But just make sure it’s not average. An average joke book will only irritate you more at a time when you’re already not yet back in control of your anger. 

b) Treat yourself like a child. Tell yourself, "I'm not angry. No. I'm NOT angry." Say this so as to make the child in you believe in it.  

D) Looking into the future: So you’ve set the ground, got yourself a few tools to beat some sanity into yourself when facing anger control issues, and also planned a few steps to tackle the aftermath? Now what?

Now you need to train yourself for creating a calm and deep mental state which helps you gain more control over your emotions in general and anger in particular, on a permanent basis.

6. Cultivate a habit of reading regularly: Join a good library. Simply sit and read for at least half an hour, if possible every day. Even if such time commitments are not possible for you, make sure you go to your library on “those” days, when an anger control failure incidence occurs. Reading great works – especially non-fiction – opens the whole world up to you and if practiced over time, it gives you a sense of inner depth which you can always reach into, when you need it. Remember, the author of a great work is a special human being – far nobler than the petty ones you encounter in your day-to-day life. So unlike them, he’ll not give you any reason to feel angry. ;)

Control your angerPhoto by tukunkayu

7. Learn something new: Try this when nothing else works. This one always works, as the enthusiasm of learning something new always pips anger control issues. I once faced this horrible scenario when I kept seething even the next day after the “anger incident” and just couldn’t get my anger under control. Unable to find a way to calm myself, I started with some online language courses, and you wouldn’t believe this – I couldn’t find any traces of anger within me after just half an hour. (Ciao tutti! I'm still at it! ;) ) 

I personally used each of these techniques and as a result I’m free of anger management and anger control issues today. I’m sure these methods will work for you too.

What are the other anger control tips and tricks that you use? Let me know by leaving a comment.  

Of Men, Women, Taxis and Friday Evenings…

I know you have a lot of more important and fun stuff to do (sleeping, for example) on a Saturday morning than reading this post. Still I’m talking ’cause as I’m sure you know from your experience – shutting up is not a talent God equipped (most of) us women with.

However, shutting up is overrated.

It’s just that your brain often can’t cut through your tiny attention span and get itself around the complex and profound statements we tend to make. Some of you start comprehending their potential of changing (your) lives only after we’ve figured out and have started taking action on the fact that you haven’t listened.  

Our superior intellectual capability, as evident in our analyses of the most of complex of things – like the characters of you, your mum, our three friends, and a lot of other extremely important people like maids, drivers and unknown women wearing prettier clothes than us – is beyond your comprehension. Add to that our artistic gift of showing the same thing in infinite number of different lights while repeating it to you as many times. All of that combined … no I really don’t blame your tiny brain for finding it too much to grasp at one go.

For example, yesterday when I started having this indispensible and world-changing conversation with my husband over Whatsapp, the poor thing lost all sense of direction completely. I hope you wouldn’t.

Of men, women, taxis and Friday evenings

Me (preparing to leave for home from work): Hey, do you know that finding a cab which would agree to take you to your destination is like finding a pebble in the ocean?

He: Yeah I know baby, I’m sorry. Have you started?

Me: First of all they insult me every day by showing about as much response to my prettiness (in deciding whether to refuse me) as a piece of furniture would…

He: Yeah I know baby, I’m sorry. Just get it done with, you know…

Me: Secondly they create opportunities out of thin air to yell at the person in front of them…

He: Ah…That’s familiar. We’re not talking about cabbies anymore… :D

Me: Looks like the objective of their life is to ruin your day…

He: Sometimes, yes. But common, not always

Me: I’ve seldom met one who doesn’t make a thousand entirely unnecessary and unhelpful complaints about life, trying to hold you responsible for them. The traffic jam. The weather. The city.

He: Well I’ve got used to it after spending all this time together…

Me: Sometimes I feel interacting with them is a bigger challenge to your sanity than the traffic jam…

He: The traffic jam??? I say life!

Me: The biggest glitch with them is that they don’t need any provocation. You’d think that they’ll mind their own business if you mind yours…

He: But with experience I know that’s not gonna happen. So at the slightest sign of trouble I try to bring the situation under control with sweet words and kisses….

Me: What????

He: Oh you’re still talking about taxi drivers? I’m sorry I kind of drifted out of context…

Control Your Anger Like I Did, Before It Destroys Your Relationship – Part 1

It was Aug. 2006.

My (now ex) boyfriend and I was in a movie hall, watching SRK’s latest release (or was it Hritik’s?). Some loutish guys among the audience made a few rude remarks about me.

I hit the roof. He followed me anxiously as I stormed out of the theatre.

As soon as we were out I hit him.

Twenty hard slaps on the cheek.

The idle loiterers of the area had a field day I guess.

No wonder we’re not together anymore.

Control your angerPhoto by Fadil Basymeleh

Having spent four delirious years as a victim of raving anger handicap before starting to cure myself, I can tell you – anger is good. Yes you read that right. It’s an essential tool in the survival instinct kit which Mother Nature packed with us while sending us off to school life. What’s sick though, is what I was – under absolute control of my anger, like addicts are controlled by drugs. You’ve probably guessed that it wasn’t adding any particular positive value to my life, especially my relationships.

If inability to control your anger is ruining your relationships, I know how you feel. You don’t feel any of the strength and menace they see in you.

You feel helpless.

When you’re not being controlled by anger you feel shocked and broken to see the disaster around you, the scars in the hearts (may be bodies) of the people you love more than yourself. The irony is, that you doesn’t know this you. Not having much control over your anger makes you feel like a hapless victim, not a dangerous perpetrator.

But relax. There are solutions. Here’s a 12 step anger management strategy which I put together and used to bring my anger issues largely under control. To make it easier, I’ve broken it down in the following four stages:

A)    Preparing the ground:Ways to mentally prepare yourself to be able to control your anger.

B)    On the ground:How to control your actions when your anger starts rising.

C)    Aftermath:How to come back to normal after an outburst.

D)    Looking into the future:Long term strategies to get to a mental state which helps you gain better control over anger.

It’s going to be long, so I’ll talk about the first two stages of anger management today, and pick up the other two in the next post. While I’m focusing mostly on people with clinical or near-clinical anger control issues, you can use these methods any time you struggle to control your anger.

A) Preparing the ground: Your inability to control your anger is in your mind. You need to see it the right way before you even aim for tackling it.

1. Know your problem: Have you done an assessment of your own anger to determine if it’s different from normal?

The red flag of anger sickness (as compared to normal anger which all of us experience from time to time) is that out of control and helpless feeling you get in the depths of your mind when you’re angry. If you do things when you’re angry which you wouldn’t believe you could do when you’re in your senses – chances are you have a serious issue with anger control here. Other related symptoms of anger problem include trembling limbs, increased heartbeat, sweating – you know them all.  

2. Take a decision to solve it: If you’re like me and you’re reading this, you’re probably struggling with this crucial step. You feel (as did I) that your anger is justified, and your “victims” should “pay for their sins”. Changing this mindset is usually a challenge because guess what – you’re often right. We all know that fairness is like fairy tales – it’s not real (well, mostly), and barring your near ones, the people who are bearing the brunt of your raving mania probably deserve (at least some of) it. But as you know, lashing it out on them is going to bring more harm to you that it’s going to bring to them (Remember what happened the last time you went mad with a colleague when they conveniently took credit for your hard work?). What I used to do is always remind myself of the fact that I’m not the only one receiving a bad deal in this world – I’m one of the 7 billion. Each and every human being on this planet has been through the glorious and the excruciating, the perfect and the unacceptable. This realization always helped me control my anger and calm myself down in the rave moments.

3. Ask for help: Once you’ve acknowledged your anger management issues and have taken the bold decision to tackle them, explain it to your partner, your family, your friends – all your near and dear ones who are affected by it. You know you’ll be a different person in “those moments” and they wouldn’t know how to help you control your anger. So explain to them beforehand what help you need from them.

In my case what used to work like fuel to the fire was any sign of confrontation or talking back from the other person (egomaniacal I know). I begged for help from my closest people, explaining to them how my success in controlling my anger depended totally on them and how if they could overcome their own natural tendency of talking back when I was having one of my rages, it could go a long way in helping me. I requested them to say something loving and soothing instead, and that worked wonders for all of us.

B) On the ground: The above steps will help you prepare yourself to avoid crazy scenarios as much as possible. But what to do when they do occur?

Control your angerPhoto by BDlighted

4. Turn your mind away: The slightest signs of that seething feeling building inside you and look for the nearest way out of the situation. The best thing is to leave the scene as soon as you can. If that’s not possible (think your boss giving you a piece of his mind) just turn yourself off mentally. Move your focus to something different. Here are some suggestions:

a) Good ol’ deep-breathing: I know you think (like I did) that something so simple and easy can’t work when it comes to controlling your anger, but guess what – it does. It’s as simple as taking 10 seconds to inhale, holding your breath for 5 seconds and then exhaling for 10 more seconds. You can repeat it as many times as it takes to calm your mind and nerves (and trust me, it will).

b) Think of something funny or sweet. Feel free to start with nursery rhymes.:P

c) Name-calling: No, not out loud. Call them a funny name in your mind and visualize them transforming into that physical object (How about a big fat 'dirtbag' shouting at you?). Amusement is like magic when it comes to controlling anger.

Another good ol’ technique – counting from 1 to 10 – has never worked for me, unless I was deep-breathing while counting.

That’s all for today. In the next part of this series we’ll look at what you can do to calm yourself after a total-anger-control-failure incidence, and the long term habits you can develop to keep anger control issues at bay permanently. 

Update: Here’s the second part – Control Your Anger Like I Did, Before It Destroys Your Relationship – Part 2.

“When Should I Get Married?” 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself Before Getting Married – Part 2

Hello penguins! In the last post I talked about 5 of the top 10 questions you must ask yourself (and your boyfriend/girlfriend) to determine whether you’re ready to get married. Here are the last 5.

1.      Do we know each other’s negative sides and have strategies to deal with them?

Do you know what your boyfriend is like when he’s really (I mean really really) angry?

You can’t live without your dogs. Do you know if she can live with them?

Are you too ambitious for him/her?

Before you decide when to get married, make sure you know about (most of) those aspects of your partner which you don’t like. For this, you need to know each other closely enough. Don’t decide to get married in a rush (like I did, and had to put in a lot for effort later, before we came close to finding solutions).

When should I get marriedPhoto by midgetmanofsteel

The second step after figuring each other out is learning to deal with each other. When you should get married will depend largely on what kind of time you take to develop strategies to handle each other’s negative sides.

For example, decide whether you’re ready to live pet-less for the rest of your life for the sake of your pet-o-phobic partner. Make your peace with your partner’s may-not-be-so-awesome career before you’ve decided to get married. Taking the plunge carrying qualms and disappointments  in your mind is a near-perfect formula for marital disaster.

2.      Do we respect and admire each other as individuals?

Are you in love? Great. But it also means you have a fancy pair of glasses on your eyes (I know I had). Glasses which make him/her seem like The Best Thing on Earth, The Thing to die for, The Thing to live for.

Of course I’m joking. Of course you’re not going to think about marriage in that stage of your relationship. The stage when everything looks pink. Unfortunately I did, and I really hope and wish (and warn) that you don’t.

You love each other and care for each other. But also ask yourselves whether you value each other as individuals, for the qualities that you have (and beauty or physical attractiveness is not one of them, because its magic wears off). If you’ve never bothered about those, start now. You don’t want to know what happens when you marry someone thinking they’re gold and your shared life proves them to be only glittery, and not gold.  

3.      Have we become part of each other’s family?

I cannot emphasize the importance of this one enough, especially in an Indian context. Knowing each other’s families and becoming integrated is important not only because you’re expected to spend time with them after marriage, but much more importantly, because you can’t know a person fully unless you know their family. When you’ve spent time with your partner in their home, with their family – you get to know them in their most comfortable context. It’s here that you get to see their truest self.

This is important especially if you and your partner have met each other at a later stage in life (say, after college). Never make the mistake of taking your relationship too far (close to marriage, that is) without knowing your partner’s family well enough. People grow out of their homes and can develop an exterior which doesn’t show their true self, their core values and beliefs. When you spend enough time with their family, get to know about their childhood, their relationship with their parents and closest friends – you get to look past that veneer.

When should I get marriedPhoto by rikhei

Secondly of course there’s the question of developing a relationship with each other’s families. This involves knowing their positives, negatives, expectations from you etc. You might like them, you might not. But in any case you need to have your strategy of dealing with them in the best possible way. This strategy is best developed over time, in a no-pressure situation. In other words, before marriage (unlike me ;)).

4.      Can I see him/her as a parent of my children?

The import of this one of course needs no re-emphasis. Does it fill your heart with happiness to think of having children with him/her one day? Is he/she the kind of person you’d want to share your genes with, in the form of your legacy in this world?

On this count, the question of his/her family comes into play once again. You might love each other and want to live with each other. But before deciding when to get married, be conscious of the fact that your children are as much a product of your family, as hers/his. Are you happy to think of your child as a dot on the line of his/her family?

If not, think again. And very carefully.

5.      Is he/she The One?

I’m an idealist when it comes to love. I believe in all the good old concepts like there being a special someone waiting for each of us, and a couple being two parts of a whole which fit perfectly into each other, and each other only. While everything I’ve mentioned so far is crucial to deciding when to get married, nothing replaces that special connection you feel with him/her which you’ve never felt before. Only this morning I was thinking of how meeting your Special One is like resonance in physics – you’ll never get to see the how much your heart can fly unless you’ve hit the resonant frequency, of which there’s only one in this world. In fact I posted about it (along with a lot of other fun, romantic and quirky quotes) in our Facebook Page.

If this box is not ticked, deal’s sure off. No questions asked.

And after many shameful confessions of not asking (most of) the right questions before marriage, I’m bloated with pride to inform you that this one is something I managed to tick the first thing after I met him. :D

6.      Is there a #6?

Well there wouldn’t be, but as our most enthusiastic friend and follower Connie Omari has pointed out in the comments to the last post, a shared spiritual (NOT religious) belief is crucial too. You’re an atheist, your partner goes to the temple every Thursday, you’re fighting about it every day and you’re still hoping it’ll all be ok after marriage – unlikely to work.

What are the questions you’re planning to go over before your marriage?

What did you ask and what did you forget to ask before your marriage?

I can’t wait to hear it all out in the comments.

Have a great day!

“When Should I Get Married?” 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself Before Getting Married – Part 1

Do you know that less than 1 lac Indians are Googling about when they should get married as compared to 33.5 lac Googling “marriage” per month? That’s less than 3% marriage maturity. Dumb, I say. But not much more than I was of course, when I took the plunge without bothering about whether I was really ready to get married.

How we came to make it work eventually is another story for another day.;)

Today I want to share with you my “hindsight” (they’re always priceless, you know) on the questions you should ask yourself to gauge whether you’re ready to get married. Now of course the number of questions you should ask yourselves before getting married is not ten, it’s more in the range of three and a half thousand. But I’ve tried to sum all that up in these ten questions in today’s (and the next) post. There are gazillions of other questions you can and should ask each other before proceeding to say “I do”, but these ten are ones you absolutely cannot afford to miss.

When to get marriedPhoto by Marriage Bureau

1.      Am I ready to settle down?

Marriage always involves sacrificing freedom, in some form or the other.

It involves giving up (some of) those late nights.

It might mean spending less time with your parents or friends.

It means cutting back on Facebooking at 2 am.

It means being unable to blog 24X7 (in my case :P).

Depending on where these activities figure on your priority list, gauge carefully whether you’re ready for married life.     

2.      Are our visions of The Ideal Life similar?

You’re in love with the idea of a fast-paced life full of fine dining, dancing and partying in a metro, whereas your girlfriend/boyfriend can’t give up on their Neo-Luddite dreams of going back to the slow and peaceful lifestyle of their small hometown/village where everyone knew everyone else by first name.

Fun starts with shopping and ends with Son of Sardar for your partner, and you’ll have to replace those items with Fellini and Karnatik classical music when you think about yourself.

If your and your partner’s lifestyle choices and aspirations are as apart as the poles, while you can still be in love, you’re probably not ready to get married (yet). What we like (and can live with) within the limited window of a relationship, can become a dealbreaker when it comes to spending your life with someone.

Think about it.

3.      Are our life and career goals aligned?

If you really want children but your girlfriend/boyfriend really doesn’t want any, it’s unlikely that you’ll be happy in a life shared with each other. Same if you want your career to span five continents and your partner wants geographical stability.

Take time to discuss your life and career goals before you decide to get married to avoid serious crises later. ;)

When to get marriedPhoto by somaksarkar

4.      Do we know each other’s needs and have strategies to satisfy them?

I have a bit of need for dependency (embarrassing I know).

Our whirlwind courtship was woefully inadequate to give him any wind of this. We spent our first six months miscommunicating, creating wrong expectations, breaking them and each other’s bones – well almost – in the process, till he finally got it. And the funny thing is I had no idea that he had no idea about it. We tend to assume our partners will magically understand everything about us, you see.

What are your emotional and other needs from each other?

Are both of you ready to put in the efforts to provide these?

Unless you’ve answered the above two questions to the satisfaction of both of you, you’re probably not ready to get married.

5.      Do we know everything (relevant) about each other?

Even in the midst of my raving mania of falling head-over-heels in love (when I met Shubho) I had the good sense to anticipate this one – if you get married on the basis of false impressions, you’re in for trouble.  You wouldn’t believe this – within days of our first date I’d told him the darkest and deepest of my secrets. And he did the same.

Yes, some of them were shocking to him.

Maybe some of them made him think twice.

But I don’t think we’d have been able to give stability to our commitment if we hadn’t been able to cultivate each other’s deepest trust. And needless to say, deciding to share your life with someone without creating complete trust between yourselves is wildly and disastrously a bit stupid.

What are the other questions that bother you when you think about taking your relationship to the next level? Tell me by about them by leaving a comment. In the meantime stay tuned for part 2 of today’s post where I’ll talk about the next 5 of the 10 crucial questions to ask yourselves before tying the knot.