Split dreams

They were college sweethearts who seemed happily married. Three years after they tied the knot, Mayuri says she felt all knotted up. Even her husband Rakesh, an architect, felt that the duo’s relationship was radically altered. As Mayuri felt that Rakesh was more attached to his laptop, the young man himself attributed the broken marriage to deadline pressures at work. Both, in their early 30s, feel they are mature enough to take their own decisions.
In fact, soon after filing for a divorce petition at one of the four family courts in Bangalore, the couple headed to the coffee joint Koshys on St. Marks Road to celebrate their separation over a quick south Indian kaapi. “It was separation by mutual consent,” says Rakesh, “we couldn’t make it as husband and wife, but will remain friends.”
Not all cases of marital problems dogging India’s Silicon Valley end in such civility. On August 13, the police arrested top Infosys executive Satish Gupta, 32, for killing his wife Priyanka, 28, who was a schoolteacher. The police claim that Satish, in jail now, told them they developed serious differences after she forced him to separate from his parents. When he told her he wanted a divorce, she threatened to drag him and his parents to jail with a dowry harassment case. That is allegedly when he decided to act in cold blood: strangling her first, and then slitting her throat with a kitchen knife.
Though extreme, it does reflect the kind of marital stress ambitious professionals are facing in their high-pressure jobs. As if the suicide-capital tag was not enough, officials are now grappling with ways to stamp out the new virus eating away at healthy homes. In the last two years alone, nearly 4,000 divorce petitions were filed-a huge jump over previous years: 1,200 in 2004 to a three-fold jump in 2008 and rising. The IT sector and it-enabled services like BPOs are the biggest employer of youth, aged between 20 and late 30.
The backlog continues to grow. Almost 25 to 30 petitions involving matrimonial disputes are filed in a day. Three more family courts are being planned in months to come to cope with the load. Karnataka Law Minister Suresh Kumar, shocked by the divorce statistics, is traveling to Chennai to study the evening courts that have lessened the number of pending cases. “Cases hanging fire only cause more damage to the already affected parties, elders and the children,” says Kumar. He is also planning to introduce weekend courts to address the problem.
Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy’s wife Sudha says: “Right in the beginning Murthy made it clear that one of us can work and the other had to run the family. Not that I was any less qualified but am glad I made the decision to stay at home. The choice was intentional.” Sudha is a qualified computer science engineer and the first woman to join the all-male Tata auto plant in Pune before she and her husband settled in Bangalore. With both men and women earning well, women sometimes earning more, pressures on marriage start early and often end in an early divorce.
A young globetrotting software executive says her marriage is on the rocks because she is unable to spend time with her husband. Both travel a lot and one of them has to cut down on work. And both are not sure who will do that-and that inevitably drives them to lawyers like P.B. Appiah, whose hands are full. “We simply have no clue how to deal with the rising number of disputes. Today’s generation faces a new kind of challenge both in terms of work schedules, relationships and life in general,” says Appiah.
Psychologists like Hannah Samuel feel stress kicks in during the early years of the marriage when couples in IT jobs have to confront the challenges of juggling two or three careers and balancing family and work. “There is simply no time to communicate. They just get married to their jobs; drag on till the D-word hits them.” Bangalore’s Family Welfare Centre Director Father Martin Anthony makes marriage classes compulsory for couples waiting to get married, where they are counseled on how to manage money, in-laws or work-life balance. District Judge and director of Bangalore Mediation Centre, Justice K.N. Phaneendra, whose centre has handled nearly 5,000 divorce cases since 2007, throws his hands up as couples have no qualms about divorce now.
India’s Silicon Valley may be the country’s showpiece sector but what’s not shown enough is the troubles of young married techies trying to juggle high pressure careers, deadlines and a normal marriage. Clearly, no software has been written yet to protect them from the marital virus.
“To cope with the increasing rush at the family courts we have decided to launch weekend courts, perhaps for the first time in India.”Suresh Kumar, Karnataka law minister.
I came across the above facts from TOI site and  could not help myself from sharing with you.

Most of us are running a race… a blind, reckless race… a race to achieve and acquire. Our identity is defined by our professional success and material acquisitions.

Somewhere along the way, during this mad race, we tend to completely neglect the other aspects of our lives, which tend to fall apart. We develop into misbalanced humans. The worst part is that this is becoming the norm rather than an exception.

Is it possible to reverse the trend?
Is there anything wrong with our education and value system?
Can anything be done or are we fighting a lost cause?

Vaishali Parekh


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15 responses to “Split dreams

  1. Anand Amit

    Very true, Most of us are running a race… but I’m not sure whether its blind or ambitious. All the facts are very well justified.

  2. People can bring balance to their professional and personal lives BUT it has to be a conscious choice on their part to do this. It’s the only way to bring about change. I can admit to once being severely out of balance and now making very different (more positive) choices.

  3. Gustavo

    Hi, Vaishali
    Thanks for sharing this blog, the truth is that everyone is given the same situation, couples are so depressed by the economic situation and the work they have little time to engage one another. My parents had 40 years of happy marriage until the end when my father died, both my father and my mother worked away from home, but both had an imaginary hook behind the door, where they hung the problems of work and living home with peace and harmony.
    Importantly, know separating the pressures of work of domestic responsibilities, and have great communication couple, so that problems do not grow and we override.
    Best regards

  4. lee stegmeier

    Well said!!! I am trying to stay out the web myself.

  5. sanjoy ghosh

    An excellent summing up of today’s marital issues.
    No everything is not lost.We must try to help our youngsters at every level to see the light of wisdom.Since persons like you,have taken up the baton,am sure lot more are willing but they may be lacking the forum. Pl do keep up the march of spreading the message that if Sudha could do this,why not others?

  6. Nanak Singh

    I think that if we go back to the origins in life I have learnt the hard way through making mistakes and not beleiving in a God since I came to faith I searched long and hard on this subject and I was always chasing the wrong things in life which always lead to anxiety and stress also internet is causing major issues within marriages as alot of temptation we face, we are in a fallen world and grappling with the forces of lust be it in many forms. Anyway accountability helps within a partnership but this alone is not the whole answer also you have to search for the truth as we are faced with many gods in this world but if god is one then you have to decide which one which is not so difficult if we search for the true evidence and look for humility within that person. I can’t speak for all, but my life was a total mess my marriage split and I was on the rocks. He has the power to transform us and hold our hand in times of trouble and temptation to lust, money and material things in life. May you find God and peace will come, trust in him alone. Thanks from Nanak

    • Dear Nanak, God is within all of us. We just have to look within to find Him.

      • Nanak Singh

        Thanks for reply Vaishali much appreciated it’s humility that will determine what we speak and say to others. Also thanks for your site I have stayed in India when I was little but currently in England but coming back to India to get married next month and also I am praying but I did not always do this. Learning though!!

      • Wish you the best for the new innings of your life. Be positive and keep smiling.

  7. vidya

    I think all of us need some spiritual [ spirituality is to do with one’s own spirit 🙂 ]coaching to unlearn a lot with our own individual reality…(which is not real most of the times) and the social conditioning (a divorce can be a very liberating act or it may not be sometimes)…. seeing a situation as a situation only and not as a person… and these situations are our own manifestations and the people that we have in our lives are attracted by us (one of the natural laws of energy and of the universe)…. again, it is all about choices that are available to us at the end of every thought, every action…every moment in life…’we are responsible for our own well being!’

  8. priyanka

    iam very much fortunate to see this..this creates awareness among many of today’s unmarried people…but this is very sad..only setting up our mindsets properly might be a solution to this

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