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The bonds that tie

The Governor of Goa Mridula Sinha and her husband Ram Kripal Sinha recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. To commemorate this day, two books, ‘Dampatya Ki Dhoop Chaav’ on their life together and ‘Patni Manorama Dehi’ which contains articles on marriage written by her in various publications were released in New Delhi. She talks to NT BUZZ about marriage, her life, and more

Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ

With an aim to disseminate her views and experience about marriage to the younger generation, Governor of Goa Mridula Sinha and her husband Ram Kripal Sinha released two books- to mark – their 60th wedding anniversary on June 22.

Excerpts from an interview

Q. You have released two books to commemorate the 60th wedding anniversary. Tell us more about them.

As we completed 60 years of marriage this was an opportunity I thought of to share with the society our experiences- through the good and bad times. It has always been my endeavour to give back to society and with marriages failing today, there is a need to educate our children with good values and make them understand how to face the society.

The second aspect is about how to nurture an ideal family for others to look up to. There are four ashrams in Hinduism and the Grihastha Ashrama (family) is considered the most important phase of life. Life is about adjustments, and marriage is one such adjustment. You have to forego where you came from and move forward with your partner and spend life as one entity. There cannot be individualism in a marriage, and a family that stays together and thinks together is an ideal family.

So my motive of the book ‘Dampatya Ki Dhoop Chaav’ is to reach to the youth as my husband and I have written it with the experience of 60 years of marriage. This book is about our life, and though it’s not purely an autobiography it tells people about how we faced good and bad times together, and how we tackled difficult situations.

I have written 22 books so far. The second book ‘Patni Manorama Dehi’ has a collection of 45 articles written by me on marriage- covering 45 various aspects of how to fulfil marriage vows. I have written these books because I have seen how marriages are failing today. Thus I have been stressing on the need for pre-marital counselling centres. I am happy that one centre has now been opened at Goa University.

Q. What are some events from your life that are touched upon in this book?

Through our life experiences it touches upon aspects of how to manage a marriage with both partners working together, how to balance a family life with children and these are important questions that the youth face before marriage and sometimes need counselling, which has been touched upon.

I got married when I was sixteen and was still studying. My husband was professor and thus I had to manage my role as a student and as a wife. But our relationship is still like that where I still learn from him like a student. There are stories about managing political and family life too.

Q. What do you feel are some of the reasons for problems in marriages?

There are a lot of problems in marriage because women are constantly fighting to be equal. In 1981 I had said ‘Apne ghar ko akhada mat banao’ (Don’t make your house a wrestling ground). Both, man and woman want respect. But women shouldn’t run the race of equality. Women are special and that is the reason we have majority of our laws that favour the women.  There are several differences that occur between a husband and a wife, but sometimes it is in common interest and that is good. We also have fights but our goal is the same.

Q. Balancing work life and managing a family isn’t difficult according to you?

Politics just happened naturally as my husband was a part of it. Once I got into it I had to travel a lot and I was always concerned about my family as I had four children and had to make arrangements for them when I wasn’t at home. However, it would sadden me to stay apart, but when we were together I would make sure that I would cater to all their needs. When I apologised to my daughter for not having given her enough time in 1999 when she was leaving for the US, she however thanked me for giving her quality time.

And that is what happens today, sometimes parents stay together, but children don’t get enough quality time from their parents. It gets tough when both parents are working but then when you have a family that is the support required to overcome difficulties.

Q. There are gender defined roles in a family which are undergoing change today. Comment.

There is a need for both the husband and wife to support each other. My husband had my back in every difficult situation and I am what I am, whether in politics or in writing because of his guidance. At that time, men never did household chores, but my husband took up the responsibility of managing the home and did all the tasks which were difficult and left all the easier ones for me to.

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