If love has to be special, tomorrow – on 14th of Feb, it has to be, first, special... today!

 I do not know what a Valentine Day means!

And, at 53 – and after twenty-one long years of my marriage, I am still trying to figure out what Love is!

Yes, what LOVE is!

My wife’s cousin Sunita and her wonderful husband, Benjamin , had got married twenty-five years ago… on -  what the whole world raves about as a -  'Valentine Day’. They celebrated their Silver Jubilee yesterday (for everyone’s convenience)… and, as I had told in one of my earlier posts, I was to raise the toast for this amazing couple. 

Fr. Donald, the young and dynamic Priest, is a very close and dear relative of Sunita. Last evening, he celebrated the Mass in the serene ambience of that beautiful chapel in Andheri. Father never made us feel that it was a Mass… Instead, he made us feel that we were there to celebrate, to witness, something so special. It is only against this backdrop, that I suddenly realized it was a Mass… and it was so special!

“Not everyone reaches this mark – 25 years of married life,” Fr. Donald said at the outset, “Not in these days.”

I agreed. It was so tough. “I agree with you, Father,” I echoed in my mind.

“What people get into these days is a ‘Contract’… That, we shall first agree to be in this marriage together for five years… and, let’s see,” Father said. He stressed, “Marriage is not a ‘Contract’… It is a ‘Sacrament’… a ‘path’ that you ‘choose consciously’ to walk with the support of God’s grace.” 

Father recounted what his own mom had said. It was in his village in Mangalore… She was barely 17 when she was married in those times… After years of their marriage and so many children and grand children, Fr. Donald had, one day, asked this simple village-soul… “Mom, what do you remember about your wedding day?”

“Nothing, except one thing, my son,” Father’s mom had replied, “I had promised to Lord that I shall live by this man until my death!”

The woman is still there… The man is no more. And, the ‘Promise’? 

At night, in that grand atmosphere of the hotel, I was ushered to the dais to do the honors. “What would I say to this marvelous couple,” I wondered, “Fr. Donald had said all that I wanted to say… There was, indeed, nothing left to say… Honestly.”

And, I said that to the guests who were expecting me to speak with the wine glasses in their hands. I did tell them that I was really happy and privileged to be there raising that toast for Benjamin and Sunita… I told the gathering that I was always fascinated by the grace and gentle qualities of these two souls… and I was also impressed to see the same legacy handed down to their two lovely children, Benita and Benson. I admitted to everyone that I and my wife Anima, were limping from behind… and, we still have four more years to reach the finishing line!

“Don’t try to change the world… 

the world is within you.” 

On our wedding day, 

the renowned writer, playwright and poet,

and the Sahitya Academy Award winner, 

Late Mr. Chapra DeCosta 

– our toast master – had cautioned us. 

Last night, 

I recalled these lines. 

“There are mountains, there are plateaus 

and there are planes…

Love them all…” he had advised us. 

I shared with them what I had read just some days ago in Sunday Times. “What is that one thing that has helped you stay together for thirty-three long years?” was the question. Pritish Nandy had said ,without even thinking: “Humour”. He knew how difficult it was to do that with out a light and laughing heart. Reena, his wife, had said, without even blinking: “Be deaf, be blind and be dumb.” Yes, be the three monkeys! She knew, how important to be so! 

Finally, I said, “Friends, Love is in the air… I have brought a beautiful song to dedicate to this amazing Valentine Day couple. Please allow me to present the lyrics. Hope, you will love it as I do:

By Betty Midler

Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower, and You its only seed. 

It's the heart, afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance.
It's the dream, afraid of waking, that never takes a chance.
It's the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give.
And the soul, afraid of dyin', that never learns to live. 

When the night has been too lonely,
 and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.

As I was winding up the lyrics, the DJ began to play the song. Slowly, gently and vibrantly, it embraced the atmosphere with LOVE… that hunger – that endless aching need!

As always, I can not do what I do without my throbbing heart. Last night, my heart pounded with joy, hope and gratitude. 

“Sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, for taking this liberty of deviating from the traditional way of going about things,” I whispered into the mike as the effect of the song still lingered in the ambiance, “But, that’s how I am!” 

Then, I ended my toast how I was supposed to: “On that romantic note, my dear friends, let’s raise our glasses for this awesome couple… Benjamin and Sunita… May there be another twenty-five years, may there be another fifty… The years really don’t matter. Love does. Yes, it does! May God Bless you, Benjamin and Sunita… and you, too, Benita and Benson.”


I do not know what a Valentine Day means! 

And yes, I am still trying to figure out what LOVE is!




This is the question probably remains unanswered as on date...or may be, answered in different ways and by the eachs experience.
Then there is a thought of love vs true love..
a renowned shaya has written,

"Pyar Ghadi Bhar Ka hi Bahut hai
jhootha Sachcha mat socha kar"

I personally believe, Love is taking care of your partner and do the things as they like it...
But, it lengthens if its reciprocal and mutual..or else it fades away.

Keats Said-
I love you the more in that I believe you had liked me for my own sake and for nothing else.

But this is only one aspect of it and the vast depths of Granths and epics and tales are finding the answers to it!

everyone is a Keats for himself, in Love :)

Too beautiful poetry!!
very sweet lyrics!!!
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Thank u Ashish...I wish I could comprehend the depth of Urdu/Hindi shayari... I envy u for that!

Well, I always come out richer after reading ur comments.

Love to you and Anju on, yes, V.Day...

Yash Sharma said…
sir u r right about today but there r people who still dont consider marriage as contract.....
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Yes Yash... there ARE still many many more many many more!

Marriage can't be a contract!!!


Yash Sharma said…
i hope u got the point im trying to make sir...
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Yes I got the point Yash...


shirley said…
"Nothing except one thing my son-i had promised to lord that i will live by this man until my death"these words said by Fr.Donald's mother is what touched me the most sir,coz evn me believes in this completely..yes sir there r still people who do not consider marriage as contract,there r many around us still.
As for valentine day if u love a person truly everyday is a valentine day but yes if there r doubts u gotta prove ur love on this day.But then the question arises how do v judge or know true love...mayb spending years together with one person can b considered LOVE?????
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Thanks Shirley for the comment. Glad, u liked what Fr. Don said...

Our challenge has has to be to make every day a V. Day... work on the trust front... Love will be taken care by itself!

Well, I guess!!!


vivek d'cunha said…
Dattu, this article is a perfect gift for the people who are going to celebrate Valentine day. Very meaningful n reminder for everyone. we always want to count the years but not the commitment made and the sacrifice one did...the poor love remains unnoticed. Valentine day comes and goes every year...but the promises we make and ithe unselfish love remains forever and ever.HAPPY VALENTINE DAY.
Gerald D'Cunha said…
I liked the way you said, "We always count the years and forget the commitment we make... "

Viva, this is a profound thought!

Yes, we forget the sacrifices we have to make too!


Love, Dattu
sonal said…
whew!!!!!leaves me is in the is everywhere...its wonderful to feel and thrilling to is so unusual..."I Love You" is perhaps the only statement which needs an answer...
they say love can move mountains...what a beautiful way u have defined this in lovely poem...Love has many expressions...
Benita Dsouza said…
Dear Gerry Uncle,
This article is very special to me because its a recap of a very special day in the life of my parents, brother & me
With lots of planning & efforts we were able to make it special & thanks to you Gerry Uncle to make it even more special for us..!!!
Mom & Dad were so happy...u expressed yourself so beautifully during the raising of the toast...& it meant so much to them as well as to us..!!!...The Pritish Nandy article, the beautiful song, everything....!!
All i can say is a "BIG THANK YOU"......:) YOU REALLY ROCK....!!! :) :)
Anonymous said…
love is just a feeling thru wich evry goes, some are lucky to realize it,some dont ,some give it d name of being habituated while some preserve and protect it. love is something dat all human beings crave for. love is something when we hve it we dont worth it and wen it is lost we repent over it .

according to me love is just a feeling dat makes me smile wenever i see or i think about d grl standing across d road looking in her watch desperately waiting for me who has more dan a thousand things to say more dan a million problems to discuss dat all dese look vry small in front of her billion dollar smile.
maanvi said…
the word LOVE brings butterflies in my is d best and sometimes also d worst thing dat can happen to some1. we shud all accept it as it comes our way. mutual trust and tue feelings is wat makes love stronger. wen i was young i was very fascinated wid dis particular day especially d way dey celebrated in movies :P but it has a deeper meaning to it......sacrifise.
love is lke a river, if we try to hold it back it wud break all bounds and overflow.
Dear Gerry Anna,
Truly a magnificent way to celebrate the Valentine day for the nation around sphere. You have portrayed Very expressively the blessed bond of one’s marriage. Totally agree with what Fr. Donald said at the outset 
We should respect one’s feelings, the commitment, the sacrifice, the Trust, the unconditional love & care we give in for making it successful. Valentine comes in a year but the Godly marriage is a life pledge to commemorate, we can celebrate each day with a better viewpoint
The lyrics you wrote is very heart-touching  Love can never be defined in words, one has to just feel the essence as God’s greatest bequest in our life we live for 
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Sonal, I stopped to ponder on ur line: " 'I love you', perhaps, is the only statement which needs an answer"!

Well, I am still pondering!!

Thank u, Sonal,


Gerald D'Cunha said…
Hey Benita... thank u for ur sweet words.

Yes, it was special for me too. Thanks to all of u for thinking of me to do the honours. I have always admired the graceful qualities of ur parents... and I see the spark in u and Benson as well.

Keep loving and respecting ur parents... they shd mean a lot to u...


Gerry Uncle
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Thank u dear friend for such a thoughtful comment... I wish I cd address u by ur name!

I had such profound things to gather from what have said.

Thank u, once again,


Gerald D'Cunha said…
Hi Maanvi... thank u.

Well, what u have said in the comment does make a very honest and mature statement.

I wish u all the good things in life... I am sure, u will grow up to be a fine human with a real big heart.

God bless u, Maanvi.


Gerald D'Cunha said…
Hey Dhanu, glad u read my posts!

This is the best way we can share our thoughts on life-related subjects.

Yes, what u said in ur comments adds a lot of perspective to my own... Keep helping me this way,

Wishing u all the best in life,


Girish Dhameja said…
Journey of 25 years, those special moments, smiles, fights, understanding, trusting, adjusting, caring, loving, i could recall a statement told by you that " Marriage is not a word but it is sentence rather a sentence of life. Completing a marathon of 25 years and having a urge that this silver jublee to turn into a Golden jubliee and then remniscing the goldden journey; this is what a love can does.

A big question is what Valentine day means.
A day to commit or a day to prove your commitment, i wonder....
A day to say something unsaid, or a day to feel what u said, i wonder,
a day to express something, or a day to feel the expression,
a day to make up with someone, or a day to feel whu u r away from someone,
a day to have beautiful moment,
or a day to relish the sweet memories,
A day to thank someone, or a day to feel the gratitude,
a day to enjoy Valentine Day, or
a day to understand what luv is, i wonder......

I dont know what valentine day is about but i want to say to my family, to my teachers, to my friends that i luv you all.
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Hey Girsih... seems, you're inspired to write so much on love!

I liked it... U express very well!

Do writ often.



S V A said…
Beautiful Lyrics and so apt for life itself.
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Thanks Anand... really the lyrics are so beautiful!!

Have a nice day...



Kumar said…
Dear Gery,
What an article!! A special one for the special occasion. Differences are bound to arise between couples but it is how you sort it out is important to reach the silver jubilee mark. You can't eat sweet all the time , you need some thing spicy (namkeen) in between in order to eat more sweet. Life is also similar. BTW Yashoda and I would be celebrating our Silver Jubilee next month, the 18th of March. We need your wishes.

Gerald D'Cunha said…
Hey Kumar, the big day is coming haan!

My best wishes in advance... and the toast for the day!!

Yes, we need those tough times to spice up our lives...


Keep the togetherness on... God bless u, Kumar and Yashodha..



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