Thursday, September 16, 2021

Love is Blind

This is a true story.  It happened a long time ago.

There was an American in India employed there.  When he came back to San Francisco after his assignment he brought with him his cook.  (In those days it was very easy to sponsor a personal servant).  The cook, Jambunathan, was a Tamil guy and his English very poor.  In those days, there were not that many Indians in the Bay Area and that too Tamilians are almost nil.  Jambunathan was feeling lonely.

His American employer met the Indian Consul General and explained the situation.  I knew the Consul General very well.  One day he called and asked me to help Jambunathan adjust to life here and socialize with him.  I agreed.  One day this Jambunathan came to my house.  He was about 55 at that time.  His wife and 4 kids were living in Tamil Nadu.  He was so deferential he won’t even sit in front of me.  He brought sweets for my family.

He used to come to our home during holidays like Diwali, Pongal, Tamil New Year, etc.

One day he came to our home and started to cry.  He said he had a fight with his employer.  The employer said if he leaves his employment he has to go back to India and cannot stay in USA.  I asked if he has any papers.  Fortunately, he had his Indian Passport.  I looked at it. At the last page, I saw his Green Card number.  (The American employer conveniently took Jambunathan’s Green Card at the SFO Airport immigration.)

I told him the whole truth.  I said I will get a duplicate Green Card for him.  I went to the Immigration and Naturalization Office and got a form to fill out to request for a replacement Green Card for the lost one.  I received another Green Card within 10 days.  I gave it to Jambunathan and told him not to tell his employer. I also told him to keep it safe and this is his permission to stay in the USA for as long as he wants to.  He was very happy.

After a few months he came.  He said he found a job at the home of a millionaire in Los Angeles.  I wished him well.  He left.  Never saw him for another 3 years.

One day he came to my home unannounced.  I asked him where he is working now.  He was hesitant to tell me.  I asked him a few times.  He said “amma irukanga. Adhunala solla mudiyala” (Your wife is standing here and listening.  So, I hesitate to tell you).  I told my wife to go to the other room.

This is what he said in Tamil. I will paraphrase in English. 

“I was working with this millionaire in Los Angeles.  His daughter graduated from college and admitted to a reputed university in the Bay Area for her master’s degree. She is 23.  Her father bought a flat for her in the Bay Area so that she can live there and go to the university.  They also sent me to cook for her and take are of the flat.  That girl loved my cooking so much she started to love me.  Now we both live in the flat like husband and wife”.

I asked him if her parents knew this.  He said no.  I told him what he is doing is not right.  Even if she fell in love with you, you should have advised her properly because you are as old as her dad.

He left my home.   Never saw him afterwards.

PS: Name changed for privacy’s sake.


  1. Love knows no language, no barries no has no rules.... love is just love.....

    1. Thanks for your comments Dee

    2. Yes. She has proved your caption is right. Love or lust is still a debatable one. What you advised him is 100% correct.

    3. SG now that I read it a second time....few questions pop
      1. Instead of jumping to give an advise did you ever ask before he met her if he was happy or be in touch to check on him
      2. Did he ask for your thoughts/opinion?
      3. Why judge him or her for their choices? Were they not adults when they made those choices...
      I feel this is what we all do in a regular basis when we already have enough going on in our lives we want to judge others for their decisions, actions..... do we as Indians ever question lord krishna why he had so many gopis, Radha who he loved and we pray to (he never married) and Rukhmini was his official wife....
      Agreed he had a family back home, but his choices are his and maybe all he was needed was companionship and he was lonely...we don't know.....
      They had their reasons to stay with each other.... sometimes all someone needs is love....and we are no one to judge why they did what they did...
      Humans crave love and affection and this is what drives them close to other like minded souls......if we have nothing positive to offer.... we should just learn to be good listeners.....

    4. Thanks for your comments Gowri.

    5. Thanks for your comments Dee. If it happens in someone else’s home, it is all good “juicy” news to us. I can also ask so many questions like you asked. But I was thinking from the point of view of the girl’s parents. I have a daughter. And, you have a daughter. If it happens in our home, we will not be asking these questions like “did he ask your opinion” and “why judge him”. We will not be making statements like “they had their reasons” and “we are no one to judge”.

    6. In this story SG u were neither related to the chef nor the daughter so truly no one asked for your opinion.... if it were your son or daughter feel free.....even then it's their lives you can only offer when asked for it.....we need to respect that.... again I never think someone else's problem is juicy.....didn't know you thought that way ....

    7. OK. You win Dee. End of comments.

  2. Such strange things happen and are jarring to conventional values. But there is little that outsiders can do in such cases where both are consenting adults.

    1. Thanks for your comments Mr. KP. But there is a moral obligation. If there is a robbery taking place, you cannot be a silent spectator.

  3. Initially, you met him because he was not comfortable in the US. When there was an opportunity to go back to India, why didn't he take it? There seems to be some inconsistency in his story.

    Besides, why cry for just losing a job? I don't have a good opinion of adults who cry. I mean, adults who feign tears.

    Destination Infinity

    1. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. Why he didn’t go back to India? Most of the Indians in USA don’t want to go back to India after seeing the mighty USDollars and the exchange rate for Indian rupees. He was crying because his employer threatened with deportation.

  4. Interesting. I liked that fact that he felt comfortable to confide in you. He definetly trusted you. Isn't that the dichotomy of life - Betray others or Betray one's own feelings. Which is worse? It is a personal decision that we have to constantly keep making in life. He will have to choose for himself, like all of us. Therefore, no body can judge him, but himself.

    1. Thanks for your comments Ajeya. I agree with you. He will have to choose himself and nobody can judge him. The mere fact he came to my home after 3 years and told me his affair with this girl ...means he wants my opinion. Otherwise, he could have very well not tell me anything about the girl. or never visit me.

  5. I found this quite interesting.
    I am not surprised, either.
    Emotions and feelings are true to every human being.
    They have no rules.
    They are pure, unadulterated.
    On the other hand, morals are made by us.
    There is nothing absolute or pure about it.
    Nor are they objective. They are subjective.
    They are right and wrong depending upon our conveniences.
    What is okay for one, is wrong for the other.
    Hopefully all are well, hale and hearty!

    1. Thanks for your comments Pradeep. You are correct. Man-made morals are very subjective.

  6. The cook definitely felt he was doing wrong & that he'd be judged- thus he was uncomfortable to share when your wife was around.
    He knew that he is cheating his wife & family.

    After all we are Indians & will have such mentality- the cook also did.
    But, some make use of the opportunity, putting the "right vs wrong" debate & conscience behind. It's all an individual's choice.

  7. Away from kin, his mind took the advantage of the situation. had he been keeping the decency and decorum, he would have left the place giving a note to her parents. Otherwise, he would have been caught as a culprit,urging the girl to the wrong side. Well-penned,S.G. Nice.