70 year old advice - it is pertinent even today


Letters to our father, Mr. S.D.Bhasin, written by his teacher, 
at Benaras Hindu University.
in the year 1943
Advice that is pertinent even today!!



June 6, 1943

Regarding your search, I have only one thing to say, look for a heart and not for a body. If you can get both in one, consider yourself extraordinarily lucky. But many young-men can hardly judge young women. It is a supreme test of your intuition and your intelligence. Quite often girls who are outspoken, whom people sometimes miscall forward, are very sound at heart. Girls who flirt or connive at flirtation will be found worthless, in that sense a forward girl will be no good. Sometimes, or rather quite often, girls who are otherwise quiet and look like ‘budhoos’ (only look like them) are very intelligent and they know their job. Mind you have to win a heart and it is no joke to do so. I am no believer in love at first sight. It is very, very rare. More often one or the other heart falls to the body of the other. A good heart will be found only in a good soul. It is a soul’s virtue.



July 19, 1943

After you get married – go slow – it takes some time for the girl to understand another man. Don’t assert your conjugal rights – win over the bride and you will find that she will be your slave for life. Girls do not like attempts at early mating. Give her time, when you have gained your point, do not waste yourself. The first children are the best children, get them in regular succession, one every three years. They will be of immense help, if they are born early, in your later life. If you must cohabit without a desire to produce children, keep the health of your wife in view. A woman cannot bear the strain as much as a man. To prevent children coming too quickly, do not resort to modern methods. Whatever people may have to say about them they are positively harmful. The best method is to cohabit only between the period 18 days after the start of mensems and 2 days just before mensems. Excuse me for writing so plainly. It is rarely and only luckily that one can get such sound and sure advice and I have given it in the interests of your Mrs and your progeny.


17.8.1943

I am in receipt of the happy news of your engagement. Let me congratulate you very warmly on the choice of your bride. From the description you have given me, I am pretty certain that your life is made and will be well determined by your wife. I know the trepidations of heart that overcome young-men of your age, but youth is so elastic and so unbounded that there is hardly anything in the nature of difficulties that it cannot overcome.
Meet your bride as though she was brought up in your own family. She will be new to you but let her not perceive the newness. Make her feel that she has only exchanged her mother’s love and the father’s care with the husband’s all enveloping affection and with your parent’s consideration. That is the thing for which she will long and long eagerly. Let not formalities stand in your way. It is by giving your heart and affection that you can get and take hers and you have to, not she.
I am glad you too my instructions sportingly. I was half inclined to throw away that letter after I had written it but I took the risk after all. It was much too intimate and I was afraid that it might offend your susceptibilities.
I am glad that you are progressing with your work. Let me assure you that give all your leisure to the care and attention of your wife, she will understand and never interfere. Those who tell you that such interference is natural are quite wrong. It is only foolish wives who do so. Plan your moments of pleasure in advance, expectancy and its fulfilment at the end is the key to win a woman’s love. A woman is essentially all surrendering, provided one does not abuse such surrender.


Sept 11, 1943

I am in receipt of your two letters. Let me once again congratulate you on your good fortune in getting a loving and sensible wife. The language of your letters reveals to me the ecstasy of your love for her and it is a pleasure to me that both of you are so happy. Let me hope that the affectionate understanding between you two will develop to greater and greater heights.
Old Dhruvji used to say that “Life is an adjustment”. No remark has stuck to me so much as this one and no sphere of life is more important than the family to observe this all important formula of life. Culture consists in this, education consists in this, love and duty consist in this and surely courtesy and good manners consist in this. Life would be impossible to live without adjustments.
Youth and love (whether night-love or love at first sight or a love-plate exposed in daylight and developed in darkness) are great forces but there are people and people; these forces have been known to lead some to hell and others to heaven. What is bigger therefore is the factor that operates this high-speed aircraft. It is a wireless instrument that contains almost everything. The perfection of this instrument depends on the individuals concerned and the tools that lead to this perfection are education, culture and an innate imbibition called ‘sanskar’- a cumulative effect of heredity, environment, tradition and all that. I will advise to cultivate this innate sense and take it from me that nothing is a greater guide to happiness than this factor. In society you are obliged by law to observe certain regulations, in family life there is no greater law than the law of adjustments.

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