A couple is kind of like a recipe with two compatible ingredients. You mix them together and — wow! — interesting stuff can happen. Milk and chocolate syrup turn into yummy chocolate milk.
That is Raseel and Arunkant for you. They are adorable, warm, the romance very much there, two different but perfectly suited for each other beings...
But in the 70s, when intercaste marriages were rare and always sensational, Raseel – a Sikh, and Arunkant – a Hindu, triggered a mini earthquake in upscale Greater Kailash. After nearly 40 years of wedded bliss, two children and two grandchildren, these two have certainly disproved the naysayers.
Raseel, popularly called Honey Aunty by all, belonged to a progressive yet traditional Sikh family of North India; she grew up surrounded by love, values, culture and customs. After her graduation in English Honours from LSR, and B.Ed from Delhi University, she refused a scholarship for M.Ed, and joined Mother’s International as a Senior Faculty. Arunkant, after a Scholarship in the All National Science Talent in 1967, chose to pursue Masters in Physics; and all along was a devout follower of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy.
It was here at the Aurobindo Ashram that the two met; and they knew right away that they wanted to forge a bond beyond boundaries of religion, caste, creed and society.
Amidst an uneasy truce between the families, the two began their married life; but it wasn’t long before Honey was accepted into the friendly family fold.
After 5 years with Mother’s International, and another 30 years with Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Honey became the founder Principal of Basava International in Dwarka. She put the School on its feet, and 5 years later, felt it was payback time. She felt she had lived enough for herself.
“I wanted to make a difference, and make my time count. I knew I could not do everything – but I could do something! Something that was greater than me; – something that helped someone else be happy or suffer less. I knew my time was priceless, yet free. I cannot own it, but I can use it. And I was determined to make my time count!”
Thus began her involvement in the DLF Phase 1 Gurudwara. Along with a like-minded group, she helps provide education to the underprivileged;and she is also working on livelihood for the youth, healthcare in urban slums, women empowerment, and sensitisation of the privileged class.
But her love for education is paramount. She is working with Stones2Milestones, an organisation involved in making a deep and positive impact in the way children learn.
Like wife, like husband. Besides working as a Senior Executive in a European Company, Arunkant is into astrology, and the impact of planets on the physical and mental health—and overall lives—of people. He offers free counselling, and advice related to astrology, to young people looking for
He is also a diehard environmentalist.And feels that every little bit we do today will help make a difference for generations to come. He cycles to the market and the Metro Station – ignoring the heat, the traffic, and his family’s displeasure. He is adamant. “My newly expanded waistline, and the new extortionate petrol prices provided the perfect opportunity to resurrect that long contemplated resolution to pedal whenever I can. Cycling is one of the simplest ways to keep fit, while simultaneously saving money and the environment. Once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll be surprised how easy and quick it is to commute!”
And both are animal lovers. They have adopted a few strays in their neighbourhood, and care for them as their own children. Her favourite is a three-legged mutt, lovingly named Chhoti.
When asked “What’s the secret to your happy life?”, Honey ponders: “We can’t stop the clock, but we can keep our spirits young – with humour, gratitude, and creativity. My face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It’s beautiful.”
And Arunkant adds.”I’m amazed I’m happier than I’ve been at any time in my life...I have a wonderful wife, I’ve watched two amazing kids grow into two delightful adults ...I have 2 adorable grandkids... I have real, true, glorious friends...and I’ve been able to do real good things I care about. I wish the time hadn’t gone by so fast, though. And sometimes I wish I’d enjoyed it more on the way...”
Till this June, when Arunkant lost his father, they were 4 generations under one roof... a family glued by love for each other. Even if there was an argument or squabble, it quickly sorted itself out; because, at the end of the day, there was and is a lot of care.
She smiles, he laughs,
As happy days pass.
Been together so long,
Little ever goes wrong.
Months turn into years,
More smiles than tears.
Growing old side by side,
Want none else beside.