The Speaking Tree | The Times of India | Sunday, June 20, 2010
Stuti has no problem keeping in step with Rajat on the spiritual path with Maulana as mentor, says Sonal Srivastava
“We are intellectual partners,” declares Rajat Malhotra, describing his relationship with his soul mate Stuti. He is an investment adviser and she, a financial analyst with a multinational company. Rajat is an ardent follower of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, the spiritual head of the Center of Peace and Spirituality International, Delhi. The Maulana is renowned for his scholarship in Islamic teachings and his liberal interpretation and outlook. Rajat attends Maulana’s talks every Sunday and assists him in organising lectures and media interactions.
Talking of their common interest in spirituality, Rajat says: “Ours was an arranged marriage, I was already associated with CPS and when I told my fiancé about it she was inquisitive to begin with. After we got married she, too, got involved with it.” Rajat and Stuti have been married for seven years now. Like her husband Stuti also follows the Maulana and participates in the organization’s activities. Stuti recalls, “When I met Maulana Saheb, I was impressed and decided to join the centre.” She adds, “the Sunday discourse has now become our lifeline.”
Rajat’s spiritual journey started when still in college. He was into meditation and would ponder over existential questions. “I wanted to know why God created me but could never get a satisfactory answer,” he reminisces. Interestingly, Rajat had no Muslim friends before he met the Maulana. “I followed the ‘we and they’ concept and stayed away from people of other faiths. But slowly, I learnt that if you love God, you have to love His creation,” says Rajat. Stuti on the other had no religious baggage; she was more open to ideas. “I was confused in the beginning but after I met my husband’s spiritual mentor, everything fell in place with his logical explanations. I learnt about God’s creation plan, and also about the bigger goal that we are here for. It helped me become a better person,” says Stuti. Whenever she feels frustrated she tries to focus on the higher goal, the bigger reward at the end of it all. “There will be reward or punishment; you have to surrender before the will of God,” she says.
All marital relationships have their ups and downs. Form adjusting with the spouse’s family and facing new challenges to accepting each others shortcomings, couples go through the rough and tumble world of marriage. Resolving differences amicably is the way to go. “Some things might not gel, but then you learn to reconcile with it. A spirituality-inclined couple rises above the issues that create friction,” says Rajat.
The couple believes in respecting each other’s individuality and solving problems, if any, by talking. Even if they don’t reach common ground they accept the difference of opinion. Rajat explains: “A lot depends upon how you view life. You have to understand that problems are a part of life.” Faith helps them see the positive side of life. Even if they don’t see eye-to-eye they respect the other’s view. “It’s better to sort things out and not take issues to bed because what is in the conscious mind becomes part of the subconscious,” says Rajat. Talking about their relationship, Stuti says, “We seldom have a heated argument.” A positive outlook helps the couple tide over difficult situations.
Life, a Joy Ride
Stuti feels that her tryst with spirituality has changed her for the better. She was short-tempered and would often yell at her parents. “People tell me that marriage has changed me, but I know it’s not just marriage, it’s the inner journey that has helped me get the better of my temper.”
For Rajat, spirituality has brought about a big change in his attitude towards other faiths. I was living in spiritual bankruptcy. I now realise that God is the only Creator and we are all his creation.” He has also learned that modesty is one of the biggest virtues and the key to a successful relationship. A good companion can make a toughest journey seem like a joy ride. This is why God created soul mates.