Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Dev is a typical nerdy mama’s boy. A chubby man with rosy cheeks, medium built with all the common characteristic of an Englishman approaching middle age. He is an Electrical Engineer on board our ship and is very excited as we approached port for he is going to be signed off. It was not so much the signing off that put him in that state but the prospect of what he is going to do once he reaches his home. His excitement had a twofold effect on us, one of elation as his joy was so intense that it rubbed onto us, second of envy as we were staying behind and he is going home.
Once he got home, Dev is going to get married. Compiling the conversations that we had, Dev never had a steady girl friend of more than a shore leaves worth. Whatever girl he met and tried to build a relationship with only lasted for as long as he was on leave. Once his leave ends and he goes back on board the relationship will inadvertently ends. Either the girl has met someone else or the more common excuse, her family and friends advised her not to pursue the relationship as Dev is always away at sea and to lessen the blow these news always ended up with - lets remain friends.
This time it’s going to be different as Dev started this relationship while he was still on board. It was a girl his mother had selected for him to befriend. Their communications through letters and telephone calls was so promising that they had agreed to venture forth into marriage the moment Dev reaches home. According to Dev, the girl had taken to sleeping over at his house to keep her mother company and that both of them had gotten on well, which just sweetens the deal.
We wished him luck.
A year and a half later, I met Dev again on another ship. He is still the Electrical Engineer and he has been on board for more than 4 months, which is the usual contract term for an LNG ship. He didn’t mind serving beyond the term which is a bit puzzling as all of us would rather serve below not beyond any contract term. It was then that I got to know that his marriage is nothing but a bad memory that he wants to forget. It transpired that everything went well until he returned home from the previous ship that he was on.
His wife had left him taking with her all the contents of their flat and wiping his accounts clean. He regretted this the most, as immediately after marriage he transferred the control of his accounts from his mother to his wife. Back then he thought he was doing the right thing, removing the burden of monitoring and paying his bills from his mother at the same time proving to his wife that he loved and trusted her enough to give her total control of his finances.
Some of us saluted him for loving and trusting someone enough to do such thing while some thought he was being stupid and just asked for trouble.
His predicament made us ponder our own relationships, how far should we trust a person, be it our spouse, partner or best friend. Do we dare take the risk ? Should we take the risk ?
But then a wise voice quipped, if you can’t trust your wife whom you promised to share life and death with, who else can you trust ? And if it turns out that she does a "Dev" on you, then it’s just your bad karma. Perhaps he is right for otherwise you will have to keep doubting which will not lead to a healthy nor happy union.