Cozy in the Wild
Saad Bin Jung and Sangeeta, started the Buffer Conflict Resolution Trust of India where they take care of the conflicts between the officials and local people. “There is no dialogue between these two parties. Since there cannot be conservation without these two working together, we work at the Trust to get the dialogue going between them. Man-animal conflict is a consequence of such a failure of dialogue and trust between these two players,” says a member of the Pataudi royal family and the aristocratic family of Paigah, Saad Bin Jung.
He grew up in Hyderabad, studied in Hyderabad Public School followed by the Nizam College.
The couple also has been taking safari tours to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya since 1995. “I also set up mobile camps in Serengeti, in Tanzania. In Africa, my wife and I run tours that offer a pure safari experience. We have three decades of experience in the field,” says Saad, the author of Wild Tales from the Wild; Subhan and I: My Adventure with the Angling Legend of India and a novel, Matabele Dawn.
Love At First Sight
The first time he saw her, he knew she was the one for him. “I was playing for Haryana in 1983 and I had come home before the Ranji Trophy semi-finals against Mumbai. I was walking with my cousin on the road when I saw a beautiful girl driving past on the Begumpet flyover. I didn’t know her. I had never seen her. But I was engulfed in her aura and I turned to him and said ‘I will marry her.’ And I did. I asked her out when I met her at the Secunderabad Club where she had come with her brother. She laughed. Six months later we went out for dinner with Kirti and Anu. She paid. That was the last date we ever went on. The next thing we were married,” recalls Saad.
Pillar of his strength
After 30 years of marriage their love for each other is still strong, he says, “I have no idea what she likes about me but I love the absolute selflessness, truth, devotion and frankness that she brings to the relationship. She is a wonderful woman, a great wife, an amazing mother and daughter-in-law. I have at most times not been able to give her the quantum of happiness that is the right of every wife,” he admits.
Disagreements and moments of clashes exist in almost all relationships. “But we at all times keep open a dialogue through which we resolve all disputes. This keeping open the channel for dialogue is most crucial to maintain a healthy marriage,” says the wild life enthusiast.
Ingredients for happy life
They know the ingredient necessary to keep each other content and happy -- friendship. “Luckily we do not have to work at keeping ourselves in love. We are and we remain selfless and at all times working towards the other’s happiness. We speak a lot. We flirt,” he says.
The lesson of life
Even though marriage has many positives, there are some tough parts. Explaing the hardest, he recalls one instance that served as an eye opener for him.
“Realising that as a man, I have failed her in many ways. Let me explain this. My good friend and cricket columnist one day called me and said that his wife had walked out on him. Being close to her he asked me to take her out for lunch and I did just that. When I asked her why she had left him she started to give me reasons. Midway through I had to stop her and asked her if she was speaking of her husband or of me. Unknowingly I had failed my wife in the same manner. It is amazing that Sangeeta never walked out on me. I rushed home and profusely apologised to her. That was after 26 years of marriage. That is when I realised that Indian and Pakistani men, for many deep-rooted traditions have failed their wives in very much the same manner. We are just not man enough to give the woman the respect that she rightfully deserves. That is the sad truth. My good friend the columnist passed away,” he shares.
The man’s advice
When asked the most important thing he learned from marriage, Saad, the father of two – Ali Shaaz Jung and Zoha Jung says, “The fact that a man must respect his wife and give her equality in every sense. That the journey of making her happy is just the most satisfying journey.”