S called me up from Delhi in the middle of the night. The first question she asked, “Deeps, do you have a big knife?’ I said, “ya… my sister brought an entire set of huge kitchen knives from America.” My journalistic brain is always active in question-answer mode (can’t say though about other things). Talk of knives in the middle of the night. It reminded me of my good old Delhi days when I used to sleep with a knife (sorry, if it sounds gross but can’t help it). I am in a much better shape now as I live in ‘safe’ Ahmedabad.
I then asked her, “But why are you asking this question in the middle of the night?’ She said, “I want to kill.” I asked, “Men?” (See, I am always wise) Like a skilled cancer surgeon, she said, “Married men.” Well, I laughed and said, “Darling, tell me something new.”
In the course of our long-distance conversation, I discovered that ‘S’ (like many women) has been a victim of ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’ syndrome. ‘S’ being an attractive, independent, single woman is being chased by married men (with ‘single-minded’ devotion) wanting to have their share of fun (read sex). You know, a little bit of spicy mango pickle always makes a boring meal of dal-chawal quite palatable. Morever, when you are having dal-chawal for both lunch and dinner for the last 17 years. And unless you are suffering from acute ulcer, you won’t really mind having little bit of pickle. Would you?
We live in exciting times now. ‘Hot’ India is now in a ‘Heat’ (well, it’s monsoon time for most parts of the country, I am not talking about the much-talked about ‘heat wave’). Everything is instant now. Everybody is in a race. To chase something. To hunt something. Right from being a new economic super power (President Obama, are you listening) to multiple orgasms in hotels, picture-perfect resorts, public parks and not to talk about ‘family’ rooms, India is actually on a high. It might sound strange but in India everything has to revolve around ‘family’. So no wonder, extra-marital affairs flourish in 10X10 cubicles called ‘family’ rooms in small towns across the country.
But, I am still unable to understand why married men wanting to have their share of flings can’t come up with better excuses other than ‘My wife doesn’t understand me’/ ‘I am in this marriage only because of the kids (I would hate to have a dad like this)’. Or more idiotic expressions like, “I can’t connect with her’ (Hello, you can eat a meal cooked by her and you can go for a vacation with her. Or worse still, you can go to all kind of stores to buy a dove soap or moong dal on a lazy Sunday). Whom are you trying to fool? If you want to have a fling, go ahead guy. Do it in style. Do it like a man. Don’t use one woman to enjoy another.
It’s a tough to ignore this growing (read irritating) tribe these days. Corporate India has unleashed a new money power (but little emotional intelligence to match with this enviable purchasing power). Combine it with an I phone, G chat, BlackBerry Messenger (BBMs), you get a cocktail of lust, lies and a high even cocaine/ecstasy can’t give you. To be honest, many of my married women friends are also having intense relationships, flings and one-night stands. And none of them have come up with this silly excuse that ‘My husband doesn’t understand me.’ Not in front of me. That’s why I love my women friends. I respect them for the bold choices they have made.
I read it somewhere that ‘Out of all sexual perversions, monogamy is the worst one.’ I believe in it very strongly. However at the same time, like ‘S’ I hate it when somebody tells me, ‘My wife doesn’t understand me.’
Couple of years ago, I along with a colleague (today, she is one of my close friends) did a story on new-found sexual freedom in Gujarat. Doing research for this story was one of the funniest experiences of my journalistic career. As part of research, we got in touch (through e-mail and landlines) with many married men wanting to have a slice of ‘sex’ laced fun. I remember one guy telling me very earnestly, “I am engineer married (never heard of this expression my life) and I will take you to a lovely hotel in Mt Abu. Bahu maaja aavshe (it will be real good fun).” And in the same breath, he asked, “Madam, are you a Brahmin?” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
DISCLAIMER: I don’t have a wife even though I would love to have one (for all practical purposes like getting a hot meal at the end of a long day at work… feminists, pls don’t look for a knife). I have a husband (who understands me). And I am planning to bring home a cute little pug.