"It's started," screamed my sister. By now, its no secret I love Reality Zone and their programmes. This one is Cheaters: inspirational chronicles of human lives. The theme song is as cheesy as it could get. "It happens everyday, another heart is broken by the devils on the [whatever]..." Girlfriends, boyfriends, spouses are caught cheating by the surveillance cameras of the detectives who then set the trap on erring partners. After investigation running into days, the day for confrontation is fixed to verify the suspicions. And what unfolds is high voltage drama...Huh!

Enter the arguments: "Who pays your phone check? Who runs the house?" From then on, some walk out, some seek counselling, and yet there are some who stay put to rebuild the relationship. "I've invested nine long years into this marriage.. spent so many years with that man that I cant imagine my life without him..' a survivor laments, after catching her husband red-handed in a bathtub with his mistress. Women are so forgiving, I thought! They are the same the world over!

To call onself a cheater is very, very demeaning, but it's quite easy how a third person can show up in one's life. I mean humans can get so easily attracted to the other. Cultivating multi-relationships is another story, of course. Relationships can be so fragile in that sense. So, how does one sustain it? Typically, what happens is, we get into a relationship and then start building the rules to maintain and guard that togetherness so much that we run out of space. We start building everything into that space. More often than not, women never tire of that space, till complacency sets in the man. By then, he is so used to being fed, to being looked after, to being treated the king, that he wants something new to excite him. He knows he has become the centre of all her attention. In turn, the seeking of attention and approval for every little thing never stops for the woman. "Do I look fat in this? Does this hairstyle suit me?" You love someone alright, but it doesn't always work out this way. And few women, too, would disagree that love requires marriage for consumation! Far from it, for the man!

Why, despite all her independence, the vanguard of feminism, Simone de Beauvoir, too, was a victim of this space nurturing. In love for over five decades with philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, they were, to the world, in a relationship where they remained "unmarried and free to engage openly in any number of relationships." A very happy and radical situation to be in. But for all this show of unconventionalism, it was a partial view of the real Simone. It is said that that Simome was given to frequent bouts of weeping, which she kept hidden. Though she built her life tied to Sartre's philosophy, it seems she was never able to totally free herself from her own "construction" as a woman. Standing testimony to this long, long affair with Sartre are her letters which bare her all-consuming love for a man she called her "dear little being", her dependence on him are what women would today call demeaning. She also once said, "To catch a husband is an art; to hold him is a job". In a male bastion, this is how women have been moulded down the ages.


Unknown said...

I think you cheated on someone and it is your guilty conscience speaking.

Indira said...

samar two things: you have not the read the post in its entirety and were in a hurry to post a comment. two, i would love to cheat on a man some day.

incognito said...

I guess the space nurturing is also a result of how scared ppl are to get out of the security zone they build around themselves. but i dunno how much of it is true only for women..

Anonymous said...

indira cant say this for sure but i have a feeling many of us today look for that identity which is marriage plus. sure marriage will probably be the most important root we strike down but we will also not tire of exploring other avenues. and that doesnt mean other men. it means finding that interest or calling that completes us as much as our relationship does. its that something which adds to us as a person and therefore to the relationship too. because we have made space outside when we enter the 'relationship space' the air will always be fresh. so we will ask 'am i looking fat' to the men in our lives (who else will we ask it to?) and expect to be told 'no' but also revel in being ourselves outside that space.

only for that one ingredient is paramount--the right man. the man has to understand AND appreciate that just because you dont want to be defined only by the relationship it plays second life in our lives. it calls for a very secure man and that if i may hazard a generalisation is very difficult. for those of us who have found such a partner lifes many other tribulations are generally a breeze. its the word partnership that holds the key.

Indira said...

brilliantly put Pallavi. it's just that while i don't believe that you are a wife and a mother before anything else as were my mother or my grandmothers [and i am not saying that is negative], we often forget the need to know who we are, most especially in our relationship with men.

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