Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kuch Love Jaisaa??

This appeared in The Week...

It’s an old, old story… but like any worthy classic, it never dates. Whether it is Satyajit Ray’s ‘Charulata’ or the more recent Shefali Shah interpretation in ‘Kuchch Luv Jaisaa’, the married-but-bored housewife continues to fascinate us. When I wrote ‘Socialite Evenings’ ( my first book) twenty-five years ago, I was savaged by critics ( hello! So what else is new?), mainly because Karuna, my protagonist, walks out of a marriage that is boring. BORING! Not abusive, not cruel, not oppressive. I believed then, as I do now, boredom is a perfectly legitimate reason to end a relationship. Terminal boredom, that is. Not to be confused with ‘boring phases’ which most marriages go through. But imagine the tedium involved in spending the best years of ones life with a person who is dull, uninspiring and plain ‘duh’. Better to invest even five short years in an individual who hits the right spots and makes you feel vibrantly, gloriously alive. During my short stay in Bhutan recently ( I was there to attend ‘Mountain Echoes’, a real gem of a lit fest), I met a local lady who clearly believes in living life Queen size. And why not? She is entitled to it! Beautiful, privileged, influential and adventurous, this gorgeous gal has been married four times and is a Glam Granny to boot. She admitted candidly ( minus prodding) that the only reason she kept up the quest for a suitable husband in that tiny mountain kingdom was to keep boredom at bay! There was absolutely nothing for young people to do in the old days – no movies, no television, no internet, no restaurants, no bars, no airport… you get the picture. How was a restless, educated and exceedingly beautiful young woman supposed to keep herself busy all day? Dating was not an option ( Bhutanese society continues to be very conservative… almost medieval). Her only escape route and diversion lay in marriage. But hear this - all her ex- husbands remain good friends. She hosted a dinner for three of them last month, and it turned out to be great fun for all, she giggled. Why not? She is an upfront, engaging personality who now travels the world promoting causes dear to her heart. Bhutanese society has obviously made its peace with their most prominent socialite, going by the response to her.
Interestingly enough, our first encounter was an impromptu one in the buzzed bar of the wonderful Taj Tashi where I was staying. I noticed an attractive woman who was holding her own effortlessly with a group of six, fairly inebriated men. She came to my table , introduced herself and asked me to join them. I did so briefly, since I found her personality bewitching and electrifying in that strange setting. I discovered those rowdy, happy fellows lustily belting out Elvis Presley hits, were generals in the army and other high ranking officials. I still didn’t know her identity but was sufficiently intrigued to ask around. When she invited me to lunch a couple of days later, I promptly accepted. There was a story in there… a good one!
I was not disappointed. She is a special person – energetic, uninhibited, bohemian and what the Brits would call a ‘good egg’. She described herself as a bitch, qualifying quickly, “… but a good bitch.” I knew exactly what she meant. Women like her are so easy to slot and damn. She means no harm to anyone. And yet, her alluring presence does attract flak – a great deal of it. We discussed boredom as being the single most under rated cause cited in modern divorce. We both felt it should be right up there, with adultery and insanity. It is equally potent! Nothing can destroy a relationship as swiftly as the realization that the person you are married to, is a bloody bore, after all. Boredom cannot be salvaged or ‘cured’. Marriage counselors cannot talk a partner out of being boring. It is a condition – like diabetes. But unlike diabetes which can be managed through a sensible diet and medication, what does one do with boredom? Ummm… very little. Shut up and put up?
More and more women are refusing to either shut up or put up. It’s simply not worth it. Those who can move on, are doing just that. Leaving several rather bewildered men behind. Men who ask themselves what they’d done wrong to deserve such a fate. Now that’s a seriously boring question! Sorry… but if it has to be asked, the woman is perfectly justified in dumping the guy. Modern marriages are cruel, indeed. Better that, than deathly dull relationships frozen in aspic.

28 comments:

ROHAN kARKHANIS said...

hi shobha,
A few thoughts and questions on this article.. what would be the definition of a boring marraige?? Isnt the term "boring" quite relative?? also you have written the article strictly ( as usual) from a female point of view.. Are men totally justified as well in dumping their wives for being" boring"?? Say if a man is in to BDSM,or other perfectly legal sexual activities which his wife finds too distasteful,(I am sure even many modern indian women will do).. Is she deemed as "Boring" and does he have the right to dump her?? If being " Boring" is deemed as a legitimate cause for dumping .. then i guess you might as well agree with husbands dumping their terminally ill wives or vice versa coz they are too"boring " to to anything adventurous!! And the last but not the least .. Would you be singing the same tune ( or rather writing this same article) if one of your daughters was dumped for being "BORING"????

raj said...

Rohan, you do not have to be so damn serious and legal about a thought well written. art is appreciated for quality of its expression rather logic. enjoy the read...

SpiritualDiary said...

That was a venomous piece.... what happens to the children born from a boring spouse? Should they too be abandoned with the boring spouse. Better still what happens if you give birth to boring kids. Should our abandonment of kids because they are oh so boring be an equally legitimate reason. To what lengths are we prepared to go to banish boredom from our life ?

goodluck said...

I am feeling bored.

Tsomo85 said...

Interesting! I'm picturing that frank & open minded lady with crazy attitude from the "hills of dragon Bhutan"! Haha If I'm not wrong her picture is on your previous article on Bhutan! Such a honest article, really like it! These ladies from your tale are just as real as how "premarital sex" exist even in old (we can even go far back into mideval) days! Yet it just never came out of closet!!!!! Therefor, it was ok to do so & the victim can remain clean & act as fake Sita! No wonder, I can't stand those show where they talk about the younger generation sex life & stuff. As if elder generation was living in black & white or dull world. One thing for sure it wasn't less fun or so!!! It was just as same as our era. About everything in this world there's two ways to look @ things=1.superficial level, 2.deeper level! From superficial level the concept of giving on any kind of fail relationship due to the other party being "boring" seems funny & strange but one should know as a human being if we look @ deeper level we all have different level of tolerance/ needs. Therefor,there's nothing wrong with people who acts against their freedom/right. It's far better to be honest then anything else. The author is not promoting anything here. She just seem to be amused by these cool cats who makes sense! Nothing more nothing less. In my opinion I think us kids we learn and accept things better if our parents are honest in our upbringing! Therefor we perceive world little bit differently,,,,,ofcourse in nicer & more noble & well groomed way! So those who don't get this article,,,they might just need to get out of the box & take a chill pill!

Tsomo85 said...

Ops I mean "giving up..." sorry about error on 1st paragraph.....and many more as well. Can't keep up typing from phone. Sorry

Sweta said...

Well, this article makes me think this that, If we are bored by one person whats the surety that next one won't be boring... because in the beginning every men will try to be his best and be charming and interesting.

So if we will try to move out of each relationship due to boredom, won't we end up all alone??

Dreamlike said...

hi mam..a good one..very true but not acknowledged by many...please write an article on ash's prg news and all the hysteria tht followed

Prashant Pacific said...

Definitely amusing article where female chauvinism is reflected (where ample experience of literature was employed to justify a "sin" in the eyes of those readers who rather try hard to shut up & put up instead of showing the middle finger up)... Kudos to the DESIRING girl in the writer and in all those who wanna defend the opinion voicing adventure, sex, fun, masti, mazza as the basic needs of life rather than love and commitment...

A common observation about people holding similar opinion is the fact that the thing they do with pride, if done to them, they would be talking louder, typing longer and crying GANGA in temples, movies, court of law, blogs and social life... It's human nature - not about girls alone...

I totally agree with "Boredom" parts of the article which indeed in true but another truth that the speaker of truth is not ready to confess is the fact that one day - the dragon lady, the writer and the chauvinistic supporters will definitely be talking "loyalty" and that day "men" wouldn't be dogs unlike the women who are happy "bitches"... Isn't it better to be qualified as human beings rather than animals...

Besides the only specie who supports natural monogamy is the "tapeworm" in which the male and female body "fuse" after "mating" unlike men and women who "abuse" after "you know what"...

To the beautiful writer and the protagonist - all I feel like saying is "Sex is adventure but adventure is not just sex"...

Tsomo85 said...

Not every man are boring, mean, lazy, stupid only (when it comes to investment), lack of loyalty; & that's for sure I can tell! But I'm not saying we should dumb the guy if they've any of these aweful personality. But, when you experience both best of best & worst of worst only then you'll understand how the dragon lady feels over her fortune cookies, as simple as it is!!!!! Understanding someone else opinion/feeling will not change who we are. So take it easy !!!!! Commitment & love are beyond mesurement & it take us to totally different set/level of talk/ discussion compare to this article, so I pity those who've fail to differentiate the topic!!!!!

Pooja Rathore said...

wise post.i liked it, very intresting topic written very well i mean not boring for sure! i agree terminal boredom is good reason to say goodbye to marriage. let me putforward your thought i just love affirming daily "life is beautiful live it beautifully" if boredom is the obstacle ( whether by man or something else-just remove it and move on with the goal of living life to the fullest.)
i admire the guts of the local lady lady for going for the life she believed in.

Deepti Sam said...

That’s sheer rubbish!! Marriages should be built on pure, unconditional, unfailing love. How can you ever find the person you so dearly and deeply love boring?

Kalpana Misra said...

I loved this post and couldn't agree with you more. I admit I haven't read Socialite Evenings but will rush out now to buy a copy of it because your character, Karuna's predicament seems to be very much like what i was going through till I decided to take the plunge.
Fascinating.
http://divorceddoodling.wordpress.com

Dreamlike said...

Deepti...its not necessary that all women will be in love with their husbands...especially arranged marraiges

Nikita said...

Hi mam,

Really Nice article with good message.
Thanks

Silly_Me said...

Leaving a marriage just because it's boring does not make sense to me. I think live-in relationships are a much better option for those who get bored easily.

drukmo said...

Liked this post! In conclusion, a marriage is only as good as the subjective reason of the people involved.

FrankieGoesToHyderabad said...

I thought the comment about 'marriage should built on pure unfailing unconditional love... etc' was entertaining. It would be great if it could be, but how many individuals have the emotional capacity?? Women tend to be taught to idealize marriage and men grow up learning how to objectify women and believe they are second class citizens, existing for men's pleasure. (Just look at the deodorant adverts. They're not aimed solely at morons, you know.) So how are a man and a woman going to find each other interesting when they find themselves married but they see each other through the screen of their learned beliefs? Especially if they didn't choose each other. And we all have our boring aspects, but some people - men especially - are endlessly boring. Combine that with a moody or aggressive temperament, and how is a woman not going to experience long term boredom in a marriage? And then what do you do?

Prashant Pacific said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Dreamlike said...

great comment Frankie

Sun said...

your article only talks of women with boring husbands - as if boring women don't exist!!!

There are loads of nauseatingly self-obsessed and boring women - and I'm sure you know a lot of them.

Droopy Rose said...

hmmm tough question- but it shakes the foundation of marriage which talks about adjusting and keeping up no matter what & I personally believe women are still more of emotional side and such decisions require rigid mental approach.

Deepti Sam said...

Its about being sincere and faithful... marry the person you love...don't marry untill you sure this is the person you wud like to spend the rest of ur life with...take ur time to decide...but once u take the step, dnt step back, stick to it...its ur decision aftr all...nvrthles, i truly believe ur heart leads u to ur soulmate, d one made 4 u...d rest is upto u, how u manage ur relationship...where love dominates, materialistic thngs dnt matter...

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malini said...

only women who have been through a boring marriage or have one can understand what it is to live life like this. Its almost like being dead and as if someone else is driving it and you are sitting all bored in the back seat viewing the world through your glass window. Beautiful as it may be, the view is not your view, the life you are living is not the life you wanted to live, i totally get this post. its not about being judgemental about the other, its just a thought which has to be understood. someone is bored, is bored. maybe when you dont get to live your way.. i loved the line, marriage councellors cant talk you out of this, its a way of being.. its like diabetes.. hahahaha... lol... sigh..

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