Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jaipur Lit Fest...

The Jaipur Lit Fest was terrific... as expected. But the high point for me was attending a private dinner for India's most exciting mind - Amartya Sen. Just the six of us...  talking - but mainly listening -  for three glorious hours,over a traditional Rajasthani dinner at the historic Rambagh Palace Hotel. What an unforgettable experience!
 And that's a candid shot from the Lit Fest which appeared in the Times of India...
                                                                               *************
This appeared in the Mumbai Mirror on Saturday....
                       Why other people’s divorces matter…
A few nights ago, I was seated next to a group of exceedingly animated ladies ( a few glasses of Sauvignon Blanc made everybody terribly articulate ), discussing the impending divorce of strangers ( movie stars and social creatures). The level of engagement was intense and personal. Everybody had an opinion on the subject - who was right, who was wrong, what will happen to the poor children etc. etc. There were theories galore as to what precisely had gone wrong in this particular ‘perfect’ marriage. Was it another woman? Another man? Interference from in-laws? Drug abuse? Alcohol addiction? So many ‘pucca’ theories were authoritatively floated (“ We always knew this would happen!”), it was like all of us had spent considerable time inside the star boudoir, hiding  under the famous bed. Someone knew someone who knew someone close to the wife. Another lady said she and the wife shared a maalishwalli who knew the asli story. A third mentioned her husband and the about-to-be-divorced man were gym buddies. Soon, every single person at the table had become an expert on marriage. In fact, we were all sounding like top class counselors who had advanced degrees on the subject and an answer to every conceivable marital problem in the world.  There was an air of smugness and self-congratulation as a lady coyly confessed how close her own shaadi had come to breaking up. Of course, she had virtuously sacrificed everything ‘for the sake of the children’. The other ladies nodded, exchanged meaningful looks and agreed it was the best decision  – ‘for the sake of the children’. Not for a moment did anybody think of the absurdity of this meaningless conversation ( thank you, Sauvignon Blanc!). The couple whose tattered marriage was under scrutiny happened to be Bollywood A-Listers. The other NRI couple was equally high profile. Nobody in the group had actually met these celebrities. But everybody had a take on what had happened in the marriage… and how to fix it.
Divorce is a highly emotive topic that triggers off passionate feelings. Discussing divorces of celebrities, creates a safe distance between their lives, their traumas and our own. While heatedly analyzing someone else’s marital woes, we are in fact, dissecting our own.  Too scared to turn the searchlight within, it’s that much simpler to place a stranger’s marriage under the microscope and pass judgements on it. At some point, I am sure all of us have indulged in this pretty faltu exercise – I certainly have. It achieves absolutely nothing. But there is a level of satisfaction involved … ‘Thank God, it isn’t MY marriage that’s crumbling!” Men claim they never discuss the state of their own marriage nor do they discuss other people’s. Rubbish! I have overheard the most vicious details getting casually passed around in the name of ‘a healthy exchange of  ideas and views.” That’s code for male bitching.
Bollywood has finally emerged from the dark ages and is ready to table its  gritty domestic secrets. There is more confidence and less subterfuge involved. If  Salim Khan, Salman Khan’s father , admits nonchalantly that he and his son like staying in touch with their old girl-friends, nobody blinks. If Arjun Rampal and Huma Qureshi believe it is necessary to state their non-involvement in the  estranged marriages of Hritik-Suzzane and Anurag-Kalki respectively, it’s really no big deal.This new openness is a welcome sign of a society coming to terms with modern day realities. Divorce happens. Divorce happens to good people. Divorce is difficult. Whether it is the Nigella-Saatchi mess ( the sordid details of which the world is hungrily lapping up), or closer to home, it’s the Hritik-Suzzane imbroglio. The thing is, when a marriage breaks up publicly, everyone automatically becomes a stake holder. Our two bits’ worth of ‘advice’ is liberally given to people who don’t know we even exist!
2014 is likely to witness a huge upheaval in the celeb marriage department. Sometimes, all it takes is for one or two responsible and sensitive couples to announce an end to their relationship, without going into the nitty gritties of why it happened, how it happened , for other , less confident but equally bruised couples to go ahead and do what has to be done. “Giving each other space’ generally means just one thing – the lawyers are hard at work sorting out financials. Even so, in this increasingly fragile world, a divorce – anybody’s divorce – deserves some dignity and discretion. And the occasional pointless discussion, of course. Agree?


14 comments:

Walther Prager said...

http://waltherpragerandphilosophy1.blogspot.ro/2013/12/choices.html

Abhirami Muthu said...

Marriage, family, kids ..its all a damned if you do..damned if you don't situation isn't it? Decide to give up a career and look after the family -you are declared a virtuous saint. Go after a great career, buy a house, wear a smart pant suit - you are a blood thirsty career hound. Cant handle your husband's self-centredness - you are lazy and spoilt brat with no family values, stay with your husband and give up your dreams - you are a doormat ..Damn you society. I am going to follow your rules Ms De ...have some sauvignon blanc, maintain an awesome figure, show genuine love for my family and society can go on with its pointless discussions. Please watch this fabulous ad by Pantene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOjNcZvwjxI&feature=share

LadliBegum said...

Privacy is for the ones who keep things private. Celebs go on TV and say things like ' SHe is the light of my life, she waon't even harm a fly, she os perfect,' blah blah. Why??? For viewers?? To let people know how perfect they are ? And then what? The one who can't hurt a fly, publicly breaks your hurt and then you beg for 'privacy'. NO one wants privacy when they are riding the high waves they?? Of course if it is in the news people will discuss it. When their wedding and every sordid detail of their courtship was discussed BY THEM in public. If they had respected their own relationship they would have kept personal things private. Simple.

Editor said...

Bollywood reflects society,as do serials and the media.Since divorces involving celebs serve up salacious tid-bits, hence the vicarious interest.
www.nrisforum.blogspot.in

Raghav said...

One of the best reads in your blog.

Regards
Raghav

Pooja Rathore said...

good column De,divorce well addressed and ended the column sensitively!

Pooja Rathore said...

good column De,divorce well addressed and ended the column sensitively!

Unknown said...

There is a book on this subject Shobhaa

priyanka sethi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anil Kumar said...

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Siva Cool said...

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This book is really a good book which shows us right path. but i read
one more book named "ONE BOOK FOR LIFE SUCCESS" which is truly
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Siva Cool said...

A truly motivational and life changing book
This book is really a good book which shows us right path. but i read
one more book named "ONE BOOK FOR LIFE SUCCESS" which is truly
motivational and life changing . .The writer has described in PlainEnglish with lot of examples which is easy to understand...For More
Please watch the videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biORjS8ngv0
YouTube video

Bhawana sharma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.