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Fidelity - Myth or Reality?
|by Aparna Chatterjee|
The other day, a dear friend of mine quoted this line :
Raj Kapoor had once said about Guru Dutt: "He is so sensitive that he should carry a label on his heart : Fragile, handle with care."
Talking of Guru Dutt, I think Raj Kapoor got him right because his sensitivity, his fragility is reflected very well in his movies : Pyaasa, Kaagaz Ke Phool, Chaudhavin Ka Chaand, Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam. And of course, his tragic end after he had separated from his wife Geeta Roy (Dutt), - a very talented singer herself - she is in fact my Fav. Female Singer alongwith Asha Bhonsle. And the reason for his separation was that he had fallen for his movie's actress - Waheeda Rehman.
But their affair didn't culminate into marriage because Waheeda didn't want to marry an already married man and her career was also at stake. So she broke-off from Guru Dutt and moved on to make more movies with other directors. This break-up really shattered him and he couldn't get over her, so he committed suicide with an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills at the age of just 39.
And Geeta Dutt, who's marriage was already in shambles because of this love-triangle, suffered a nervous breakdown, being shocked by Guru Dutt's death whom she had loved very dearly (they had a love marriage in 1953, having met during the song-recording of Baazi -1951 when their romance blossomed). So after Guru Dutt's death, though she did sing some songs, but she was in a financial mess and she took to a life of heavy drinking, eventually dying of liver cirrhosis at the age of just 42.
Thus, Love has the power of making the meek feel 'mighty' and Love can also make the meekest of the mightiest. Two very talented people suffering a tragic death in the prime of their lives, due to the vagaries of being in Love.
Yet, does it stop people from falling in Love ? It never will...
As if both the individuals above didn't have the minds to know what was right or wrong...but such are the tidings of the heart...it makes you feel more and think less.
And today, Society remembers them not for their personal tragedies but what they have gifted to this world in terms of their precious contributions of superb movies and lovely songs. They have been able to win over the hearts of people with their talents to such an extent, that they are not abhorred for having gone out of the 'socially respectable' way of life and not even one person today can accuse them of infidelity, adultery, alcoholism, etc.
As for 100 % Fidelity - Is it a Myth or Reality ?
Barring those proven cases of 'Infidelity' where people have strayed away from their monogamous relationships and have been having clandestine affairs, if we think of platonic relationships between close friends of the opposite sex, no married woman / man can share a purely platonic relationship with the "other" men / women in their life. Their dreams, fantasies and sms or e-mail exchanges like 'double-meaning' jokes, passionate poems, seductive pictures, revealing articles, etc have all shades of subtle sex in them and I believe a purely platonic relationship between a man and a woman esp. if they are "very close" friends is hard to come by...The term Platonic means - above / sans / devoid / free of sensual desires and a relationship that is purely philosophical / spiritual is impossible between the married men / women and the "significant others" in their life.
Many men / women keep fantasizing and flirting with their close pals, expressing their subtle desires of them, exchanging sex-gigs and porno links. In a way, every married man / woman is Infidel because physically, you may be attached to one partner, but Complete Faithfulness in mind, body and spirit can only happen if you eat, sleep, live and dream just 1 person in your entire married life - he /she being your solo partner, mentally and physically - and I am sure that can never be the case.
Even if you are married to your wife / husband, you may be desiring other women / men in your dreams and fantasies and it is true with many married couples in this world. So to a lesser or higher degree, every married person is Infidel - some have very latent, unexpressed desires and others 'stray' away and express those forbidden desires to the objects (men / women) of their fantasies for extra-marital fulfillment.
Many married men and women may be absolutely Faithful to their partners (physically), but then they share those kinds of furtive associations with the "other" women / men in their life where they enjoy fantasizing about them and titillating each other with all sorts of sex-jokes and porn-links, saucy remarks and 'suggestive' complements, flirtatious chat-room lingo and 'blue' mails, they are not limited to just dreaming and thinking of their one and only husband / wife.
Though some of the above mental-strayers and day-dreamers may not be doing any of the above 'overt' interactions with their "objects of fancy" because by nature, they are coy, modest, reserved, and very private people, keeping such 'forbidden' thoughts to themselves without any outward expression, for the sake of propriety.
Married men might fantasize Page 3 pin-up girls, Bosom Beauties of Bollywood and Hollywood movies, the sexy sirens of Triple X movies, or even some of their beautiful office colleagues, the attractive next door neighbor, and of course, the significant "other" women in their lives like their very close friends whom they fancy. It might give them a 'high' in their mundane sex-lives with their monogamous partners and they might feel 'alive and kicking' doing so.
Nothing wrong in it, I suppose because it is a very natural basic instinct, esp. if one doesn't cross the conjugal boundaries to make those fantasies of their own private dream-world come true. Then it might complicate matters - resulting in mutual hurt, unhappiness and separation of the married couple, leading to family breakdown and custody-battles for children who bear the brunt of their parents' strife.
Even married women might fantasize about the "other special" men in their lives with whom they can connect mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. I guess, women are a bit different because most men can think of sex on its own with any bedmate - no strings attached - (that is why there are more prostitutes than gigolos probably because to satiate the high sex drive that men naturally have due to their testosterone levels as compared to the majority of women who have normal / low drives). But most women need to have intense feelings of love and affection for a man, before they can even imagine having a physical relationship with him.
As Lord Byron said : Man's love is of man's life a thing apart, 'Tis woman's whole existence.
Come to think of it, even the Blessed Radha and Meera Bai, being married to other men, still deeply desired their Beloved Lord Krishna.
Though exceptions are always there and there may be many horny housewives in this world who would like to experiment with sex, having multiple partners, be those 'latent' lesbians who would like to experience how it feels making love to a woman or 'straight' women who want to experience heterosexual flings with other men pleasing them with various organ sizes be they able-bodied, well-endowed, brown, black or white, European, American or Asian blokes.
So to get a mental 'high' and feel 'alive and kicking' while still being physically faithful to their marital partners, they may seek respite in their private world of dreams and fantasies, and may even end up expressing their latent desires in writing Diaries, Books, Letters, Poems or the in-thing of today's cyber-space : Web-Blogs.
Thus, every married person may be an infidel man / woman to a higher or a lesser degree, depending on the extent of 'straying' that happens mentally / physically, but the word Infidelity applies to them all...Of course, some do it with a bit of 'guilt' and pricking of the so-called Super-Ego or Conscience, and others feel guilt-free, on the contrary, 'rejuvenating' themselves in such private moments of flight 'n' fancy, indulging in the vibrant moods of Imagination 'sans frontiers'...
Having said that, I don't mean to say that we keep fantasizing about all the 'other' men / women we meet in our lives, which would be a totally absurd proposition because we don't get attracted to all and sundry. Mental and Physical Attraction is very person-specific. It is only those 'significant few' who hold our fancy for some periods of time, may be a couple of years, or may be their attraction is so very deep, that they could hold our attention, lasting us a lifetime.
So 100% Fidelity - I guess, It can never be a 100% Guarantee. Physically, it may be - but impossible psychologically, even happily married couples, committed to each other for as long and old as half a century, celebrating their Golden 50th Wedding Anniversary (very hard to come by these days, with divorce rates at an all-time high), I am sure, at some point of time, they may have 'strayed' mentally, if not physically towards other men and women they have admired in their lives.
As the Irish Poet and Novelist Oscar Wilde said : "People who love only once in their lives are. . . shallow people. What they call their loyalty, and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination."
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