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Sunday, June 24, 2012

I think I need a wife

I've been married for so long now, it's embarrassing to count the years.  Nothing like a lengthy marriage to make you feel really really old. It got me thinking the other day, when we had one more of our silly spats, why do couples marry?

It makes no sense at all. To propagate the human race? Nah. The randy human race will propagate with or without a paper telling you that you can. To give society that strong base of family values? A strong family unit makes more strong family units which makes for a strong society? Okay that sounds even sillier in writing. Just the other day two grandsons killed their grandmother, stole her jewellery, sold it to a jeweller and proceeded to live it up. The cops caught them, interrogated them and they sang like larks. Now they are behind bars. So it cannot be to make a strong society.

I was talking to a trekker a couple of years back and he said he made it very clear to his wife before marriage that he was not interested in having children. Why? Because this is not the kind of world to bring children into. She married him.

So if you don't want to have children, why marry at all? Stuck to one person all your life, under one roof, waiting for death in the four walls of your house? And if you have children they live with you for how long - 20 years? Then it's bye mom and dad, see you at your funeral.

Now I had kids. I was petrified of the whole labour and delivery thing, not so much the bringing up of children and I learned pretty quick, that labour pain, delivery and that obscenity of stitches in your hoo-ha was a mere stub on the little toe compared with the compound fractures that were waiting for you.

Also, I'd like to know what happened to the man I married. He disappeared right under my nose and another nasty character took his place. The happy smiling horny guy disappeared and what I had was a resentful, nagging, horny guy. It does not gel. It's like a Rottweiler wearing a tou-tou and ribbons. 20 years later, I realized the guy I married had taken a hike and his doppelganger was making me look inward.

So I'm cooking and cleaning and washing and the doppelganger is also doing a whole lot of work in the house and outside. He is not happy doing it. I am not happy doing my chores, unless there's loud rock music playing, which he hates, but I listen to anyways, so that does not help. Then I keep hearing elderly people around, actually they are my age group, but I colour my hair so I'm a generation younger... I hear them say you must get your son married, he should settle down with a nice girl.

I thought I was a nice girl. Yes. Definitely. I was the nicest girl I knew. I liked me very much. Still do. My mother-in-law's son settled down with me, but we fight like cats on a daily basis. So in addition to doing chores which we don't like, we fight. It makes no sense, why do we continue? Why does any couple continue. And then it hit me. We're lazy sods.  That's why.

That whole Selection Process of finding a mate, the hard work that went into attracting and luring the mate up to the altar, all the emotional ups and downs, the trauma of the First Fight, the great care to not have a second until after the marriage, all that took too much effort, too much planning and it was too much of a pain. No regular person wants that kind of headache again.

Then there's that other thing. Even though you fight and resent each other most of the time, you know you are absolutely comfortable with the other person. He can see you at your petty worst, you see him at his, you can burp and fart in each others company, you tell each other you made a huge mistake marrying, and then suddenly something happens and you have that most magical of all moments - The Shared Laugh. And you think, that's why you stay married - you are lazy and bickering is not a bad thing actually, it releases steam.

But I think I would like a wife. Someone who would cook and clean for me, who would wash my clothes, who would shop and bargain, who would smoothen all the rough edges of my life and would turn away from me at night. That would be heaven. But that would also be a menage a trois, and that's trois too many. So okay. Wife for me? Regretfully scratch that from the list.

Friday, February 3, 2012

One year later...

Another post, a whole year later. Why did I stop writing the column? Several reasons. Can't remember most of them but they were perfectly good ones at the time. The main reason was I just got bored with the whole Goa Situation. Yeah, two and a half people were reading the column in the Herald, but it made no difference at all. Since my time here is limited since at 56 I had just - how much - nine years of mental acuity before I began forgetting why I entered a room, or where I last placed my wooden leg. I don't have a wooden leg, but the way I drive, who knows....!

What's been happening in the meantime? In Goa pretty much the same. Everyone bemoaning the corruption around and doing nothing to stop it among their own family and friends. Education going downhill, with 90 percent of the youth I meet, totally uninterested in their future. They want money and that's it. That's clear, how they're going to get it is not quite clear, but they know that they will get it.

I started a website www.targetgoa.com. For Goans everywhere.  I was certain, it was going to be a huge hit. Of course I got it wrong. I had decided I would not allow advertising from mining, casinos or dodgy construction types. My business partner said his hands were tied and could not get revenue for the site. So I said what the hell, I'll keep posting news, I will do interviews, I will attend press conferences, I will attend functions, I will take photographs and it worked for a while, but having ten fingers, two legs and just one body is a real drag. 

Slowly the pages for business and sports and my pride and joy, the Help page where we would publish the hard luck story of someone needing help and smile beatifically as the help poured in from Goans all over the world. That page fell flat as a de-implanted boob for one reason and one reason only. No one who accessed the website needed help, or knew anyone who needed help. So the Help page was thrown out.

Still there were a decent number of hits, around 700 unique visitors everyday and some interesting rabble-rousers send columns regularly including hotshot media star M J Akbar. The site staggers on frequented by people largely pushing retirement with both hands. But I'm in the process of designing another one for youth. That one promises to be superb, but hey, what do I know.