He said, she said


Last year when dastongo Mahmood Farooqui, who also happens to be the co-director of the famous Bollywood movie Peepli Live, was charged with the rape of an American researcher, several of us were taken aback as somewhere along the line of accusations there stood out ample loopholes. There were glaring holes in the rape theory. And now as Farooqui stands acquitted after the Court found inaccuracies in the woman’s rape complaint, heated discussions take off in television studies as well in the drawing rooms of the who’s who of the country.

As I listened to several of those for and against arguments, it got amply clear that Farooqui and the American researcher were in a relationship of sorts, which one evening went far beyond kissing, cuddling and touching. After all, emotionally surcharged were the two!

It’s here that questions are thrown at the man — why did he go ahead much beyond the kissing stage? Why did he allow the American researcher to kiss him and reciprocate? Couldn’t he have controlled the surcharged situation? Questions and more of them but the crux lies in the fact that this man or any man in a relationship is in the grip of emotions; he’s no robot but a full-fledged human being. That’s it!

And with that in the foreground or background, educated adult women ought to be well aware of the would-be or could-be sexual offshoots taking off. After all, lovers and love making sessions go hand in hand! Its plain silly to cry hoarse if creases creep into the relationship you were part and parcel of for a considerable stretch of time. Heap ample blame on yourself as well on your mate if the foreplay goes far beyond the supposed outer or inner limits!

In fact, whilst I’m keying in, the small screen is getting more than alive with interviews of Bollywood stars Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan. Both are superb actors, so it gets difficult to decide who is acting and who isn’t. But one aspect holds out: Kangana’s tendency to overplay and cash in on her oft repeated one-liners along the strain of how this innocent small town girl survived in the big, bad Bollywood world! This sob-sob story doesn’t really hold out. Nah, doesn’t draw sympathy for her. For innocent girls do not have live-in partners for full five years, they do not cling on to men before discarding them and then openly talk of those bygones. Apologies for sounding clichéd but you can’t have your cake and eat it too, that too with puddings and muffins by the side!

Mahmood  by Shailendra 3
I have come across numerous straight forward women who after parting with their lovers — part time or full time — sat sad and sullen, not heaping blame on them but actually introspecting what went wrong and where. After all, as urbane educated women they are well aware of the fact that they were in that relationship because they wanted to be in it even after knowing the pros and cons, and not that they were forced or pushed into it. Whilst it lasted it was great and when it collapsed it was time to mourn the death of that relationship and not go about town accusing the man of having done this or that!

In recent years, there have been cases of tourists efriending men and going on long or short ‘paid for’ holidays, only to get back and start accusing the same set of men of touching them here and there. As one of the accused ‘victim’ pointed out, when two adults decide to be together for days and nights there is a slim dividing line between rape and love-making.

Compounding the mess, stands out this fact: there is nil emphasis on sex education in schools and in most Indian homes it’s a taboo to even utter a word related to sexual activity. No, our men and women are not aware of any of the sexually-related facts or realities.

I recall asking Khushwant Singh whether sex education should be taught in schools and this is what he had to comment, “I’m a little doubtful about it, for it may lead to an earlier indulgence in sex. But its also shocking that many adult Indians don’t know a thing about sex. No, not even the basics to orgasm or menstrual periods. My friend Prem Kirpal didn’t know that women menstruate. When he was in his 30s he was attracted to a woman friend and he’d wanted to get close to her and tried touching her but she wouldn’t let him come near. She’d told him she was having her menstrual periods. He wouldn’t understand what she was trying to put across. The next day he told me that he couldn’t go ahead with her as she was wounded and bleeding, all bandaged out there, with bloody stains! Can you imagine! No, he had never heard that women have menstrual bleeding. This when he was in his 30s and educated and widely travelled. Imagine, still not aware that women menstruate! One of those facts he should have known. He remained a bachelor right till the end!”

It’s time to talk aloud about sexual myths and wants, so that the haze diminishes and realities get clearer. It’s about time for aggrieved men to come out with experiences of getting seduced, if not used or abused by top ranking socialites, before getting thrown aside as used paper napkins. The nation’s capital city as well as other cities seem to be brimming with ‘toy boys’ — to be used and misused by the rich and mighty on the circuit. It’s about time one of them writes his tale. It sure would be one of those ‘eye-opener’ reads.

Instead of shrieking those ‘off with the head and tail’ sentences on the accused, we ought to sit back and introspect. In today’s murky mahaul, when all’s going haywire, can we expect sanity to exist? Those who are not indulging in raping forms are raping psyches, day and night. Yes, today’s political mafia laced with fascist agendas are raping psyches. Why don’t we talk of these assaults and onslaughts? The fragile can no longer cope with rapes of their psyches and sit crumbling, dying a slow death.