Extra marital affairs have become so common in our society. It is social menace, which if not tended has the potential to cost our social harmony a great deal. In her thought provoking essay, Miss Manju shares her opinion on the topic. in her unrivaled candidness, she says "we as humans, are we designed to be monogamous?" Find it out for yourself.
|Miss Manju clad in prayer flags|
I almost got married once, I was just twenty one then, I ran away from it. It was a bit too overwhelming a feeling to know my allegiances towards ‘one’ man for the rest of my life, however long I am to live. Of course there were other aspects to it which proved to be too conservative for the liberal person that I am. I am twenty six and half today, again furrowing the familiar grounds that I thought interested me no more. I guess my hormones are getting the better of me, or that smashing accident that fractured my skull a few months ago, which was like mortality’s smashing slap on my face. “You need to procreate and die with your own seeds surrounding you” screamed a loud thought in my head, what else is there to live for or else? I suppose when you lie there on that last breathing breath of yours, trying to extend that long puff like smoking a whiff of existence, one more or few more drags, what eventually matters is what you leave behind. What you leave behind is the same natural system that created you; the womb makes a womb, one goes to the tomb and another womb replaces the tomb. Many may not agree, those who have a strong mind to be by themselves and not succumb to that feeling of loneliness of having to sleep alone at night, those who detest the thought of continuing this futile existence by giving birth to more suffering, to those very enlightened minds of nothingness, I do salute you.
Yet everyday a new child is born, every day a new marriage knot is tied, every day someone somewhere dies. Every day couples quarrel somewhere, misunderstandings are bred, men and women both drink their sorrows downing with pegs of liquor burning down their throats and stomach to a feeling of numbness, into a euphoria created to momentarily escape their dilemmas. Every day a man cheats on a woman, a woman does her share too, perhaps more with the tag line, ‘please don’t tell anyone’; everyday such dramas are staged, either at home or in the minds of people. What then is fidelity?
We are all animals; well of course we call ourselves human because we are the highest in the chain, we can eat anything below us, which is essentially everything (Chinese do), but perhaps the virtues that makes us humane is our ability to think and feel and amongst all virtues what I deem most important, that of honesty. But in a relationship how honest should a man and a woman be? Is love that thrives on lies, love? If the floodgates of honesty be unleashed, does love even thrive then? These are moral philosophical questions and I beg to broach this rampantly known but little spoken about topic, extra marital affairs.
The Bhutanese, where ever I have known, home or abroad seem to have a similar suffering. Men letch at women, sometimes even when their wives are around, women are more discreet but they follow their dark back doors and are not very different, perhaps lesser in numbers but such intentions and actions are very much omnipresent. I say the Bhutanese, because there are cultures where women and men copulate rather freely, with one night stands and flowing flings and under such branded labels; I guess living upto our humanly biological desires but there are cultures that remain fidel or generally so once they find themselves in wedlock. They are locked in the truest of senses. Somehow my findings are not the same for the Bhutanese, in fact quite to the contrary. Is it because we are a very sociable community? Is this heightened interaction between people one of the reasons for extra marital affairs? Or the river like flowing cheap alcohol to blame? Why is it okay and acceptable for a man to have an affair, and a woman not so? Why do the same rules not apply to all gender? I say all gender because it is time we also acknowledged the homosexuals, who if they find pleasure in wooing the same sex, then they should be allowed that freedom. Gay marriage for now in Bhutan is definitely not on the horizon for decades to come, but come it will.
Coming back to our seemingly promiscuous nature, I feel that once you are inducted into the institution of marriage one has to respect it. One has to become humane at that point, if not only for the two people in the sacred act of marriage but also for the children who are born and who should be bred and fed with the right values. Divorce is on an upscale these days, men find wives again and women will find husbands again, no one wants to grow old and die alone, but the ones who suffer are the minds of these young children of divorcees or people who have extra marital affairs.
Tomorrow if you see a pretty girl walking on the street, there is one thing about seeing someone as a person walking on a street and quite another turning your head to check that person out. Is this the beginning of infidelity? We as humans, are we designed to be monogamous?
Thank you Manju for your kind permission.