I wrote this piece originally on June 16, 2014. Reproducing without much edits. Lots could have changed since then. All said, male jealousy is cute! Luving it!
Men and this Green-eyed Monster Ugh!
June 16, 2014
On a lighter vein, I want to blog about the typical Indian husband who feels utterly jealous about every man who enters his wife’s sphere of imagination in some way or other. The object of our fancy could be anything ranging from movie stars to sports person. Good looking guys who seem fit in middle-age with no pot-bellies or receding hairline are No.1 sworn enemies. Our men just can’t stand the most successful crop of their generation even if it could be the very Barrack Obama! Male envy is horrible tangential truth!
My husband calls me in day time everyday if we are in 2 different parts of the world. I was seriously watching ‘Chennai Express’ in tv the day before I left for Doha, enjoying the song ‘Kashmir tu, main Kanyakumari!’ Annoyed that I was disturbed midway through, I asked him to call back after 2 hours when the picture would be over because I was savouring every single minute of SRK in dhoti in Tamil turf – a veritable feast to my eyes.
Irritated my hubby shot back, ‘you will never reform. so why don’t you elope with SRK!’ and I replied ‘wish I could! if only Gauri permits!’ 21 years now into marriage and here we are back at square one .
TOM & JERRY! (Never mind I have grown out of the SRK phase by now, hubby is still stuck in the 90s).
Arvind Swamy, the ever-green anti-hero: Reminds me when in the year 2002 or so, we stopped at an ATM to withdraw. Hubby was at the wheel and i went into the kiosk alone. In the next machine stood the macho Arvind Swamy, the local hero, and hero of films like ‘Roja’ and ‘Bombay’ – also dubbed into Hindi. It was sure nothing to Mr. Swamy but it was all butterflies in the stomach for me. I stammered for speech, had nothing to get his autograph in, in fact i did not even smile. But the actor gave me a big smile and waved ‘hi’ – and i responded belatedly nodding my head. We stood for a minute staring at each other, myself still not coming to senses having seen my dream hero of early 1990s in such a close -up. He was starting to age, in his early 30s just like me, (same age as me or perhaps a year or 2 older I think). He had gained weight slightly, looked more mature, his cheeks were flushed and he looked even more handsome in person than in celluloid screen.
In 2002 I guess all of us were a lot younger, and me still naive somewhat! There was still this school-girlish side of mine that emerged out every now and then! And more over I never ever met with a celebrity in real life – and Arvind Swamy is actually the one and only star or Page 3 guy I have seen anywhere from close quarters (up until now this is true). Naturally I remember the ATM thing to this day – whereas for Swamy – i think he will be shocked into coma if he comes to know that a 40+ woman who is his fan since her college days is still besotted with him LOL this way!
Getting back to the car all through the drive I kept rambling about the handsome movie star with whom I shared under 1 minute private space in an ATM kiosk. Hubby and son got irritated. Hubby said a guy who sang songs and danced around the trees with women could never be man enough. I ridiculed that and argued Swamy was an industrialist in the city, doing extremely well, and acting was his passion. I was awed totally that day and called my friends and relatives to share the exciting news with them! All the while my hubby kept reminding me, my hero would have forgotten my plain jane face the moment he stepped out of the ATM, I was one drop in a billion who never mattered to him, how his list of girl friends could be a very long and impressive one, and all that blah blah- while here I was fawning all about Arvind as if I was a teenager. My H did ask me before we married which actor I liked most and I remember telling him ‘Arvind Swamy’ who was at the peak of his acting career then. Ever since Swamy became like his arch rival.
Not that I am celebrity-crazy either. I guess this was a one-off incident for me, because one of my fondest memories is that of going to ‘Roja’ (original Tamil version) in the cinemas with my school girls – right on Jan 18, 1993, a few months before my marriage. It was like a girl-equivalent of bachelor’s party – on a friend’s wedding day. I did not even know that my hubby existed then just a few km away from my home – who I met in March and married by June (arranged match). We girls – some 20 of us, brought down the roof of the cinemas every time Arvind came on the screen with our whistles and hoots hahaha! That was also ARR’s first muscial score in Tamil cinema – the picture was dubbed into Hindi as well by director Mani Rathnam. So Arvind was like our dream hero.
During our brief engagement period, my would be-hubby wanted to take me to pictures. ‘Which one?’ he asked and I opted for a Tamil remake of ‘Arth’ in which again the hero was Arvind Swamy. ‘But it is a divorce theme!’ You seriously like this fellow Arvind Swamy?!’ asked my fiance’ in an incredulous tone. Until now he keeps rambling to my son how stupid and arrogant I was that I took him to a divorce-subject picture, our very first one together, only because I was smitten with this Swamy guy!
Sometime back hubby mailed me a picture of my one-time heart throb – the same Arvind Swamy in his latest avatar: bald, obese and looking visibly tired and aged. ‘Your handsome hero looks like slob’ was the comment. ‘You know he is also divorced?! single and lonely, want to try?’
So I am resigned to this fate now: never will my H forgive or forget Arvind and I have to live with that the rest of my life.
Son does not lag behind his father in this matter. I made the mistake of telling my son how I was crazy crazy about George Michael when I was in class 11 & 12 (1984-86). For his share, son supplied the news from internet how George Michael is totally a failure case presently, arrested for possession of drugs and is a complete junk. He made sure I saw the picture of my teenage poster boy in present times – and shared the info with his father online. Father & son cheered how one by one, all the men I adored in life were fast falling from the high pedestals where I held them.”She likes this kinda men’ was hubby’s comment (in fact this has become something like his rhetoric in last few years).
Hubby can’t stand SRK either because I also made another terrible mistake of telling him when we were newly married that I was crazy about Shahrukh Khan right from my school days when the hindi serial ‘Fauji’ was first telecast. After we married, the serial ‘Circus’ was on tv and there was SRK again – and I showed him to my husband ‘see this is the guy who i was always searching for! he was missing in action for years, but he is back now in tv screen, soon he will be a big hero, something tells me!’
Just like I predicted, SRK went on to become No.1 star in bollywood in the following years. My hubby never forgives him for that hahaha! ‘Still he is a is a bisexual!’ he maintains, telling me how actors paint their faces and wear lipstick and rouge!!! Anything to put me off and wean me away from SRK!
So hubby had to really reel under double-pronged attack of SRK and Arvind Swamy from 1993-96. In this period the picture ‘Bombay’ was released both in Hindi & Tamil, another of Mani Rathnam’s social movies. ‘Tu hi re’ is my No.1 favourite song until now although I always love the original Tamil version the best. Until this day, this one has the effect of stopping me in my tracks:
To make matters worst, AR Rahman scored the music for the picture. Finished. The 3 guys are No.1, 2 and 3 adversaries of my man respectively- for the only reason I love them. All of them are born between 1964-1968, same age as us both (me & H).
Our fight gets too much with A R Rahman, the music composer who is also a local guy. Rahman’s meteoric rise to fame is well known. An ardent Ilaya Raja fan, my hubby still maintains he hates Rahman – only because i insist i simply love him! Secretly I am sure, he admires Rahman’s music although would never admit it to me. Other chief reason to hate Rahman: that he attended PSBB! (Son calls him PSBB snob and swears ARR is over-rated – boys from SBOA etc specially have this thing going against PSBB alumni).
Next is my love for cricket players – I used to adore Ravi Shastri in my school days. ‘Not all Ravis are good’ insists hubby adding how Ravi Shastri was a playboy in his heydays. “Imran Khan and Wasim Akram?” ‘Imran is too old for you and Akram is type-1 diabetic. Any woman who cohabits with him and bears his kids will be giving birth to type-1 diabetic kids remember that. The kids will have to live with insulin injections life long and even the man injects himself day and night’ comes the instant reply – as if I am rooting to marry Akram someday.
My other heroes like Viv Richards, Maradona could be AIDs carriers, who knows! “You don’t know about West Indies, South American guys!’ quips my H. Maradona’s fall from grace is world popular. Really got to give my man an award for villainising my heroes like none else can!
We were talking of Barrack Obama once and I said, ‘see the US president is just a few years older than you!’ and the reply was ‘Obama won with black votes; wait he is already unpopular, won’t get through to second term!’ But Obama did go on to win the second round much to my man’s dismay!
I wonder really what is wrong with Indian men, rather Indian husbands!
I only have to say I like this particular sports person or film star – my hubby gives me enough reasons to believe the hero i adore is mere crap!
I suppose it is okay for our husbands to like filmy heroines and other popular woman personalities. We wives have to be generous and broadminded when it comes to them drooling over Maria Sharapova or Bipasha Basu’s anatomy. ‘Don’t be that lousy jealous wife!’ we get admonished.
My friend says when she was watching Rafael Nadal in tv, her husband told her that Nadal was unattainable hahaha!
Don’t even ask about Richard Gere and Brad Pitt, my other heroes! Our guys are rating themselves to Hollywood range now!
Hubby even goes to the extent of claiming John Abraham waxes his chest!
Vishwanathan Anand, the 5 time World Chess Champion and a local hero is another natural anti-hero. Went to the same Loyola college as Arvind Swamy. ‘Pampered kids!’ is the comment. Especially the Don Bosco school – Loyola College combi guys are hated fiercest! Both Anand and Arvind fall in the same category. Back in our college days this was a potent combination in guys. Hubby and bros are all professionals, academic to the core having attended medical and engineering colleges, so they missed out the city fun in 80s in arts and science colleges like ours. Still they know what it used to mean for girls like us in those days. Funny, I attended college the same time as Anand and Arvind, but never remember them from any Inter-collegiate culturals (most of which that I silently attended (entering essay/dumb charades categories with some similar-minded friends) (i believe the engineering colleges used to take the culturals to an all new level where lit-fests were not the highlight but some tech themes were, like assembling a model for instance). I think V.Anand was already starting to make waves as a Chess Grandmaster. As for Arvind, I recall his ‘Nestle’ Sunrise’ coffee ad until today where he first made his appearance in public during his/our college days.
So the school-college combi is very much a flashpoint in our men’s psyche I guess. Never mind our son is exactly one such product of modern times – the SBOA-SVCE combination which is in engineering circles today as much pedigree as the DB-Loyola pedigree of our times. I never thought much about it until a friend’s daughter exclaimed, ‘your son is SBOA-SCVE guy?!’
So guys before you hate the ivy-league men, think of your own sons first. You want it for your sons, but you cannot digest it when it comes to your wives’ crushes who could be ivy-league guys !!! What a typical male Indian hypocrisy.
Btw, latest about Arvind Swamy: He is a single parent who’s been raising his kid alone, winning the custody battle. As for Anand, he is a disciplinarian to the core, never in gossip coloums, decent family man.
We girls keep laughing and laughing at the childishness and sense of insecurity in our men who are nearing 50s now. (Some friends’ hubbies are already into 50s). What should we do to let them know, how much we have come to love their pot-bellies and salt-and-pepper hair and/or baldness and even the annoying snoring LOL !!! So much so that I keep shocking my MIL by throwing my legs over her in deep sleep when she sometimes sleeps next to me in our bedroom hahaha! So our men are like our well-worn comfy clothes I guess! Shabby (!) may be hahaha but that we can’t do without either! The huggable teddy bears!
One of my son’s friend’s mom comes home – a widow, same age as me. She keeps telling me how much she misses her man, not only emotionally but also physically. Our men are like our life-habits – like our toothbrush, like our mobiles, like our laptops hahaha. Seriously speaking, SMOKING KILLED 3 OF MY SON’S FRIENDS’ FATHERS IN LAST 1-2 YEARS. The age bracket 45-55 is most vulnerable. 3 of my so-called friends who I happened to regularly meet in school Open Days etc are widows suddenly. The husbands were aged 48, 50 and 52 and died of sudden massive heart attack. On Fathers’ Day, this is what I want all fathers to think about. Change your lifestyle, get serious please! Go for Masters check-up every 6 months – which is the best gift you can give your family.
Guys we are not married to John Abrahams or Ambanis – we are married to you, the real, normal men. We accept you the way you are – and love the way you age – with your eye bags, long sight, police paunch everything:-) The last thing I would want a middle-aged man to do is to get hair-weaving or a facial done in men’s parlour. Stay the way you are. Love the way you are. And take care of your health. Male Menopause, now is that true?
Back to the topic:
The latest addition to my hubby’s blacklist is Arvind Kejriwal. “Anyone your mother favours will lose deposit. See the Kejriwal joker!’ said hubby to my son on Kejriwal rout in recent elections. My husband’s fierce hatred for Kejriwal is attributed to one main reason: that he went to IIT !!! (that is my assumption but he denies it strongly!)
Arnab Goswami is another regular villain in our homes. ‘He must be a decade younger to you’ is the daily dosage of enlightenment I get. ‘He is getting facial done’ is the next standard comment. “All housewives love him and can’t go to sleep if they don’t see him on tv by 9’0 clock’ is the third punch line.
Last heard father to son: ‘Your mother you see, never likes the straight ones! They all are crooked! She was right only one time – with me!’‘
Yes guys, Arvind Swamy is divorced, SRK is bisexual, Wasim Akram married a firangi too soon after losing his first wife …. so ? They will still always be our sweethearts, why don’t you grow up!!
Last week when hubby came home from office, I was watching Pak tv every single day – looking at Karachi airport attack news. I knew what would be coming forth next.
As expected father and son exchanged glances. ‘Whole world wouldn’t bother but your mother likes them. Wonder who is her fancy now!’ said the father. ‘She likes losers’ supplied the son helpfully. Both are now trying to figure out which guy I like in Pakistan tv hahaha. I am keeping them guessing. No soon than father started, ‘so is she now….’ that son finished with eager relish, ‘an ISI agent?!’
Ever since I am laughing nonstop in the privacy of my bedroom
Updated Jan 28, 2022
Wondered what kept my hubby quiet all these days. As I was deeply engrossed in a Karnatic rendition playing Wordscraper (scrabble with a difference: 8 letters), rung his typical words in the periphery: ‘Mylapore’s Poori, Pongal, Thayir Vadai, Bajji and Puliodharai did a good job!’ I knew who merited this comment. ‘Ya without the help of chicken, mutton, prawn & fish you see!’ I retorted but by that time my hubby had vanished.