We are, all of us, two people in one. Part of us deeply believes in social order, world peace, universal happiness, inner purity, karva chauth, 8% GDP growth, India Shining, no chuddies showing, awkward bulges concealed… you know, that sort of thing, which is so important for maintaining law-and-order in everyday life. Coincidentally, this is the part of us that we share with our parents and our children… especially our children.
Because there is an invisible yet immutable law that we all obey: In the eyes of the children, thou shalt be squeaky-clean, sexless beings. And this brings on us a great pressure to conform – even more than the pressures of parental expectations of decency, which we all feel free to violate at some time or the other. (The ultimate nightmare of the young couple is not that mother-in-law or father-in-law will open the bedroom door at the wrong moment; it is that little Chintu will wake up one morning and ask, “Mummy, what was papa doing with his susoo to your susoo lst night?”)
We think that as parents, we need to conceal our sexuality at all costs – and that’s acknowledgedly a very real concern – but it goes even deeper than that. A lot deeper.
Deep down inside, all of us like to break rules. (There’s something in us that does not love a fence; isn’t that what Robert Frost said?) We don’t love the existence of rules and laws because, I submit, they limit the spirit, which aspires to be free to touch the heavens. Rules tend to keep us down-to-earth.
We may LIKE rules, we may tolerate rules, we may abide by them as a necessary evil, but it is my belief that nobody really LOVES a rule. Or a law. Even if it’s been written on a stone tablet with letters of fire.
Deep down inside, we are Anarchists. (No, please don’t mix that up with being a terrorist!) We hate the rules that govern our lives, and if we could have things our way, there wouldn’t be any rules and laws.
At this point, somebody might jump up and ask triumphantly, “If that were so, how would you ensure everybody’s safety and well-being, hunh?” To which I would only reply, “Yeah, good point, dude!” and keep going with what I set out to say.
We do not share this anarchist self with our children because we are trying to raise little law-abiding citizens, not little criminals! After all, we make rules as parents, and we try to maintain law-and-order in our own homes, right? So we can’t just tell them that rules and laws are bad and chaos is just hunky-dory!
But I believe that we are even admitting to ourselves our deep, abiding love for anarchy. No, love is an understatement; worship is more like it.
Deep, deep down, in the dimly-lit sanctum-sanctorum of our souls, there is an idol that stands for total freedom, but strangely, NOT chaos. (For a Hindu, I think it’s easy to visualize this idol as the black, fierce-faced, demon-slaying, naked Kali or the dancing, naked Nataraja. )
However, the self-appointed guardians of society -- and there’s some of that also in us all – warn us that :
Total freedom for all = Total chaos all around = Freedom for nobody but the strongest and the most aggressive = Dissatisfaction all around.
While acknowledging that there is some amount of truth in this, here’s what I believe is really true:
Total freedom for everybody = Total internal peace within everybody = Total satisfaction.
That’s my definition of Utopia. That’s my version of heaven-on-earth.
WHERE DOES SEXUAL FREEDOM COME INTO ALL THIS? AND WHAT IS THE ROLE OF SEXUAL FANTASIES?
Now I’ll speak for myself alone. See if this holds true for you.
On some days or some nights, I feel thirsty. REALLY thirsty. It’s not a thirst I can fulfil with water. (If I were a drinking person – which I’m not – this would be my cue to uncork a bottle of vintage stuff and turn on the Pankaj Udhas ghazals.) It’s a euphoric sort of feeling… a high without drugs. Listening to good music helps a bit, but it doesn’t quench the thirst, it only heightens it. Going for a long drive on the highway in the cool night air helps, or munching Russian salad sandwiches at a multiplex helps to alleviate the feeling somewhat. At these times, I feel so alive that my life seems to overflow out of my pores!
If things are propitious for a good, lusty round of fantasizing and lovemaking, that REALLY quenches the thirst. Particularly if my wife also has a GREAT climax.
At such times – like when we’re out for a drive and this feeling hits – I tell my wife (who gives me a patient hearing, poor thing, but is tongue-tied for an adequate response) some of these things.
I tell her: “I’m wishing for SO many things tonight, right now – so many impossible things all at once – that I know I’ll have to reincarnate several times to fulfill all those desires. I can actually feel my desires crawling all over my body, and dancing in front of my eyes… a dozen fantasies going on all at the same time, and I can’t even begin to describe them in words! I want to embrace the world! I want to give myself to the world, as a woman gives herself to a man! How else can I describe it?”
Other times, I tell her, “I must have been a truck driver or something in my past life. Because you know what I’m achingly thirsty for right now, this very moment? I’m thirsty for cheap sex – prostitute sex, emotional, recreational, friendly sex or paid sex in a room with gaudy, colourful lights and gaudy sentimental music.” Of course I wouldn’t do anything like that and she knows it, but it’s the feeling of wanting it so bad!
And at still other times, I look at our bedroom and say, “You know why I fantasize so much? For the same reason that the bedroom has windows. You and I both know that we’re confined within these four walls, but these windows are there to give us the mental freedom to look outside at the greenery and open sky. In our heart, we desire to be out there, unconfined; but for practical reasons, we cannot. Being able to look outside at least makes it bearable for us to be in this room.
“I would like us to have an affair – you and I, or at least you. You know why? Because that would be like this room had doors to the garden outside, and not just windows with bars.”
But my wife is NOT the creature of my fantasies, and she is not an airhead like me. Her feet, like those of most women I know, are firmly planted on the earth. She’s practical. And so, when I talk like that, she indulgently hears me out, and says nothing in response. She probably figures it’s my testicles doing the talking.