Last evening, the Lord & Master and I found time to catch the Mallu movie Traffic, and I came away from the theatre hopping mad. Don’t get me wrong. The movie itself was different from the usual and quite well made. For a change there was no larger-than-life hero who did everything from creating the world from scratch to destroying it all by himself so he could rebuild it single-handedly once again which is more or less the boring and recurrent theme in most all movies. In this one, there were just a lot of ordinary people whose lives intertwined and from it a story was born which was fairly well presented.

So it wasn’t the movie that got my ire. What had me bristling and indignant was what happened while watching it. Here I am about to divulge a little bit of the story. So those who haven’t seen the movie, please desist from reading any further.

There is this guy in the movie, who has just bought a car as a wedding anniversary gift for his wife. He asks her to wait for him at some place and is driving there with the intention of surprising her. Enroute, he discovers that she and his bosom buddy are having an affair behind his back. In rage, he brutally runs down his wife with the self-same car and drives away. Even before you can recover from the scene of the car thudding into her, sending the body flying, which comes upon you rather unexpectedly, you hear something unbelievable reverberating in the movie hall: some among the watching public are clapping.

Yes, they were bloody well C-L-A-P-P-I-N-G in appreciation of the deed.

There was absolutely no class distinction in this exhibition of wholehearted approval of the husband’s action; those seated in the balcony and the frontbenchers alike rooted for his act of killing his erring wife with a solidarity that would have brought tears to the eyes of the most hardhearted. Yes, and to my eyes it brought tears of anger and frustration.

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly don’t condone extramarital affairs. A commitment is a commitment. But, I certainly draw the line at people taking law into their own hands when such a contract (please don’t give me all that mumbo jumbo of marriage being sacred, it is a contract like any other) is broken. I take even stronger objection to those retards who clap and show their approval of murder. as if they were in some Roman Colosseum cheering a gladiator. Today they approve murder on screen; tomorrow these same morons will condone it in real life too, that is, if they not already are doing it.

What are we, barbarians??!

We read news about stoning and flogging of women in other countries and take a moral high-ground. We pat ourselves on our collective backs. We Indians are not like that, no Siree we aren’t, we say all pleased about ourselves. But, is that really so?? Is our basic attitude about women any different?? Not really, not even in enlightened literate Kerala, it seems. The self same people who pride themselves as liberals, open minded, law-abiding blah blah blah have (in their heads) a well assigned place for the little woman. And woe-betide if she dares budge from that place. That is when you see the men cheer lustily, for the man on screen who kills his ‘wayward’ wife.

And yet, that is only half the matter. My sarcastic question wondering (a little louder than usual, I was that angry) if they’d cheer one of their own kind being murdered by a woman for a similar crime was shushed by the L & M and was anyway lost in the hullabaloo. If women cheat they deserve death as opposed to men, in whose case, the women are magnanimously allowed to forgive them their trespasses.  That’s what the unwritten rule book of society says. Don’t we all know that??

Some time back during a talk with a gentleman friend, he admitted to me that he was unsure of his reactions if ever he caught his wife in an affair. He would probably kill either/both his wife and her paramour, he candidly confessed. This was from someone who has on his own admission never adhered to the tenets of marriage and has broken every rule so to speak.

What makes men so unforgiving and judgmental about women, for the same ‘mistakes’ they and their brethren make with impunity?? Isn’t it easier at least for those who make those ‘outside forays’ to understand (leave aside forgiving) the same in a partner?? But it seems not. Not surprisingly, it is one rule for Him and another for Her. Why the double standards?? Why do men think women are any different from them when it comes to sexuality?? Who taught the men (AND THE WOMEN) this nonsense that Men will be Men and will have their flings, but women have to be Goddesses, pure as the driven snow??

What I find amusing about the whole thing is the little matter that seems to have escaped the notice of men and our very unwise women. Does it take more than a pea-sized brain to understand that for every man who wants to have a fling, there has to be a corresponding woman (unless of course he wants a same sex partner) willing to partner him for it to be an ‘affair’?? It is worth a thought when people go ballistic about women and their sexuality, to remember that men cannot really be men, not the way they envisage themselves to be, minus women and their sexuality. Quit baying for blood of women who happened to express their sexuality much the same way as men. It takes two to tango. So wipe off that supercilious smirk and put a sock to that clapping.