Cheating, Deepika’s #MyChoice video & more…

Homi Adajania’s video ‘My Choice’ on ‘Women Empowerment’ featuring Deepika Padukone and 99 other women, has gone viral, which was what they wanted, but has created an outrage, which was not perhaps what they expected.

Deepika, looking gorgeous as always, says things like ‘My body, my mind, my choice’. She goes on to say that the kind of dress she wears, what time she comes home, whether ‘to love temporarily or lust forever’, ‘to have sex before marriage, outside of marriage or to not have sex at all’, is her choice. That, according to her is women empowerment.

I think everyone agrees that the video has nothing to do with women empowerment. She seems to have taken the opportunity to tell the world, ‘Yes, I am bold enough to think about running around naked, coming home at whatever time I want, choosing not to have a baby, or even having sex outside of marriage.’ The video has taken the word ‘empowerment’, and flung it far and wide, beyond the focus of the camera lens, where even Deepika’s billowing hair cannot reach.

That said, I may then say that the video was an attempt to make Indian women aware that they do have a choice, and to tell them to make their own choices. A choice to not have a baby if they don’t want it, to not have sex if they don’t want to, to dress the way they like as long as they are comfortable with it. 99 women are not in the video to simply fill up the edits in Deepika’s footage; they are independent women with strong personal opinions of their own.

People have focused way too much on the ‘having sex outside of marriage’ part. I did not hear Deepika say, “You should have sex outside of marriage.” She merely states that it is a choice. Yes, a choice to cheat is incredibly selfish, and will probably shatter your partner’s life. But it is, after all, a choice. The woman (or man) who chooses to cheat knows somewhere deep down, the repercussions of such a decision. I do not think Deepika meant to say that a woman can cheat and get away with it, or that a woman is allowed to cheat but a man isn’t.

It’s a choice. I’ve been on both ends of the cheating cane. It hurts, sure. A simple message expressing that he wants to be with her, how he longs to take her in his arms… is enough. Enough to realize you are faced with a choice to give him another chance, or to leave him. The choice to cheat is simpler. You don’t cheat if you’re happily committed to your partner. Making a choice to cheat, in my opinion, says you do not care enough, or that in your mind, you two are already broken up.

There is enough grey between being faithful and cheating. In the end it all comes down to what choices you make.

Invisible strings

She was no stranger to the pangs of love, and her body was attuned to the torments of passion and lust. But this was neither love nor lust. And yet it was a little of both.

It wasn’t love that made butterflies scatter deep inside her stomach, or filled her ears with violins playing hauntingly beautiful music while he kissed her. He wasn’t the warm fuzzy feeling of being wrapped within a blanket when it’s cold outside, only to realise too late that one can’t live inside a blanket forever; just until it’s warm again.

It wasn’t even lust, making her skin long for his touch and his touch arousing that fire within. His touch was gentle and questioning, and her understanding smile sheltered his inexperience and guided him into the depths and folds of her womanhood.

Long after he was gone, she’d lie in her bed thinking of him, inhaling his scent, and trying to relive their moments. She would think of the way he kissed her, how he’d let her sleep with her head on his chest, and how he held her close. She decided that this is how she’d remember him always.

She knew very well that need to feel close to someone, and she knew he needed it too. She was aware that in his heart there was place for only one, and she was not the one for him. She had never known what it was she wanted in life, but she knew this little thing wasn’t going to last. So she would hold on to it for as long as she could.

It wasn’t love, it wasn’t lust. She couldn’t define what it was, but it seemed a little of both. Or a lot like it.