Kisko Pyaar Karoon? The Dilemma of a Married Woman in a World Where Adultery Isn’t Criminal


Kisko Pyaar Karoon? The Dilemma of a Married Woman in a World Where Adultery Isn’t Criminal

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Arecent Supreme Court ruling has shown the 158-year-old adultery law its rightful place – the trash can. Since even gay sex is also no longer a criminal activity, it means both my husband and I are free to sleep with the neighbour’s wife.

But we don’t have neighbours. And I get to meet the rest of the residents of our building only when there’s an earthquake. I am not sure if I’ll be in a proper state of mind to check out my options while I am running down the stairs, taking a selfie, and tweeting “Earthquake!!”

Maybe I should make eye contact with real human beings rather than my phone. Smile seductively? I tried practicing in front of the mirror though. I looked demented. Damn, I’ve been faking a headache for so long, I’ve forgotten how to be the flirty femme.

But tell me, how can you purr like a kitten and crawl on all fours in a leather suit, whip dangling from one hand when you’ve been the obedient cow of your beloved for so long? I am so used to being a helpless thing seated on a pedestal waiting for someone else’s husband to seduce me. The state’s laws had mandated it was inappropriate to have sexual desires of my own since it was solely a man’s job.

It was a relief, if you ask me. As such every bloody thing is a woman’s job – from 50 ways to cook bhindi, to hunting for purple feathers for Zeus’s school project, to dealing with a leaking tap, to waiting for a plumber who never shows up, to fending off your over-friendly colleague’s hand that always lands on your bum. Phew!

Can you imagine the repercussions of finally being treated as adults with the right to sexual privacy and being allowed to live with dignity?

And now I have a shit ton of recently thawed desires and a “men-to-do” list screaming, me too, me too! Shut the fuck up, will you? Let me focus.

It’s not that there aren’t enough men. Rather they outnumber us by a huge margin, all thanks to diligent parents who kill their baby girls right when they are born. But look at the choices I have around me. Most of them are unattractive and have no idea about it because their moms have been telling them they are the best thing to have happened since aloo-kachori. Even worse is their sense of humour. But what can you expect from men whose idea of funny is a sexist WhatsApp forward that reduces the wife to a scheming shrew who shops all day and says no to sex?

Good for their wives though. They don’t have to spend sleepless nights worrying about hordes of women falling over each other to sleep with their husband. All they need is to have faith in their good taste in men.

One woman’s garbage… is the other woman’s garbage as well.

With no husbands in the market, I decided to download the “Rent a boyfriend” app that lets me rent “friends” by the hour. The available “boyfriends” are divided into three helpful categories: Celebrity, model, and aam aadmi. I checked. They all looked like someone I have slapped before. Then I read the tagline – “to help you cure your depression” and started laughing hysterically.

This is getting stressful now. Life was much simpler for us married folks when adultery could send you to Tihar. Married men could sleep with any woman who was not married. When they were in a mood for some prison time, they just had to make sure to get caught with Mrs Malhotra with their pants down.

In India, you are spoilt for choices that could land you in jail. You can displease the Supreme leader by cracking jokes on him, trend embarrassing hashtags, or be a human rights activist fighting for the rights of Dalits, and bam, the police will be right outside your door with a fictitious plot. But now that our morality or the lack of it is no longer the state’s business, the poor things will be compelled to focus on trivial issues like governance.

Oh god! Can you imagine the repercussions of finally being treated as adults with the right to sexual privacy and being allowed to live with dignity? We will have to take responsibility for our own actions instead of outsourcing it to a nanny state.

It’s going to be even worse for us women. We are being told that we are as much to blame for an adulterous relationship and no longer a hapless victim. Hey Ram, this is definitely Kalyug. Imagine telling Ganga it’s she who gets to decide whether she wants to get maili or not.

But wait a minute. I am getting this terrible feeling that cheating on your spouse will cease to be a super-fun thing to do, since you will only be hurting the people who love you the most. And isn’t the thrill of doing the forbidden the Viagra of all lustful connections?

We no longer have the fear of the law to stay faithful to our partners. We now have the freedom to change our lives and wives. Does the Supreme Court even realise what it has done?!