It's a true story and a recent one, something that happened last Saturday.
Ms C, a strikingly good-looking woman, hailing from Punjab but currently living in Chennai, had accompanied her husband to a dinner party organised by his office. It was a gala event, held on the lawns and attended by nearly 500 people. It was one of those sophisticated evenings when alcohol and perfume combine to give off a smell that tickles you in the right places; when women look magnetic and the men attractive; when decorum mingles with flirtation and they together lend a certain sexiness to the evening air.
Ms C's husband can be counted as attractive, the well-bred sort who can charm women as well as men. I have seen him several times, but never met him or shaken hands with him. For that matter, I don't know Ms C too well either -- I have been, as they say, only on 'Hi-Hello' terms with her. But I know about her quite well: how she locked her husband out one whole night just because he had forgotten their wedding anniversary (the poor man sat on the stairs till the milkman came in the morning); how they made love seven times in a single day during a subsequent wedding-anniversary trip to Mauritius; how she was thrilled when the husband presented her a diamond pendant on her birthday (I even know the price of the pendant: "Half a lakh rupees").
All this I know because Ms C's best friend and confidant happens to be a friend of mine. They work in the office and during lunchbreak every afternoon, Ms C invariably pours her heart out to her best friend-cum-colleague. Occasionally, some of the titillating details find their way into my ears.
So last Monday, a day after the dinner organised by her husband's company, Ms C walked into office with a severe backache. Everybody at the workplace sympathised with her and asked her to take it easy: the world never lets a pretty woman suffer. And then, during lunchtime, the reason behind her backache came out tumbling. She had had too much sex.
During the dinner night, Ms C had fallen for the charm of a husband's colleague. She had never met him before, he too was seeing her for the first time. Sparks flew, and while the husband was busy making small talk with his bosses, they slipped out to the parking lot and made love in his car. It was a Maruti 800, which has enough room to hold a small family but is small enough to contain the lust of two people. So space was a constraint and therefore she got a terrible backache.
Apart from the physical pain, Ms C had nothing to complain about. She had had a good time, she said. She finally had sex with someone she liked instantly, without making elaborate mental preparations to explain or justify it. It was a fuck for the sake of a fuck: no mess to clear up the next morning, except attending to a backache.
All these years, I had never thought very highly of Ms C -- she was too flawless and model-type to be taken seriously. But once I heard the backache story, my respect for her touched the sky.
We all want sex -- good sex, actually. Sex is something which even animals have, but good sex is something that remains invariably elusive to the lay human. And therefore the search. We often go to great lengths looking for it, and even after having found a potential source, spend a substantial part of our lifetime wondering -- should I or should I not? And even if we decide to go for it, another chunk of the lifetime is wasted in cooking up a socially-acceptable justification for the desire to have good sex. By the time the sex happens, it is so deliberately mired in emotions that pleasure goes out of the window.
Sex is actually an act of pleasure -- procreation is a pathetically secondary purpose. Gandhiji looked down upon sex as a tool of pleasure; he wanted the act to be strictly reserved for procreation, if at all the need arose. But in order to procreate, you need to be sufficiently pleasured to carry out the act of procreation!
Gandhi, for that matter, was married at 13 and became a celibate only at 36 -- after a good 23 years of what they call marital bliss. Twenty-three years is a long, long time to have -- or enjoy -- sex with the same person. But, strangely, in the autumn of his life, when he was old enough to be a great-grandfather and should have abandoned thoughts about sex anyway, Gandhi was still testing his will power to resist the pleasures of sex by coaxing women to sleep naked with him -- disregarding the psychological impact his bizzare acts might have on the young women. In the present day, the so-called 'Brahmacharya experiments' would have landed Bapu in jail under multiple charges of sexual harrassment.
And here is Ms C, who had one clean experiment with pleasure. No psychological residue, no ugly remnants. Only a good feeling and backache.