(Published in Zeitgeist, The New Indian Express, on 1st May, 2010)
I am writing to present for your perusal my humble opinion. Don’t you think woman are the cause of downfall for powerful man? Case in the point is Mr. Shashi Tharoor of whom you have spoken of highly.
At this point, I was wondering whether my interlocutor was holding my regard for Tharoor’s writing responsible for his resignation.
Clearly, the highly erudite Minister Tharoor would not have fallen from grace if not for his liaison with Sunanda Pushkar (who has been married before only to divorce.)
The avuncular concern this reader had for the innocuous Mr. Tharoor’s seduction by a lascivious character was intriguing, as was his deduction of her nuptial goals.
Shashi is not the only one. Since time immemorial, many heroes of epics have been led to downfall by the weaker sex. The saying ‘pombaley sirichcha pochu, pugai ilai virichcha pochu’ (if a woman laughs, it is gone, if a tobacco leaf is opened, the flavour is lost – I am translating as you are modern girl and probably not knowing Tamil) was proved true by Draupadi’s vicious laughter at Duryodhana slipping. Helen of Troy is called the face that sank thousand ships.
‘Launched, launched,’ I thought, feeling a pang of pity for Christopher Marlowe.
Kaikeyi is responsible for Rama’s sufferings in the forest. Some modern people are even blaming Rama for Seetha suicide. You might not know the story of Kannegi and Kovalan, but in Tamil mythology, he was beheaded because she gave him a replica of the queen’s anklet.
This new interpretation of the Silappathikaaram must be of interest to researchers of Tamil literature. The conspiring Kannagi who gave her husband an anklet that was sure to have him beheaded, before seeing him off to the brothel where he planned to make his living.
Also, remember it was the celestial dancer Menaka who seduced Vishwamitra when he was concentrating on his penance.
I wondered if the next argument would be that Indra, who had ordered Menaka to perform that task, was a woman too.
In conclusion, I would like to say the saying ‘behind every successful man, there is woman’ must be rephrased as ‘behind every man who has fallen from success, there is woman’. You have said before you are not a feminist and I appritiate this attitude. Despite being a Malayali, Shashi Tharoor has proved the Tamil saying ‘You can tell a thousand lies to perform a marriage.’ I hope you, with your informed opinion, are on the same page as me about the malfunctions of Sunanda Pushkar.
Since the only way we could get on the same page would be for him to share my column space, I decided to indulge the writer of this email. After all, if Tharoor were the hero of an epic, his wishes might well become the horses on which he could carry away his malfunctioning bride. What I struggled to figure out, though, was why this person was appealing to a member of the ‘weaker sex’ to validate his opinion. Clearly, the proverbs he quoted had foreseen that the latest controversy in the IPL would be caused by a woman, who would singularly bring down the unsuspecting Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi.