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Articles, features and write-up's on NRI life in the US, Canada and North America >> Features Achieve >> Articles

We are constantly on the lookout for articles of interest to feature on Please mail us articles you would like to see featured and we will be glad to oblige.

Power-babes’ booby trap, The Sexes

Marriage today has become an extortion racket!" These were the shocked words of a young man whose best friend had just about managed to extract himself from a messy divorce. His bride of two months had walked out of the marriage, and walked straight into a cop station. She had accused her newly-minted husband of being a "known homosexual" who had tricked her into marriage. She had also hurled other charges—dowry demands, physical abuse and mental harassment. Canny lawyers hired by her had given full assurance of winning the case and getting a fat package by way of damages. The person talking to me said, "This is the newest racket in certain circles. Pretty ambitious girls from so-called good families conduct a detailed research on rich bachelors in the marriage market. They then go about attracting their attention by being at the same parties. Often, hi-profile society ladies play a significant role in 'fixing up' these dates (for a discreet gift or two). Once the bakra is phasaao-ed, it is a cake walk. By then enough page 3 interest has been generated and it becomes a prestige issue. Wedding dates are announced in style, and all goes according to plan.

The ‘homosexual’ angle is slightly new. In the entertainment business, there are quite a few gay millionaires who exert a lot of clout. Since they refuse to come out of the closet and keep up the pretence of being straight, at some stage in their lives, it becomes important to acquire a wife—mainly to get anxious parents off their backs. These predatory women are only too happy to step in and oblige. All the while pretending they don’t know the man’s preference (even if the entire world does!)

The marriage is conducted with all the traditional dhoom-dhamaka, even as guests openly speculate and snigger about the groom’s sexuality. The bride plays her role to perfection, behaving like a coy, naive vestal virgin. Then comes the wedding night drama. Nothing happens. The man feigns fatigue and begs off. The girl picks up her cell phone and hits all the pre-planned buttons. News of the no-can-do groom gets out before dawn. He is humiliated and angry. His family goes into deep shock. The girl threatens exposure via her pals in the media. It is either that or a juicy settlement. The man promptly agrees to pay up. As easy as pie!

The dowry-angle is catching on even more rapidly. And it isn’t uneducated, under-privileged women who are rushing to the cops. The new dowry "victim" in urban India is a power-babe. She wants it all—the house, car, jewels. And if the man resists or refuses to play instant ball, off she goes to the nearest police station, with a long list of complaints. If the husband digs his heels in and decides to fight her in court, she pulls out the 'morcha' card. She goes to any listed 'mahila' organisation and insists on volunteers embarrassing the man at his work-place. She starts an aggressive campaign against him on the Internet. She sends details about their differences to all the people in her address book. If that doesn’t get him to "cooperate", she steps up her demand and her vilification propaganda. But first she gets the cops to pick him up and call him for questioning. If the cops are friendly and she has arranged for their 'chai-pani', they take to calling the poor boy at odd time and demanding his presence for "further questioning". They tell him all that he is likely to lose if he goes to court. They ask him to produce the items listed in the wife’s petition, most of which doesn’t exist. If he fails to do so, they threaten him by insinuating worse things to come. The word "lock up" is mentioned just a few times to drive the point home. If the man pales or looks visibly agitated, they know they have won half the battle. The wife shows up with a lawyer and offers to settle matters 'amicably', which means, she is prepared to 'forego' some of her more absurd demands. The guy is finally cornered. And ready to cut a deal. It is all over in under two months, if the women plays her cards well. She walks away with a large chunk of his assets. While he’s left cursing his fate and far poorer.

Fortunately, there are a few men in Mumbai who have decided to reverse the roles and play victims themselves. Men like Arun ‘Bandgala’ Nayyar. Believe it or not, Liz Hurley’s boy friend has accused his Italian wife, Valentina, of mental cruelty and harassment, in his divorce petition. May be he will get a new wardrobe of bandgalas out of her, yet!! What fun. 

[From The Week] Shobhaa De






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