Reclaiming your life isn't an easy task, nor is a gender-specific thing though we are largely thought to believe it. For men, a large part of our spirititually married lives, as Scott Fitzgerald would call it, is a life lost. That is the sad existence of a much hyped metro-sexual man, a life of quiet desperation as James Joyce called it. He is more of a woman than a woman, and then again, he isn't a woman of today.
A metro-sexual man is a woman of yesteryear, the woman who was in those days crushed out of shape and character. I was discussing with a colleague of mine about how he stopped riding bike since his marriage. When he spoke of it, his face was a picture of immense longing, and he looked far into horizon, contemplating an eternal ennui which stretched in front of him. I could see him cherishing the nostalgic air brushing his face with cold arrogance, him meeting that arrogance with a sense of manliness. His wife would look at his longing with contempt, pointing out the bike as a useless conveyance now that he has upgraded to a four-wheeler. She would point to the pointlessness of his wanting to ride a bike to nowhere. But then, what scientific purpose or humanatarian goal is accomplished by coloring your nails. Women need to understand that these things for men are as mundane and as theraupatic.
It isn't only biking. I write, and I need to do it with the cunningness of committing adultery. I need to explain why I have to stop being a good husband every day for couple of hours, shrinking into myself, tapping on the computer. Some friends of mine stopped playing music for long or need to steal time away from their better-halves to indulge these things on sly which were like second nature before marriage. When caught, we stand humiliated looking at our toes being charged with not giving time to the family.
The point here is that while a man might not be able to demonstrate life as pathetic as to invite the attention of the army of benevolent men and women, it is still a life of simmering sorrow or quiet desperation. It flows out unbeknownst to us in strange places. That is the basic nature of sacrifice, real or perceived. It draws blood somewhere, in its own time. It is, therefore, important to stand steadfast to claim your inherent calling and not let it go waste. We have to be cruel to be kind. Having reclaimed your passion, nourished it with your blood, you will be a freer soul to love another. This should apply to women as well, but taking a note from Purba Ray, noted blogger, I write for men (as she did for women), who lost their self in this societal conspiracy to invent a metro-sexual man, for whatever it means. Have one corner of your everyday life for yourself, not for the spouse, not for the family. Having reclaimed that small slice, you will be able to offer more love to the world around you, a purer, unapologetic, unpretentious love. Guard your sanctuary with all your strength, for no love is possible for the one who has lost his self. Losing and compromising your self, makes you angry with yourself and angrier at those who haven't compromised it. And on that note, my friend pushed his abandoned bike to the mechanic, and rode it on Sunday. This Monday , he looked happier and new and the wind which flew through his hairs, stayed in them, giving them an unusual buoyancy. He seemed a contented man, much more in love with, I am sure, an amused and happy wife, as he walked at work with the smile of a winner.
The most insightful sentence in the post. This statement holds true not just in marriage, but in every relationship in the world.
A superb write-up from a man's perspective. Well done !