I'm off for a few days, because in an extreme change of heart, my organisation which treats junkets with the same disdain that Leonidas treats Xerxes in 300, has decided to give me a couple of days in the heat of equatorial Asia. Anyway, more on that in the other blog, but because of recent conversations with friends in the same profession, that maintaining a veneer of sensibility in your married life, or even for that matter in a relationship, is nigh-high impossible.
Just look at the divorce rate among media professionals, especially those who are a bit more go-getting than the rest. I look at my own life with disastrous relationship followed-up with another massacre of emotions. I was exchanging emails with a friend in TV18, and he gave the example of TV18/GBN where almost every senior person is either divorced or in a failed-marriage of sorts. Heck, I look at people I've worked with (or for) and at least among the 'more happening' types, stable personal lives are a no-no, except in very rare cases. Listen, I've lived through my parents marriage falling apart, and my father was/is a very senior journalist. I mean, I know the divorce rate in this country is going through the roof, but chances are if you meet a fairly senior Indian journalist today, they will either be divorced, unhappily married or (as in my own case) desperately trying to avoid a relationship, and thus screwing my life even more.
In the last mentioned case, and you will be surprised how many of those there are, it is not as if people don't want stability but both men and women are fairly paranoid of getting married because they have seen their friends all around them go through pretty bad times. There are friends I have who got married too young and are already divorced by the time they are 25 or 26.
And you go around trying to find a reason why this is happening, one maybe is that sex is well, pretty easy at most organisations. Not too many people would have that rather ridiculous scruple that 'Steer Clear of Office' rule, something I would advise people to follow simply because office people do get very boring, I mean what else can you talk about, other than talk shop? With sex so easy, and people getting pretty frisky inside editing suites and conference rooms, let alone other tight spaces, marriages are bound to go for a toss. Some senior journalists also take advantage of the situation, stuff that would pretty much constiture sexual harassment in other parts of the world (even though when cases get reported, as recently happened in the country's leading Hindi News channel, they do tend to escalate and lead to a dismissal). And before someone says, all men are bastards, let us be pretty clear about this, women are as guilty of of this as men are.
The second reason, as this is pretty much connected to the first is the long hours people lead in office, not just long but rather awkward hours. Ergo, people tend to mingle a bit too much with people in their own offices, and again because in cities like Delhi and Bombay, there are only so many 'natives', many people are actually pretty short on the friend count, so you hang around a lot with office buddies and next thing you know you're in bed with one of them. It might sound a bit too simplistic, but I'm not getting into it much more than I already have.
Incestuous behaviour leads to disaster, over here not red-neck style-inbreeding but an insane divorce rate, and with talent being hard to come by, companies don't do what they did earlier and 'advise' one party to leave, now even if couples go through a madcap marriage and quickie divorce, they find themselves working together. Not yet experienced a case where a divorced couple has had to co-host a show, but there are quite a few examples of divorced couples working on the same show, one partner is the producer and the other person is the presenter.
Anyway, these are just some thoughts on teh matter, and maybe an explanation for my own steadfast refusal to get on with life (i.e: 'settle down' according to mother dearest) and cling onto the dregs of innocence. I still seriously wonder, and I know I have the brain power to have pulled it off, what if I had studied hard in +2 and made it through engineering, what if I had taken my post-CAT interviews (I had calls from B,C and L) seriously instead of treating them like a joke! God knows, I might have turned out to be this disasterously boring guy! But it is unlikely I would give up what I have today...
Next post, next week!