Sunday, January 22, 2012

Suchitra Krishnamoorthi on love, life, divorce, sex and infidelity

When Life Has Other Plans
In Conversation with Suchitra Krishnamoorti
Nisha JamVwal 

Sometimes dreams don't realize in the happily ever after way that you had imagined

When you drove away into the sunset you hadn't imagined the real texture of life. It can grate yes. I know all about it. You come out of it all feeling short changed, shocked and disoriented. You get up in the night with palpitations and anxiety attack, wondering how it all went wrong. 

Which of us hasn’t faced disappointment, hurt and loneliness? Feeling short changed. And yet nearly no one actually owns up to real world ‘embarrassing’ feelings of anti-climatic disenchantment.

In her book Suchitra speaks candidly about her life and lack of sex, and how it drove her to depression. She tells of her desire to get married and her urge for some physical love from a man, sans which, life can be most unexciting even for a woman. What led to all this?............


We always deceive ourselves twice about the people we love - first to their advantage, then to their disadvantage. Albert Camus

Suchitra Krishnamoorti fell in Love when she was nineteen, auditioning for an advertisement for the very sexy Shekhar Kapur in a romance that became the script for her music video. Tabloids and newspapers touted the magic romance and they attended the Oscar together for Shekhar’s nomination for Elizabeth. It all seemed perfect, fairy tale like perfect. That's when I’d met them for an interview, and yes they were euphoric about the nomination, planning the costume to walk the red carpet. 

No one, least of all Suchitra had imagined how soon it would all come tumbling down. No one element can cause a crash in a monumental marriage of love. It just builds up until some final blow precipitates it incurably. The entry of a certain Ms Priety Zinta exacerbated the dys-sync that had begun to be part of their journey. She (Priety) on the one hand was “sweetly calling me all the time and inviting me for premiers, infact insisting I attend and on the other hand consorting with Shekhar. I wanted to stick a knife into him.” I do believe, that marriages built on true love and longing go through tests and trials. Yes, it is purely MY belief that if left alone they find their balance. But if there is that poison dart at that time it is then precipitated into nothingness.

Those who are faithless know the pleasures of love; it is the faithful who know love's tragedies- Oscar Wilde

Suchitra walked out; To her surprise, even shock she was left to deal with people she had believed were friends stalking her, husbands of close friends sending unwelcome sms’s on her phone. “The Indian male mentality is that if you’re dancing in a particular way you are available. It shocked me. I’m old fashioned. The predator instincts put me off. At least I’m stronger. I shudder for those women who don't have my strength, family support , friends and go through these experiences alone.”

“What I found very revealing at the time was that men are capable of compartmentalizing. Shekhar continued work, but for me life had come crashing down. I resented losing a husband. Whoever has gained publicity for my marriage I do not give credit for. (here we are of course referring to Ms Zinta). Today I don't feel that any slut from the outside can break the marriage unless there are weak links within.”

Being single is made out to be that free and easy life by many, but underneath it all it is a forlorn
Suchitra wearing Nisha JamVwal Couture 

struggle. “For women of our background, where the running of a home and administrative duties that come with it was done for us, divorce is like a form of death. In fact I had an out of body experience where I felt I was leaving my body, I prayed and prayed that I didn’t want to leave my daughter. I was in another plane” shares Suchitra Krishnamoorti reliving the horrors of being suddenly alone, fending for herself , moving out, regrouping and coping in a world where a women is that vulnerable target. “You pay all your bills, there is suddenly no one taking care of travel plans. The pressure made me take the wrong advice and lose much money in the stock market.”

Being a single mother, going through the betrayal, all of it might have made her near suicidal but she realized she’s not alone in her angst. She took counselling help and realized that women-folk go through this often. Suchitra triumphed -a stronger women who delved into art, published her writings and came out a tougher person. “Yes there are still nights I wake up in panic. The fear never goes. I grew up with the notion of a man to protect me, take away the cockroaches, but I am alive, creative, happy that I have Kaveri (her daughter with Shekhar) who is the light of my life.’

“My message to all women whose dreams are shattered like mine is to have courage. That you are entitled to happiness, love and respect. Not to compromise in a bad relationship but to walk out in the knowledge that God looks after each and every one of us. Most importantly friends and family are vital in seeing you through tough times. Everything passes”

Suchitra wearing Nisha JamVwal Couture 
 “But yes” she acquiesces with a passing flicker of the strong flame “I’m jealous of a couple holding hands, I miss the apnapan. Is there really a soul mate for everyone Nisha? ” she asks

I am not sure Suchitra, but I feel we choose a reality to teach us the loops and hoops in the process of growth and metamorphosis called life, and each of us needs to work out the puzzle as best as we can! Nobody ever promised us it’d be easy, but we’ve got to just keep at it. That's the name of the game.

Nisha JamVwal
ps While this article was written for and published in The Asian Age & Deccan Chronicle, due to space constraints it was shortened. This is the complete unedited version on the Nisha JamVwal Blog

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