(As told to Ritu Goyal Harish)
“Marriage…mangalsutra…morality – everything has its own place. It occupied a prime position in my life for over two decades. And then I fell! Hard. At my fortieth, everyone proclaimed cheekily, ‘Women get naughty at four-zero-forty!’ Like most other things, this memory, too, was packed away to a desolate corner of the brain.
The how or what or why isn’t important at all, but it’ll suffice to say that I embarked on an affair. Didn’t think it would amount to anything – a bit of harmless flirting with a thirty-one-year-old. But it was evident through countless WhatsApp texts and phone calls that there was a fire that needed stoking. And stoke it we did! Although logistics were complicated (we live in different continents), we made a plan to meet, and I was…not excited…not nervous – but merely curious! I was a virgin until twenty, then married off – didn’t know anything about any other men, so I was filled with a sense of curiosity.
The body is a strange thing. I felt butterflies, the heartbeat quicker, and the hand faltered while applying mascara on the day. He came by in an Uber, picked me up and we were driven to a five-star property not too far away. The confident sway of my hips was all too deceptive, and as we reached the room, the curiosity was replaced by a sense of impatience. I needn’t have worried. The first kiss was awkward – our teeth clashed briefly, and I thought instantly – ‘Uh oh – big mistake!’ The next second, there was a knock on the door, and we both tried to look nonchalant as I stumbled over my shoes to open up. But after that – no, I do not intend to do a Christian Grey here – but he stood on my toes and ‘trapped’ me for our second kiss. Every nerve ending sang. Loudly.
He sang my tune beautifully – as if it meant to be. The sense of liberation I felt was, is, indescribable. It was a no ‘holes barred’ (pun intended) fly-to-the-sky-and-hurtle-down-the-cliff twenty-four hours that followed. I was surprised in the bathroom, and then left gasping for breath as wave after wave of the big O overcame me.
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My clandestine meeting with this man was the best I could have ever hoped for.
It was not easy at all; for me to overlook the countless stretch marks, the saggy belly, the more massive than natural pendulous boobs, and focus on me that I am – occasionally funny, occasionally sexy and sometimes beautiful.
It was not easy at all; for me to overlook the countless stretch marks, the saggy belly, the larger than normal pendulous boobs, and focus on me that I am – occasionally funny, occasionally sexy and occasionally beautiful.
It took six months of persistent pursuing from this bloke and a subsequent twenty-four hours, for me to finally look at myself in the mirror and exclaim with delight – ‘Hey girl, you are funny, sexy and beautiful!’
Don’t get me wrong – there is nothing ‘wrong’ in my marriage. My husband, on the outside, is tall, fair-skinned and handsome; and on the inside, he is gentle, loving and incredibly supportive. What’s more, he is a feminist too. So if you’re looking for someone to blame, you need to look elsewhere.
I also do not fit into the mould of a ‘bored housewife.’ I work in the field of education, have an incredibly successful career and excel at what I do. And here’s another confession – I feel no guilt at my so-called transgression. I want to do it again. I WILL do it again. And again.
Having this affair liberated me. It showed me a mirror and held it at an angle I’d never looked at myself before. And you know what? I like what I see. I love me!
I feel not an ounce of guilt, not an iota of regret. More than anything, realisation struck that I am me first, then a wife and mother and daughter. So I need to look after me first, and of course, the rest will follow. This decision to share my body with him was one that did not take much contemplating – morally, and there were lots of blurred lines in relationships all around me. More than following the crowd, subconsciously I just wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
My one recommendation – if you can find a man who is in it for the same reasons you are, and if the chemistry is right, then go for it! Because all we have is now!”