All of us lead a double life
Some time back, I remember seeing an unusual Ad whose caption was, “Is your battery leading a double life?” The advertiser did not answer his own question and went on describing all the grand points about the battery he happened to be manufacturing.
My immediate reaction however was that any common noun in place of ‘battery’ would have sounded as great (or as offensive) such as, “Your wife, your husband, your brother, sister, uncle” etc.
That apart, the advertisement made me wonder, “Don’t all of us too lead a double life of sorts?” Oh no, not that kind of a double life, dash it! Tut, tut. Very bad. Would you please put aside any such unholy thoughts immediately? Double life could also mean, “Pretending to be someone you are not or saying one thing and doing exactly the opposite ….”
For instance, a middle age couple would tell their small children that they are visiting some friends that evening but in actual fact they would be heading for an ‘adult movie’ in an air conditioned theatre.
Or, smoking in secret, just one cigarette for the road on the quiet and come home after good mouth wash? Wives are very suspicious people and could out smart the smartest CBI/FBI investigators when it comes to catching the husband for violating the doctor’s orders. She might even say, I sort of smell a cigarette. Did you smoke, honey?” The alert husband naturally would deny it wholesale. “Of course not. Here, see it for yourself..” For proof he may blow out some air from his mouth.. Wifey would sniff a couple of times and remark, “It seems all right but still, a little bit somewhere….in the background sort of…” And the double life master would vehemently say, “You don’t trust me or what, my love?” with all his lung power.
A chronic diabetic cannot resist eating some mouth watering sweet dish at a wedding reception. So, when the wife is busy with other wives, he would swallow in haste a couple of gulab jamans and laddus When the wife catches him if the next blood sugar test showed a higher reading, he would simply shrug saying, “I really don’t know how….?”
What about the wives themselves, you would ask? Well, they are no less in the art and they too practice the double life theory.. Haven’t you heard her some time or the other criticizing some lady about the terrible looking gaudy saree she wore and the way she hogged the dinner at so and so’s social party? Yet, when they meet in the next social, she would be honey sweet to the other.
An alternative word for double life is ‘lies’. All of us lie once in a while, don’t we? You know, small small and innocuous lies? Of course, always with a good purpose in mind? Do you ever tell your boss right on his face what you think about him? You are always praises for him. Same way, after a boring and colourless variety entertainment show, you say to the organizer on taking leave, “It’s a wonderful presentation Missus Krishnan. I enjoyed it immensely.”
“You look most charming today my dear,” while in your heart of heart she looked like a cat.
The conclusion is, double life is not a dirty word after all by any standard. All of us, without exception do the darned thing as a routine.