To those of you who doesn’t speak Malayalam, Thoo vella means pristine white.
When she was growing up, she was told by her mother that her life was like a thoo vella saree..any blemish on it will be easily seen by others, so she should lead a very pure life. In other words all her mother wanted her to do was to keep her virginity for her husband. Don’t experiment, don’t sleep around and don’t be a woman with needs.
The interesting part of the above story is that her mother was the daughter of a woman who worked as cleaner/cook in a very prominent family and her father was forced to marry the cleaner’s daughter when the said daughter got pregnant. (political interventions)
But in true typical Mallu system of governance where the parents can do any thanthonnitharam, but the kids are forbidden to do the same, the mother watched over her daughter like a hawk.
Then got her married to a guy whose lineage can be traced to St. Thomas’s crew (so they claim). There was only a small problem. He is gay.
Her parents didn’t want her to apply for a divorce. They didn’t want to deal with the potential rumors and stigmas associated with a divorce. They told her, sex isn’t everything. I never understood how any mother worth her salt would ask her daughter to continue live with a man who goes out at night to sleep with other men.(plural, cause he was using the services of male sex workers)
After 25 years, she finally managed to get a divorce. Her parents haven’t talked to her since then.
When I was talking to her, I told her. “You are now single, time to start living your life, you haven’t had sex, it is time to enjoy it”
And that is the problem. She is stuck in this ideological hell, where she thinks sleeping with a guy is the worst thing she could do.. She believes in love, marriage and sex as the only possible combination. But that is bollocks.
If I could change one thing in the Indian way of thinking, it would be this notion about sex. Sex outside the realm of marriage is wrong according to Indians, yet everyone is sleeping around, but only behind closed doors.
Sex isn’t wrong. It is just a biological function. If you want to live in a relationship without sex, that is your choice. But don’t think that it is crime to think about your own needs. Marriage is just a piece of paper given by the state or church that tells you that you can now legally sleep with your partner. But the truth is, you don’t need the church or state’s permission. It is your body, your life, your choice.