The Mouse 2.

A friend of mine, also a classmate from the same class / school, who too knew Eli in his later avatar, called me up from Bengaluru this morning, after having read my The Mouse post. This is the same friend who had informed me in February that Eli had disappeared from sight.

Eli has not disappeared but what has happened to him is another story to which I shall come to at the end of this post. This post is to share another insight with my readers. The inspiration for sharing comes from a comment that my friend jokingly made this morning and the comments left in my post by Tammy. My friend suggested that I was the Mouse in the episode for not having gone for some fun and games that night. He hastened to add that had he been in my shoes, he too would have been a Mouse in that situation.

I have often asked myself why I did not go out with Eli that night. I have let imagination run riot with what could have happened had I gone with him. Sometimes, I have even regretted not having gone with him that evening. One of those events that will come back to generate similar thoughts again and again.

I have now concluded that the main reason why I did not go with Eli that night was fear. Not morality or loyalty to my marriage vows or fidelity, social standing, career or any such lofty ideals but just plain fear.

Fear that I may enjoy such an escapade. Fear what such enjoyment could result in, in the form of repetition and hankering. Fear of what it could do to my marriage, career, position in society etc.

It was not a carefully thought out response, but my instinct kicked in with the appropriate response for that stimulus. That instinct however was based on the basic cause, fear.

So, I rang up my friend and said that though he was being funny, I have concluded that I was indeed a Mouse that time. A more adventurous, tall man as Tammy called me, would have most probably gone for the ride crying whoopeeeeeeeee.

Coming to Eli, he had a stroke ten years ago that has left him partially paralysed. He now lives in Bengaluru where his wife has extensive family support. I don’t think that I will have the heart to go and see him in that condition when I go next to Bengaluru.

Would I have philandered?

18 thoughts on “The Mouse 2.”

  1. I am surprised by this revelation – to me expressing fear you may have enjoyed yourself presumes something “sordid” was guaranteed to happen which calls into question your real relationship with Urmeela. If you would have enjoyed such a gratuitous encounter then what was the real relationship with your wife like? Based on all you have written I suspect you have misdiagnosed this instance – perhaps even over-thought it. Or everything you have written about Urmeela has been wrong. That is something I find highly doubtful.

    1. Shackman, this understanding has to be viewed in the context of the word ‘mouse’. It is a bit difficult to explain but in our language “are you a man or a mouse?” is asked of people who do not dare. Eli had addressed exactly that question to me the day following his visit.

      To answer your doubt squarely, had I gone with Eli that night, would I have philandered? Had he not come with those two ladies in the car, but had them stashed away somewhere to go after picking me up, what would or could have happened? These are the kind of questions that I ask myself. I think that these are existential questions for me because I come from a dysfunctional family where the father was a philanderer of the highest order. That behaviour which drove my mother to a premature death, had a deep influence on all of us four siblings.

      Finally, if it was not fear, what could it have been?

  2. How candid you are, Ramana. I take my hat off to you (not that I wear hats). Would you have philandered? I don’t know. Maybe you did on another occasion. It’s not the end of the world.

    First thing that popped into my mind on reading was “the unexamined life not worth living”, the other that powerful line and heartfelt plea in the Pater Noster “And don’t lead us into temptation”. Yes, temptation.

    Would you have philandered? Not necessarily. I know people with candy handed to them on a silver platter (not least in their professional life far from home) – and they don’t take it. Though it would be so easy for them to do so. And no one would be any the wiser. But they don’t. Others? Let them. The only ones who have to live with the fallout of their lives are our selves.

    You strike me as a sensual person. Possibly given to occasional impulsiveness. Yet, you clearly also do engage brain. Weighing the pros and cons of what temptation may lead you to – maybe not necessarily consciously, but instinctively and, dare I say, experience. Also, and this is what I find, some people are given to throwing caution to the wind, yet we all have certain principles which are immutable. Which ones those principles are varies from person to person.

    Other than that I do believe that some of us are too ready to beat ourselves up over very little.

    I am sorry to hear about Eli’s predicament. Would it serve any purpose to either him or you to see him again? Probably not. On the other hand you might have a laugh (as best he can having had a stroke) over some silly “one night” stand years ago.

    Ursula recently posted..Damage

  3. nope rummy!
    I wasn’t thinking tall man as in adventurous. I have known very small adventurous men who stood six feet tall physically.
    i’m talking the inner man. and though you may have missed a “good time” … always open to interpretation…
    i still think you are a tall man. … and… i’ve no doubt your dearest urmeela thought so too!
    tammyj recently posted..a pontificating peanut break!

    1. CM, This was the question that I expected, yes, expected to come from you and I am ready with the answer. I would not. I am a very different person now than to who I was in the late eighties. My priorities now are different and value systems are vastly different. Despite being single, I will not go out under those circumstances, irrespective of who invited me. It will however not be out of fear, but indifference.

  4. If it was not fear… It could have been many thigs like strong love for your wife, self-respect, understading consequences to your self-esteem if acted on impuls,,, Or a sign of wisdom even if young. It could have been many signs showing a tall man.

  5. If you are married, you have no business going out running around like that. It’s not mouse-like to be faithful, it’s the right thing to do. If my husband felt free to cheat on me, I’d end the marriage in a heartbeat. He’d have demonstrated himself unworthy of me. Who needs that?
    Secret Agent Woman recently posted..How I’ve spent the last week.

    1. I most certainly did not. You must see it from the point of view of a paternalistic society where men could and still do what in modern times are socially unethical things and get away with it.

  6. Common sense – you knew what you “had” – Urmeela was what you needed and wanted. Simple as that.

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