My Live-In Girlfriend
It's been two years since I started living with Ego.
I still remember that summer day in New Delhi, India, when I had just come back from meeting the Government officials of Indian State Television. Though we had bagged a few more projects for television productions, I was extremely unhappy because I did not want another year of writing and directing meaningless television shows. .
Thus, it came as no surprise to me when, within a short time and without much thought, I decided to leave the well-settled life and well-established business in New Delhi for the tougher and alien pastures of Mumbai City, The Hollywood of India.
The first casuality of this extra-marital affair was my wife. No, we did not get divorced, but she went through hell. She hated the unsettling, and she hated the new city. Luckily, she did not know about my affair with the Ego, as the shift was well camoflouged as my dreams and aspirations. I was able to deal with her misery quite easily because I expected that. However, what I could not deal with was what came next ... the unexpected.
Having managed to make me change my life so drastically, Ego was ready for the complete takeover of my life, and she made her move the minute we landed in Mumbai.
Without much fuss, she first convinced me that I was too good to do a regular, boring 9 to 5 job and definitely not one that even remotely came close to my previous work experience. I was meant for bigger things, she said.
a result, I was left sitting at home writing "unusual" and "different"
scripts that my Ego termed as my masterpieces in the making. Now, she
had me by the balls. So much so that I did not even feel a pinch of guilt
while making my wife work tirelessly so that I could sit at home and flirt
with my mistress, Ego. You see, she was quite different from the regular
egos that most Indian men encounter after marriage. She was pretty flexible
Next thing I knew, I was partying away the nights with my single and footloose friends and sleeping away the hangover most of the next day. All this, while my wife struggled and worked her ass off during the day and waited for me during the nights, often eating alone and dozing off with a single light on in the hope that I would come back home while it was still dark and the light would protect me from stumbling over something and breaking my bones. Ego hated these small touches of my wife, because those gestures had the potential of stirring my conscience, Ego's most formidable enemy.
Now Ego had control over me as a filmmaker and as a person, but she was still not satisfied. She wanted more. The one thing that had been left untouced was my conscience, or so I thought.
When my conscience told me that perhaps I had been wasting my time and that I should actually be looking for real work instead of flirting with my mistress, Ego did not take it very kindly.
She now wanted control over my conscience too. Soon Ego made her move. She convinced me that the only work worth my capabilities lies outside this wretched country and that the whole world was my oyster and that all I had to do was reach out and inform them that what a wonderful genius I was. To make things easier, now we had a really cheap way of communication, e-mail, which in any case was being paid out of my wife's salary.
Now, I was sending off resumes and writing samples to the likes of Warner Brothers, Miramax, MGM and other reputed and unreputed production companies, producers all over the world. It was a great high to receive mail back from such big names, even if most of them were polite rejections. This was working wonderfully for Ego.
Now she had my conscience in control, because at a superficial level, I was doing real work by sending well-drafted, carefully worded e-mails to "relevant" people inthe film industry, asking them to give me a job, even though I was a nobody and did not possess a work permit. For the time being, Ego was satisfied with the amount of control that she had over my life.
Mind you, by now due to my blatant submission to Ego, my wife and probably a few well-wishers got a whiff of my extra-marital affair with this dangerous mistress. My wife tried her level best to get me out of the clutches of this Ego, but my mistress was not the one to give up so easily on her man. However, Ego realized that it was time to be more careful, read as misleading, if this affair were going to survive.
So Ego allowed me a few concessions, which meant that once in awhile I could get out of the house and meet so-called real people for real jobs here in Mumbai, India. She also allowed me to be a little sensitive to my wife's plight and to be a little productive in the house. So, once a day, I started walking our dog and maybe once a week I would make the bed and even cook once a month.
However, to compensate for such "unmanly" and "noncreative" deeds, she would shower a little extra of herself on me. Thus, every productive action on my part was followed by my tantrums, cynicism and outbursts, ridiculing society at large and the Indian film fraternity in particular, all of them obviously directed towards my poor wife for the lack of anyone else being there.
Basically, Ego wanted my wife to feel guilty every time I moved a muscle in my body. My wife hates confrontations, so she reluctantly caved in and agreed to "respect" me and "accept" me as someone who would not move a muscle. Ego was on top of the world. This was complete domination and a great victory for her.
However, with complacency back in my life, my conscience again started acting up. I again started feeling those guilt pangs and Ego again started feeling insecure about our affair. I think this time around Ego realized that if anything or anyone would be her undoing, it would be my conscience. Thus started a fierce battle between my conscience and my mistress Ego.
Ego was definitely stronger, but conscience had an ace up his sleeve. One fine day, I stumbled upon an idea that captured me more than any storm had captured a boat lost in the wild sea.
The Idea was to write a book telling a fascinating story loosely based on my relationship with my spiritually evolved grandfather. Soon, I was back on-track, writing, being constructive, working, being sensitive, productive and all those things that my mistress Ego could not stand. Ego realized that she had underestimated my conscience, but she would not go down without some fireworks.
Thus followed tense and intense weeks of screaming, fighting, tears, suspicions and arguments between my wife and me. This was happening out of nowhere and without any provocation. It took me some time, but I did realize that this was the doing of a desperate mistress trying to hold on to her man in what seemed like a losing battle for her.
Today, things are calmer. Our affair is indeed over and I am back as a committed husband and a passionate filmmaker, but I would be lying if I said that Ego does not visit me once in awhile. Goddamn, Ego is beautiful and she does make me feel like a man, though just that, a man. A useless, unproductive and insensitive man but a man nevertheless. Moral of the story: stay away from her guys, she is bad news.