Sometimes the curiosity in me gets the better of me and takes me into acts and directions that often get me into deep waters and then matters begin to slip out of my hands. On the throes of one such binges I decided to ask some of my virtual women friends about their past loves. I knew the risks involved, I might be immediately defriended which happened with a few to my misfortune. But the real risk was how to face the much dreaded question “ What is that to you, how is my past love(s) is ever going to be of any use to you?” I really had no answer to that, knowing quite well that “ I am just curios ” was not at all a satisfactory answer. But curiosity always got the better of me, this time too, rejecting all the checks and warnings of good sense, it prevailed. I was whirled into one of the most dangerous ventures of my life, dangerous because I am probably the only human being in the universe of Facebook who has 2400 or more virtual friends and none of them I have ever seen personally and not a single friend or acquaintance in my personal life is there among my list of friends because none of them is interested in whiling away his/her time in a non-remunerative medium as Facebook. Yes, this venture, or to be accurate mission, was dangerous to me because I loathe to lose a single friend of mine for any of my foolish or silly act. So I set sail for this dangerous expedition not without considerable trepidations and misgivings.

Two things, I decided at the outset, were no no for me. The first, I would never ask any female friend of mine from my own country, India. My earlier experiences with some of them regarding such trivial questions as “ What did her husband did for a living?” or “ Which state from India she came from ?”or “ Which state of US of A she had been living in?” only resulted in my getting defriended instaneously. I have already dealt with such experiences in my article “Two hundred days in the wonder world of Facebook and my experiences in it,” so I desist here from going into it in more detail. As I have a feeling that India could be taken as a representative nation for Asia, so no questions regarding this intimate matter was to be asked to any Asian woman either. This was from the start a clear no. Another realm of no was also there, it was my personal predilection. That was no chatting to be had with anyone. I am a bit hesitant to chat unless it is something urgent, or somebody whom I consider so respectable or so loving and wise that interaction of any sort with him/her is a privilege. Otherwise I consider chatting a waste of time, a burning of time whereas the same things could be conveyed in a relaxed manner through messaging to the inbox. Yes, invitations for chatting that pop open chat windows, like shrill phone calls, have a way of intruding into my privacies, my silences, my rapt attentiveness while reading some beautiful passages in Facebook and they upset or unnerve me unless of course some urgencies, some important messages have to be passed or received. So what I myself don’t like why should I inflict that on others? So chatting was out. Instead I chose messaging. Messages don’t pop open a window while you are working raptly at something else, they just wait there patiently and silently till you open and receive them into your silent loving space. You can also ignore them, you may even not open them and you can, of course, always delete them after or without reading them. They are the least intrusive of all communications and precisely for this I have rarely let go of any of my friend’s messages unanswered. I take time but I have always replied to all messages from friends where messages were not meant to sell me something but to know of something personally or mutually important.

Another thing. While going through the posts of friends in Facebook daily, I always kept a mental note of things people themselves wrote about themselves, their inmost private lives. That also helped me in getting facts almost free. If I had requested them to open themselves a little about their love lives, private lives, they might not have chosen to comply. Even those who discussed their private love lives in Facebook wrote as much as they only intended others to know, nothing more than that. Certainly, they had the right to divulge or not, as much as they wished. Here also my curiosity put me in dangers. One instance comes to mind. One day a western woman was discussing about something extremely private in her posts and about ten others were sympathizing and expressing their support and solidarity with her. I read minutely about what they were talking about but other than the fact that she got her divorce that day or the day before, I could understand nothing. These discussions were flashing on my screen as she was a friend. She had also very favourably commented on some of my stories and I had thanked her for it. So I took up the courage to ask her what was she talking of. She replied that she was date raped and in her confused state she had agreed to marry the one who had raped her. Afterwards, she had rethought the matter over and sought for a divorce on the ground that the man had raped her and she got the divorce. I asked her, “Why none was talking of the date-rape and only sympathizing you for the divorce ?”. She replied, “Because everyone except yourself already knew of that”. So far everything went well. Then my curiosity compelled me to ask a question which fell like a bomb shell on her and I was immediately defriended. To this day I am not sure if my question was an inappropriate or too nosy one or she was just over- reactive unlike the generally tolerant, liberal and open responses of the women of the west. My question was, “ I don’t understand you. Living with a man a decade long as man and wife after the date-rape incident, he having fathered your two children in the meanwhile and then one day after all these years you hulled him over to the court and sought divorce, pressing charges of date-rape against him ! Your excuse is that you had accepted marriage in a state of confusion. Is that fair and just?” Her reply, as I have already said, was not in words but a severance of all connection with me by defriending me. I miss her sometimes, she was otherwise a good friend; beautiful, vivacious, witty and charming. May be some cultural gap was there between us for me to understand her motive and issues involved in that action of hers that culminated in divorce, otherwise so many of her friends won’t be sympathizing and supporting her. Any way this risk of being defriended is what I have to accept as an occupational hazard; I don’t know how to control a curious mind that just wants to know everything, other than succumbing to it. Some good also ensues out of this inquisitive mind. I will give some such instances too.

One day I addressed to a western female friend my usual request for a summary, a story or a history of her past love life and the lovers that featured in it, if any. I profusely apologiged myself for harboring such a curious mind. I even held God responsible for giving me such a mind that loved to brood on love, loving and lovers instead of dwelling on Him only. She probably sympathized with me, for in her words I didn’t find any condemnation of me, my curiosity or my character. She only replied that she no longer was interested in her past lovers, neither they were in her. When I asked her how many lovers she had had in all, her frank answer left me flabbergasted, “ My lovers are strewn around in seven countries in Europe and one in Israel too. When I finally married a couple of years back, of course you know to whom, after having lived with him for almost a decade, he was not one of them. When I joined Facebook I invited all my past lovers to be my friends but none of them accepted. They all chickened out. So I have lost all touch with them. Now my concern is only with my husband and my children. They are my present and I don’t live in the past.” But my inquisitiveness got emboldened by her frankness and goaded me to ask for more and more. I knew the threat of being defriended was hanging over my head like Damocle’s sword and I loathed getting chopped. Yet I persisted. I asked,” If you had so many lovers in so many countries, you must have been quite wild in your youth? Won’t you tell me something about your wildness? ”
She replied,” What do you want to know ? Did I have sex with any of my past lovers? ”
I replied, “yes”.
She said, ” Yes, sex was part of the game. I had sex with most of my past lovers. You Indians are obsessed with sex in your thoughts, as you have very little opportunities or outlets. We Europeans and Americans are far freeer in that respect. We had sex as the situations both internal and external demanded it and as often as we wished. So I was as wild as any woman could be. But now that I am married and I have lovely children of my own, I have been constant with my husband only. No more wildness for me. I have told all these things to my husband after we began living together. He always thanks me for my wild past because as he says I could not have been so constant and loyal to him without my wild past. Now I feel as if all my wildness has been drained out of me. I will tell you one more thing, Paresh. Do you know why prostitutes become old so soon ? Why do they look so haggard in their old age ? It is because when a woman opens her womb (it is her word, though I am tempted to substitute it with another) to a man during sex, not only much seminal fluids flow out of her but also lot of emotions too; emotions of love, tenderness, pity, guilt etc. Those drain her out. Imagine that happening daily with her, with various partners and won’t she one day feel completely drained out? That was happening with me. I felt drained out after those years of sex with all my past lovers. I have put a firm stop to that. Now I have sex with my husband only and I feel that is adequate. I have no sense of lack”.

I had just one more question to ask thereafter. This time all my fears of being defriended had vanished like mist on the rising of the sun. The Damocle’s sword had receded to the farthest corner of my mind. So by the time I was preparing to ask my last question, an idea was beginning to crystallize in my mind that at last I have found my match, my competitor, my rival in her; as wild, as inquisitive, as experimenting as myself to the extent of jeopardizing her health, beauty, reputation everything to find out what was truth, what worked for her and what didn’t.

I asked my last question, “ If you could be content with one husband, as you said that after marrying you have never had sex with anyone else other than your husband, why couldn’t you be satisfied with one lover, I mean any one of those eight lovers “strewn around those seven European countries and one in Israel?”
She replied, to me now she appeared as a woman who is candor itself, no the Truth Itself, for if the Truth could speak in human tongue how else could it be speaking other than what she was speaking,”Paresh, I must clarify one thing first before I address your question. It is not that I have never fallen in love with anyone else after I began living with my husband. In fact I have fallen in love with one or two men after my husband and myself began to live together. But as the love in me arose for somebody else I became aware of it and before it could gather much force threatening my family, our domestic peace etc. I confessed it all to my husband without fail and together he and myself talked and sorted this matter among ourselves to both of our satisfaction. It never went out of hand and so these loves didn’t culminate into sex with those men. My husband has firm faith in me and has never blamed or condemned me for having these amorous thoughts about others. He is highly understanding and well-versed about the psyche of human mind that knows no bounds and rules. He is efficient and confident in his company work, he is mature in handling interpersonal issues, he is a good provider for us and fixer of all kinds of domestic things and appliances. I am lucky I have got such a gem of a husband. He is so sure of my loyalty to him and also he is so sure of his own worth. It never leaves me with any reason to go astray. With an unsure, suspicious husband things could have been different. I tell you I would have then shown him the wild side of me. Ha ha ha. Now let’s come to your question. Why didn’t I stick to any of my past lovers? I had tried to. In fact with one I had a live-in-relationship for a year. But it didn’t work like it hadn’t for two others. All my relationships failed. All for just one reason. All my ex-lovers were Mamas’ boys. You know you were always competing with their Mamas in everything. You will be always unfavorably compared with their Mamas. When you finally wanted to have your man to yourself he was mentally not available to you. In their minds they were always with their Mamas. My husband is not a Mama’s boy and he is always available to me. Just a couple of years back I did something that put him back by a quarter of a million Euros. Do you know when I was mortally sorry for what I did, he took it so casually by saying “ Forget that, that was just some money, nothing more. ” That is my husband and I am fortunate to have him and serve him in all ways”.

Thereafter I just needed one minor clarification. I asked,” Do you think only the Mamas’ boys are responsible for breakdown of relationships?” She replied,” No, in some cases Daddys’ girls too are equally responsible, equally disruptive and dysfunctional in relationships. I would never allow my daughters to get that close to their father, though he is a very good Dad to them. Girls are better when their Moms become their role models.That way few complexities will arise in future in their relationships.” To that I interjected, “Then this is a tough world for men. Both boys and girls get attached to their mothers due to the deep connection through breastfeeding and motherly care,affection and protections. But when they are grown up, girls continue that attachment and yet, as you say, they have got their Moms as good role models with no stigmas attached to them as Mama’s girls. While the boys, if they continue that bond and attachment earn the stigmas as Mama’s boys which tell on their relationship with their future spouses. It is a tough world for men surely. No wonder most of them are torn apart and succumb to the pressure and fail. I wonder what would have happened to you if the right man for you didn’t turn up at the last moment when one after another of your relationships had failed and you had almost reached at the end of your tether. Not all are so fortunate and almost none is ever so tenacious”. She replied,” God provides. The guru appears when the disciple is ready.Ha ha ha.”
I have to draw this episode to a close here. It was a wonderful experience for me in all, entertaining and educative as well. My love and respect for this remarkable woman now just fell short of worshipping her as the voice of Truth Itself. My friendship with her became even deeper than before. But I shall remain ever grateful to her for her frank,forthright, honest and straight answers on a topic into which millions would have feared to tread. It was a mark of her courage that she never requested me to keep her name out of it, or to keep it a secret or even to change it, should her messages to me ever found themselves in print for public consumption. It is only my sense of responsibility that forbids me to let her name out. I only wish the best for her. I would never want to see her suffer in any way in life. May God keep her and her family in peace and joy for ever. I hope her nonchallant and fearless attitude to life remains in tact through all the vicissitudes in life.

My encounters with some remarkable western women, who in spite of my so many obvious drawbacks received me as one of their own, will continue to be told and retold in these pages. God, please keep your merciful hands on their heads always because they are the best of all your creations.

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Elizabeth Wescott, Vanessa Hecker, Bisma Pandawa and 11 others like this.
Steven Steensels Nice reading you, Paresh. Besides the admiration I have for the lady you’re talking about, I also love your honesty, especially : “I don’t know how to control a curious mind that just wants to know everything, other than succumbing to it.” Makes me feel we must be brothers…
April 16 at 3:35pm · Unlike · 2 people
Caitlin Johnstone thank you for a lovely read. i believe i know why the lady who divorced her husband de-friended you. to a western mind that like to blame others for all of our problems (and, if possible, sue them 🙂 ), your curiosity sounds like an attack… she may not have known how to answer your question without sounding a bit silly, so she’d rather not answer it at all.
April 16 at 4:35pm · Unlike · 3 people
Gopalakrishnan Aum Pareshji I quite admire your writing, your candidness is quite refreshing. The Indian mind is quite confounded about the subject, probably because the social milieu so makes it. The majority of us hide behind a sanctimonious mask, while pri…See More
April 16 at 4:56pm · Unlike · 2 people
Elizabeth Patrick I am glad that one of your friends satisfied your curiousity without being offended. This is something that I would never discuss unless I was in an intimate relationship and he had a need to know.
April 16 at 4:56pm · Unlike · 1 person
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Liz, you know I love you for what you are. I loved the woman who dared to share with me and I also love you for expressing your sincere hesitancy about it. Who knows one day you may trust me enough to share your love life. Miracles do happe…See More
April 16 at 6:14pm · Like
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Steven, Caitlin and Gopalakrishnan,dear friends, how beautifully you have written ! It seems you have entered into the spirit of the story and found something true in there resonating with you. I am spellbound and overwhelmed by your response. A deep sense of gratitude to you all takes me over and I am all thankful and prayerful for each of you.
April 16 at 6:21pm · Like
Elizabeth Patrick Paresh, this is not hesitance on my part. I feel very strongly about intimacy and that it is not shared beyond the relationship. I don’t judge those who feel differently, but to me, intimacy is intensely private.
April 16 at 6:21pm · Unlike · 2 people
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj I know Liz, how you love privacy above all else regarding intimate matters. I also know how you love decorum and decency in words and actions. I love you, dear, for what you are. You are in that respect unparalleled and unique among my friends. May you be always in peace and happiness.
April 16 at 6:30pm · Like
Henriette van Staal you are a verry onest person,I find it ferry natural that you are so curious,espesialy the culture diffrence is tremndes with india and the west.thanks for the
April 16 at 7:27pm · Unlike · 1 person
Elizabeth Patrick Thank you for the peace and happiness wishes, Paresh.
April 16 at 7:45pm · Unlike · 1 person
Carolyn Wind perhaps each life lover/friend…whether sexual or not…has only lead us back to our very own heart~ perhaps..♥ thank you, Paresh~
April 16 at 10:07pm · Unlike · 4 people
Etya Krichmar What a great recount, Paresh. In my opinion, your question to the lady who befriended you was legitimate; but she might have thought it judgmental. Personal questions most of the times are difficult to answer for various reasons. One of the…See More
April 16 at 10:15pm · Unlike · 2 people
Etya Krichmar I for one would never discuss such a topic with anyone. My private life is mine and mine alone. I applaud the lady who was able to be so honest about her past lovers with you. I also applaud her mate, who was capable of turning her past experience to his advantage. One thing, I could honestly say to you that in my culture such a thing would not be acceptable. So there it goes, I said my piece, lol.
April 16 at 10:18pm · Unlike · 3 people
Bonnie Showers-Malanoski Nothing wrong with sex. A lovely element of the dream, the unfolding. Its all within it. What’s more, it never happened.
April 16 at 11:07pm · Unlike · 4 people
Elizabeth Patrick ‎@ Amal – I totally agree with you.
April 16 at 11:46pm · Unlike · 2 people
Amal Gupta Paresh…your presentation’s marvelous and candid…but the topic…well, it’s very personal for me…true, nothing’s wrong with sex….it’s part of life,there would be no life without it…and the so called “confounded Indian mind” as one…See More
April 16 at 11:49pm · Unlike · 3 people
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Liz, how come your agreeing with the comment of Amal, preceded his comment ? I am just curious.
April 17 at 12:33am · Like
Elizabeth Patrick It showed in my notifications on my phone before it posted to your note. Another eccentricity of FB……
April 17 at 1:01am · Unlike · 1 person
Amal Gupta ‎@Paresh: // Liz’s comment preceding mine //… simple… I posted my comment…Liz read it & posted her comment… I edited mine.. and then re-posted….
April 17 at 2:13am · Unlike · 1 person
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Thank you Liz and Amal for so lovingly obliging this curious cat. With all regards and thankfulness to the “inner guru” sitting within you and shining such bright light of wisdom and peace all around.
April 17 at 2:50am · Like · 2 people
Elizabeth Patrick Paresh, you think FAR too highly of me!
April 17 at 2:52am · Unlike · 1 person
Amal Gupta Hmmm… I see in my clock set for the Indian time, it’s almost 3 AM there ….. get some sleep buddy 🙂
April 17 at 2:53am · Unlike · 1 person
Elizabeth Patrick ‎5PM Saturday in the Southern US…….
April 17 at 3:35am · Like
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Liz, loving you as I do, how could I think any less of you than I do ? You know, only by thinking highly of you,no high is too far high when you are in love,I can gain entry into the indwelling spirit in you and feel at one with you and the world. Loving is my mission and calling too. Please accept it and feel the Oneness and joy along with it.
April 17 at 3:41am · Like
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Amal, I have spent many nights thinking of love and those great men like Ramakrishna, Sriaurobindo , Osho, Eckhert tolle etc. Tonight is one such night. I don’t feel the need to rest at the moment. I would rather love to drown in love for some more hours.
April 17 at 3:49am · Like · 5 people
Sharon Samtur Where is the line between curiosity and voyerism. There are, in this century, zillions of books, interviews, novels, personal confessions, treatises on relationships that are informative. Why pry into personal lives? Perhaps these every bookstore in the U.S. – Barnes and Nobles, Borders, etc. are not available in India? Even television- Oprah and lots of other programs deal with personal issues.
April 17 at 10:46am · Like · 2 people
Rodney James nONe OF uS would be here unless there were not things we are all workouting in ourlives.I met a infant that was here for 3 weeks then passed.That baby touched and healed 100 family member who hated each other before.The couple did have other children.I was a mechant seaman and for 13 yrs woke up in a different country every two or three weeks.But I have
April 17 at 1:33pm · Like
Rodney James not moved out of the same appartment for 2o yrs. I read now about the place’s Iv’e been too…now I have smells textures meetings,friends and some scare’s to fill in the cracks.Im kind of a Yogi ,Buddist, Christian…but really dislike the…See More
April 17 at 1:39pm · Like
Carmen Vera Oh, wow, Paresh, such a huge note and lots of familiar content – LOL. Thanks for the grand hommage, dear friend.
At the time when we had the discussion, though, I was under the impression that you were NOT satisfied with my answer, that you …See More
April 17 at 5:50pm · Unlike · 5 people
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Dear Carmen, all my homages to you fail far short of the real regards,love and devotion I have for you. Go on distributing your charms,charisma and wisdom on all that come in contact with you for ever. I am beholden to you for all the moral support you have always been providing to me. Glory be to God that has made you so.
April 17 at 6:58pm · Like
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Sharon, I am a voyeur too, I love peeping into peoples’ lives through keyholes in their mental and physical rooms. You would mostly meet me, if ever we at all meet, with my eyes firmly glued at those keyholes giving me unexpurgated views into people’s lives. If you feel spooked at this confession, then please put on a stopper at your keyholes and rest easy.You won’t be troubled any more. Ha ha ha.
April 17 at 7:09pm · Like
Susan Armaiti Zinowsky Thank you for the tag dear Paresh. I’m always touched by your honesty and childlike curiosity. I myself would share my personal experiences when I feel that the questioner is not only out for some kind of sensation but is truly interested i…See More
April 17 at 7:18pm · Unlike · 3 people
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Thank you Susan for appreciating this article in the spirit in which it was written.Thank you even more for volunteering to part with your private, intimate experiences on this, to me at least, most important subject. For me, only the truth…See More
April 17 at 8:07pm · Like · 3 people
Grace Mendoza Hi Sweet Paresh, You are yet another unique being from all the other “unique” ones that I meet with everyday in my life. Your desire to hear other people’s intimate experiences is probably no different than any other’s mind curiosity on a…See More
April 17 at 9:46pm · Unlike · 3 people
Carmen Vera Dear Paresh, now, after reading each and every comment I remember one person saying “nothing ever happened” or something similar.
This brings up the interesting “conflict” or question “who am I?” Am I still the person I was twenty years ago…See More
April 18 at 2:52am · Unlike · 2 people
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Thank you Grace for volunteering to share your private, intimate experiences with me. We have shared some such experiences in the past too. I have always held you in high esteem and love for your honesty and love of truth. I know how marvel…See More
April 18 at 6:55am · Like · 1 person
Paresh Chandra Mangaraj Thank you Carmen once again for commenting and sharing so generously and honestly. Honesty and truth are the only two currencies that circulate in the kingdom of our hearts where the beloved rules. You are one of the richest in there and I am just one of your spellbound admirers, a devotee of yours to be more accurate.Be there with me like a guiding light always, dear friend.
April 18 at 7:05am · Like · 1 person
Grace Mendoza Love you too my sweet Paresh!
April 18 at 8:26am · Unlike · 1 person
Carmen Vera Thanks, dear Paresh. Lets guide each other 😉
April 18 at 9:37pm · Unlike · 1 person
Elizabeth Wescott ♥
April 2