Monday, March 8, 2010

The morality question

Read a decent article on the Open magazine that got me thinking about morality. The article is by this pretty good writer called Manu Joseph. Scores of people jump on to the morality bandwagon every time a celebrity has a bout of infidelity. Though it is a lot of fun to watch people get all gagged up when they are expressing their utter disbelief over the latest transgressions of some so-and-so, I think people miss one critical detail in this whole fidelity-morality extravaganza. Opportunity.

Let me explain. Fidelity is a function of two factors - opportunity and morality. This is why it is easy to say "I would never sleep with Sophia Lauren as I am married and with two kids. And therefore it is morally wrong". If you are a witless fat slob whose idea of a good joke is to quote something from this blog, the likelihood of sleeping with Sophia Lauren is, well, pretty low (And I am being very kind here). So, the limiting constraint here is the lack of opportunity, and not the presence of morality.

Celebrities cross the line more than you or I do because they can, and less because they are less morally anchored than you or I. Or, to put it differently, average Joe would not even have an idea of how difficult it would be to be morally right when the opportunity presents itself.

One of my friends put this beautifully. One fine morning, whilst in college, with this deep thoughtful look on his face, he pronounced - "Samaj saktha hoon be". This elicited the inevitable - "Kya?" from the gang. "Soch ke dekh na, tu hero hai, Sonali Bendre ke saath baarish me naach raha hai, uske baad woh tere saath aa ke pyaar se baat karti hai. One thing leads to the other, etc".

Tum bhi soch ke dekho, samajh jaaoge. :)

Tiger Woods had the opportunity, he crossed the line. The only peeve I have with him is with regard to his bad taste.


  1. Like the wierd photocopy-shop guys says in Friends - "Monogamy is a cruel rule" :).
    Absolutely correct point nonethtless, especially for the male of spieces. The funny part is a lot of people get deeply offended if you try and state the truth as you've stated above. - Tushar

  2. Dear friend Tushar Thakkar,

    You might have forgotten. But due credit for the Sonali Bendre observation needs to be given to you. :)