By Utpal Borpujari
She confesses to having 39 relationships till date. Quite obviously, if Rupa T Nath speaks about men, she is likely to know what she is talking about – if not from the point of view of a behavioural scientist then from that of someone who has learnt from experience. Studying men for this young lady, who happens to a part-time RJ who offers advice on relationships to listeners, seems to be a sort of an obsession, so much so that she has come up with a book, Men, as they are!, which she claims seeks to answer all questions about traits in men that women wants to learn about.
Even at the risk of being called a pop psychologist, Nath has sought to analyse male mentality with her own theories and logic, making some interesting observations, such as that a man’s obsession with bikes subtly shows the affection he demands from his woman, that men are not polygamous by nature, and that men are not a confusing lot to understand! Of course, there is no scientific analysis offered for her conclusions, and it is quite apparent from the book is that it is only – and only – her worldview that could find some takers or get trashed by qualified psychoanalysts.
Nath is elated that her book as already sold over 10,000 copies since its launch a few months ago, including abroad. With analysis of human beings on the basis of their zodiac signs a global pastime, exemplified by the ever-bestselling Linda Goodman books, the young author has also analysed the traits of men on the basis of each zodiac sign. “You just need to switch your brains on to understand the prerogatives better. It unleashes the power hidden in the zodiac sign of your man to know if he is the answer to your prayers or you need to wait a little longer continuing the ritual of fasting on specific religious days for a perfect partner like I do,” she claims in her book.
It is her typical Libran trait of playing the agony aunt to friends with troubled relationships that led her to analyse men. Of Bengali-Malayalam parentage, Nath is into corporate communications as well as part time RJing for western music section in AIR FM Rainbow and is earnest enough to tell you that she is looking for a Mr Right to match her “feminist yet vulnerable” nature. The book, published by Cedar Books, is the result of a curious incident. “One day a lawyer friend needed my advice over a case on out of court divorce settlement. I expressed a line of communication to her that the complainant’s wife, who was a Libran, could use and the impact it would create on the Cancerian husband. She took a chance and bingo! there was no divorce. She called me and said that I must write a book on men!” That, coupled with the fact that her radio programme too had become relationship oriented, concretized the idea.
Nath says about man-woman relationship, especially those undergoing stress, “Women are emotional. They easily get entrapped in the web of emotional confusion they create for themselves, whereas a man takes time and when he is determined he is true to the core, he is most loyal. I wanted to free women from claustrophobic thoughts and accept situations the way they are, however burdensome they may seem, which is nothing but a blessing in disguise.”
Nath even plays a social scientist through her book, offering arguments based purely on her own interactions with her maid. “Relationships are still better in urban India but women in rural India face so many unthinkable problems. The rate of divorce, which is increasing by each hour, will be curbed if equal acceptance is manifested. I have a full time maid who ran away from a village in Bihar after being beaten by her husband, who was 30 years older to her. She was even being compelled to join prostitution. She took the bold step and escaped. I fund her education in a government school in Delhi and she is an empowered woman now. Hence, when we talk about empowerment we need to go beyond its definition in terms of financial earning. What is the point in talking about money, when all you need to sustain a relationship is mutual respect and acceptance of needs as men and women? Sooner that is realized, divorce rates will fall and right decisions will be made,” she says offering her theories on relationships, though without going into the complicated social polemics of the whole thing.
All the issues tackled in the book, Nath claims, can be easily identified with by anyone. “Men are far less complicated than women and that makes it annoying. Women need constant consolation and attention of being loved. Men, on the other hand are freedom lovers. After the courtship phase, they resume their normal behaviour, which a woman fails to understand. Suddenly the extra-admiring man is now a rational headed office goer. The woman’s sudden annoyance disturbs him, as he does not realise where he has gone wrong, that he is just following his raw instincts. His love for her does not change whereas she assumes the opposite. He is plain honest and sometimes honesty kills!”
Nath says women cannot live without men, whatever some feminists might say. “It is very important for a woman to have a man in their life. It is the law of nature and cannot be defied. One wrong relationship does not imply the world is hell. The power lies in you to make it hell or heaven,” she says. Arguments likely to face strong counter-arguments, shall we say?