Thursday, February 3, 2011

With no Malice

The following lines may be an exercise of no use, a waste of time. It is  not fretting or anger that gave me the idea to write a bit on the subject.

Jealousy and it’s off shoot- malicious gossip, are they the forte of the fairer sex? Or is it a heterogeneous trait that overlaps gender?
I have wondered often! 
Though identifying these qualities to be the exclusivity of women would be inviting libel and also that I do not want to be called a MCP. And certainly I bode no ill to them and some of the best personalities I have known at close quarter has been women. But yet, with no malice to women in particular, I must say that a few instances of severe gossip and innuendo that I have felt have been from women and women only.
The latest one was quite disgusting and that too coming from the lady of the house that we have been close to and frequenting as well. More so, C considered the two children there, like the two of her own. Be it in matters of little gifts of affection, appreciation and encouragement, she was to them like she is to her own children. Well that is the way she is with kids of the few close friends we have.

The woman in question is a church goer and an active parishioner. Follows lent and other religious vows zealously. At least that was what I could notice! Outwardly she is a gem of a hostess, and person. Helpful, and goes the extra yard to make you comfortable. She, even certain times admonished C for not being a practising Christian like she was- god fearing, praying, observing lent and other catholic vows.

Though I and C have not been among riches by the business standards that are around in the industry we were in, we have had a very satisfying life. No vacationing in Las Vegas and Monaco, nor jaunts in the Bahamas or cruises on the QE-2. But we were lucky to have been to quite a few places in different 
continents in the course of my business travels. I even was lucky to possess a wonderful SUV that was indeed  a marvel and the lone indulgence and fantasy I can be accused of. We owned a lovely Spartan place that was in a way was paradise,a dream as well. And most of all we were immensely fortunate to have had the resources to provide respectable and character designing, formative schooling to both our children. That certainly would not have been possible if we were fixed income salaried people. Though it was indeed painful to have missed the kids at home during most part of the years, while they were boarders! The nature of our profession in fact demanded that children were taken care and were not inflicted by the stress and the odd time and nature our work entailed.

It has thankfully reflected in their personalities and character.And I do not foresee any deviation either. Aravind  is twenty and Radhika , almost eighteen. We considered the spending on good education of the children (not the flamboyant vanity filled schooling), a necessary indulgence if one choose to term it as indulgence.

The lady , the subject of this post suddenly woke up to the comfortable way we had our children educated the decent life we lived and began her litany of gossips and comments.And in fact she was in the sidelines talking nonsense and spreading innuendo about another family that was close - their children too. It was a surprise to us to know so, because, she exhibited the countenance of virtue and pleasant feeling to us and all. And she could not certainly with her piety, air ill for another. In fact she was insinuating while she was smiling heartily and 
virtually hugging us.

Was her reaction and shameless comments a feeling of guilt or sadness that she could not part similar schooling to her children? Was she discontent and wanted to be like the Jones next door? She did not have the courage and the will to live without “crutches’? Was it plain jealousy and dislike for the well being of the other, (though she is comparatively very well and  perhaps stress free financially and socially) for her to comment deprecatingly?

Can one be angry, anguished and covetous seeing the well being of the other? Can one resent and spite
another’s success and revel ,when another has hard times?
No ill to women. And I wish to think that this person is an aberration in her sex. Certainly no malice meant to her.


Insignia said...

Is malicious gossip forte of the fairer sex? I am afraid it is so.

Being a woman, I am saying it is because I have witnessed gossips by women ruining families and relationships.

Its not that men dont gossip; off late they are forming a considerable chunk as well. I read somewhere that gossiping is therapeutic.

But certainly not these malicious types. Its the jealousy of course. The sour grapes story. What virtue would the lady gain by observing lent or following the Bible if her tongue is unleashing poison?

"Reckless words pierce like a sword......" - Proverbs 12:18

Maybe she has to read the above passages from the Bible

Anonymous said...

Women gossip. So true. And it ruins friendships and relationships. Jealousy is a trait that never leaves a person even if they have accomplished all there is to accomplish in life! It's sad. Men do it too, but in a more planned and subtle way. I guess in many ways, it's better to be a loner!

Shilpa Garg said...

I have seen a lot of men gossiping and who are jealous as hell! Of course women for infamous for it!
It's tough dealing with such people, coz you can't stop them from being one!

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

I think both men and women do this. But what I don’t understand is what pleasure, what perverse pleasure they might be deriving by ruining someone else’s life. What was the motive of Iago? How cunningly he built it all, treacherous and malicious…well, we encounter such people in real life, quite often. It takes all sorts to make a world, isn’t it?

dr.antony said...

"Malice is like a game of poker or tennis; you don't play it with anyone who is manifestly inferior to you". (Hilde Spiel)

I had written a post on more or less the same topic..Jealousy.(Mask of sorrow..Feb 2010)
I cant find another reason for gossiping.The extreme of this is the situation when thy find happiness in your misfortunes.There are only few sins for which the Bible has prescribed punishments.Slander is one of them.They should be put in to gunny bags and thrown in to sea!
Slander is something similar to a premeditated murder.They are killing someone's character!

"On and on we went, an abbreviation
of small black-winged envies
drunkenly sucking each other’s blood"

Eileen Malone’s poem "Beloved Rival"

anilkurup said...

@ Insignia
@ Jyothi
@ Shilpa Garg
@ Arun
@ doc antony

"A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity. ~"

I guess jealousy must be seen so.And slander is the outcome of jealousy.
And as Jyothi mentioned sometimes one feels it is better to be a loner- I mean away from the din and the crowd.
In the animal kingdom besides Man the next species that harbour this "wonderful" trait are the primates- the Chimps! Quite true the story of evolution isn't it ?

deeps said...

Jealousy, pride, gluttony … the vices that they are, are going to be a parasite of our society.. I guess we will do well in not attaching these to a few! Everyone I presume is a culprit!
That being said, I find myself at an awkward position coz it looks like I have failed to draw any conclusion from ur write up, I mean, I couldn’t get what you were really trying to tell other than sharing a personal sigh of the sort… maybe I have to take your first sentence literally…oops, with no malice by the way :)

anilkurup said...

@ deeps

Honestly I cannot make a headway either. Though the trait is found more feminine.
Yes you can take it literally, and in spirit as well , " no malice meant".
And such cheap character is not to be reciprocated equally. It is better to distance.

Balachandran V said...

I don't want to generalize, but from experience I have noticed that malicious gossiping is more prevalent among women. Men of course indulge in it, but the sting is more poisonous among women. As I know the lady in question, there is not need to feel anger - contempt in a nice dose would suffice; or pity for her. Considering that her children are doing okay and otherwise the family is comfortable, it beats me to understand the workings of her mind. But then, crud comes in many forms.

anilkurup said...


I agree in full. And better be away from the sting of the scorpions. Like Jyothi's comment better be away from the crowd.Trivial minds!

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

like you hope, this person is an aberration, not the rule.
vices are not gendered, please.

anilkurup said...

@ KPJ.

Yes I hope this person is an aberration and best avoided. Honestly there was no attempt from my side to apportion vices.