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{mosimage}One of my best friend in Chennai asked me to give a parcel to her sister in UAE, when I went to India on vacation. I met "Chechi" one Thursday evening and gave the parcel. We (I, Chechi, her husband) chatted for long and I was playing with their kids for sometime. I felt at home in this part of the world after a long time. Chechi asked me to drop often whenever possible. I was touched. After a month when Chechi called, I said that since she said that it was boring just being locked at home,I had collected some VCDs for her and would like to give it and I need a home made food as I hadn't got any of friends with family here. That Thursday also came, I forgot this and went with my friends for some electronic goods purchase. When I came back and saw the mobile phone, I saw around 7-8 missed calls from the Chechi's number. I was scared and called her back to enquire had something bad happened.

She started pleading not to come to her house again. She said that she told her husband that I might be coming that day but he was not comfortable with the idea. She continued "Mahesh, don't take it bad, he is like that only, I don't know how to tell it to you, past 1 week ever since you told that you'd come I haven't slept at night. I was all scared". Then I consoled her "Chechi, No point in losing a week sleep, you could have said that on that day itself. Anyway I have no grudges against your husband as it is a typical Indian men trait. Sorry for the inconvenience". Even though I said so, somewhere down the heart it really pained a lot. For a month after that I didn't dare to call my another friend who is living with her family down here in Abu Dhabi.

Don't know how much truth was in Chechi's claims? May be to avoid me in future, she might have put the blame on her husband as it is the easiest way. Else really she might be helpless as her husband was as she described. But one thing was intriguing - Don't we men have nothing other than sex in their mind? Aren't we supposed to be friendly and protective towards our female acquintances?

{mosimage}Coming close to this incident was a chat in our office among our colleagues about the ongoing "Ayyappan Temple Vs Woman" controversy. My arguement was that it is a chauvanistic approach, even to mention their monthly mensus cycle as a reason, because if God was supposed to have created the human, then it was also his "gift". As long as safety cleanliness precautions are taken, they can enter the temple. Discrimination against them in the name of opposite sex, when it comes to religion & temple, I find it absurd. One of my colleague gave a wonderful reasoning that left be baffled with the people's out of box thinking capacity. He said that since the devotees who come there practise abstinence (including sex) for 48 days, chances for sexual crimes are high if women are also allowed.

Even Lord Ayyappan would have fainted if he had heard this arguement. If a husband is practising abstinence and following "Viratham", his wife has more to do, to keep the household clean, first she has to keep herself clean, pray and then take care of her husband's needs. She also practices sexual abstinence. Infact she has to be doubly devoted - one to God & one to her husband. Had we heard women straying because her husband has been practising "48 days viratham"? What an ridiculous logic this is?

Again let me ask - Don't we men have nothing other than sex in their mind?, even when it comes to temple.