Gossip – The Devil’s Radio

In the recent times, ‘crimes against women’ is the most debated topic on media and internet. Women the world over are now more aware of their rights and choices than ever before. They are empowered and boldly stepping out of the closet. Of all the atrocities she lives through, rape is one horrific incident that leaves indelible scars on a woman’s soul, one that she rarely recovers from.

Today, let us flip the coin to discover an unexplored side in which women are the brutal offenders who leave their victim stripped off all privacy and dignity. That crime is – GOSSIP.

Gossip is against humanity, akin to rape or terrorism. This is an evil that brings out our animal instincts and destroys the soul of fellow beings. It nourishes neither the gossiper nor its subject. 

Both Men and Women are guilty of this crime. However, it is the feminine gender that unabashedly indulges in this hideous activity. If the Right-to-Information act could be used for this purpose, they would leap at the opportunity.

George Harrison of The Beatles fame rightly said, “Gossip is the Devil’s Radio.” And, women of all class and stature tune in to this channel drooling-at-the-mouth to seek an unexplained orgasmic pleasure.

At work or home, women brandish the devil’s horns and pitchfork in a quest to keep tabs on one and all. Clothes, Make-up, Relationships, Academics, Grades, Career, Food, Cooking, Health, House, Car, Family, Failures, Success, There is no dearth of topics that women gossip about, and, enjoy every bit of it.

If a student at school does well, it is because he/she apple-polished the teacher. If someone is promoted at work (primarily a woman), its because she stepped up the oomph chart. If someone does well financially, he might have made money under-the-table. 

Why do women want to GOSSIP around other people’s misery? What sadistic pleasure do they derive from someone’s misfortune?

The questions baffle me. 

There are times when I want to gouge out those twinkling eyes that scream, “I know what happened at your house last night” and slap those obnoxious smiles off their faces that seem to taunt “I know your little secret”.

I regret the harsh words used above but not apologetic. Since my childhood I have hated gossip in all its forms but there is no escaping this horrible social disease. 

When chatting in a group we tend to share some aspects of our lives and that’s fine, only as long as people don’t keep tabs thereafter and do not repeat in other groups. What goes on in their lives is their business, not mine. I have my own mountains to conquer and they are more than enough.

Of course, If any of them was in some kind of an emergency, I would be the first one to reach out. And I have, on several occasions. One of my neighbors’ husband was travelling and she fell sick. Alone at home and no one to fetch her medicines, I voluntarily ran her errands. A child was hit by a two-wheeler playing in the block, I rushed him to the doctor for first-aid as his parents weren’t home. I offered tea to the family of bereaved neighbors. And more.

Why can’t women just accept things on face value and be kind; if they know some personal details about someone’s life, why is it difficult to leave it alone and not blow the horn for all? Why do they just HAVE to be judgmental about everything and everyone?

I guess the answer would be, “it would take the fun out of life”. Believe me, I have heard that answer more than once in my lifetime. Because of this belief, I have been the social outcast of several groups.

I am aware I cannot control what people talk about or their social actions. Also, I cannot keep turning people away because of their habits. But, sometimes it is frustrating when you know all they do is gossip.

I have been reminded several times over, that there are all kinds of people in this world and we have to learn to deal with them or to get above those petty issues or tactfully cope with such situations.  Blah Blah Blah!

Don’t we always do that. Get above the issues I mean. But hey, I am human and have those moments when I want to shut all those depressing people out of my life. Since man is a social animal, I do not know how long I can be away. One thing I know, I am unable to adapt to this kind of a social set-up that can best be described as drudgery. 

Just in a mood to be catty, I did a little experiment last Sunday. I took a planned late evening walk with my husband when I knew the lawns would be alive with kids enjoying summer vacations with their families. It wasn’t just a casual walk, we walked holding hands lovingly, like a couple out on a romantic date under a starry moon-lit sky, laughing and chatting. As I looked around, several pairs of adult-eyes were on us; jaws dropped and rendered speechless.

I am now just waiting for the word to come around a full circle from where it began. Me.


Author: Anita Desai

I am an alumni of the University of Delhi. An administration and human resources professional, I was associated in the past with Embassy of Israel and with the UKaid's development programs n New Delhi. An emerging writer, poet, blogger, with interests in reading/writing short stories, I discovered my flair for writing during a career break. My short story "The Domestic Maid' features on an online literary community 'New Asian Writing'. 'Epileptic', a short love story, has been published by Nivasini Publishers in their 2015 anthology, 'Celebrating India - Love Without Borders'. My Hindi poem 'Navnirman' has been shortlisted or publishing in 2017 in two anthologies by Authorspress and Nivasini Publishers. I share my opinions on social/political causes of human interest on 'saddahaq.com', a social journalism platform.

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