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the other girl

The 80/20 rule to consider when you are two minded about your relationship.

This might sound like tips from cosmopolitan or some magazines, but I once read this article (not sure where, I would like to source it) which mentioned that the reasons for cheating in a committed relationship mostly is due to a single reason.

In a relationship, you’ll never get 100% of what you want, so at most you get 80%. But some other person may come along and have that missing 20% you don’t have. Some folks fall for the 20% just to realise they should’ve stayed for their original 80% - anonymous.

Let’s assume person A and person B are in a healthy committed relationship or quite some time. A loves B for most part, around 80 percent of their expectations are satisfied while 20 percent end up remaining as a craving that after some time will start seeming very prominent. One day when A meets C who seems to be the perfect fit who satisfies the remaining 20 percent, A perceives a relationship with C to be a much more wholesome one compared to the one with B. This is a an age old marketing strategy based on human perception where new brands try to focus on the negatives and missing out factors of our current pick to attract the consumers. A begins to cheat on B with C and things get complicated. When it is time to let go of B and start out with C, A starts noticing that C lacks in almost every other factor A considers primarily important in a relationship with them and it ends up being bitter.

This theory is personified in several movies I’ve come across so far and I’m eager to discuss them. I personally called this the Sindhu bhairavi factor before I read about the 80/20 rule but they are synonymous. The 1985 Tamil film directed by the revered director Mr. K.Balachander, Sindhu Bhairavi dealt with an illicit affair.

The Protagonist of the play, JKB is highly renowned Carnatic vocal performer of a Sabha who lives by and cherishes the art of music. A glimpse of his lifestyle portrays a very dull setting unlike his fervent mind, His orchestra members don’t share the same passion as he does and when he is not at work, at home his wife doesn’t reciprocate a similar kind of admiration towards music – its worse, she is unable to comprehend it in fact and JKB aches to find someone, anyone to share this immense love he has towards the art which is weighing down his heart.

His yearning reaches a state of solace after a series of encounters with Sindhu, an identical music enthusiast. Several instances leads him to believe that Sindhu is his soulmate while the guilt of cheating burdens him. Eventually he gives in to his feelings and begins an illicit affair with Sindhu which is symbolised with musical instruments being disrobed. I perceive this to be the director’s way of depicting JKB blunging with music like clay on a potter’s wheel which spins like time sways. Sindhu being personified musical art more than another human in JKB’s eyes.

The Analogy is referenced several times in the movie after this point. When the ‘me or her’ question is raised by Bhairavi after she becomes aware of their relationship, JKB falters and gives in. JKB gives up Sindhu and heads in a downward spiral professionally and emotionally. Which can be interpreted as both symbolising that the breakup phase took a huge toll on his emotional well-being or that Sindhu leaving meant that the musical part of his soul abandoned him leaving a gaping hole within which resulted in a liquor addiction.

Sindhu returns to his life after she hears about his deranged state of life to nurse him back to health. A reformed JKB welcomes Sindhu with a powerful Carnatic number that is an ode to the goddess Saraswathi who is a personification of music and knowledge. This song reflects upon how JKB has been regarding Sindhu as a personified version of music. Bhairavi, who has now come to terms with JKB’s position and mind that’s split between both women, welcomes Sindhu and urges her to marry JKB.

Sindhu refuses to let shame befall on JKB’s honour by letting him have two wives and bestows (like a goddess) the couple with a child as an answer to their longing for parenthood. My take on this is that Sindhu may even be considered a figment of JKB’s imagination or the love towards Sindhu wasn’t entirely towards her as a person but an anthropomorphised version of music that was born when he couldn’t handle or conceal his love for music.

Perhaps most part of Sindhu’s attributes were his own imagination and he didn’t deal with the reality or the rest of her character. Bhairavi was an ideal partner for JKB as she fit 80% of what he had expected from a spouse but lacked the 20% of musical knowledge. Bhairavi in fact tries really hard to satisfy the remaining 20% in vain but is unsuccessful which she believed were being musically compatible with JKB and bearing a child for him. In JKB’s perspective Sindhu fulfilled the remaining 20% as she was a music enthusiast unlike most he had come across and helped satisfy his hunger for intellectual matters. The story of Sindhu Bhairavi bewitchingly portrays the 80/20 rule like any other.

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பேதை நானே இன்பம் தேடி அலைந்தேனே, நீர் வீழ்ச்சியை கான வானம் எல்லை சென்றேனே.