French President, Francois Hollande, with actress Julie Gayet

Francois Hollande is just a couple of months older than me. He has a belly and hardly any hair on his head. He looks non-descript, like a salesman in a women’s shoe store.

Other men, if they had seen me through the years, they’d  say, ‘Look at his women, first a Southie, then a Bengali and now a Persian. Each more gorgeous than the last. Surely they deserved better?’ Well these guys, they don’t know my secret. I have that Woody Allen method down pat – first I make them laf and then I listen to them talk with rapt attention. Francois does pretty much the same, according to the Times.

The French are so approving. Hollande’s approval rating has actually gone up, from 15 to 25%, almost overnight, after the story of the French President shtupping the French actress, Julie Gayet, broke. I feel like such a heel. Here I am, having a quiet chuckle over Hollande’s latest dalliance while the First Girlfriend, Valérie Trierweiler (we can’t call her First Lady, she isn’t married to Hollande) is in Hospital, recovering from the most un-French-like shock of hearing about his affair. I could bet it is an act and she’ll get over it. After all, she herself was on the other end just six years back, when Hollande gave his first partner, Ségolène Royal, the heave-ho.

That’s another thing about the west which I truly admire. They get over these things real fast. Before you can get yourself another beer, they’re shtupping someone else. Shtupping is a way of life for them. The Almighty Lord had actually meant to say,’ Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife. However, thou can shtup everyone else’, but he actually whispered the part after ‘however..’ under his breath, so Moe, his ears ringing from all that thunder and lightning, didn’t hear that bit.

The Lord did a Judhishthir on that one. Remember old Jude, in the Mahabharata? The guy who’d sworn never ta tell a lie? He wanted to give the warrior, Ashwathama’s Dad, Drona, a cardiac arrest by telling him that his son had croaked it, but that would be a lie and he had sworn not ta lie. So, instead, when the elephant, also named Ashwathama, died in battle, Jude grabbed the opportunity. He said to the old geezer, “Ashwathama hoto’ (Ashwathama sleeps with the fishes), and then, under his breath he whispered,’ Ithi gojo’ (I meant the elephant). Drona didn’t hear the part about the elephant and promptly gave up the ghost. All right, maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way. Never take my words to the bank. I lie. Often. All’s fair in laugh and war, okay?

Western women know that their men will stray. They don’t drop their sindur ka dabba with an annoying klang and moon around the courtyard, picking the tulsi from the aangan, their ghunghats down to their chins and then sit around japofying their malas, praying that their straying sajan will be back.

Are men instinctive cheats and philanderers? I’m sure most of us are, deep within. If we can get away with it, we’ll shtup, period. It is in our DNA and you can do absolutely nothing about it. It is a medical condition.

Most men, not all. There are a few straight-laced men left, like me of course. I cannot even flip a fried fish and have it (don’t worry about that. Its an old Bengali saying, for nerdy innocent men).