A man in Tamil Nadu has filed a complaint against Google Maps alleging that it has ruined his marital life. 49-year-old R Chandrasekhar, a resident of Mayiladuthurai district said in his complaint that his wife repeatedly scans the ‘Your timeline’ feature on Google Maps and questions his whereabouts. While many may find this incident laughable, it highlights a very crucial tendency among a lot of us, when it comes to failed love relationships or marriages- that of finding an external scapegoat. It is not me or you or us, who is to be blamed if a marriage isn’t working out. It is always the “other” one. In this case, the “other” woman/man has been replaced by poor Google Maps, who must bear the brunt of marital discord.
Is the husband sure that his marital problem will go away if Google Play shuts shop, or tells his wife to trust his account of his whereabouts over what the feature is telling her?
According to a report in The News Minute, Chandrasekhar has alleged that his wife simply refuses to buy any argument. “I am unable to answer her questions. And my wife is not listening despite what family, relatives, our circle of friends and counsellors are saying. Despite several talks, she is refusing to listen. She believes Google over anything else. Google is causing strife in my family life. So I ask you to take action against Google and ensure justice for me. I also ask that Google give me compensation for causing so much strife.”
But is it really Google Maps who is to be blamed here, if a wife is unwilling to trust her husband with his whereabouts? If she is not buying any reasoning from him or their friends and family? Is the husband sure that his marital problem will go away if Google Maps shuts shop, or tells his wife to trust his account of his whereabouts over what the feature is telling her?
When I peer into this account from a third person’s perspective, I see a couple which is unwilling to look into their relationship, their own flaws, and rather blame it on a third party which is fleetingly involved here. Haven’t we seen this before? Couple fighting over the other man/woman, husbands blaming kitty party groups, wives complaining about husbands who stay out late every night. While it is rare in India for couples to open up about their marital problems until it reaches a breaking point, it is rare for them to simply say “we don’t get along”. She spends too much time on WhatsApp, he is always out with his friends, she trusts her friend’s opinion on our relationship more than mine, he is always on the phone.
It takes counselling and intervention for us today to realise that the chink in the armour came from within
We begin seeing the phone, WhatsApp, television, friend circles, office colleagues as the reason why our relationship is falling apart. When in reality it is just a symptom. when two people stop feeling happy around each other, isn’t it natural for them to seek happiness someplace else? When you do not trust your partner, isn’t it obvious to question everything they say or do? So when we know that the problem lies within, why do we hesitate in taking the blame?
I blame it on the movies, which have for decades taught us the concept of pyaar ke dushman, where a perfect romance between two perfect people is dishevelled by an evil vamp, barbaric fathers and vile goondas. It is only now that movies have begun addressing internal conflicts, priorities, the difference in thinking that may spoil a relationship. For every Tamasha and Love Aaj Kal, we have a hundred Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and Maine Pyaar Kia, or Kaho Na Pyaar Hai and Baaghi.
It takes counselling and intervention for us today to realise that the chink in the armour came from within. That distrust, disinterest, or lack of affection in a relationship cannot be addressed with broad reasons like having an affair, keeping a bad company or trusting Google Maps every time they arise. Won’t it be easier then, to mend broken relationships, if we shift our gaze to ourselves and our relationship from the outside world?
[Picture Credit: Tanu Weds Manu.] The views expressed are the author’s own.