I was going through my files of the blogs I wrote back when I was still to shy to post them. I enjoyed this one and thought that it deserved to see the light of day. And since I’ve been knee-deep in Lahiri for the past two weeks (I did my final project on The Namesake, read all about it in the adjacent blog), I thought I might as well get it all out. Without further ado, I give to you-
The case for Shoba
I thought that Shoba was getting an unnecessarily bad rap in class on Thursday (this was written months ago), and since Soleil not only wrote about Shukumar as the victim but also called Shoba an “evil bitch” in class, I wanted to take up for Shoba (also, she sounds pretty hot and she’s newly single so it wouldn’t hurt for me to get on her good side). So I’ve decided to create a sort of personal ad for Shoba, highlighting all her good and attractive qualities, and proving that she is not a hateful, evil person; in fact, she is just the opposite.
Do you like women? Well then, have I got just the one for you. She is hard-working (she brings home her “leather satchel, plump with files,” to work on them from home) (1). She has a very active lifestyle (“She’d come from the gym”), and is in her twenties (by which I mean she is “thirty-three”) (1). She’s simultaneously an enthusiastic lover (“eager to collapse into his arms”) and an efficient reminder of dates (“You have a dentist appointment next Friday, by the way”) (2). She pushes others to be their best (“he hadn’t wanted to go to the conference, but she had insisted; it was important to make contacts, and he would be entering the job market next year”) (3). She offers her professional proofreading help (“she would do the same for his dissertation, she promised, when it was ready”) (4). She’s thoughtful when it comes to other people’s coffee needs (“Shumukar would finally pull himself out of bed and head downstairs to the coffeepot, pouring out the extra bit that Shoba left for him”), and she knew how to cure serious conditions: fishy-smelling hands (“rubbed a lemon half along his fingertips to get rid of the garlic smell, a trick he’d learned from Shoba”) and darkness (“We can light candles”) (5). She plans ahead, (“She had bought [spare toothbrushes] once when they were on sale , in the event that visitor decided, at the last minute, to spend the night”), and is never unprepared (“She was the type to prepare for surprises, good and bad”) (6). She is physically built for motherhood (“with hips that her obstetrician assured her were for childbearing”) (7). She’s not afraid to buy things that aren’t from a major retail store (…the mortal and pestle she’d bought in a bizarre in Calcutta), and she likes fun surprises (Shoba had thrown him a surprise birthday party…) (9). She’s easy to fall for (by the end of the meal [from our first date] I had a funny feeling that I might marry you…”) (12). She’s faithful (She’d been faithful…) (16). She’s a good listener (“She simply listened…) (19).
Basically her resume crushes Shukumar’s. She’s just going through a rough patch right now. If she were to become involved with someone who is not as damaged as Shukumar is, then perhaps that someone could pull out the best of her that has sort of gone into hiding. The rest of you can hate her, that’s fine. But I could do a lot worse than a woman like Shoba.