A few months ago I decided that I would compile a list of the Top Ten Husbands from amongst my friends and social networks; those whom I know personally and those whom I know by reputation. At this point if you are feeling uncomfortable, I would advise you to stop reading, as this piece of writing is not for you.
Why Husbands? Well, after a certain age, all males are expected to marry(especially the ones with foreign degrees, good incomes, considerable inheritance and property, lighter skin tones, creditworthiness, and confirmed bideshi passports) and morph into good Husbands; becoming a Husband is the most important rite of passage in the life of a male.
Why would I rank Husbands? Because it is about time someone did. Everyone and everything else has been ranked few times over: Actresses, Deodorants, Universities, Scrambled Eggs, Burgers, Views, Wedding Destinations, Beaches, Liposuction, etc. Not Liposuction? Be my guest.
Why should Husbands be ranked? Well, I gather from social media posts and from conversations with people that there are soooo many happily married, blessed, made for each other couples out there, that I feel it is high time the better halves of the best of the perfect unions are given their due recognition.
Which luckiest of the lucky women would not want to be feted by having their trophy Husbands names on such a list? (If you feel overwhelmed by my hyperventilation, please do not. I am merely trying to convey the manner in which certain marriages and Husbands are presented, not only to me, but to the world in general).
A one-time list or an annual one? A Top Ten Husbands of All Time would be too exclusive, and too exclusionary. Though such entities do exist, and they do inspire others, it is only fair that those that follow in their footsteps (even though they may not be as successful) are recognized as well.
I propose an annual year ending Top Ten Husbands of the city. Gosh, it could even become an Award Ceremony! (imagine the superlative, verbose descriptions in the Facebook posts and comments, and the photoshopping in the Instagram photos);and I believe making such a list every year would inspire Husbands to be more Husbandly, na?What methodology would I employ to prepare the list? Hmmmmmm. This is when it becomes sticky. You see, if I were to choose, I would put down the names of those Husbands whom I perceive as making their wives equal partners or those who encourage and facilitate their wives to pursue independent careers and interests and be personalities in their own right.
However, I have observed that when I express an appreciation for any Husband who does as such, I receive a range of responses from being completely ignored to muted assent to murderous looks, especially from women.
Therefore, the wise thing to do would be to first make ten categories of Husbands, and then find the best in each category. I am suddenly reminded of Bangla grammar here (transposing karok) Jamai koy prokar o ki ki? Wait, first I need to define Husband.
Yes, I am aware that Husband means married man, but what is the length of time a man must be married in order to qualify to be considered as being a Husband for the purposes of this annual list? 1 year? 7 years? (that is right on the itch phase)10 years? 25 years?
Or should one category be Best Newly Married Husband of the Year, for those married for a year? Hmmmmm…maybe I could separate the categories according to the length of marriages, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, years(Personally I think any dear Husband married for over 40 years should be eligible for the All Time list).
Anyways, how would I determine who is the best Husband within each category, or within the certain time frames of marriage? What would be the criteria? What would make a Husband er... qualitatively special to be the best?
His group of companies? Or how he is willing to counsel his wife on every matter, from whom to befriend to which tomato to pick off the supermarket aisle? Or how many photographs there are of him and his wife together on social media? Or how he lovingly accompanies his wife to all dawats after choosing what she should wear? Or how his wife is not a daughter in law, but a daughter to his parents? Or perhaps by the number of times the wife utters his name in every other sentence?
How I wish the criteria would be how much of a bechara a Husband is to tolerate his wife, as hands down my husband would be top of that category every year. But the list is about perfect unions, not imperfect ones.
And now, last but most importantly, the names. Who?
Chintamoni grew up in Dhaka, where she will always belong, but never quite fit in. She is an enthusiastic traveller, a compulsive procrastinator, and a contumelious raconteur.