The title for the “luckiest dude in the world” goes to the King of Swaziland, MSwati III beating out super alpha males like P. Diddy (now called Diddy: hat-tip:Gawker), JayZ, R Kelly, Snoop Dog, Bill Clinton and Babulal Gaur.
Points to note:
1. 50,000 topless dancing virgins from which to choose your 13th wife. Isn’t that like way too many options? Personally 15,000 is the number above which I would not be able to make an informed decision any longer.
2. “Wielding machetes and singing tributes to the king and queen mother, also known as the Great She-Elephant, the girls danced around the royal stadium in the hope of catching the eye of the 37-year-old monarch”.
The Queen Mother actually likes being called the “Great She-Elephant?”…..Swaziland surely is a country where people speak their minds—feelings be damned.
3. “The king takes a wife whenever he wants and that’s the way it is. This is our culture and we will never change,” said Tsandzile Ndluva, 21, another dancer. ”
What the article does not mention is that after saying this, Ms Ndluva , in a voice surprisingly like Lata Mangeskar, sung:
“Hum to bhai jaise hain waise rahenge”
4. Trainee police officer Patience Dlamini, who jazzed up her traditional outfit with a fake diamond necklace: “This thing of many wives is not good, how does he satisfy them all?”
Good question. I sense an outsourcing opportunity here. Lou Dobbs beware.
5. Monday’s ceremony was the culmination of a week of preparations, which included the lifting of a royal ban on sex with virgins, decreed in 2001 to help rein in HIV.
Days after reviving the ancient ban, Mswati in 2001, married a virgin and fined himself one cow. Last week he lifted the five-year ban a year early, ordering thousands of maidens to throw off chastity scarves worn to ward of preying men.
What an amazingly just king. Since he was breaking his own ban on sex with virgins, he very graciously fined himself one cow—now how many politicians around the world can exhibit such examples of self-censure ?
6. “We are happy, we are healthy and we are alone,” sang thousands of tuneful, high-pitched voices.
Sameer would have been proud of the simple, direct lyrics. Next Mithun movie will have the song : ” Hum Khush, Tandaroost Aur Akele Hain”
7. Ok seriously, this man is quite a debauch [or as my friend Saumyadipta comments by mail :” traditional imperialist”]—he “forcibly” carried away last year’s Teen Swaziland contest winner –incidentally the Teen Swaziland contest is locally called “Kaun Banega Garbhabati”) But consider this –a procession of 50,000 topless, dancing virgins which appears reprehensible and dehumanizing, is in a sense nothing but an extreme version of the process by which arranged marriages take place. Yes dear readers—–this is what arranged marriage in India is—stripped off all euphemisms like “wavelength matching”and ” compatibility”.
Sure the girls are not topless, nor do they dance all together saying “I am happy, healthy and alone” —-well not literally anyways.
Aren’t marriage websites, matrimonial ads and the “ladki dekhna” just a more civilized form of the reed dance? Not just for females but for males also. Decisions are based on physical beauty or the bulge in the pocket (due to wallet)——-the same kind of considerations that guide the king when he chooses a consort.
Or as MSwati III calls it —fresh meat.
[PS: The song” I am happy, healthy and alone” seems to epitomize the mental state of single people]