The main thing is not to be carried away. And here I am reminded of a piece of conversation between a husband and wife in Henry Fielding's A Curtain Lecture. Husband: "If you did not marry me for love why did you marry?" Wife: "Because it was convenient, and my parents forced me." Husband: "I hope, Madam, at least, you will not tell me to my face you have made your convenience of me." Wife: " I have made nothing of you; nor do I desire the honour of making anything of you." Husband: "Yes, you have made a husband of me." Wife: " No, you have made yourself so; for I repeat once more it was not my desire, but your own." etc. It is a question of bourgeois morality. The bourgeois marriage is as calculated, as weighed to the last gram, as is the marriage in the landed class. But then it is obligatory to throw a veil of "love" over it. In the anecdote of Fielding quoted above, the husband and wife both know why they married each other. But the husband is scandalised at the wife's throwing the veil away. Muhammad Ali Rudaulvi's Curtain Lecture is of a discussion in a north Indian middle-class family of the early twentieth century. The wife wants her husband to explain to her what was a "club", which kept him away everyday till late at night. He is too tired at the end of the day to explain anything. Wife: " If a woman is to land in such misery as I am in as a result of marriage, may she die on the day of wedding itself. If she is not to find a good husband, may she take her dreams to the grave." Husband: " Darling I am very tired today. You should also go to sleep." Wife: " Sleep? I sleep? It is your behaviour which is driving me to desperation. Sleep has deserted me. And I will not let you snore contentedly either. It will torment me just as you torment me. The poor woman has been created so helpless by God. Otherwise, I would have shown you the consequences of creating such suffocating atmosphere in the house." Fielding's woman has decided upon quiet indifference in her relations with her husband because she is protected by law and, more so, by social custom. Rudaulvi's woman is bound by the feudal customs, which throw her, hands and feet bound, at her husband's feet. Both the societies reject divorce. But, while this gives relatively more freedom to the bourgeois wife, it adds to the helplessness of the feudal one. Or Ibsen's Rosmersholm. Rosmer has been living with Rebekka since his wife left him. The latter, upon arriving in Rosmersholm, had thought that Rosmer was not happy with his wife. So she had persuaded Beate to leave him so as to make him free. Now Rebekka confesses to Rosmer what she had done: "She had got it fixed in her mind that she - as a childless wife - had no right to be here. And so she imagined that it was her duty to you to make way." Rosmer: "And you - you did nothing to turn her away from this obsession?" Rebekka: "No". Kroll: "Perhaps you strengthened her in it? Answer me. Didn't you?" Rebekka: "That's how she understood me, I suppose." Now that Rebekka has confessed the truth, Rosmer forgives her, declares her his wife and they go together to drown themselves in the sea. Rosmersholm is among Ibsen's last plays, written in the late nineteenth century. The European bourgeoisie was now secure and self-satisfied. So it could afford self-doubts. Hence the importance of being truthful to oneself. Well, the bourgeois starts to take his class-morality seriously only after making sufficient money. But strange that, here, the truth should find fulfilment only in jumping across the dark veil. The writer is a former ambassador.