When Padma Left Salman

The controversial writer, Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie, is getting a divorce. Some say a writer and his wife should be separate but this is taking things too far. Rushdie became famous and notorious for his writings, but infamous for his looks. Then he married Padma Lakshmi, a very beautiful model-turned-actress, twenty-four years his junior, and his fourth wife. Exactly what he dangled before Padma to attract her is unclear but it worked, I hope. Padma enhanced Rushdie’s image but did little for his looks. This – the twenty-four year age difference – is what authors call heaven on earth but heaven can be hell if you over do it on the weekend.

When Rushdie fell for Padma the British press was annoyed and some journalist even wondered why beautiful women marry ugly men. I suppose one can always argue that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but ugly is absolute. I make no judgment on this beauty and the beast issue only to say beauty diminishes with familiarity but ugly never does.

I am not a fan of Rushdie because I never read any of his books. I was afraid to and still am, but critics say he is a good writer. If it wasn’t for the fame of the fatwa and the beauty of Padma, Rushdie might have ended up like many prize-winning authors whose books sell by the dozens; obscure and unread.

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