Bill and Mel, not knowing the reason for your divorce is tearing couples apart

Some divorces we see coming, like the Kim-Kanye one. Some we wouldn’t mind – like the Trumps, Clintons or Beckhams. And some we just cannot process. We read about it, but the words don’t register. As memes multiply and cliches explode around us, we grope myopically for our glasses, eh, er, what, who … Mr and Mrs Gates?

First we squint around for the Other Woman; there has to be one. Boys will be boys. And we get an ex! Ann Winblad with whom Bill spends annual vacations on the beach, gasp. Even as we frown at her age, 70, we find a foreign connection, Zhe Shelly Wang, a Chinese interpreter in her mid 30s. Ageist or racist, what should we be? While our heads swerve from one woman to the other, we wish Gates had been kind like Bezos and provided us with raunchy texts and pics. Jeff met us halfway. The affair photos and separation tweet reached us simultaneously, so that we could nod like Sherlock Holmes. Aha, we said lens in hand, going on to the next scientific job of picking girlfriend’s past apart.

How can Melinda and Bill do this to us? Leave us high and dry with why why why. Is Covid the culprit? Being cooped up in one place can kill passion even if the area is over 66,000 sq ft. “The man who keeps me dancing through life,” as she once called him, perhaps developed two left feet. Is Melinda on Tinder? Is Billy boy playing old Beatles records, Can’t buy me love … Is he going to come out, is she? All we know is they can no longer grow together as a couple, fancy lingo to add to the previously blah ‘conscious uncoupling’. Grey divorces, those after 50, are a mystery, especially in India where marriages ripen into Kurukshetras with spouses playing Pandavas and Kauravas. Middle-aged couples are told to focus on getting their children married and beg for grandkids. Parting after 27 years is allowed only for a pilgrimage.

Speculation mounts as the philanthropist pair leaves us scrambling for the inside story. Tabloids have failed us: no dirty deleted emails, no walk of shame shots. When rich and famous folks throw such life-changing news at us so calmly, they take away the suspense, the dramatic tension, that last car-chase scene where we know why they left each other even before they do. That is what the Gates have deprived us of with their civilised same to same talaq statements. Our right to their privacy.



This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.


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