Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Tragedy of Being Single

See most men in my age (including me) don’t want to marry or settle down is they don’t wanna miss the chance of sharing a Jacuzzi with naked supermodels, flying off to Bahamas on a whim and hooking up with random strangers, having drug-fueled-bringing-the-house-down parties and retaining their freedom. The only problem is; that this is not happening to the most of us, and will probably not happen, ever. Most of us get home from office at 8, eat Maggi or whatever is in offer in the nearest mess, jerk off and go to sleep. And weekends are spent in either sleeping (alone), watching whatever movie you can get tickets of and sharing a drink with the same old friends in the same old place with the same old jokes. To every man or woman who has Joey, Barney Stinson or the Sex and the city girls as their idol ; are you really living like them?
Ya I think by now you know what I’m getting at. The tragedy unmatched by Oresteia, Othello or Doctor Faustus, the great tragedy of being single.

And I’m not even going to mention the lack of sex in my argument.

See even when you are single you are not free, so that argument goes right out of the window, you are supposed to match so many expectations, including your own, you boss’s, your friends’, your mom’s and a lot of other people.

When you are single or rather unmarried in this case your boss expects you to stay till late, come early, take no leaves, work on weekends and go to the farthest corners of the world in a moment’s notice. Whenever you raise the slightest objection he always greets you with this line “Arey ghar pe jaake karna kya hai? Kaunsa daer se jaaoge to biwi naaraaz ho jaegi?” Or “Abhi to bachelor ho yaar, abhi to career pe focus karna chahiye, baad mae settle ho jaane ke baad aadmi nahi kar paata kuch”. So much for your personal life. While you married colleagues always get away with excuses like ‘My wife’s brother is getting married’ or ‘My daughter is unwell’ or plain old work-life balance, with a sly smile and a smirk at you.

Anybody who has house hunted in a non-student , non-IT centric locality will know how big a pain being unmarried is. This goes for girls as well, though maybe in a lesser degree. The board ‘Families Only’, ‘Bachelors not allowed’ can be seen practically on the face of every landlord. Like getting married is some kind of character certificate. I really want to shout sometimes that Dawood Ibrahim is married too, so was Charles Manson, and Osama had more than one wife! And to add to that I won’t have children who will cry at night, ring your doorbell and run, break your glass with balls or sketch on the walls. I won’t have wedding at my house where bad quality music is played for days nor will I have Jaagrans which will keep you up at night. I don’t think that occasional loud music or vomit in the stairs is so difficult to deal with. But this is what it is. Married people will get better houses and for less.

Leave houses and landlords, even pubs and discs turn you away. Like being single is a crime. Or single people are not supposed to have a drink, listen to some music and enjoy. They want you to conjure up a girl just for entering inside, which might be your reason to enter in the first place.

On top of that your married or committed friends, whenever they are away from their spouses want you to share your wild sex stories, your adventures and hear your iron resolution to stay single forever. Even if you are having fun or not it is impossible to match that kind of expectation unless you are a Rock Star. The truth that being single sometimes sucks or you might be actually be thinking on settling down is met with such absolute resistance and lectures like you said you wanted blow up the parliament.
And on the opposite extreme your mom constantly keeps reminding you that marriage is such a good idea. So if you want the recipe of Palak Paneer it is prefixed with ‘If you were married you wouldn’t need it in the first place” or if you tell her that you got a raise then the Congratulations is suffixed with “Now I think you should get married”. This goes double for girls.

Whenever two guys or two girls enter a fancy restaurant they are met with stares like they have tails hanging out. And when you want to make a reservation for hotel or resort people automatically assume you must be travelling with wife, any difference causes weird silence or clarification and re-clarifications. And after that you are either branded homosexual, terrorists, freaks or all three. A bunch of guys can have more fun in a resort than a couple ever can, except on the bed maybe.

You don’t have a default partner to go the movies only you wanna watch, concert of an artist only you have heard of and for shopping trips where you are the only one who wants to buy something. Your spouse, if he/she exists in naturally dragged along and doesn’t even make a fuss, or at least not too much.

Be it the flight, train or bus you are always moved to the other seat as people come in and say “Oh we both are together” or “Bhaaisahab aap B-2 pe seat number 16 pe jaa sakte hai kya, wo actually hamari 2 seat us dibbe mae aa gayi hai”. And it is not even a request, it is like somebody read you the Indian Penal Code clause 19 sub section 2b which states all single people are hereby banished to the least desired seat in any mode of transportation. Don’t even try to argue that you purposely booked the Side Upper Berth or you came early especially for the window seat otherwise you will be met with bickering, awkward stares and general disapproval by everyone around you, even by people who have nothing to do with is. Even when you argue with a married couple every passer-by assumes you must have done something nasty and top of that you are not even apologizing.

And the biggest torture is going out for drinks or an outing with an all couples group. Especially after the initial 10 minutes of pleasantries and cheers are over and everyone recedes to their respective corners.

I have to cut short my description of the horrors of the singles camp at this point as I gotta go out with the boys for dinner. Adios.

Eplilogue – They are many single people out there, some willingly and many un-willingly, and note that I said single and not unmarried. And both men and women. Most of them want to pair up; it is after all our naturally desired state. But despite wishing otherwise most of them are stuck in rut. And I have no clue why. At least in India you can blame the social structure a bit, lack of places for singles to mingle, stigma about women approaching first and the likes. Other places I don’t know what. Many of my friends, guys and girls have resigned themselves to the fate of arranged marriage and all of them want to find someone they love. But they are not able to. My only advice to them is take a few chances, I know I need to. But still, something somewhere is pretty fucked up in this world


  1. Wish I could agree that it is that bad for single girls - apart from those occasional "you-should-get-married" sneers from aunts, it is quite fun. And about getting looks at fancy restaurants when accompanied by a female friend, it is quite the contrary! The last time I tried this, I got happy hours at 10 pm and a helping of complimentary nachos ;)


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