Chasing the good life-On being single

This book is a compilation of essays from men/women who are living single. 

However, if you are looking for accounts from people who chose to be single then this is the wrong book.  Well, not really.  There are two who are truly single; strictly only one.  The rest (26! of them) are widowers, divorcees and separated types.  There is one more new type, ‘married single’, and makes interesting reading.  This is the type wherein the jobs keep the couple away in places separated by a thousand kilometers. 

Chasing the good life

But the fact they meet only a once month keeps the marriage interesting and running…. ‘Its then like a holiday-no time to get on to each others nerves. Before you find your voice rising about someone not lowering the toilet seat or picking up the wet towel off the floor, he’s gone’. The divorcees and separated types mostly women, 17 of the accounts are by women, have a list of common complaints….the society looks upon single women as wasted, the men are always having an eye of single women, the lusty landlords, the male wolves, the other women some of them jealous that they could dare to be single and some wary of losing their husbands…

There are others who pick men/women at parties; there is one who lists out ways of seducing women.  Reading the accounts by choosing the authors at random, half way through the book I felt the title of the book had better been ‘Love, lust and loose living’ as the editor had indeed suggested the publishers, which they vetoed.  Rightly so, for there is Namrata Joshi (Outlook correspondent), who remained single because she ‘didn’t have to fight my parents for it….nobody came to check me out,..’.  Anees Jung is another who is wedded to her collections and house and quite happy in a world of her own.  And then there are Asha Naarang, Nihal Singh, Karan Thapar and others who are single, happy and sexless.  Dolly Thakore was shattered when Alyque Padamsee walked out of her life but now 22 years later she leads a life that makes one wonder how she does manage the multitude of tasks.  ‘….it may be the unexpended sexual energies that spur one on. What a lot of energy I save being a singleton’ she says.  Jerry Pinto gives a questionnaire to be asked in turn for single men who face the question……why aren’t you married?

And then there is one by Khushwant Singh on being a single.  One feels sad for his dead wife when we read that he misses her most when its lunch time and when its time to drive away unwelcome visitors.  He maintains that ‘there is a great deal to be said in favour of living alone’. However, has only this to say in favor-one can fart freely and go about the house stark naked!   Sita Wadhwani recounts the life style of the Muria tribe described by Verrier Elwin and wonders if a little bit of the Muria spirit could do us any harm…

With excellent introduction by the editor Bhaichand Patel this book makes interesting reading.  However, the authors/contributors are a very narrow section of our society-journalists, writers, editors and such, and mostly from Delhi.  That leaves space for a new book which could be more comprehensive including artists, scientists, politicians….any takers?

One Response to “Chasing the good life-On being single”

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