Friday, July 25, 2008

Life as a single.....

"Where is your family" asked my HR lady as I was standing at lift door to get down from 6th floor.

It was an office family day party and I was at lift door waiting to get down to ground floor.
I felt embarrassed and I simply replied "I am still a bachelor."
She looked at me surprise with expression that some one had refused joining offer one day before joining date. It was obvious as 2 month back I was interacting with her regularly and she was aware that I have 8 yrs of industry experience and still a bachelor.
She said “Meet my daughter" pointing to a cute kid standing with her. I extended my hand to kid and said "Hi". Still lift had not come to 6th floor and thing was getting difficult to me.
"Get married soon" said HR.
"Yes, I am also thinking that time has come" I replied.
Finally lift arrived and ended my torture, I decided to take stairs.

I am 29 years old (still) a bachelor. Life in a strange city especially for a bachelor not living with parent is tough especially for male. Not many people will realize this.

"When are you going get married"? This question I started getting slowly and now more often around 6 years back from all walks of my life friends, colleagues. relatives etc.

4 years back I was staying in a society Apartments in Gurgaon with my friend who was working in Hero Honda. Most of people in neighborhood apartments were either couples or staying with their families.

Before I continue let me explain that I belong to normal middle class family and my parent instill decent Indian family values to me. Whenever we used to seat in society park people used to look us strangely like we are some kind of thief specially those who were with their wives. I think they were either too insecure or did not have trust on their wives. I was not there to steal their wives neither did I was interested in a married women. One day while I was walking there one couple was sitting in car with light switch on when we passed beside car his wife took a glance on us and we too looked at her. Seeing this husband switched off car light. I felt really insulted obviously he had a bad perception about our character.

In my previous company I came to know when I joined there that the person who had interviewed me had told to his team mates that he had interviewed a person with few kids. I don’t why he had such perception. I am slim, fit and healthy. He must have derived his conclusion from my years of professional experience.

As bachelor I have to face and struggle different sorts of problem at different walks of life.
"Sir, these people are bachelor." told my house agent to owner of the house. I was searching a house in Bangalore and after 2 weeks of running I found one good.
"I don’t want to rent it to bachelor" said house owner bluntly.

I insisted and asked "Why sir", we are decent guys working in reputed company and don’t have any bad habit even I don't drink. But he refused. We had settled for some other house.

"Rakesh, when are you going to get married.” asked my product manager one morning in office when I passed by him.
"I don’t know yet" I replied.
He advised me to get married soon else I would lose interest and it would be difficult for me to adjust.

It was not a first time my bachelor status was questioned. Many project meetings have been centered on my bachelor discussion only. I really wondered is being bachelor or single, crime or people cant see others being single or happy.

Whenever my all married friends meet their wife would say "Rakesh, get married soon", When will you get married." all sorts of enquiries. Also they have stopped calling me to their gathering and I too feel uncomfortable as every one will come with their wife and what will do in that gathering alone. Also the character assassination u will realize only when all your friends’ wife will call you Bhiya.

It seems that my friends don’t trust my character at all.

Because of these social embarrassments I stopped visiting to married friends or any social gathering where couples are invited. Even in office my colleagues complain that I staying in office not because of my passion dedication or responsibilities of my work but because of I am a bachelor and I don’t want to go at room or don’t have any place to go. What is hell should I say to these morons.

Is being bachelor is crime? I think in Indian society there is no place for single or bachelor. An unmarried person is always discriminated here and there. As a bachelor u will always be overloaded with work in office people will talk behind you giving various reasons about not getting you married. You feel isolated in social gathering. There is no place for singles in Indian society.

One obvious discrimination is that there is channel for kids, there is channel of old there is channel for couples but there is no channel for adult’s bachelor and I still keeps on browsing channel without purpose looking for the adult program.

"I want you to get married in next 3-4 month" told my father when I was at home during Holy vacation.
"But it’s too early and I am not financially equipped to bear the burden and cost at this stage". I don’t know anything.” said my father.
Meanwhile my mother came with some girls proposals. I felt shy and uncomfortable looking at them.
"What about this one" asked my mother?
I expressed some concern. But they did not listened or tried to understand.
The plot was ready for big parliament debate which was scheduled in the evening when my uncle also joined us as speaker.

"What is problem with this profile" asked my father.
"No problem, these are only my area of concern. Please look in to this. You people go ahead with it get them clarify. Once you are OK I will talk with her and let you know." I said.
"Let me know what question you will ask" asked my father. I kept silent.

Now I even don’t what I am going to ask and what I am looking in a person I am not buying a product that I am aware about features but I should be know and understand other persons concern. Now a day girls have more concern and marriage is anything but commitment.

"You don’t understand what kind person you should marry, do what we say and get married." this was a bouncer from my uncle.

My uncle is understanding type and I am more open in discussion with him than my father. I have spent lot of time discussion and playing various things with him.
He continued, "You only know office work and lacks understand in other front of life. You got your mind poisoned working in that environment. This generation is spoiled" he added.
I said nothing.

"If you have any one in your life lets us know or any one you are interested in" my mother intervened.
"I don’t go office for romancing. I go for work." I replied politely.
"Go and meet these offers once your Ok I will move ahead" I added just to finish this debate also because discussion was getting heated and I started raising my voice which I was feeling bad. Frankly speaking I did not like any one out of this photograph as I have already glanced them when my uncle was looking at them.

“I know this girl and you can't refuse if you’re going to meet her." said my brother.

He was pointing to one snap he had already met that girl in Allahabad and that was distant relative of my Mama Ji. Why can’t I say no if something I find difficult to accept or she has any issue. It was out of my understanding and all logic failed against this statement. Also my father was insisting as he was finding it difficult to refuse this proposal as it came from my Mama Ji side. What they did not understand that I have just put concern and they all were discussing it without getting it clarified with concern parties. Also in this matter I am bit traditional type and don’t want disappoint people who are around me. I want them to carry this task giving weightage to my criteria.

"Why don’t you find a girl in Bangalore and let us know. Or search by yourself. I can’t go out looking girl for you. I am answerable to society. I can’t refuse so many people coming to this house. Choose any one out of these." declared my father.

One session of parliament was over after 4 hours of discussion. And coalition between left and congress was about to break over this nuclear deal issue I was finding it difficult to handle.

Few months passed and discussion continued over phone mainly... my parent and my uncle were visiting Bangalore.

"This house is big but we need some one to stay here. It looks empty" said my aunty as soon as she entered in house.

They came after 38 hours of train journey. Obviously she was referring to my bachelor status and wanted me to get married soon. I just smiled.
So the team that is looking a girl for me consists 4 main members. My uncle aunty and my parent. My uncle being leader of the team. Besides that there is other side member and I understand that they know more than me about what kind of girl should I marry.
"You go and meet this girl with your mother and aunty. She is in Bangalore and we will fix and appointment tomorrow." ordered my father one night after dinner.

My father was telling about a profile which already sent to me before they came here and I didn't like that at all. I have already conveyed that to my family member even though they were still insisting. I was wondering what was purpose of sending me photograph when my opinion was not be considered.
I refused to go. Obliviously it was more than a deadlock situation between left and congress which I understood was not abt principles but abt not understanding needs of each other and showing flexibility to understand each other.

Finally I agreed to go.

My mother and aunty came disappointed next day.

"Aunty, Get Rakesh married" said my friend wife whom I have invited to lunch at my room... its understandable that once some once get married he want
every one else also to get married soon. Why should only few people get punishment?

"So what’s update in your life" asked my friend wife she out of station for 3 weeks, came back 2 days back.
I said "Nothing its same as usual story”.
It was obvious that she was referring to my single status whether I have made any progress in my search of girl or not.

The search is still on and I see a new mail in mailbox with subject "Photo and profile" from my bother. I expect one more debate this evening over phone.

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