Successful, single, happy and 30!

Walking the path alone: Some women want to enjoy the single life. Photo: K.R. Deepak   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Robin Scherbatsky of How I met your mother declares that she doesn't want kids or a marriage. Without being branded as an angry feminist, Robin's goals in life are admired and respected by her peers in the show. We're stepping into a phase when being single or without a partner is okay. Tina Fey on 30Rock is pretty unapologetic of her single status, yet is in constant search of love. Too ‘western', you might say, but even primetime telly in India is coming of age with Kuch toh log kahenge. The story is about love between a 42-year-old man and a 25-year-old girl. Even in the runaway success Saans by Nina Gupta, the mysterious other woman, Manisha, although portraying the ‘evil' one, established the status of women who want to be in a relationship but might not necessarily want a marriage or kids. Metro Reads and ‘chicklit' novels have been incorporating that 30-something single woman, often working in big companies, and sometimes romanticising their careers. They are shown to work as language interpreters, or a lawyer who quit all to pursue gardening or social work. A single person carries no stigma now. It might be safe to say that the norms of gender perception and modernity are evolving.

Advaita Kala, author of Almost Single, says, “My novel was more of a reaction to what was going on in my time. It was to show that single women have a public presence. It was about merging reality with perception. Society at one point needs to be more accepting of a woman's life without a man.” She adds that with chicklit or modern literature, the concept of singlehood is being talked about more openly. Women have constantly been labelled and put in boxes, and making a single and happy woman palatable to society can be a daunting task, she adds. “When I wanted to publish the novel, the publishers thought that it wouldn't work in the Indian context, but the way I see it — women don't want to settle or compromise. Rather than the right age, they are looking for the right time to get married.”

Vineeta Thomas, a 28-year-old happily single and working woman in agreement with Advaita, says that she is not wholly opposed to the idea of marriage. “I want to push the bar a little. I want to meet the right person and take my time with him. I don't really believe in ‘getting-married-because-one-should' concept.”

Durjoy Datta, who's just about 25 and has written a series of books on romance like Ohh Yes! I Am Single and So Is My Girlfriend, begs to differ. He says that he believes in happy endings. “There is a time and place for everything. All these books have protagonists who are 30-somethings and they are happy living a single life but in the last leaves of the books, they all eventually find someone, in fact they find their Mr. Right. So I guess we all need to find that someone,” he says.

Anuja Chauhan of Zoya Factor says that morals are a personal thing. People want to stretch their youth but after a point you can't still be 50, hot and single. “You will look like those kids who fail in school year after year — pathetic. Novels are meant to romanticise romance and that state of being single but you have got to move on after a point,” she says.

In times when women are economically independent, it's becoming harder to find a guy who will adapt to their independence, says a 30-something content writer, Rachana Sharma. “It's up to you,” adds Advaita. “Society is still not conducive to the idea, you will still have aunties bugging you to get married, but for the urban female, the window of options has only grown.”

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2021 2:22:35 AM |

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