Fun in One

Sometime back it was all about being married. Neighbourhood aunties picking up random conversations as I would be unlocking my front door –  Staying alone? Haven’t got married? – followed by a fake sympathetic and very curious Oh. My usual response to those questions would be  a fake smile which I hope masked my irritation. Very concerned relatives posing questions about my marriage and evening opting to help me find a partner was even more annoying.

Somehow, people seem to assume that if you are not married finding the right husband/wife must be your only goal. And once you are in your thirties people start badgering your more for time is running out. In our society love and marriage are somehow age bound? No matter how well you are doing marriage is still considered an important yardstick, especially if you are woman. Somehow most people can’t fathom that one maybe single by choice or marriage may not be a priority.

Now that I am approaching fifty the marriage questions have stooped. In conventional sense I am past the ‘marriageable age.’ Instead people are concerned about me being alone –  How do you pass time? Don’t you get bored? You can come over to our place sometimes and work from there. Again, the assumption that if you are alone you must be lonely and seeking company. The fact that there’s no relation between the two and it is possible to be lonely or miserable in company  or even in a crowd is lost to most.  And if you happen to mention that you like staying alone you are stamped as a loner.

That’s possibly because in every society and culture there’s so much importance attached to marriage, to finding someone, to being with someone. You fall in love, overcome all obstacles and get married – pretty much sums up all our romantic classics, love stories and romcoms. If love doesn’t culminate into marriage then it becomes a tragic love story. For centuries we have mourned for Romeo Juliet and Laila Majnu. And the likes of Cinderella who managed to get hitched to their ‘prince charming’  are assumed to have lived happily ever after.

Of course love is great. Finding someone you would like to spend the rest of your life with is a very happy moment. But love may not be the same for the rest of your life. It grows, it matures,  you may fall out of love and fall in love again. While marriage is a great institution being married doesn’t necessarily guarantee love. And sometimes love may not lead to marriage and that’s fine.

Often in the course of falling in and out of love, we discover ourselves and learn to love ourselves. While we seek love we learn to enjoy our company, being alone, enjoying our space, travelling alone. Trust me, enjoying alone time is more fun than being shackled to people whose company you don’t particularly relish.  And nothing could be more liberating than traveling alone. You can let yourself go, open yourself to whole new experiences, do what you please, when you please.

When I sit alone and watch the dusk meet the night enveloping the world in darkness I feel at peace. When I travel alone I feel like a bird giddily scaling new heights. While I may still seek love, I do so as I am enjoying every bit  of being me!

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