Thursday, February 23, 2017

An eternity of loneliness, longing and nostalgia

In this blogpost, I write down my thoughts and feelings on an eternity of loneliness, longing and nostalgia felt by many single Indian men living all by themselves in metropolitan cities of India. This post is primarily written from the perspective of a single Indian man living in Delhi-NCR.

It is in an alien city that we feel extremely lonely and homeless, the realization of having no home becomes heavy and difficult to deal with.The feeling of having no family is part of a permanent emotional disease whose symptoms affect you on a daily basis.Living in a new city surrounded by unknown people who are equally heartless and hostile gives us a heavy feeling of longing and nostalgia.

Where is that home and where is that family? We have no one to go back to and no one to call our own. For a man like me who has no parents or family support, I have no one whom I can call a family. Living on my own moving from city to city has put in a permanent feeling of homelessness in me. For men who have left their toxic dysfunctional families, their lives and stories are similar to mine, the only difference being that they no longer want to go back to their dysfunctional families, for them their families are as good as dead.For the separated and the divorced , life is equally hard, having experienced the joys of a family, loneliness now brings a deep feeling of longing and nostalgia.

An urban city is a breeding ground for loneliness. You feel alone withing an ocean of people.You want to but cannot connect with unknown people. Every place in the city reminds you about loneliness:multiplexes, restaurants, grocery stores and many other places remind you about something that is missing. You see a couple who is madly in love with each other  and get a feeling of longing. When was the last time that you had a meaningful emotional contact?When was the last time when someone touched your soul.? We don't know, we cannot remember. Small children remind you of a child that you could never have or a father that you could never become. You sit in a restaurant and observe a family on the adjacent table enjoying their meal and having a wonderful time, it reminds you how long you have been eating alone without a family. Every family reminds you of something that you are not.

Where can we find solace? Orphans have no place to go to, you can't go back to your dysfunctional family, the divorced and the separated feel uncomfortable around their married relatives.

Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) is a paradoxical and contradictory city. There is a massive urban development going on in Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad clutching along with Delhi. You find its inhabitants who are superficial and fake. Everyone seems to be exaggerating himself/herself. It is here where you find humanity dug in its deepest graveyard. You don't understand the culture or its people. You see and observe a lot.You see people aspiring for a fancy life without working hard for it, fast cash and easy money is a new found religion here, people of both the genders have high levels of cortisol and adrenaline hormones in their blood stream just waiting for aggression to burst out, pubbing and clubbing is a new form of worship.You meet men who want a fair skinned bride, women who want only well settled husbands earning more than 1 Lakh per month. Divorce and adultery is a normal thing.Marriages are no longer sacred here:Where is the sanctity of this ritual when alcohol flows like river and brides dance like bar dancers? A noble ceremony has become a materialistic ritual.The society and the culture of this city offends and repels you.

The opposite gender in this city seems to be extremely conceited, haughty , opportunistic and arrogant. Even their fake smiles carry an ulterior materialistic motive. You can't have a meaningful conversation with them.Even in relationships and marriages these women are busy meeting their own agendas. Relationships are made and broken here at the drop of a hat. It is here where you see women filling false rape and dowry cased against their boyfriends and husbands when relationships break down.The women of this region love to wash their dirty linen in public.

You meet some good Samaritans here and they tend to like you.They invite you to their homes and treat you with lunch and dinner. You feel normal, at least for some hours. The woman of the house cooks and serves you food, she reminds you of a sister in law you always wanted. The children connect with you reminding you of a niece/nephew you always wanted.You leave after having a wonderful time with the family and reach back to your house only to feel the vacuum of loneliness.

The men here are a of different lot. Their ignorance and stupidity never stops to amaze you, especially the men belonging to the hinterlands of north India. By getting married to some fair looking dames and fathering children, they think of themselves to be the Alexanders in their own right who have conquered an important territory and are enjoying the spoils of the war.They can't tolerate individualism and and often look down upon people like us who happen to be single.They remind us of our single status often through taunts and criticisms and we too give back acerbic replies to the point of offending their false pride and overinflated egos. We know better. These men have a really hard time in meeting the high expectations of their MADAMJI wives. As the day comes to an end, as a weekend approaches, people around you start making plans: a fancy restaurant to visit, a weekend gateway has been planned, a wedding/social function to attend, a new mall to visit and a lot more. You have no such plans and even if you did , you don't want to share. You go back to your house, it is a house that could never become a home. You tend to keep yourself occupied.

Whether we chose this life or this life chose us is something we ask ourselves everyday and find no answers. But still we continue living our lives on the basis of hope and the feeling than one day things will go well in future.

This is Bhaveen Sheth signing off for the day, promise to be back with a lot more.

BHAVEEN SHETH