Single is the new empowerment?
Sologamy is the new bizzare fad and being single is considered synonymous with being liberated, or at least that is what Kourtney Kardashian, Eva Mendes, Oprah Winfrey, Sushmita Sen, Tabu and the likes seem to tell us. Celebrities once married, now divorced and enjoying their singlehood, have gone on record about marriage being an outdated concept — Manisha Koirala, Pooja Batra, Vikram Bhatt, Shekhar Kapur, are name a few. Actors Kamal Haasan-Gautami, Malaika Arora-Arbaaz Khan, Farhan Akhtar-Adhuna announced their separation after years of togetherness, but these celebrities continue to be friends, share holidays and even the family home. Photos of Hrithik Roshan and Suzanne Khan, Malaika Arora and Arbaaz Khan on exotic vacations with their kids, have been doing the rounds.
It is evident that all separations don’t have to end in disaster. Is there something wrong with the institution of marriage then?
Why not, reasons celebrity makeup artiste Ruby Bal. She says, “Being single by choice also means we don’t need a Prince charming for a fulfilled life. Getting married involves mastering certain courtship games, the rituals and finally the challenges of domestic life with a husband or wife.”
“Marriage is a package deal with certain taken for granted values such as exclusivity, sexual commitment and emotional connect. Not everyone is designed to have the same feeling for one person throughout their life,” feels Megha Dinesh, founder of a spa and cafe.
“Contemporary marriage is a wretched institution. It spells the end of voluntary affection, of love freely given and joyously received,” says Bal.
Being a woman who doesn’t desire marriage is still not an easy space to occupy, feels Vishala Reddy, a businesswoman. “Single or married, it’s all about choices you make. But our society still struggles to accept a woman on her own.” Unfortunately this ‘bitter contract’, says Varsha Bhargavi, a businesswoman, continues to survive. “Our society still looks down on people who express their sexuality and marriage is seen as legalised sex,” she says as a matter of fact.
Jwala doesn’t agree
Shuttler Jwala Gutta, who is now divorced, believes marriage will always be in vogue no matter what. “Marriage is not for financial dependency but for mental stability and companionship. And when you have children, they are brought into a stable, balanced environment,” she says.
Psychologist Harpreet Kandhari agrees with Jwala and wants the younger generation to have faith in marriage. “When youngsters know they are financially independent and can afford what they want, they wouldn’t want to get tied to marriage. Marriage is more about commitment,” she says.
Concurs Jwala, “People don’t want to marry mostly because they don’t want to be tied down. But it really depends on how we look at it. I think marriage makes two humans believe in each other, it creates a balanced society.”