(As told to Joie Bose)
It’s terribly wrong! It’s sinful. But it’s gorgeous. You know, I have a fantasy. It is of being single again. It’s terrible, since I’m happily married. I have three beautiful girls who are on the verge of hitting their teens. I have a great husband whose head of white Richard Gere-like white hair makes him quite desirable to many. Yet, I feel guilty, for despite having the cake, I want to eat it too. I feel guilty, because I’m in my 40s and I wonder, is it right? Is it right to dream to be single again?
The joys of being young and single
I run a cafe and it’s quite popular. We are known for our frosted cup cakes and hot chocolate. Ninety per cent of my clientele is single. I see them sit and chirp and chatter and talk. They walk in with scent of freedom. In them I see birds. In them I find the potential to hope. I envy them. They don’t bother about their children’s school examinations, they don’t bother about bills and they surely don’t bother about investments. If they did, they would think twice before ordering our cupcakes for Rs 100 a piece.
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Just harmless fun?
A girl walks in with her boyfriend and they order heart-shaped cupcakes. The couples usually do that. Then when one goes to take a leak, the other looks around. I have seen them smiling or even at times exchanging phone numbers with someone else sitting here. Then when their partner returns, they pretend as if nothing happened. It is all harmless. Perhaps they go and text the other. Perhaps they think of the other at night. I don’t know.
Related reading: How to be single and why
There was this boy
I once walked into a bookstore and was walking down the aisle, when I met a boy. He was a little younger than me. He looked at me and smiled. Perhaps he had thought I was single. I smiled back, pretending to be single. Then I don’t know what happened to me, but I quickly walked out. I felt terribly guilty. But the face of that boy remained in my head. I wonder what his name was. Was he married?
Fantasising about being single
When it’s night and the lights are switched off, I pretend I am single. When my husband quietly puts his arms around me I ask him, “Who are you?”
He playfully tells me a different name at times. I whisper a different name. We pretend we are single.
I’ve been married for a long time and I forget singlehood, but trust me, every married man or woman, at some time in his or her life, fantasises about being single.