I have the reputation of being a controversial and notorious person. Much of it is to do with my open attitude to sex and marriage although I did behave in eccentric ways otherwise when I was young.
So you would expect me to write about why I am still single earlier than today. But it is a case of once bitten twice shy. I had been ridiculed and had my reputation destroyed when I was young. I didn’t want a repeat of that experience.
But now at age 57 I think I do not have much to lose by expressing my point of view. People have judged me without asking me to speak in my defence. The sentence has been served and I cannot be judged again for the same crime.
I will start with an accounting of the relevant facts and then give my opinion on the events. The facts are:
- India is a traditional and conservative society with a well known prudish attitude towards sex
- Arranged marriages are still common and my behaviour when I was young may have led to my being victimised as it was thought that I might encourage people to disobey their elders when it came to getting married
- I had been influenced by Bertrand Russell and believed in openness regarding sex, sex education for youngsters and so on.
- I did not have prospects to earn in the corporate world as a result of my ailment, reputation and lack of marketable skills.
I experienced a good amount of harassment for the reasons listed above (amongst others). As a result of this humiliation, I decided not to get married. And now 30 years later I am reasonably content and happy with my life.
At age 57 I can report the following factors that affect my life as a bachelor.
- The first point is that not marrying is a high risk high returns strategy. You need to have a worthwhile reason for staying single otherwise you might as well get married when you are young. Persons seeking God stay single and become monks or nuns. You may also be married to your career or vocation. I can point to the cricketer Geoffrey Boycott who had such a passion for cricket that he chose to stay single. If you don’t have such an all-consuming passion it is best to marry.
- Second point is that my saying that I am happy to have stayed single may be a case of sour grapes. But I have it on good testimony that the grapes are truly sour for a lot of people a lot of the time. There is no question that I wanted to marry when I was young. But having a happy married life is not universal and there is the risk of the marriage not working out and you not being able to provide for your dependents. I was able to avoid all these blunders and catastrophic mistakes by staying single and off sex.
- The third point is that married life provides or makes possible a life satisfying to instinct. And all of us need to respect our instincts that we have inherited. Having sex and having kids is hugely satisfying to our instincts and missing out on the same should be avoided unless there are overwhelming reasons for doing so. I have written a blog on this subject. Link is below:
- You have to be prepared to live alone and die alone if you are a bachelor or spinster. This is something I find quite frightening. I suppose I might be able to join an old people’s home if I can afford it but otherwise I must face this consequence of staying single.
- Lastly India as I said earlier is a traditional and conservative society. There is – in some people – a lack of respect in their attitude towards me. I think that one of the reasons for that is my being a bachelor. People are much more accepting of unconventional people in Europe or the United States.
As Robert Frost would have said: I took the road less travelled by.
I hope these insights will serve to guide youngsters who are confused by the changing values of a society that is in flux and not yet modern in its outlook.
I would also recommend that you read The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell. There is a chapter on the role of a family in a happy and satisfying life that is worth its weight in gold. This book has changed my life in ways too many to describe. Read and re read this book over and over especially if you are young.
A third suggestion is read Francis Bacon’s essay on Marriage. It is only a page and a half and can change your life:
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