Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Bachelors- 'Singled Out' in South India (100th post)

Recently watched Mozhi on big screen with some friends, although Jo's acting etc. are all talked about, I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes between the Telegu actor Brahmanandam who plays the house owner and his clashes with Prakash Raj, seemed like a fresh breath of comedy amidst the other present day stereo types. This episode in the movie along with a recent conversation with one of my single friends in India gave me some content for a blog.
A good high-school friend of mine who works for a BPO in Chennai was telling me about his state of affairs as a "bachelor" guy in the city and how hard it is for him to make a right impression with folks considering his single status. When I asked him to elaborate more, he was only too happy to express his displeasure about the way bachelors are treated in and around the city. Given that several youngsters come from different parts to live and work in Chennai's booming IT corridor and companies, inspite of their education and good behavior, the society has little regard for these folks.
As an example, he mentioned how his house owner looks down upon him and a few other roomates of his with suspicion given the fact that they are bachelors. It was so hard to even convince him to rent us this apartment for 3 working bachelors. Out of curiosity, when he asked his owner why he was against bachelors, the man responded with a knowing grin, "I was a bachelor once. I know what you guys do!" My friend was saying he may have hinted about drinking, making noise, partying etc. but the truth is we hardly make much noise and do any partying in the house. We work on day and night shifts alternatively and come home to relax, watch some tv and get some sleep. We don't cook regularly and are often out of people's ways and feel that we are way better compared to several other family tenants.
He didn't stop his out-pour there, but went on to say how the neighbours view the bachelors. A few years back when he was living with his parents, they would fondly tell their small kids about "Anna" and wave to him. Nowadays, when me or my friends walk into the apartment complex, the folks rush in with their kids and close the door, just because I smile and say hi to them. The same neighbours, especially the married women, later, knock on our doors with a request to teach their child Math or Science or help out with a school project that is due on the next day.
He was also telling me how several of his colleagues who are CA's or sofware professionals have been denied home loans by financial institutions, owing to their unmarried status.
Lastly, my dad was telling me about a distant relative of his who had left Tiruchi to work in a good job in Chennai. Looks like he was in need of a gas connection, which, after my dad's narration, I realized is not the easiest to obtain in Chennai. The boy had to have a ration card in order to get his gas connection, for which, he had to be married or needed to take days off from work to go back to Tiruchi and cancel his name on the ration card there. The boy commented to my dad that he had a passport, voter's ID Card, a driver's license, a PAN card and income tax receipts, but none of this could be useful in helping him obtain a gas connection.
Looking at all this, seems like being a bachelor is not such a great idea and all fun as it appears to be. I guess the city definitely needs to be more open and polite to the tons of youngsters who are bachelors and are there to make a living.
Thought for the day:
Try to focus, not on the annoying things your neighbours do, but on the things they do right.