May 29, 2012 § 51 Comments
There was no column in the Times yesterday due to lack of space (Jubilee), so below is what I have written just now.
I had coffee with two friends who introduced me to their friend from Delhi. She is 41 and divorced with children. She said the situation in India is even worse than here. Her chances of getting married again (she had to marry out of her caste/religion in order to score a husband in the first place) are effectively nil and her sister, who is 37 and has never been married, is so past it, apparently, that she is staring at an entirely solitary future. As a divorced woman, my new friend of friends says that she is thought of as “different”. Things are a tiny bit better than they were for divorced women in the past, but not much. Her ex-husband, on the other hand, is manifestly enjoying the benefits of ex-husbands everywhere.
It is perhaps a crass comparison to make between the situation of plankton in India and plankton here as the cultures are so different but she said the fact remains that there are no men. It’s a funny thing in a country of however many millions, but I believe her.
She invited me to go and stay with her on her farm and said we could go to an ashram where my whole outlook on life will be transformed and I will come to a place of acceptance. It had worked wonders for her, she said. She is happy now. She spoke with not a shred of the tedious earnestness characteristic of so many who have a habit of pressing their particular eurekas on one, and instead spoke with such gaiety and humour, that I am sorely tempted.
I have been thinking an awful lot these past few weeks, and what I have been thinking is that I am never going to be with anyone ever again but instead of resisting it with all my being, just accept it. Bloody depressing, but not accepting it these past few years has got me absolutely fucking nowhere, so I might as well just get used to the idea. Not as a red herring means to an end; not with any of that “letting go and then it will miraculously happen” bullshit. No half-baked mumbo-jumbo, quasi-spiritual bollocks as a fraudulent means to an end, but just plain old Accept for acceptance’s sake. And if going to an ashram will help get to that point, then, hey, save up and give it a go.
Never been to India. Hate the heat but have long wanted to see that incredible country. EAT great food, PRAY the fuck for Acceptance, and not a hope of finding any fucking LOVE but at least get to see a few sights, experience some zones way out of my comfort league, bring back a nice shot of silk or a fetching bangle and – payback time! – take a million photos with which, once home, to bore the arsey pants off everyone I have ever met.