Are You Lonesome Today?

Madhu Jain writes in DNA that loneliness is “the scourge of our times”:

For GenNow a façade of bravado is increasingly being used to hide the voids within. A 20-something niece who lives in Mumbai tells me that many of her friends now do this.

“They have become experts in putting up facades to show how happy they are. Some of them feel lonely in their marriages, while others are not doing well. A friend compliments himself, saying so and so said I have lost so much weight…they feel isolated inside and are desperate for attention.”

The absence of a meaningful relationship makes them clutch at the straws of trivial comment. […]

And then there are the gods to keep you company, if everything else fails. I will never forget the image of the wife of well-known film director who spent hours washing and cleaning myriad deities in her puja room every day. It took care of empty time till lunch.

Empty time can especially be a problem if you work from home, and don’t have office colleagues to bitch with at the water cooler. It can get oppressive just sitting at home all the time, so almost every day I head over to the nearby Landmark bookstore, and then snack or have some coffee at the food court outside. (The partner calls it “walking the dog.”) This is immensely hard on my wallet, as going to Landmark and not buying something is almost impossible for me, and I’m willing to bet that my privilege card has a greater balance on it than any other in Mumbai. Buying books are my greatest weakness—though not reading many of the books I buy comes a close second.

Speaking of second, I need to check out Second Life one of these days…