Are you a closet voyeur like me (except that I reside in a glass paneled closet) - who reads this new series “Diary of a single girl” in the Time Life Supplement of the Sunday ToI (click here)? While indulging in vicarious relish – on a lazy Sunday morning over my 3rd cup of tea in bed, I wonder how representative is this profile of the typical “single girl” ? Admittedly, Times Life is a supplement that’s editorially mandated to cover a whole range of lifestyle topics from relationships to religion and sex to spirituality (generally in that order). But, is it meant to be mere prurient fantasia to titillate the imagination of the readers or a peek-a-boo into the changing trends in society - I am not so sure. Also the question arises in my mind, to what extent does newspapers and media have a responsibility towards shaping societal norms ?
The ‘single girl’ who is the subject of this diary or journal – is professionally accomplished and has a successful career of her own and keeps (no pun intended) a long distance relationship with a fully ‘loaded’ boy-friend, her partner for rocking “palang-tod” sex. Her best friend is a gay guy – who understands her perfectly better than any man or girl-friend could. She flirts with and cock-teases other men – such as her boy-friend’s brother or her gym instructor (who can” stretch her inner thigh muscles like no other man can” ) – but stops short of jumping into bed with them – as an assertion of her sexual confidence of the new-age woman, who has sex on her terms only and knows where to draw the line or say no (being ‘sexually responsible’ in an amoral world is the mantra’).
Even my best friends (gay or gal) would not call me a prude. Living in Mumbai and Delhi, I have known a quite a few professionally successful single women (now, don’t ask for names or cell numbers, please !!) . Probably, only one or two of them would come tantalizingly close to this description– but still they would be more an exception than the rule. But, then I don’t claim to know the whole universe of sexually liberated single girls . Therefore, I can’t still reconcile myself to this column appearing in a Sunday family newspaper. Media they say, sometimes foretell social trends. Perhaps, this could well turn out to be a format of the future. Is this a life-style option – I would think for my daughter ? Frankly, I am undecided.
In another piece in today’s paper, Shobhaa De writes (click here to read) – “scratch the surface and we are all voyeurs”. And, I have earned a special right to be so – for yesterday, I turned 51 (for those of you who forgot to wish me Happy Birthday) !!