THE SMUG SIN­GLE

“Apart from ball­room danc­ing, which you tech­ni­cally can’t do alone, there’s noth­ing a sin­gle per­son can’t do!”

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - Cover Story - – Ni­hit Bhave

SWARA BHASKAR, actress, 27

S wara Bhaskar, sin­gle for the last eight months, jok­ingly blames films for her un­real ex­pec­ta­tions of men. “Bol­ly­wood has ru­ined me,” she says, laugh­ing. “I told Aditya Cho­pra that he’d ru­ined my life, be­cause af­ter

Dil­wale Dul­ha­nia Le Jayenge, Raj set the stan­dard very high. I’ve gone through a lot of peo­ple look­ing for Raj. I don’t know whether I came to Bol­ly­wood look­ing for love or for work!”

She found one of the two for sure. As for the other, she’s happy that sin­gle­hood isn’t the taboo it used to be. “It’s al­ways been okay for men to be sin­gle, but I think there’s a lot more ac­cep­tance for sin­gle women in our so­ci­ety to­day,” she says. “The me­dia played a big role in por­tray­ing sin­gle­hood as nor­mal. Now, girls can have a ca­reer and a life that doesn’t re­volve only around men.” Be­ing sin­gle is ex­cit­ing, she says. “You’re open and re­cep­tive to new peo­ple and new re­la­tion­ships; there’s al­ways an el­e­ment of cu­rios­ity when you meet new peo­ple. It’s a lot of fun. And if you’ve com­pletely given up on re­la­tion­ships and just de­cided to be with your­self, well that’s awe­some too!”

If only the rest of so­ci­ety would catch up. “I heard this re­ally of­fen­sive acro­nym for sin­gle women: SIN­BAD. It means Sin­gle In­come, No Boyfriend, Ab­so­lutely Des­per­ate. I yelled at the per­son jok­ing about it. He made it worse by say­ing it wasn’t about me. I told him that wasn’t the point!” Be­ing un­at­tached has noth­ing to do with be­ing lonely or des­per­ate, she be­lieves. “There are also phases in re­la­tion­ships when you feel like sh*t, and when it gets over­bear­ing,” she says. “Ev­ery­thing has its pros and cons.”

Like when she shows up, with­out a Plus One at wed­ding re­cep­tions and has to put up with aun­ties look­ing to pair her off or of­fer un­so­licited ad­vice. “They say, ‘Beta, ab time aa gaya hai, ab shaadi kar lo. Ab toh ca­reer bhi set ho gaya hai’. At the last wed­ding, I was forced to hang out with this friend, who even­tu­ally asked me to leave him alone as I was cramp­ing his style’,” Swara re­calls.

For her, it’s all about be­ing able to be in­de­pen­dent. “I don’t char­ac­terise my sin­gle sta­tus just by the lack of a man. For me, it is about be­ing able to live alone, have a ca­reer and earn my in­come,” she says. “Be­sides, apart from ball­room danc­ing, which you tech­ni­cally can’t do alone, there’s noth­ing a sin­gle per­son can’t do!”–

Photo: AB­HI­JEET PARKAR

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