We're delighted to announce the sale of bestselling author Sreemoyee Piu Kundu's first work of non-fiction, Status Single, to Amaryllis, auctioned for a high six-figure sum.
For an Indian woman, 30 is touted as the ‘Big O’. Be it in popular culture, daily soaps, magazine articles or self help books, ‘tees ki ho gayin hain,’ elicits a range of responses. These vary from waiting, to curiosity, to familial anxiety to quiet resignation to finding a whole lot of quick fixes – anti-ageing creams and face washes for dull skin, Pilates classes, signing up for personalized matrimonial services, hormonal swings, dull gynae visits and the constant ticking away of the so-called ‘biological clock.’
I’ve often wondered why such a big fuss is made about a woman entering her 30s. I mean, at 37, I honestly can’t even recall my 30th birthday. All I know was that I was glad I would not longer be referred to as in my ‘late 20s’ anymore. I celebrated a sort of Cindrella moment, dumping a really hot man who’d spend nights drinking free wine at my cute li’l South Delhi apartment but never touch me, not in the way I wanted. I had decided he was another commitment-phobe.
I also quit my high-flying job with exactly five hundred bucks in my account. Saving wasn’t my thing. It still isn’t.
There was something empowering about my 30s. These years seemed to symbolize a delicious aloneness, something I wasn’t intimidated by but was instead looking forward to, in fractured, little pieces.
My 30s have been as much about possibilities as about shedding excess baggage--my outer skin, as I like to call it. I realized just how much bullshit I had been fed on--the moral and social conditioning that treats a woman’s age as not a mere statistic, but a way to tame her soul.
But for all the sloganeering about the 30s being a new birth, let’s face it: they weren’t exactly the great, auspicious beginning I may have secretly longed for. If anything, they were full of the usual hiccups and existential challenges, some as superficial as grey hair appearing in embarrassing places, my dating life gradually drying up while the rest of the world world seemed to be getting hitched and producing Facebook-friendly families; bachelorette parties giving way to bawling baby showers, hardly any sex (in fact, I like to call myself re-virginized, these days), slowly not being able to relate to a lot of my school and college friends back home in Kolkata, rethinking the whole motherhood plan thanks to a pair of stubborn ovaries that clearly have a mind of their own, embarrassing attempts at finding the ‘right’ husband, dealing with nosey Bong relatives whose survival depends on my ‘settlement’, adventures in my independent writing career and battling manic depression on nights when I stay awake, all alone. Not to mention the burden of taking care of aging parents, somewhat like raising the irreverent child I have not yet had.
Heck, I almost feel like a sprawling virginal island waiting for Christopher Columbus or something!
The thing is, everybody tells you a lot about turning 30. But they don’t really tell you what to expect, in the real sense. I mean, what if you don’t meet the check-list of 30-somethings and are still the only solo guest at a sit-down dinner where the invite says ‘plus one’? What if you arrive at a place, only to see that it’s Couples Only entry when couplehood has eluded you? Some relatives call you a feminist. A better word than spinster, you tell yourself. You don’t want to go on singles-only holidays anymore. You want to meet men. You want it all.
Status Single is a tell-all tale. It’s my story and the story of many other 30-something single Indian women like never told before. What happens to single women after their 30th birthday? After the last candle is blown, and before the next one is added…