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All men are single, much married as some may be

America is support group savvy. They have support groups for everything. As they do in most of the rest of the Western world.

One of the lesser known support groups is the Men’s Issues Group. Where men meet to share the hardships of being men; which, most often are associated with a lack of hard…ness.

That said, it’s an important, if utterly ignored, issue of modern life. Being a man in the twenty-first century is, literally and metaphorically, no stroll on the golf green – a mere matter of swinging clubs and filling holes; it is an arduous trudge through a terrain strewn with the accumulated debris of centuries of pre-conception.

About how a man should be – how strong he should be, how he should be the provider and protector, and put everything in his world ahead of himself.

While never looking back, for fear of facing a pile-up of past problems, or down, for fear of facing flaccidity and, hence, failure.

The problem worsens for single men. Those who lack the luxury of sweet lies. From spouses who banish all insecurities with a secret recipe of periodic sex
Times Wellness
and other age-old oral ministrations.

Single men have nothing to arrest the downward spiral of low-grade depression, when life has begun to wear on toward the furious forties.

A time, when men, single or otherwise, begin to experience a slight waning of the sexual urge accompanied by a constant, almost chronic anger.

An anger a harried, and worried, spouse may soften by, well, proving that things do still harden, if nothing else? Alas! The problem is as puerile as it is penile.

Which is where the men’s support group comes in. Not so men can moan to each other about how they’ve been let down by life and discuss the benefits of ginseng, but so they can each share truths about how they’re dealing with being a man in a world where eighty percent of suicides are male,

Whether it’s an American shooting himself with a supermarket slug, or a hapless middle Indian farmer performing a Peepli, if I may.

The support group helps bring things into perspective, without recourse to macho measures such as playing or watching sport simply to win, binge-drinking and woman-bashing with buddies, going gay to get love, throwing oneself off buildings… It even, for an hour or so, levels the single man and the man with a spouse, reducing both to their bare essentials – a modern day male. It reveals to us, however fleetingly, the truth that all men are single, much married as some may be.


I doubt there will be an epidemic of such groups in India, being as we are still developing and all that, with no male problem that marriage, money, religion or rat race cannot fix.

But I suspect, without being elitist, the emancipated among us Indians could make the concept catch. And if we did, it would be one Western, if not American, aspect of life worth aping.

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