To start with, when I say "bachelor", I refer to a young fairly fine-looking male individual who is above the age of 18 years, and is willing to and may be able to get into the relationship of marriage, but without success; by no means I refer to a person holding the title of a bachelor's degree regardless of gender and marital status. Some men remain bachelor all their lives. Prominent bachelors from history are Plato, Augustine, Raphael, Van Gogh, and many more.
Coming to this bustling city of Dhaka, with a population of approximately 17 million people, more than 40% of the population is male. And, among them, approximately 25%-30% of them are unmarried i.e. bachelors.
Nonetheless, what is more important than statistics and numbers is the life and mentality of the bachelors living in the metropolitan. There are predominantly two types of bachelors living in Dhaka: Bachelors who live with their families and; bachelors who live by themselves away from their families.
The ones who live with their families have a reasonably well-settled lifestyle in regards to domestic matters because, despite being unmarried, they have female figures like mother, sister, sister-in-laws, aunts, or other females who can take care of their daily household needs like food, laundry, and room make-up. Their messed up room gets taken care of by someone or the other. The haphazardly kept trousers and sweat shirts here and there find their proper place in the closet, washed, ironed and folded without the bachelor fellow even worrying. But on the part of personal space, the bachelor guy may have areas of concern. One being, how to spend time when at home while the rest of the family is busy with their own schedule and works? Some of the quick solutions in this modern era of open digital world are social sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix. It is not an abnormal phenomenal these days that men carry their smartphones to restrooms as well for passing time. When at home, they are often found locked up in their rooms, spending hours on smartphones and laptops, and binge-watching series and movies, or just chatting with friends, planning "chilling times" with folks. In short, when at home, majority of them spend a lazy time, with a few exceptions.
Living a bachelor's life without family is a whole diverse state-of-being. They do not have the luxury of getting served with ready-made home cooked food by the ladies of the family, or getting their dirty odor shirts, pants and socks properly washed and ironed. They cannot even expect to have a neat and clean room, with everything in right places automatically like magic! These bachelor guys have a lot on their plates. The struggle is real.
One of the biggest problems is finding a place to stay. Most of the landlords are reluctant to rent out rooms or flats to bachelors. After few recent incidents of youth involvement in unlawful activities, landlords are mostly unwilling to rent out houses to single men, whether student or employed. There have been many incidents, where just overnight landlords have asked these bachelor tenants to leave at the earliest instance, without having any proper evidence of unlawful action in progress; just out of mere gut feeling the bachelors are asked to vacate the place. This puts indescribable pressure on the bachelors to find another suitable place. Here, budget for room rent or accommodation is a big factor. Since most of these men come to live in Dhaka from different cities often they have to bear their own expenses, and a major part of their expenditure goes for rental expenses. Therefore, it is a huge challenge for the bachelors to find a new home.
Nonetheless, every cloud has a silver lining. Amidst all these bedlam, these men make the best of their lives during their bachelor days. Once in a while, when the khala is absent, the young folks decide to cook, which may result in food absolutely inedible or super delicious, devoured by all. They sit in the balcony wearing vests and shorts and smoking while reflecting on life and what they will do once they have a beautiful wife, more money, and better job and so on. They also come up with constructive discussions leading to heated debates. They go out on night strolls or go to Old Dhaka and other places for enjoying its specialties like Hazi's Biriyani, Mustakim's Chaap, and Star's Kacchi in just minutes' decision.
A special bond develops between these bachelors sharing a house together, all living in Dhaka in the motion of chasing their dreams and aspirations. They share their happiness and sorrows, keeping homesickness aside. They act as a shoulder to each other at the time of need. They become a family with exceptional sentiments.
A bachelor's life is not an easy life, whether you stay with family or by yourself: one is just a little more comfortable than the other. There is a fun side and tough side in both. Yet, I guess once married, every man will say, "Bachelor life is the best."
Fahmida Mehreen is a
young aspiring writer.