07/19/2009 11:10 PM | By Anjana Sankar, Senior Reporter
Dubai: It is that time of the year when men catch up with their "freedom" and do things which they always wanted to but could not.
Their otherwise omnipresent families are travelling, taking a break from the sweltering summer heat while husbands and fathers are stuck in the city due to work commitments.
And what does this summer-bachelorhood bring to them? Watching cricket and soccer without the incessant complaints of their wives?
Andy Mallet, a Dubai resident, says an emphatic 'Yes!' He can finally enjoy endless hours of watching television when his wife is away, he says.
Sandeep Krishnan, an IT professional, says he can finally watch the Ashes without having to suffer his wife's complaints.
"The fight for the TV is mostly with my 4-year-old son who is glued to his cartoon network. Now the TV and the remote are all mine," said Krishnan. His family left for India last Saturday.
However, non-devotees of the so-called 'idiot box' prefer to catch up with friends and party when their families are away.
"You hardly get time to be in a friends' circle because your life is mostly family-centric. During weekends, I have to drive kids to their swimming and ballet classes, do grocery shopping and stuff.
"Now I meet up with old colleagues after office, go for a round of tennis or go fishing in a friend's boat on a Friday. It is fun," says Joe Wilson, from Australia.
The 38-year-old project manager is spending his first summer alone in Dubai as his wife and two children are away for a month.
But the freedom easily turns into boredom for many summer bachelors after the first few days of frenzied partying and nights out.
Waleed Ahmad, a Syrian engineer, says bachelorhood gets difficult and boring after the first two weeks.
"I end up spending more time at the office in the evenings because there is no-one waiting at home. It was exciting to hang out with friends and party initially, but now I am really missing my family life," he says.
K.T. Radhakrishnan, who has braved quite a few summer holidays without his family, says he misses the constant companionship when his wife is away.
"I get to do things the way I want. I listen to my favourite music, catch up with reading. But at the end of the day, I do feel lonely," says Radhakrishnan, a senior banking executive.
Thoughts of the better-half intensify with cravings for home-cooked food, some admitted.
"I do miss my sandwiches and rice bowls she packs for the office. I am eating lot of junk food these days as my wife is vacationing in Philippines with her parents," said Mano Babao, a web designer.
He said he also misses seeing the house in order, fresh and clean bed sheets, shirts and trousers all neatly pressed. "I never knew how difficult it is to manage a house. I think I've learned to appreciate what my wife does much better now," he said.
Are you a summer bachelor? How do you spend your time without the family? What chores do you find the most difficult?