The (Really) Short Guide For A Single Woman Dating Again For A Long Term Relationship In India

Are you a single woman in India and considering dating again for a long term, meaningful relationship? Here are some things you should know.

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The (Really) Short Guide For A Single Woman Dating Again For A Long Term Relationship In India

Why Do Men Get Annoyed When We Express Our Care?

I had received an article request some time back from a girl who wanted me to write about little things that women do, to express their care and affection for their husbands / boyfriends, which ends up annoying them.

Although she is married, I have expanded the scope here to include other romantic relationships too.

It took me a long time to write this, because I had no idea how to conclude the post. Starting it is easy. I can list the many  things we all may do for our significant other:

  1. Calling or texting to check if he has reached, left from work
  2. Calling or texting to check if he had lunch at work
  3. Sending good morning / goodnight messages
  4. Asking about his health repeatedly when he is unwell
  5. Expecting the same from him, and feeling upset when it does not happen

Now, doing the above is not only considered annoying by some men, but also being possessive, and not giving him space. Expecting the above is considered a ‘need to pamper her like a princess’.

I have tried to read articles about how men and women think and behave differently. For instance, men can keep aspects of their life in different compartments. Quoting from an article:

 We (men) like tools fitted just for a specific job and enjoy concrete delineations between activities: exercise happens at the gym, lounging happens at home, worship happens at church, work happens at the office, etc. Women on the other hand tend to mix information together: relationships, emotions, knowledge, past experiences, all come together to render a conclusion.

Women like to share their problems, and are more expressive than men. For example, a woman may be stressed about an assignment at work. She may tell her boyfriend / husband about her meetings, and how hesitant she is of her performance. The man at this point will try to provide her with a solution. (She may not be looking for a solution, she just wants him to listen). She may or may not apply his solution, but she will keep him informed of all the developments.  This may involve not applying his solution, yet continuing to complain about the problem. A man at this point may get annoyed and even feel completely useless, as he does not know what she wants him to do. Some may be more mature than others. A man who is not too mature will make it an ego issue that she did not take his advice well, as a direct attack on his capabilities to fix things for her.

On the other hand, a man who is busy / preoccupied with work may not share anything in particular with a woman. He would just appear distant to her, and resort to his man cave. The woman would then torture herself with a lot of thoughts – has he lost interest in her, is he seeing someone else? A confrontation would make things worse, as he would get further annoyed and defensive.

Also, women tend to give a lot priority to relationships. Even when a woman is on vacation / girls’ night out away from her husband / boyfriend, she would still call and text him at the usual times, following the usual routine she may have set. A man on vacation / office trip / boys night out may end up not communicating at all! He does not even feel the need to explain anything because it is obvious that he has been away.

But, irrespective of how different men and women may be, is there any excuse to get annoyed, and express anger, when a woman is just trying to take care of the man she loves? How many  other people in the world care about us anyway – parents, siblings, grandparents, a couple of best friends?

How many people will call and ask me if I reached home safely from a party? Maybe one person would whom I saw last.  But who would do it constantly, everyday?

Does it hurt to appreciate the person who does that?  Let us not take people for granted!! We never know how life would turn out to be. And unfortunately, we may realize the hard way, that people who care for us are rare to find and precious to keep!

The above may be a generalization, and I am aware that this may differ for every individual, and every couple.  This article was written as a response to a situation shared by a female reader, based on her personal experience. Any contrary thoughts, or suggestions are most welcome as comments.  

 

 

To The Geet Without Aditya Kashyap and The Queen Without the International Vacation

Image source

I watched the movie ‘Jab we met’ again over the weekend. This time it made me think very differently. It reminded me of the movie, Queen.

These two are my all-time favourite movies.  The protagonists in both movies are women who have been ditched by the men who they thought were the ‘love’ of their lives. After the initial shock, desperation, and pain, both woman move forward in life, becoming better versions of themselves.  Here is what happens:

  1. Geet meets Aditya Kashyap who she eventually falls in love with him. Aditya is not a cowardly idiot like Anshuman. He cares about her and likes her for who she is. Aditya literally rescues her.  They live happily ever after.

2. Rani (Queen) ends up going on her honeymoon alone. There she sees life outside the confines of her life in Delhi. She makes friends from different walks of life, including a boy who has lost his family in Tsunami yet tries to be cheerful in life. She discovers an identity for herself, as she meets people who appreciate her culinary talents, increasing her self-worth.

3. Anshuman and Vijay, the respective exes of these women realize their mistake and come back. Geet and Rani get to dump them this time.

I completely support the endings, and like the way they were empowering for women. But do all men actually realize their mistake, regret their actions, and come back? The world would have been a much more perfect place.   In reality, people dump somebody for good. They may not come back.  What about women who don’t necessarily find another man like Geet? What about the ones who don’t get to travel like Queen but continue their routine life feeling worthless after getting dumped? Living each day with a spout of misery with the most cherished moments of their lives becoming mere memories  and evoking mixed feelings? How do they ‘get over’ someone?

I am not a therapist, but still that would not deter me from expressing my thoughts on the subject.

  1. The world is a big and weird place. There are all kinds of complicated people. Anything can happen. Stop torturing yourself with ‘Why,’ and ‘What ifs’. There is nothing you can do to change things.

2. Try some kind of fitness regime. Whenever I have done any form of exercise on a regular basis, I have felt good about myself. Set a goal. For example 30 minutes on the treadmill. When you achieve it, you will feel like you are in control of at least something in your life. Aspects of your life like relationships that involve another person may not be controlled. But this is something you alone can accomplish.

3. Get out of the house. I don’t mean to go and date. Focus on your interests other than men (I know I have used this line in my previous articles, I guess I just love it). You may not immediately wish to travel alone or with friends. The thought may make you feel sorry for yourself (as you would have rather gone with a significant other). Then don’t do it. But go for a movie, play, poetry recital anything that you find doable and affordable. Then keep doing it regularly.

4. Try working towards self-growth. You must have heard that ‘Living well is the biggest revenge’. Resist the urge to immediately find someone else to spite your ex. Do not be the other extreme  either –  Swear to ‘ruin’ your life by staying single to make him feel guilty. Instead, try to become better (eventually more successful) in whatever you are working on.

5.  Take care of yourself. Go pamper yourself with a spa or a facial. Look good. When I was younger I used to think that being good looking was a pre-requisite for looking good. But over the years, the definition of ‘looking good’ has changed.

My friend’s mother is undergoing chemotherapy. She has lost all her hair. She sent me a picture of the mother recently, bald and lean. She was a very beautiful woman, and it pained me to her this way. But there was something lively about her picture. She had put on a dark maroon lipstick, enough to brighten up her face.

‘Aunty is looking good’, I had texted her.

Was I saying something inappropriate? Is it okay to say that  when someone is suffering from cancer?

She had replied, ‘Yes, she is better. Thanks’.

Another woman I knew lost her husband unexpectedly few years ago. She was unhappy for the longest time. Her daughter posted a picture of her from one of their recent vacations captioned, ‘Mummy wearing salwar suit for the first time’.

It was a very natural picture. She was not even smiling. She looked consciously at the camera, squinting her eyes probably because of the blazing sun. The salwar suit was also very ordinary. She looked more graceful in her saris. But everybody had complimented her, including me.

What made her look good? Maybe the fact that she had put in effort to do something different. She had hope. Hope that although she had lost the most precious part of her life, she was still trying to make the best of whatever she had left.

So finally to all the Geets without Aditya Kashyap, and the Queens without international vacations, your life is still  big and potentially beautiful.  Look around you. Everyone is struggling with something or the other. You may not necessarily get an opportunity to ‘dump’ anyone the next time around like these women, but you can dump your negative thoughts for the time being. Life is a series of mundane days with some temporary highs, followed by longer ‘low’ phases. Give it sometime. Things will fall in place.

 

Arranged! Before society deem us apart…

Sometime in 2002-2003

I was in junior high school in the United States. The English literature class was going on. I do not remember the exact context, but the teacher was asking for the “Reasons why people get married.”

The creative class was coming up with all kinds of reasons – procreation, money, security, pregnancy among others. One guy said “for love” which was followed by a mocking “Aww!” in chorus. One girl said, “Pressure.”
The teacher’s eyes brightened, as this seemed the most interesting and novel reason so far.

That’s right.” She said. “In medieval times, some people were forced to get married.. Sadly, it is still happening in some parts of the world. It is called arranged marriages.”

I was completely offended. I wanted to raise my hand and correct her. No. Arranged marriages are not forced…. My parents, uncle, aunts, cousins are happily married. All arranged.

But I did not have the courage to speak up. I was afraid everybody would make fun of my accent, or even worse, my thoughts.

After the class ended, I brought up the topic with one of my classmates who was of Indian origin. She was the closest to a “friend” to me. She ensured to tell everybody that she was born and brought up there and was “one of them”. Although, her looks gave away her roots. She never seemed too pleased when I tried to associate herself with India. This time was no exception.

“Arranged marriages are ******. How can you marry a stranger?”

I tried to explain to her that all my relatives had arranged marriages. They are happy. Ultimately, marriage is about committing to each other and making it work. Every marriage is a risk no matter how long you have known each other. I also brought up the low divorce rate in India as a testimony to our wonderful marriages.

“Well, you don’t even belong to our generation.
” She snapped.

In my defense, I was only thirteen.

Cut to 2015.

I am now a writer. I am having a discussion with one of my closest friends (also a writer) on how arranged marriages have ruined our society. Our personal experiences, and that of many close to us have completely transformed our fundamentals. We are together working on an article titled, “Why arranged marriages should be banned in India?”

We ask some men who are in their late 30s, early 40s. They got married early in life, when their personalities had not even evolved fully (in their own words). Their wives are of their parents’ choice, who take care of the family well. But, they badly regret their decision. They were too young to know what they wanted then. Over the years, they have realized that they don’t have much intellectual compatibility with their spouse. (They don’t mind discussing other compatibilities / lack of it but we restrict the conversation. This is from the men’s point of view, I am sure their wives would have their side of the story. Or maybe they are too busy taking care of their kids and in-laws to give their views on marriage to random women…).

Some excerpts from the draft of our article:

1. Arranged marriages promote the archaic caste system. One of the main reasons parents want to arrange their children’s match is to ensure that they marry someone from a similar culture background – caste, community, language.

2. Arranged marriages do not leave any time for people to date and get to know each other. Some arranged marriages may work. But is that logic enough to do something as illogical as marrying somebody you barely know?

3. Do arranged marriages actually work or people stay in them because they are stuck and have nowhere to go to? The reasons these marriages work may be the same for which they happened in the first place – social / family pressure.

We even thought that just like dowry, there should be stringent laws that punish people who arrange marriages.

At this point we realized maybe we should not publish this article…

Present day

Dating is on rise in India like never before. In my previous office, I hardly knew anybody who had an arranged marriage. On the other hand, there are others who want a love marriage, but cannot find anybody. Or their relationships don’t work out and they get tired of trying.

Relationships not working out or not finding anybody is nothing shameful. Rather, something natural and universal. I remember the episode from Friends, where Rachael turns 30. She is already depressed because she is getting old and still single. To add to it, Chandler gives her a card calling her grandma. She then decides that all she needs is a plan, and comes up with a reverse calculation:

“I should have the first one (kid) by the time I’m 35.
Which gives me five years.
If I want a kid when I’m 35, I don’t have to get pregnant until I’m 34.
Which gives Prada four years to start making maternity clothes.
But I want to be married for a year before I get pregnant.
I don’t have to get married until I’m 33.
That’s three whole years.
Wait a minute, though.
I’ll need a year and a half to plan the wedding.
And I’d like to know the guy for a year, year and a half before we get engaged.
Which means I need to meet the guy by the time I’m 30.”

We Indians take this calculation pretty seriously. While Rachael had calculated the age where she wants her first child to be 35, we probably take it at 25. And the countdown begins…

The other view – in support of arranged marriages

Why wait for something that may or may not happen when we can arrange our destiny? What if it gets “too late”? Too late meaning inability to have kids. What if there would be a dearth of single people in the opposite gender as we age – so we may lose out on that precious chance of finding any companion. Plus, who will remain single in India after a certain age? Only people with previous marriages?

So, in order to prevent such a “disaster” in the lives of their loved ones, well-wishers arrange their matches. Compatibility, attraction (What’s that got to do with marriage?) are theoretical concepts that anyway fade with time. It is all about compromise, right?

(PS: I do not support this view)!

Dating and arranged marriages

Modern India seems to be enjoying both sides. People are dating. If it doesn’t work out, there is always have a “back-up” option.

Dating is complicated to begin with. We don’t know where it is going. But in India, to add to the uncertainty of the relationship working out is the possibility of the boyfriend / girlfriend conveniently getting into an arranged marriage the moment clashes / boredom creeps in.

A man may allegedly dump his girlfriend to marry someone who is a more appropriate “caregiver” fit to his family, caste and language compatible. A woman may find an arranged match who may be better suited to make her more secure financially. These are ofcourse stereotypes. Sometimes, people just don’t have the heart to go through the pain of another break-up so they just give up on the thought of “looking out” completely. They want to make sure this time around marriage happens. Either way, modern day arranged marriages do involve some amount of dating, and getting to know the person. A lot of them are facilitated through matrimonial websites.

Can I really judge them, in the age of dating apps?

How do people in other parts of the world survive without well-meaning family members, distant relatives and neighbors finding them a match?

If as a culture we were into dating (and not arranged marriages), wouldn’t we end up finding someone or another? Or atleast continue to look? If only there was no make-believe time bomb ticking away…

I don’t really have a conclusion to this post. I did not publish my original article “Why should arranged marriages be banned in India”, as I felt it was too prejudiced, and offensive to most people I know. Plus, if something is working for someone, do I have a right to judge?

I just wonder sometimes, how our society would be without it..

Where we are not told that we will end up alone and miserable, if we don’t marry ASAP..

Where we could date, with no age barriers and judgment…

Where companionship is not about producing healthy children together…

Where we are given time to really figure out what we want from our lives…

How to Keep A Man From Losing Interest? Seriously!!

I open my Facebook newsfeed everyday with the morning cup of tea (Yes, I know it should have been the morning newspaper, but it has somehow been Facebook instead).

I came across articles over the past couple of days that really spoilt my mood:

10 Ugly Mistakes Women Make That Make Men Leave!

Catch and Keep Him! (It is apparently a website).

Why Men Pull Away: 3 Easy Ways to Stop a Man from Withdrawing!

How To Make A Man Commit To You!

Reasons Why Men Cheat and What You Can Do To Prevent It!

The above articles were part of the many women-centric blogs I have subscribed to, and some well-known international publications, written by dating and relationship experts to “help women”.

I am obviously no expert on the subject, but having been writing regularly for over a year now on relationships, here are my thoughts:

1. I find these articles extremely offensive to women and men. It very unfairly puts the responsibility on women for the behavior of men. As if a man is a helpless, pre-programmed, genetically disastrous creature who has no control on his feelings / behavior / actions. A man will lose interest, cheat, disappear, it is an inevitable phenomenon that we should be prepared to prevent? I would like to believe that there are far better men…

2. Why should we try to “catch and keep him” (Seriously that is a website!) if he is not interested? Are we that desperate? Do we really have a future with someone who wants to leave us in the present? Wouldn’t he eventually leave causing more damage?

3. Wouldn’t it better if these articles were worded differently: 10 Ugly mistakes that ruin relationships, Reasons why people cheat on their partners, Why lovers drift apart?

4. Are there so many articles on dating advice for men on what they could do to keep a woman? Is it because of chauvisim, misogyny or simply because women read more and analyse relationships?

Anyway, since the intention of these articles was to “help women”, I would also like to give my two cents to the women who are struggling to “keep” dating the men in their lives:

1. If somebody wants to go, it may not be such a bad thing in the long run. One day you may thank God for saving you.

2. Take care of your health, fitness, skin and overall appearance. No I am not asking you to be shallow. But don’t neglect yourself just because somebody does not care. Everything becomes harder when you are not well physically.

3. Yes, you deserve better. But I don’t know if you (or I) will necessarily find someone (better). Focus on yourself, your goals and interests (other than men 🙂 ) .

I have a friend who says that when you are happy with yourself (and that happiness comes from doing things that you like), you attract better things (people?) in life. Maybe it is true..

I never promised to marry you!

It was a regular night at Hard Rock Café. Ashish and Rehan were hanging out. Every Friday these two would catch up here (except ofcourse when they were with their girlfriends). Ashish had been dating Sanaya for the past 10 months.

She was a single mother with a nine-year-old daughter.

“So where is Sanaya this weekend
,” asked Rehan.

“She is travelling to Delhi for a wedding.
” Said Ashish.

“Oh, so no action this weekend!”
winked Rehan. “When are you telling her about Avanti?”

“I will now, once she is back”.

“Hahha, hope she doesn’t get clingy and start blackmailing you,”

“Nah, I never promised to marry her! If she expected something more, her fault!”

For the first time, Ashish’s life was going perfect. He was settled in his career, and had just been promoted to Senior Project Manager. Ashish was always the geek in school and college. He envied other guys as they went out with the hottest girls with the shortest clothes in the biggest cars.

It took him a decade since then, but here he was living the dream! A good house, a good car and a girlfriend his friends drooled at. Somebody has said it right, women are like wine, they get better with age. At 41, Sanaya had the body to die for. Ashish had joined the gym to get in shape to impress women. But how did he get lucky enough to woo the gym owner, the most sought after Sanaya Sarin, his friends still wonder?

Ashish’s parents were visiting from Dhanbad. He must get married by the end of this year, his mother had announced. He was turning 32, high time. Ashish had told his mother he wanted a girl who is fluent in English and well-educated but not career minded. She should be able to bend as and when required for family. Avanti was perfect. Fair and slim, 23 year old with a degree in sociology. Avanti and Ashish had been talking on the phone for over two months. When he had met her in Dhanbad along with her family, he knew she was the one. Young, innocent, pretty, traditional small town girl just the way he liked. Always marry a girl who is much younger, so you can mold her your way, his mother would say.

The Roka had been fixed for November. It was still three months away! Ashish had been showering Avanti with presents. He loved pampering her. Avanti never confessed her love for him, though. Must be shy, he thought. Unlike these confused, Westernized city girls with no values!

Back in Bangalore, Sanaya had been hounding him with her phone calls and texts.

“Please Ashish, come back. I really love you!”

Ashish had never promised to marry her. Where did she get the idea that this would be something long term? All women are the same, he thought. He did not want things to end so nasty with Sanaya but she was behaving like a needy psycho now.

“I am not the first man in your life, anyway so don’t tell me you can’t handle this!”’
He texted back after some more ugly exchange of messages.

Sanaya was eating up so much of his time and energy that he did not even get time to buy an outfit for the Roka. He selected a blue sherwani, Avanti’s favourite colour. He also bought a necklace for her.

Finally, it was the big day. Even though it was not such a big function, some of his friends had still made to Dhanbad. Ashish was looking just like Hrithik Roshan, his mother said. His friends were already drunk and dancing. Avanti’s family was late much to their surprise. The girl’s side is supposed to host, how can they arrive after the groom?

Avanti was not picking up her phone. She must be still at the parlour. Ashish’s father got a call following which there was a lot of commotion. Ashish’s mother almost collapsed. What the hell was going on, did something happen to Avanti?

“Beta, Avanti has eloped with her boyfriend!”

________________________________________________________________________________
Three weeks had passed. Ashish was back to Bangalore. To say that he was shocked was an understatement. How could she? He was so good to her… If she did not want to marry him, why did she talk to him, meet him, and agree for the Roka? She was playing with his feelings all this time. He was heartbroken and humiliated.

He had been wanting to contact her, but had restrained himself. But today as he saw her whatsapp DP, smiling as if nothing had happened, he could not hold himself back.

“You, bitch!” he typed and pressed send.

He kept waiting to see when the ticks would turn blue but she did not come online. He does not remember when he passed out, the drinks were too much.

Next day at work, there was a flash on his phone. Whatsapp message from Avanti:

“Mind your language, you idiot.
And FYI, I never promised to marry you!”

Ashish was fuming. Look at the nerve this woman had! Another notification came. What else does she want to say?

It was a message from Sanaya.

“You are such a loser! I deserve better.

If love was not blind

It was a big day for Kavya. Today she was meeting her fiance’ Samir’s extended family for the first time. They say opposites attract. It is such a cliché! But it could not be truer in the case of Samir and Kavya. Samir had his own advertising agency which he had started after being a model for nearly a decade. Kavya taught Social studies to students in 8th to 10th grade. Samir was drop dead gorgeous. Kavya was average looking with a kind smile. The two had met at a common friend’s house and remained in touch. Their friends still wonder how and when they fell in love and decided to get married with nothing in common…

It was Samir’s second marriage. He was previously married to a fellow model, Ayesha. Samir’s friends still spoke about Ayesha, and how she was such a beauty. It was bad enough that Kavya felt that Samir was much better looking than her. Every time she met his friends, she knew that they were silently comparing her to his ex and felt sorry that Samir found less of a match. She had got used to their comments:

You are so different from her!” Different was just a nice way of saying plain and ugly, she thought.

“She was perfect for him, but it was not meant to last!” If she was perfect and it did not last, how long will I last will all my flaws? She would wonder.

Kavya was academically brilliant, intellectually inclined and a loving and caring person. Samir loved her but that didn’t change her self-doubts and insecurities. She always felt that she would get dumped sooner or later. After all, everywhere we keep seeing and hearing that men only fall for physical beauty. Samir teased her about how he was the more attractive one in the couple, though not in a mean way. It was meant to be a joke. But it was the truth and it pinched her. The past year of dating Samir had been financially exhausting for Kavya. She used to spend way out of her means on dresses, and beauty treatment to look good.

Kavya started her day by buying a lovely evening gown for the evening meeting with Samir’s family, after getting personalized attention from an enthusiastic salesgirl.

Ma’am would you like to buy heels?

No”, replied Kavya firmly.

But Ma’am you are short, this kind of dress looks nice on tall girls, please take a look if you like something”.

Samir was so tall… Kavya gave in and bought a pair of stilettos.

Next, she was at the beauty parlour. She asked for a fruit facial which she thought would be mild for her sensitive skin.

Ma’am, you are looking very dark. Please try the de-tan facial, it will make you two shades lighter.”

I must be looking like a beast, she thought and opted for the de-tan.

On her way back home, Kavya thought that Samir’s family would now be looking her up on social networking sites and WhatsApp. She must put up a nice DP.

She searched through the gallery and selected a picture which was her best, but she was looking fat! She edited, illuminated and changed angles in photoshop until she looked like a slim, plastic doll and uploaded it, pleased with her creativity.

Finally, she and Samir arrived at the venue. Samir’s family was already there. They were all good-looking. Samir’s cousins who were barely 16-17 years old were very stylish and so were his sisters/ sisters in law who were in their 40s. Kavya was nervous but she was managing. Most people were welcoming and nice. After dinner, the cousins gathered around the bar for more drinks and to get to know Kavya better. They were asking about her education, her family and Kavya was starting to get comfortable. This was no so bad, she thought to herself.

The DJ announced the last song. “Noooo!”, screamed some kids negotiating for one more.

One of Samir’s older cousins, who was very drunk, put one arm around Kavya and the other around Samir and started talking at the top of his voice, attempting to make himself audible despite the loud music.

Well, after meeting Kavya, I have understood one thing!” he said.

What?” asked Kavya smiling shyly.

That love is blind!” And he burst into laughter. Other people, half drunk and very loud by now, also started laughing.

What do you mean, that Samir Bhaiya was wearing shades when he saw Kayya?” asked a younger girl.

No not shades, otherwise she would have looked even darker!” said somebody else. There were some more laughs.

From Ayesha to Kavya, Samir Bhaiya ki sad kahaani!

Oh come on! Kayya is brainy. She can give free tuitions to our kids!

Oh home tuitions! Adi’s current teacher takes Rs 500 for an hour. Kavya I will give you Rs 1000! But you should come early morning. I feel bad for these people no, running around the city to make a few bucks..

Kavya did not remember when the DJ stopped playing. She just wished that she could disappear. All her insecurities and her fears were right here and she was facing them. She felt naked. She knew she was not a beauty queen. She knew she was not rich. She knew Samir was everything that she was not. And here it was: Her worst fear coming true. The person she loved the most was being given reasons of how she was not good enough for him. She had tears in her eyes. Oh God, I can’t cry now!!

Samir did not react. He was also laughing, not mockingly, but more of a polite laughter. He looked at Kavya. He held her hand, and asked, “You okay?

I am okay. Just did not know I was signing up for such humiliation.”

Oh come, on Kavya! Don’t be so sensitive. They are just kidding. They really liked you…” He offered her a drink.

How would you feel is someone said such insulting things to you?”

They were interrupted by the drunk guy who had initiated the chain of nasty comments. He started pulling Kavya. “ A toast from Kavya.. Say something dear…

Samir nodded to Kavya and whispered, “Looks are not everything. I still love you. They came all the way to meet you. Say a note of thanks to them atleast.”

Kavya went forward and smiled. She gulped her drink down.

I am so glad to have finally met you all today. I really wanted Samir’s family to like me.” She paused. “Not because I care about any of you, but because I love Samir.”

Samir looked a little scandalized, but remained silent.

I know I am not beautiful or rich like Ayesha. But if she was so perfect, why did she and Samir break up? If only beauty and money could sustain relationships…. You all are blessed with money and claim to be so modern. Yet in this day and age, you think it is shameful to be dark-skinned? Are you the kinds who put matrimonial ads desiring “gori” women and apply Fair and Lovely! So regressive!!

I teach kids and I can proudly say that not a single student of mine has ever failed in my subject. I build their future. I am not just a mentor to them, but also their friend. They talk to me about their problems, and I help them in whatever way I can. They stay in touch with me, even after they have passed my classes. I love my job and I make an honest living. I know the ways in which some of you have made big money, let me not even get into that.

Samir liked me for the qualities I have, as a person. Yes, a good-looking man can fall in love with an average looking woman. Why is so difficult for your peanut sized brains to accept?

Actually I can’t blame you. I found it hard to accept myself. The world loves to feed off people’s self-doubt and all this while I let them. When I don’t love myself for who I am, how can I accept that someone else would?”

She leaned on the table and removed her heels. She became a foot shorter.

There was pin drop silence in the room. Samir’ relatives were shocked. She looked at Samir and continued:

I love you Samir with all my heart. You flunked in 12th grade. Still I love you. Your vocabulary and spelling is worse than the fifth graders in my school. Still I love you. The only book you have ever read is 45 pages of Chetan Bhagat’s One Night at a Call Centre. Still I love you. You cannot hold a conversation with my friends on any social issue. Still I love you.”

She raised the toast and said,

Yes, every love is blind, or it wouldn’t exist!

If is meant to be it will happen Vs Make it happen – Dilemma of a Single Woman

My mother passed the ringing phone to my while I was working on my laptop.

Ravish Tinder:
flashed the contact.

Mom: What kind of name is Ravish Tinder?

Me: Tinder is a dating app.

Mom: Dating app!! You watch Crime Patrol. Don’t you know how dangerous these things are?

Me: In a country where we marry strangers through shaadi.com, I don’t think we should be too concerned!

I felt very satisfied with my response, as if I won. But did I?

There are broadly two kinds of marriages in India – arranged marriages where very determined well-wishers find us a match with astronomical perfection or love marriages in which people magically meet like a fairystyle through divine interventions.

Finding someone through dating apps fall in neither! Not traditional enough like shaadi.com and not natural enough like DDLJ.

The truth is I was quite skeptical about joining a dating app. There is always the extreme fear of meeting a psychopath / creep or the lesser yet disappointing experience of meeting someone uninteresting / annoying not worth the effort.

As much as I would love to imagine that the whole universe will conspire to make me meet my soulmate, reality is I am a 28 year old working woman, who meets limited people. My social circles are dominated by men who are already married or committed. The ones who are not committed are not committed for a reason. They loathe commitment!

We as women should become more open to the idea of finding a partner for ourselves. It is not our parents’ responsibility. Our parents do not know what kind of men we find interesting / attractive. We should spare them the pain of scrutinizing and exchanging profiles with another set of equally clueless yet harassed parents.

There is nothing wrong with the desire to seek a partner, and these mediums are quite relevant in today’s time. And it need not always be about dating. While some apps are more marriage oriented such as Aisle, others like Floh could create a great platform for making friends. Technology has provided us the means to connect to people from different spheres of life who we could otherwise never have found.

Whether I meet Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, or encounter a bunch of frogs and no prince, for now the thought to ‘make it happen’ is very empowering!