There are times when it’s great to be an Indian, like when you look at Somali people, or if you happen to be Rahul Gandhi. We have really matured as a society. For example, we’ve exported Shilpa Shetty to London, and nobody even pretends to like Sanjay Leela Bhansali anymore.
But there’s an area in which we sorely lack, and this weakness sticks out like the Pope at an abortion clinic. I’m talking, of course, about the dating scene in India.
I agree that in places like Delhi, things are quite simple – the woman belongs to the guy with the biggest gun. But it gets a little complicated for those of us who prefer legal methods.
Maybe you think it’s easy to go out and meet new women in Bombay. Maybe you’re an idiot. Mind you, I’m not even talking about dating, or sex, or the hugely entertaining Daddy issues – all that comes in later. I’m talking about merely approaching a woman at a bar – a woman who’s single, someone who is not surrounded by an army of male ‘platonic’ friends who, given the chance, would love to pound you (or her for that matter), and most importantly, a woman whose face will not be the last you see before waking up in an ice-filled bathtub, your left kidney en route to Bangkok.
Let’s consider other places that are routinely touted as ‘a great place to meet women’, like gyms. Maybe this works for some guys (read: producers in Lokhandwala), but I can’t imagine a woman ever saying, “Oh I first met Raj at the gym. He fell in love with the pattern of my underarm sweat stains, while I got really turned on watching him get a hernia.”
Then there’s the online world, highly recommended by experts from the Indian Fraandship and Luvship Association. I’m quite active on Twitter (Motto: Follow me, or else God will shoot a kitten in the face) and it is indeed a great networking tool that allows you to directly congratulate Yaana Gupta for her recent vanishing-panty magic trick. But again, the facts are simple: Shashi Tharoor is the only guy who has managed to get screwed via Twitter.
To add to the confusion, men and women have very different ideas about meeting new people. This is what a single woman sounds like: “It’s been a year since Champak Singh and I broke up, and 237 pairs of shoes later, I think I’m ready to move on, although this time I’m looking for something real, y’know, someone who’ll comfort me, love me, hold me and automatically guess what I’m thinking before I’ve even thought it, somebody who doesn’t mind if I talk during a suspense film, somebody who’s mature, kind, respectful, funny, handsome, rich, honest, gentle, poetic and has a 12-inch-diamond penis.”
And this is what a single man expressing his need for a soulmate sounds like: “Dude, I need to get laid.”
Apparently it’s best to just stick to the basics: don’t lie, be chivalrous, and make eye-contact (Note: Eyes are not located on the chest) I’m also told that women really appreciate a good sense of humour, so this column is definitely not helping my case. I should just pack up and go to Delhi.
(Note: This is my HT column, dated 5th Dec 2010)