Move over, Tinder ad: This artist is curating real Indian dating tales
In a project titled #100IndianTinderTales, Harikumar graphs Tinder stories told to her by people on her social media profiles
If you had to jot the cliches that an advertisement for Tinder would use for its Indian audience, you would probably be recreating the recent Tinder ad that has been doing the rounds.
Girl wears a salwar-kameez (with dupatta, ofcourse)? Check.
Mother lovingly observes daughter while she dresses for Tinder date (aka 'beti kitni badi ho gayi hai')? Check.
Overall Jab ladki jawan hoti hai toh maa saheli bann jati hai undercurrent? Check.
Daughter promises to be back home by evening? Check.
Presenting to you, the advertisement for Tinder India, where morality, sanskaar and maa ki dua has a 50 % stake. Your next question is probably, what is the difference between Tinder in India and Shaadi.com? If this ad is anything to go by, there is no difference. But that couldn't be further from reality.
In reality, Tinder in India works just like Tinder anywhere. Hook ups galore, heartbreak, weddings, pretending to be a socially acceptable prospect (in India's case it's marriageable material) but using truly only using it on Saturday night for a blink-and-you-miss drunken date.
It is for these reasons that the Tinder ad has not been received well. (Apart from being really badly scripted, and horribly acted.) The most common question, and the most obvious one, being asked is on the lines of why Tinder is afraid of being just a casual hook up app in India? I mean, do the makers not know that we are dying to do anything the Americans do?
Amitabh in Piku accepts that his grown up daughter has relationships though breaks because of him. Then why is Tinder advt not acceptable?
— AD (@anaggh) May 12, 2016
That Tinder ad is so cringe. Shows how out of sync Indian business managers are with India.
— Galavant (@RageMonk) May 11, 2016
I want the next Tinder India ad to be of the mom reading the messages.
— Shilpa Rathnam (@shilparathnam) May 9, 2016
Where are the real stories? Of the boy from Pune who had to reject his date because she had bad breath? Of the girl who ran into another Tinder date when she was already on one? Of the girl who realised that her Tinder date, who had gone incommunicado, actually died in an accident?
No, I am not making these stories up. These are real stories of people who are on Tinder in India, and if you read carefully you will notice that none of them have been sprinkled with any dose of sanskaar. Thanks to Mumbai-based writer and illustrator Indu Harikumar, Indians are coming out and writing about their colourful Tinder dates.
In a project titled #100IndianTinderTales, Harikumar graphs Tinder stories told to her by people on her social media profiles. It all started when she decided to take up a 100 day creative project, and Tinder was something of a personal favourite.
"I wasn't on Tinder, but a friend who suggested the project to me was, and she shared her tales with me which got me thinking. I had some stories of my own, as well as some from other friends who Tindered. That's how it all started. The project was to curate various experiences that people were seeking online without any judgement," says Harikumar to Firstpost.
What followed were several entries from Facebook and Instagram, with deeply personal, some humorous and mostly intriguing stories of people on Tinder. "Since we are so closed when it comes to sex and being on Tinder comes with some amount of fear and shame, I wasn't very hopeful about hearing from people. However, the response has been overwhelming. And as a person who enjoys hearing and telling stories it is great to have so many people open up and share intimate details of their lives," says Harikumar.
Take for example the story of 'How to sell yourself like a tampon on Tinder'. In it, a Tinder novice shares how he went from having no matches to realising that there is a formula to getting matched. The key words, our dear entrant realised, were MBA, Investment banker, pose-y pictures with women and dogs.
Compare this to the Indian Tinder ad and we can guarantee you will cringe. Harikumar's stories, on the other hand, are quirky, personal and give a fun yet explore-able insight into dating in an urban, Indian city. They're the kind of stories we deserve, and the kind of stories that portray Indians and people living in India, just as the way we are: universal individuals with fun experiences and stories to share.
Harikumar's Facebook bio reads, "Will recycle anything, especially love". And that is exactly what #100IndianTinderTales is. If you're interested in telling your Tinder story (we know you have a few!) do reach out to her on her Facebook or Instagram profile.
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