The rains bawl at my window. In one corner of the parapet, my favourite pair of jeans, washed two days back, languish: in exactly half a day it will start smelling like a peak hour Mumbai local. The cook slinks away, assuming I have still not figured out her sinister plan of snuffing me out via a palak overdose.
I am 30. In a complicated relationship. With Facebook quizzes. Single, at most times.
And oh, what's that now?
*Insert lightning sound*
There's a 'dating apocalypse' on the horizon? (Trust me, I worked very hard on not typing that in caps)
As I furiously raced through a series of questions on Facebook that will decide what vegetable my 'aura' resembles, my single friend had slyly posted something on my timeline suggesting we date like dinosaurs.
"That can't be," I mutter, completely distraught now. It's absolutely cruel to suggest I have dated like a dinosaur. I have not had anything that looks like Chris Pratt within ten miles of me, all my life. Forget being ridden by one.
That WhatsApp from Zac Efron is yet to arrive and I have not asked out Ranveer Singh yet. And a dating apo-whatever, already?
In an article - which I assume is just two sentences shorter than the Old Testament - Vanity Fair declares 'as romance gets swiped from the screen, some twentysomethings aren’t liking what they see'. What they see, according to the headline, is the "Dawn of the 'Dating Apocalypse'". Since I hold the privilege of having been a twentysomething when Tinder descended on this world, I felt I should pay attention.
So, what exactly do you think is a 'dating apocalypse'? People not dating at all? People wanting to jump off cliffs after a date? People cuddling broccoli to sleep, instead of a man or a woman?
None of the above. Instead, it's people dating too much. Let me rephrase this: people having a lot of sex, and yet cribbing they don't get enough. Or it's not good enough. When was the last time you heard that? A year back? Two years back? Five years back? Every year since the year you realized why sex is not a word you should ever utter at a family dinner?
But Vanity Fair suggests that Tinder and other dating apps have a role to play somewhere in this tragedy of the proportion of a faked orgasm. Tinder didn't take it too well, for obvious reasons. It pulled a Wrecking Ball on Vanity Fair on Twitter.
To put the article that turned Tinder into Nirupa Roy in a nutshell: people are hooking up indiscriminately, mostly without any emotional connection whatsoever. Men are keeping logs of hook-ups before their investments, women are upset that strange men ask them to fuck them. Some women are appalled at the audacity of men with dad bods who dare to be on a dating app. But all of them are having sex. Life's a Honey Singh song.
However, all this applies to the US. Closer home, we have Tinder, the sanskar edition. Our Tinder world, sorry for being blunt, is the Tyrion Lannister to America's Jamie Lannister. The only action that most of us - men and women - get, is swiping right. Or left, in the case of those with more obedient hormones.
I had been on Tinder for about five months last year. Because being single sucks, occasionally. Like being in a relationship or owning a cat does. I have done both.
I deleted the app later. Partly because a planned hook-up seemed far less exciting than the friend's ex's-cousin-at-her-birthday party kind.
However, Tinder is not the reason I deleted Tinder. Tinder is also not the reason I am single. Tinder is not why I try to distract friends who plot to set me up with their friends. Tinder is definitely not the reason I see a dating apocalypse hurling towards me at the speed of Flash. And it's a very simple reason - I didn't like the men I met enough to date them. Some of them didn't like me enough for us to end up dating. Some thought item songs cause rape. Some weren't amused I didn't orgasm at the mention of Pink Floyd, or I knew just one Beatles song. A lot of them spelled 'that' as 'dat' and enthusiastically defended the microsecond they had saved while texting. Some others refused to believe many Bengalis care neither about fish nor Marx. And some of them made me realise I have spent way too much time contributing to Jatin Lalit's success instead of following football. One wanted to play 'drinking games' on a weekday.
And literally no one had even half a nice thing to say about the Backstreet Boys.
And Tinder definitely had not greatly altered the quality of my sex life. Or of most men and women I know. "Tinder doesn't change why you have sex. Or with who. The disappointments involved are the same ones involved in hooking up at someone you met at a bar," a wise friend assures me.
When April this year, Quartz published a story on how India's 'rising' class is 'rich, cultured, and lonely', I spent exactly three minutes dolefully reading and re-reading the caption on the lead picture of a very gorgeous girl. It said, 'Have everything, but love'. I told myself, "Plus those cheekbones. And wealth."
One of the interviewees who had started a singles mixer group shared her life philosophy between drags on a cigarette. "I don’t wish to sound like a snob, but some girls might not want to end with a guy from Delhi 6, who can easily hire someone to ghostwrite his profile on a matrimonial website.”
I have not seen her, but I had little difficulty in putting Shashikala in her place, dragging on a cigarette and trashing gareeb boys. I had been to one mixer organised by one of the groups mentioned in the article. It was rather nice, with people spending equal amounts on time on the very fine crepes before them and each other. And some of the people I spoke to, told me it's silly to hope the perfect date will turn up at your doorstep one fine morning. You have to look for one.
I have. My friends have. Some worked out, others didn't and the world didn't end.
So, as Vanity Fair suggested, will casual sex be the end of old-fashioned romance in this Tinder-infested world? For once, some of us, won't be shuddering at the idea of that 'apocalypse'.
Updated Date: Aug 14, 2015 13:33:01 IST