At the start of 2020, I was happy. I had pretty much figured out what I wanted in my life, and was generally speaking, at a stage, where I was all poised to settle down. I was in a relationship, a happy one for about four years and was thinking of settling down maybe later in 2020, or the next year. But then the unthinkable happened and Corona came.
To cut a long story short, the pandemic, just like a curious plot twist in a Sriram Raghvan film, came into my life and turned it upside down, entirely.
As the first lockdown took its tool eventually, where I felt isolated and tried to find ways to get out of the horrible loneliness, I found ways to sabotage the beautiful relationship I had. Then the guilt of maybe overdoing it, consumed me entirely and before I knew it, I had broken up by the end of August 2020. The reason, I am still not clear, so I just try to sound extremely philosophical on dating apps about it, because that’s what I can do.
Buy my luck, the dating app thing hasn’t worked. Between processing a broken relationship, trying to move on from it and the never-ending human desire to seek companionship, swiping right is not an easy thing at all. Especially when you have to describe yourself in five words or less, and basically judge another person by the same. I thought a cool filtered out photo, might bump my chances, but I am guessing everyone just saw through it and just….. swiped left.
Add the age factor and the constant hounding by parents to get married, you drop the idea of dating completely. My next stop, therefore was a matrimonial app. And that’s a different world. While dating apps masquerade as the new cool thing, matrimonial apps wear a disguise of a link between traditions and modernity. The entire process of signing up on the app makes you feel like a strange interview, you have never given in your life. Height, weight, caste, gotra, time of birth. Hang on time of birth? But I was born outside of India. Do they mean the time, here in India when I was born, or the time in the country I was born in? I tried to contact the customer support, because I was determined to get in the right information. “I don't know sir. Kya farak padta hai,” was the response. I would have agreed with the response in an ideal situation, but this one was far from it. Here I am trying to follow all the rules and regulations like a nice 21st century boy, I mean a man, I am. And here is this gentleman, telling me it doesn’t matter? So basically, all of it is a farce, then? Might as well re-join dating apps!
With much determination and a lot of guess work (my parents aren’t very sure about the timings of my birth) I successfully managed to create a profile. It had a similar feature as that of a dating app. Swipe right, if you like a profile, swipe left if you don’t. instead of ‘like’, the word used is ‘connect’ or ‘send request’. Since matrimonial apps give a lot more space for writing (along with photos), I managed to create a somewhat likeable profile, in my humble opinion.
I was happy once again, that maybe this time someone might swipe right, after not just looking at my awesome looks, but also how I think about things and maybe not doubt the time I was born!
Luck has been kind to me on matrimonial apps, with requests getting accepted. The initial conversations have a nice self-assuring quality about them, after which you have returned to the place – grappling loneliness and commitment phobia, while trying to figure out the time in which you have to decide all this. At this point it is more about if my special one can tolerate my farts. Desperately seeking love, what?