Thursday, July 28, 2005

2 in 1 - a post and headLINES #27 (or maybe #26.5) 

Note: I've already started getting some averse reactions to this post. I've decided to keep it untouched though. It is but normal that people will differ with me on various counts. The reason for this part in bold is to remind people that there is a cartoon at the end of the post. So in hatred for the post, don't forget to read the toon coz that might give you more reasons for hatred :)

A small shady inn. Three men sitting and discussing a scheme.

"Shhhhhh!" the first one said. "They might hear us."
"Do you think it's feasible? Do you really think that people will come?"
"Shhhhhh!" the first one said. "They might hear us."

OK! So I dramatized. We weren't in an inn and there was no secrecy and neither did "they" hear us. The fact is that moi and two of my buddies (X and Y) were discussing "Speed Dating for Indians" and X suggested that I post abt our discussion on this blog. But before that - a little background.

Some group is organizing Speed Date meets in San Diego. An equal number of guys and girls gather up in a place and then each one gets to spend 2-3 minutes with the other person. Anonymity is highly respected and the only identity a person bears in such a gathering is a Number that they are given. At the end of the evening you let the moderator know the number of numbers that excited you and in case you fall in any of their numbered lists too, the contacts are exchanged. Blah blah blah!

So X suggested that we should have something like this for Indians (aka desis) in San Diego. Imagine it to be an in-your-face Shaadi.com, where instead of writing out "I need a guy who is dependable, caring, sharing and daring", you actually meet the person. Do you think it'll work????

My personal take is that even though the concept sounds exciting, it's the women who'll make it fail. Or rather - the lack of them. Dating is an alien concept to Indian women. Most Indian women either want to be "good friends" or a "wife". The middle route peppered with uncertainty is not for our lasses. You cant just tell a girl in India "Hey, wanna go out for a date?" You have to cloak the date as some other social gathering; maybe even bring an accompanying friend along. The use of the term "date" makes the whole concept a taboo. So it is dinner, movie, movie, dinner and then !bang! one fine day - "I love you". People who watch a fair dose of English movies will notice that the term "I love you" is considered a serious junction in Western relationships (often appearing after several dates and mates). On the other hand, 90% of Indian "relationships" begin with an "I love you and I wanna marry you". Bottom line - Indian women don't want to be "checked out". It is demeaning for them. So openly appearing for a Date Meet would be a big No No for most of them. That's my stance and I'd love to hear another point of view.

To highlight what I'm saying lemme give one more example. The term "proposing" has very different connotations in India and US. In India, when the eighteen year old girl receives a heart shaped Hallmark card and an accompanying teddy bear, she chuckles and tells her eagerly-details-awaiting friends that "He proposed to me!" In US however, the same girl says, "He asked me out". You don't ask people out in India. You "ask them IN" - In your house for the rest of your lives.

So, is dating out-dated???

P.S. I came up with a headLINES toon that was very apt for this post and so, instead of separate toons, shall post it with the post itself.


I myself find the concept of "speed dating" ..cannot really find a word ...too 'cut and dried' (choose 2 people out of 10 people in 20 mins?!)...if i were looking for casual relationships, then maybe this would be an ideal way to go about it ....but if i were looking for a serious relationship, that would end up in marriage (as most Indian women do), the better way to approach would be the Indian way i guess....to first get to know the person as a friend, and then take it from there...rather than to jump into something with someone i never before had heard about and then end up as a friend! :)
I would love to be wrong but I think I can stick my head out on this and predict a backlash from most of ur female readership on this post. I dont think u paint a realistic picture on the way dating exists as of now in most cities in India or for that matter even 5-7 years back.
I rather think itz the other way round,even if gals r ready to date in India, the Indian guys wud find them as promiscuous/fast hence they also dorn the avatar of the bharati naari.
@syl - true! that's why i feel that it is not a concept that will do too well with desis - coz the demands to make a relationship more concrete is larger for us. but to make friends and know a person a key thing is to meet the person - and what if that itself is a problem??

@rohan - oh that'll be nice too. i am always open to getting the other side of the story - and my views are definitely skewed given I have been away from India for 4 years now. but the fact is that even now when i see my sis and her friends - a date = a relationship as opposed to let's check out whether we click or not. once again - this is my perspective and i am willing to be told otherwise

@swathi - very good point! the concept of a player (in a negative way) doesn't quite exist for indian men and the female has to take the brunt as you said. but i also feel that this adds onto the overall effect of women wanting "concrete relationships" a lot more in India
Ummm, liked everything you've written on your blog until this stereotyped piece of trash. Women and men in India date. They also give each other oral sex when they're 16 and send MMS clips to their friends about it. A lot happens under the covers, that you clearly don't seem to know anything about. That being said, i agree that Indian women still wouldn't show up because they would look "desperate" - "What you can't find guys on your own?"
Nah, I am too ancient for this concept. Is the situation really that bad, that you guys come up with such drastic discoveries?
Kee bolcchen aapni Sagnik-da? I know a lot of people who dated, then went out for a few years before they even thought of getting married. I can think of three reasons for the low turnout of desi women at such events:
1. In absolute numbers, the number of desi women in america is lower than the number of desi guys.
2. The whole desperation angle mentioned by ttg (i'm not sure *why* though)
3. As a friend who's currently dating an Amreekan guy says, when it comes to dating, it makes little sense for a Desi woman to date a Desi guy, because the Amreekans they are likely to meet are a lot more interesting. (Of course, they are more likely to just want to get into their pants, but i dont see why that should be a problem.)
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
you're mistaken, the only reason why speed dating won't work in india is because of mommy. the guy will ask his mommy if he can go to one, mommy will ofcourse shoot that idea down, and thats the end of it all. hows that for a lopsided parochial theory?
Ahaaaa! Lovely! lovely! Thanks for the lovely comments! Now hear me out, please :)

@Tarun - thanks for liking my previous posts. as far as this one is concerned i think you got me wrong - i dint say dating doesn't exist in India. dating, oral sex and mms - i'm somewhat aware of all these but what i am saying is that in all these case the girl thought she was in a relationship. AND IT'S NOT ABT SEX - as I said Indian girls don't like getting checked out. The Western notion of let's go out on 4 dates and then decide somehow isn't that transparent in India - the guy still has to take her out as a friend and constantly guess if she is developing a soft corner before saying "i love you". the whol honest and transparent phase of "i'm not sure but wanna try out" is absent in India - IN MY OPINION - and that has nothing to do with sex, lies or videotape :)

@ratna - :)) i'm guesing you are talking abt the speed date concept - that was a supposition not an actual idea per say

@hwsnbf - nice insights! i mentioned 1 and 2 to my friend too yesterday. and i know that in India there are lot of relationships where the guy/girl is unsure abt marriage but don't you think in most of these stories it is the guy who is unsure abt the marriage - women jump into the pool of relationships mainly when they know there is someone to ensure a certain level of assurance - IN MY OPINION

@ashanka - i am pretty sure that they guy will finally go - but knowing that it takes two to tango - will the girl come???
" .. but don't you think in most of these stories it is the guy who is unsure abt the marriage - women jump into the pool of relationships mainly when they know there is someone to ensure a certain level of assurance."

You didn't say this to me, but I cannot help but respond :) Given that you make that statement in the context of men being unsure about marriage, I presume you mean that given a certain level of assurance, women are ready for marriage more easily than men? If so, I don't agree with that. Most of the 'unsure' relationships I know of has the guy being sure, wanting to move forward, meet the parents, and the girl dilly-dalling, asking for more time. This is true both of Indians in the US as well as desh. Maybe my sample size is skewed, but i'll make my comments based on it anyway :)

I've known a lot of women (even more so in the last 3-4 years) who like the comfort of being in a relationship but don't crave the marriage + kids part quite as much, or at least quite as soon. This is not to say that they don't want it at all. They surely do. But they're not in a rush for it. There's none of that 'okay, he said I love you. Now when is he gonna marry me?' feeling. Women seek commitment .. exclusivity, if you will. The 'what next?' feeling, on the other hand, is something I find more in the men than the women, spoken in a purely desi context of course.

For fear of being publicly lynched by your male readers, I shall stop now :)
in india girls n guys generally wanna get into a relationship only by hving an idea abt their feelings n whether their mental wavelength match...in places like the US of A i think its more like choosing the best outta a bunch...they try out sooo many ones out n choose the best tat is compatible 4 them...

i think love shudnt be just "choosing from a bunch"...its a g88 feeling that 'just happens'...u neednt choose..or search 4 "the one"...the context in which i say all this is tateventhough india is a way behind the USA in dating or watever...i think they let things happen to them naturally n tk time to to anlayse n get into a relationship than just call themselves 'friends' n try out if they r compatible...
rightly said 'slow n steady wins the race' n indians do defn ROCK in tat aspect:)
oi, stop showing freakshow-ish tendencies, man. if what u say is half way true, abt indian chiks hating being checked out, the concept of jhari and the puja time maddox square business would not happen. why try to commit blogguler suiside anyway?
Very good one.

I agree with your theory, and I think it holds true in most cases.

Linked / DesiPundit. I've voiced views about the exceptions to this there.
Dunno how much I'd agree with this. It's probably true for the large parts of India. Some parts of Bbay and Blore, I think, are now a little more open to the concept of dating, per se.

Speed dating, I still think, is NOT practically applicable in India. We are not a culture, which lets people be really comfortable with the idea of picking someone up (without it being in the context of an arranged marriage - where the entire background has been checked out).

Loved the toon, though!
Common, Sagnik Da, speed dating must be fun, absolute fun. One can check out so many guys at a time, without having to think about what the guy is thinking, and some guy checking a girl out would be fun too, I mean, where on earth you'll get so much attention, if not speed dating ! And, if you don't like a person you don't have to take him, for in other cases, you have to pretend to be nice otherwise, what will your friend, who fixed you up will think !
I guess, we think a lot and seriously as Sayantani said, if girls don't like checking out guys, why do we have huge crowd in Maddox Square every year ! 4 days of speed dating, isn't it ?

Atleast a person like me enjoy if any guy 'jhari marofy' me !!

Now, Saket A.k.a Vulturo, speed dating is gaining ground in the cities you live/lived in but everyone told me it existed in Kolkata since the "parar pujo" existed.
PS : Parar Pujo = Puja in the neighborhood,I suppose !
btw, I forgot to add that Toons#27 were good :D !!

"Checkmate " Lolz..I'll remember it !
Loved the post and loved the comments you are getting too :))
The speed dating concept seems a little harsh and insincere almost harboring on the verge of a reality show. It's all about finding someone physically attractive and making sure that the person is not a retard. Because what more can you tell in 2-3 minutes about a person. Definitely not if he is sensitive, affectionate, understanding, reasonable, broad minded....But as far as flirting, having a good time and having sex without commitment, it might just work. And flirting, dating and having a good time does exist in India although it is usually not flaunted the way it is over here. I guess the main reason for that is social pressure and the image issue. It's all about perspective. Otherwise why does all hell break loose at Xavotsav and Maddox Sq and the likes (if you know what I mean)?
This is X ( or maybe Y) who was part of the team contriving on a speed dating concept for desis. It seems that the word dating (and Nandy Da's opinion on it :) has ticked off some people. If people can flock matrimonial websites and post their information, it may be better to meet the person for a few minutes and converse. Remember how so many people from Gen U, V, W (we are X) in India got hitched by just meeting their mate for a few minutes. This is the same thing with a twist and more flexibilty - meet the person, see if u wanna take it it to the next level or bid goodbye!

Ha! Enuf marketing...any buyers? I can be your Cupid ;)
Your theory is quite true.

Women don't want to date; they may or may not want marriage either. They just want to fall in love. You know the Happy Cliché which is celebrated through advertising images and certain genre of Cinema?

And all women want marriage is of course flawed. There is woman B who will want to be chased and pursued by A., till he is driven to distraction and will propose to her. B of course likes to be chased and dumps man (women can be C-phobic as well, which means she waits to see if she can do better). A will morph into cynic man and hate all womankind, so even when he meets woman D, who is intelligent and sensible about this love business, he will refuse to look at her. That's the Bulbul Effect. Don't even ask! It’s all to do with Internet actually, it’s bred a generation of confused women and men. The problem is one can fall in love on the Internet but not marry!

Okay, I am gone now! :)
"Checkmate" ! awesome.
And so a no-progress unsure one is dumped because:
Was a "Stale-Mate" !
@megha - nope i dint say that women are easy to convince (quite the opposite if i may say). what i just meant is that "most" Indian women don't enter

relationships until they are convinced that it has a future. men on the other hand are a lot more open to "casual relationships" and "let's see where this goes type"

@anon - totally agreed! but then the key word is "love". that's exactly what i'm saying - in India women search for love in dating instantly and that is

why I believed that dating would be diff. in US love is a very strong word and comes much later in a relationship, that's all i had to say

@sayantani - see girls saying that they are "putting jhari" or "getting jharied" is fine when they are in a group and giggle abt it - it's very cute

but a woman doesn't want to be given that tag. that' why you have a term called "womanizer" but you don't have a "manizer" - tell me why???

@vulturo - shall check it out pronto sir!

@nandu - might not hav come across clearly but that is exactly what I wanted to say. thanks for putting it succinctly :)

@debalina - once again, you wouldn't mind being jhari marofied but i believe you would probably mind if a guy tells you "let's go out a few times and then

i will let you know if i like you" - once again the key word is "probably". and thank you - SOMEONE NOTICED THE TOON :)

@M - true. since it is a lot more more hidden you can't bame a poor guy for thinking it is less prevelant :)

@X - saale! look at what you got me into :)) this was fun man!

@soup - bingo! i thik i should have said exactly what you said - "women want

to fall in love" a lot more than men and somehow that seems unlikely in a speed date. thanks :)

@anshul - thanks :) how did i miss the "stale mate" - brilliant *clap clap clap - repeat*
When you say it is an alien concept for indian women, do you mean to say it isn't for indian men?!
@SN - i feel Indian men are "sliiiiightly more" desperate :) and will be more likely to try something like speed dating if it gives them the hope of getting hitched :)
Lol, Sagnikda, this post of urs - it's a leetel too raunchy - seems more like a TOI article.
But I wrote some carp on my blog along the same lines. Do check it when you get time.
You obviously have been AWAY FROM INDIA for a very very long time... or have come to the conclusion that 'Indian Woman' is a homogeneous entity...or mebbe you have met only one kind...that's the flip side of going to a premier tech school, I'm guessing... now I know where all the sex-angst blogging is coming from...too bad for u, buddy... that u didn't get enuf action in ur college years;)
@biplabda - TOI article?? the post was that bad, eh ? :))

@a - Sherlock you guessed all that from a post on my blog :O Well, I haven't been out of India for that long (4 years); India has a population of 1 billion+ - so I can't help but generalize :) and as far as no "action" in college is concerned - "making fun of engineerin students? sharam nahin hain tumhe" :))
Let's talk reality, if we must.One must be cautious of a tendency to naively intermingle notions of marriage, relationship, sex, friendship,dating, at the very outset. For some, they are related concepts, for others some concepts are (harsh!) reality, others may be far-fetched. For a a very very large number in India(both men and women) any semblance of freedom of choice, consent, preference do not apply when it comes to decisions regarding marriage. Surely u don't wanna talk about them when u say 'Indian woman', coz ur post takes for granted that the 'Indian woman' has preferences of some things over others, when it comes to sex/relationships/marriage. Second, there is a large number(again both men and women) that live in the city, watch cable TV, and Shah Rukh Khan movies, go to tech schools, work in MNCs, and want their cultural baggage of 'what respectable women should be like' to reconcile with the revolutionising images of sexual relationships that they consume through the media and other things. My gut-feeling is that you have largely met women from this group (and ignored the zillion shades within them) and categorised them as 'Indian Woman'. What you probably can't even conceive of is the growing numbers of women (and men) who live in the city, work in MNCs/media houses/call-centres/whatever, earn substantial amounts, know how to spend this amount on a wholesome consumer city life, are not looking to catch 'the ideal NRI groom', are single and VERY ready to mingle. All I ask is that you should THINK, my friend, about what gives you the right to draw a generalisation on the basis of the miniscule fraction of the one billion that you seem to have met.
On engineering students, they are nerds who earn the country foreign exchange, and no good on a date- we're not gonna argue on THAT, are we now???
Ok! For some reason you are basing your angst against "my generalization" on "your generalization of Indian techies", which is ironic to say the least. Now let's do a little background check - I'm a techie who grew up in a city in a very urban background. So yes, I'm part of the tecie population you talked abt. My dad comes from a very conservative family and I have cousins who have no say in who and when they marry. So I've seen the first group you mentioned closely too. My sister is a Sociology major and grew up in a very liberal environment and had tons of her friends in the house while I grew up. My first girl friend was a Political Science major. So that includes the non-techie non MNC, urban, young spending women group you are talking abt (I believe that you are a part of this too). I went to college in Pilani, Rajasthan and though the exposure wasn't too large. I've seen rural India too. Finally, having spent 4 years outside India, I've also seen many Indian women (both techies and non-techies) who have left the country. So your statment that my commet was based on only one group of women is to say the least - "wrong" :)

Having seen all these women groups fairly closely, I still stick to my stance that Indian women still desire a "greater amount" of seriousness from the term "relationship". Does that mean, casual sex and one-night stands are absent in India??? NO! It's there and growing. But that doesn't prove my statment incorrect, when viewed in the larger perspective. So most Indian girls would still think thrice before getting into a fling, compared to their Western counterparts who would probably think twice :) Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows and who cares? I'm making observations and not justifying them :)

Aha! That has to be one of the more serious (and surely longer) comments I have written. So thanks for the initial response. And to quote a great man - how are you doin?
Nice Blog!!! It looks like you've spent a fair amount of time setting it up and keeping the content fresh. I'll be sure to come back.

I have a online dating blog. It pretty much covers internet dating related stuff.

Thanks again and keep up the good work.
This is a excellent blog. Keep it going.

This may be of interest to you I have a free online dating service. It pretty much covers dating stuff.

I'll be sure to come back.
Despite all the brouhaha about westernization & modernization in the urban spaces in India, the fact remains that the core set of attitudes, mindset and values remain unchanged under the garb of western attire, junk food and flashy materialism. Women as such are too passive to assert their identity, and their interest in men is about finding the 'perfect life partner'. So as a result you see the desperation to cross the wide gap between the opposite sexes online - where a few girls are swamped by hundreds more guys. That applies to chat or any kind of dating service. Another fact remains is that 'good indian girls do not go out at night'. So how can the dating happen anyway. Is there time during the day away from the crushing 12+ hours of work?
Besides when we have our very own version of 'speed marriages', who wants speed dating ;) hehehehehe
very good post
Tamil matrimony
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