#6: Ab ki baar, Monkey Bar


#6 was the first Tinder date I had. I got onto Tinder around the beginning of the year, when it had first turned up. I spent a couple of days revelling in the left swipe–it was as if I was getting back at all those boys who’d ever rejected me! But then I realised it was populated with twenty-something boys looking to get laid. I deleted the app and moved on. Since I started the project though, several people  have told me I should try it. So, during lazy Sunday hammock time, I logged in again. Surprisingly this time around it was full of older guys. and many of them actually seemed interesting! (Of course many of them weren’t in the end heh.)

I’m lying there swiping away and up pops #6. The only text in his profile is hilarious, so I quickly ask if he’d like to meet up. Absolutely, he says. Followed by:

Aren’t you the 50firstdates person?

There you have it ladies and germs, the first ID. I, of course, hyperventilated a bit, but eventually we swapped numbers. He began to text me. And then, on Monday morning, he called me, and shockingly, we talked on the phone for about twenty minutes. Turns out he’s a pilot and he’s actually not based in Delhi. But he’s from here so he also has a base here, and he was just flying off on his routes for the week. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘call me the next time you’re in town.’ ‘It’ll be soon,’ he responded. I went back to work. He kept texting me through the day, making me giggle frequently.

In the middle of the afternoon, suddenly, he called. I was in the end-of-day rush to finish so I answered and said listen I can’t talk I’ll call you when I leave work. ‘Make that two hours and twenty minutes,’ he says. ‘I’ll have landed by then.’ Talk about feeling all swoony. Heh. Then he texts to say that he can be in Delhi that evening, if I’m free. Otherwise he’ll just stay where he’s posted. I’m flabbergasted, to say the least, because um here is someone who is willing to fly all the way to Delhi just to take me out. That shit doesn’t usually happen to me! In fact, it never has–grand gestures have been positively absent in my dating life! Naturally I say yes.

All coordinating is done and I turn up at Monkey Bar, where I have been once, and was favourably impressed. ‘I’m no Tom Cruise ok,’ he has warned me. ‘Think experienced pilot, not hot shot.’ As if that matters when giggles have been provoked–and I tell him so. When I do see him I have to stop an eyeroll, because please he’s very attractive. He’s broad and definitely not thin, but he carries it well, so he looks solid. Maybe that’s just attractive to me! And he’s wearing a collar! (A collared t-shirt. Not an actual bondage dog collar. I don’t understand why guys like to wear round neck t-shirts all the time. Collars are so hot. shirts are even hotter!)

We sit down and get some Jameson’s, because the cocktails are all desi-fied here and I’m really not in the mood for aam-panna in my tequila (or some such thing). I’ve had dinner; he gets food; we start talking. Conversation is smooth and comfortable. He tells me crazy stories from his flights, and I turn green with envy when I hear names drop from his lips. There’s an interlude where he’s drives me to dirty looks by showing me pictures. I ask him how he knows abut the blog, and he said a friend told him. He then shows me said friend on Tinder.

Before I left he texted to tell me very clearly that I was not to even try and go Dutch; he’d asked me out and that was that. So I thanked him, but I also baldly stated Rule #3, and told him there was no guarantee of sex. Now he pulls out his phone and asks me to explain what I said. ‘Have you never had a hookup?’ he asks me in mild shock. I explain to him that no, that’s not what I meant, I just find meaningless sex with no connections rather pointless, and since I meet guys online I find it useful to very clearly manage expectations. This is because most guys can’t handle casual sex. They proceed to panic about what you are thinking, decide that you have now married them in your head and will shortly be naming your children, and then behave like total assholes. ‘That,’ he says, ‘is because you’ve been dating boys.’ Well, time will tell I suppose.

We chatter away, and he tells me how it’s not easy being a single guy either, because, as I often say, people over 30 are single for a reason. This is interesting to me, because I know tons of fantastic single women and very few single men. And of course we think the guys out there are pointless. Does this mean that the Dating Desert is more like the Dating Archipelago, where we’re all in our islands, in the oceans of our non single friends and their non single friends and thus cut off from the other islands of single people?

He tells me, often, that he finds me very interesting. I hear about the excitement and drama that was involved in his returning to Delhi, and I blush in shock and tell him it was too much (punctuating his description with eeeeee). ‘Worth every second,’ he says. I am not quite sure how to absorb this much…straightforward appreciation. Could it be that there are other people who talk straight? ‘Whatever happens between us,’ he says, ‘I’m very glad I met you.’ I can only blush some more and say same pinch. I do like him. He’s confident, but not cocky, and he’s interested in me. I barely have to ask him anything–he just dives in with whatever he wants to know. I cannot remember ever having been made to feel so…focussed on. It’s positively heady.

It’s nearly midnight now and they’re closing down. ‘Would you like to have another drink?’ he asks me. ‘Where? TC?’ I respond, since it’s the only place I know will be open another hour. ‘Or your place or mine?’ He sort of ducks his head and says well we could go to mine… But I am, as always, lazy, and we head back to my house instead. We sit in the balcony and talk some more. He doesn’t actually have another drink, so I ask him why he said he wanted one. ‘I just wanted to spend more time with you,’ he says. I DIED.

It was clear how attracted to me he is, and equally clear how nervous he was. Every so often he’d manage to articulate it a bit, but he never tries to touch me, or hold my hand or anything. We play the random questions game, and he keeps apologising for the kind of questions he wants to ask–but he doesn’t ask them. At this point I was at awwww saturation point.

‘Are you nervous?’ I ask him. ‘Yes,’ he says, not meeting my eyes. We’re sitting on the couch and he’s chastely a good foot away from me. He really looks tense. It makes me laugh because I have never had this effect on anyone. I didn’t know I could. I have never had an experience like this one! And so I lean over, hold his face in my hands, and I kiss him.

‘Still nervous?’ I ask when we come up for air.



41 thoughts on “#6: Ab ki baar, Monkey Bar

    • aw! that’s so kind of you =) thanks! i’m told i’d have better luck in bombay hehehe. sadly i can’t see myself moving there. unless they give me fullbright or something. ooo do you think they might? =D

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ahh, the memories! I was more or less doing the same thing in the same city in my twenties. Just undocumented.
    The complaint about the lack of quality men/women to date is kinda universal. Be it NY, Singapore or Mumbai/Delhi. It’s just a red herring once we drop the notion of being better than the person across the dinner table.


    • Well I wouldn’t say it was that simple but yes that’s a good summary! Of course my problem is getting someone on the other side of the table…


  2. Interesting Read, specially because it’s based in India.
    You’re living the life lady! I soooo wanna switch places right now.
    I’m scared of these dating apps, don’t know what losers will they spring up. :/ How do you know whom to select? (Will appreciate something other than “You just Know”)


    • haan this is very true. there are vast quantities of chaff. but i don’t think it’s that bad–i feel like just going for it helps you hone your instincts and now my instincts are super sharp heh. i think the most important thing is to remember what you want. what do you want in someone you want to go on a date with? common interests? looks? intelligence? (yes of course all of the above heh) but write, chat, give it time and always remember you can walk away whenever you want. it’s called block ;)


  3. Reading your blog is a relief. I am moving to Bombay soon from London. Tinder has worked well for me here but I was worried sick about dating websites in India.
    Your blog helps positively in some way.

    Keep posting !


    • oh goody. but um it’s not exactly easy haan. i mean you saw the last guy for fuck’s sak: casual friendship, i have a big penis. eyeroll. maybe i should post more of the lemons! not to dishearten you but just to you know balance it


  4. This is the first post I’ve read on your blog, I don’t know (yet) whether the others are this positive. Times are so cynical, it feels difficult to believe that this is actually true. But if it is, and I’m sure it is, thank you for restoring faith in dating. You’re doing great service to humankind. Also, since he knows about your blog he obviously might read this, doesn’t that bother you/influence your writing? Great writing there. Look forward to more! :-)


    • aw thank you! yes he restored my faith in dating believe me! i was mentally yelling pinch me pinch me, where are the camera, where is cyrus most of the night!

      yes he knows about the blog, and i tell the guys about it and give them the option of my not writing if it worries them, as well as the link if they want to read, but they tend to be ok with the writing and not super into the reading. yes i do wonder sometimes if theyre going to freak from getting into my head like this but honestly, that would just prove my point about boys=babies no? hee.

      Liked by 1 person

    • orphic?
      of course i am! where have i ever pretended to no honesty =) he knows it too. but fate and rosters seem to be getting in the way.


  5. This reads like a dream! I laughed out loud at the bondage dog collar, and just reading “‘That,’ he says, ‘is because you’ve been dating boys.’ ” made me swoon – I can barely imagine the effect it must have on you in person!

    What a super project, and you’re an excellent writer.


  6. Whut? Nooooooo.

    ’twas SUCH a good story, and so well told. And that ending :’) THIS is why people go for escapist films/books–they always end at the right spot.


    • arre what ending? to be fair the actual ending is appropriately real life and depressing, but i thought the post was as hopeful as i was when it happened


  7. Ok, clarifications:

    The “Whut? Nooooooo.” was to your comment that he turned out no better than the boys he mocked.

    The ending I meant is from the actual post itself, which is bloody gripping in the way you’ve written it. Nicely crafted, yo. It’s the part where rom-coms end, for instance–and yes that’s a hopeful space.

    As for me, I love beginnings, so your post was especially nice to read because it pointed towards something starting perhaps. But reality’s a bitch, no? :(


    • haan i’ve been told i have romcom pacing heh. but thats why those stories are so endearing no. they end at the beginning as it were, it’s as old as time. the tragedy ends in death and the comedy in marriage which is a new beginning.

      but yes sadly he turned out just as bad. only worse i guess cos he doesn’t see or accept it. even if he were to come back and read this his response would be a belligerent defence.


  8. Flaming fires of good heavens! This one was my favourite thus far. Also, marry him already! (Don’t worry, it is drama queen in me shouting). Can’t wait to see how this one turns out.


  9. In hindsight do you wonder if he had practiced the art of saying the right things and the whole being nervous bit was just a jig ?
    I may be cynical but he really did seem too good to be true from this post. While I hoped that you two connect and see each other again, I wasn’t that surprised after reading the comments (that he was just like one of the boys he mocked).


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