The End

Greetings faithful readers. (And the sudden spike of new ones. Did scroll retweet that article or something? One day in June I suddenly has a crazy spike in readers and followers.) I’ve been terrible lately, haven’t I? I don’t post and, honestly, it’s because I don’t want to. Even if I had a date, which I don’t, I don’t want to write about one more evening of me trying really hard to relate to and engage with a person who, even if I do succeed in connecting with him, is just going to vanish on me without the courtesy of a good bye. Honestly, I am also very tired of making all effort that to reach out to and relate with what, sadly, I have found to be a self-absorbed, self-indulgent and entitled group of people.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all desi guys are horrible or useless or something, though I am very tempted to draw some very un-nuanced and unqualified generalizations about the group after the past four months. It might just be that because I’m looking at older guys (though I have dated younger ones), or because I’m in Delhi, or even because I’ve found it so difficult to meet single people in offline settings and go out with them. Heck it’s probably at least a little bit because I’m a picky cow myself! But the bottom line is that I have had multiple conversations with and attempts to connect with at least a hundred Indian guys between the ages of 23 and 40 in the past year, and dear lord it has been a lot of work with next to no payoff.

Most guys don’t want to make conversational effort. Okay I think, maybe they don’t realise it. So I tell them to ask me questions, to work a bit. ‘What is this, an interview?’ ‘I asked you to tell me about yourself!’ And then when I patiently explain that specific questions help move a conversation along, I get ‘Are you a virgin?’ or some such ridiculous thing, which is like a toddler that’s trying to push the boundaries with a parent–oooo I’m walking on the edge and if you react badly it’s because you’re not cool or chill ya.

Eyeroll.

Most guys think they deserve my attention (or that of any woman they have deigned to contact); they’re always pinging and they need instant responses. They don’t want to decide what to do. They make truly awful nudge nudge wink wink jokes, which, I keep telling myself, is because they don’t understand how oh the ol-ball-and-chain kind of jokes are deeply sexist and problematic. They are bewildered by generalized conversations about sexism and harassment: but are you saying I’m a rapist! I would never do that! How can you say that! And I explain. And some of them get it, and some of them don’t, and either way, all that work, all that investment, and later they are gone.

Maybe there is something deeply off about me; maybe that’s why it’s so difficult for men to relate to me as more than friends. Maybe I’m ridiculously picky. Though I have to say, as part of the project, I don’t think I have been. I’ve constantly been shushing my gut and saying give him a chance. And guess who’s been right every single time? Maybe Indian society has screwed up gravely in how it raises its men (ok ok more then maybe). We have all these fantastic women who just can’t seem to meet guys they can be with. It’s almost as if we’ve spent so much effort teaching women to be anything they want, to adopt ‘masculine’ emotions and reactions and roles, and all we’ve taught men is that they need to be ok with women doing what they want, or appear to be, or perhaps, to be fairer, to believe that they are. But they’re not. And we do not teach them to look to others first; we do not teach them to take on ‘feminine’ roles, emotions and reaction; we–yes even feminist women–hold them to unfair double standards just as they hold us to them too.

Whatever the reason, the main lesson I have learned in this past year is that I cannot do this. I cannot woo Indian men; I cannot coax and persuade them; perhaps I cannot even date them should there be genuine interest. Then again, there has not really been genuine mutual interest, so who knows.

When I set out to do this, I often got asked what outcome I expected, what if I met someone on one of these dates and fell in love–how would I deal with the project then? I used to say there were three possible outcomes. The best would be meeting someone who gave me the space to finish. The second best would be meeting someone. And the worst would be what has come to pass–that I would end up where I began, just more tired and frustrated. I think that all along I wanted to be wrong about the conclusions I have drawn in the past 5 years of dating. I wanted this experiment to prove that desi guys CAN be great for me, that the only reason I hadn’t met someone was because I wasn’t trying hard enough, I wasn’t casting my net wide enough, I wasn’t being open to possibilities. Somewhere deep down I was convinced that I would meet someone–as a friend said last night, ‘But it can’t end like this; you’re supposed to meet someone!’ Yes that is how the story goes, and I believed in the story.

But now I know that the story is, like all stories, just a story. It is powerful and hard to fight but just because you believe in it doesn’t mean that it always comes true. And so I come away from this project with, if nothing else, a much better understanding of myself, some great experiences, a book I’m going to write and at least two good friends. And you know what? That’s not so bad.

I don’t quite know what I’m going to do with this space now. I know I definitely don’t want to date for a while–unless I get to be the princess most men claim they don’t like and yet they chase after. I have things I would like to write about and they might be about dating and body image and love and suchlike pandemonium, but I’m not sure this is the right place for that, or honestly that people want to read about it! But I am very grateful for all the support I’ve had from you, my readers. I never thought I could write, and you’ve shown me that apparently I can. You’ve shown me that there are people who want to hear these stories, who are willing to invest in and root for a complete stranger. So thank you. And if I actually write that book, I promise to post about it so you know!

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31 thoughts on “The End

  1. Personally, I’ve quite enjoyed your writing! On behalf of all the desi men, I would like to apologize for the disappointing turn of events. However, I would like to wish you all the luck for your book. Can’t wait to hear about it! I really like your Instagram feed as well, so I hope you’ll continue posting some amazing pics!

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  2. Sad to read this post and to know that you wont be writing anymore about this…..but plz plz plz keep writing about other things…i have not come across any other indian woman who writes so well…all these journos write superficially and not from the heart…..you, on the other hand, are a refreshing change….i would lap up all posts of yours very eagerly, so please keep this blog alive. Wish you good luck for the love search…m sure it will find you when you least expect it.

    Thank you so much for all the posts that you wrote, and I am forever obligated for the joy and sorrow your writings gave me. Ping me on gmail if and when you come to Pune,

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    • aww thank you. yeah you’re one of the people who has motivated me to write a little more. and yes if i am heading to pune i’ll email

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  3. Hey

    I just came across your blog two days ago, and got inspired to start dating again. It was a good decision, I must say.

    However, whether you choose to write again about your dating exploits or not, do not give up hope. The universe works in mysterious ways.

    Much love,
    S

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  4. Oh 50 Dates :-( I had my fingers crossed for you.:-( Hmm I’ll really miss your writing.And somewhere I used to sort of read and maybe live a little through your posts.:-) Wish you would stick around and like you said,write about other things.And well,if it’s the end of this story,then I guess it’s time to start a new one.All the best in whatever you do.And never let go of that spunky spirit of yours.:-)Take care.:-)

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  5. Ugh! Please don’t stop writing! I love your narrative style and you are one of the few bloggers where I laugh hard enough to cry. You speak the language of the dating scene which is so true that it’s so sad.

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  6. This is by far the most sad post i have read,50 dates don’t go please,i know its tough but have faith….even if you write gibberish stuff,stuff that would just be a thought about something we would love to read it….
    There might not be anything new i can add after 17 odd comments,but please stick around for all the 18 people who commented here,just stick around……we would like to hear more from you and even if they are your perplexed ideas of the universe.

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  7. You sound a bit like those middle-aged American men who complain on the internet that American women are selfish whores and they’re “migrating” to Asians. I don’t know why I feel this way but I do.
    I hope you continue blogging though. I really like the way you write.

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  8. Of all the posts that I read on your blog, this one feels closer to home. After listening that I don’t put in efforts and that I’m too picky, I spent last one year doing just what others asked me too. I spent more time, met lot of guys, tried not to judge them in the first meeting, had inane conversations to not be rude etc. But the end result never changed, Sometimes I wonder if its me who is the problem or there really are no good ‘dateable’ guys around. well, I’d believe it to be the latter, for obvious reason :)
    Its been a pleasure reading your blog and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t inspire me in some ways.
    Hope you find “the ONE” soon. Till then keep smiling and continue writing :) :)
    Much love and wishes to you :)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marriage sucks… Its nothing but baby sitting a way grown up kid/man. So take it easy and enjoy life. I was single until I turned 30. Every time I went out on date, I had so many interview questions to answer. There is no right answer for a question, it could be right or wrong depending on what the person is thinking. Say I would be asked, would you like to continue working after marriage? What do I answer, yes or no? What does he like, what should I say so that he would select me… it doesn’t matter what you want, what you like. Its just society around you who is more worried about you not reproducing more population in already highly populated country. Now married with two kids at home, I can guarantee you, there is nothing you are missing out there by not getting married. Cherish all the love you get from your parents, your siblings everywhere. You wanna kid? Adopt… there are so many in need of a home in our country. Sushmita Sen is a best living example. I know I am going to an extreme… but just want to ease you out saying the truth…

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