Ah, love in Bangalore. There’s something about the city that just encourages it, no? The priceless weather, the generally lazy pace of life here, even the traffic jams which offer many opportunities to make eye contact with cuties. Plus, it’s in my heritage: my parents would fondly recall their dates buying Rs 2 bisi-bisi kadlekai on the lawns of Vidhana Soudha and sneaking into theatres without tickets.

Anil Kapoor and Lakshmi in Pallavi Anupallavi . This is all I wanted

A still from Pallavi Anupallavi . This is all I wanted.

Naturally, my logical choice was Tinder.

What’s all the fuss about?

That’s exactly what I wanted to find out.

I was looking for a way to make Bangalore feel less small – to meet new people, do things I wasn’t accustomed to doing. Including, say, practising the basic social skills involved in making conversation with a complete stranger. And yes – of course – to feel attractive and desired, and have the fun of dressing up and stepping out.

It’s great fun, initially. You get to go to very noisy gigs or pubs and pretend it’s because it’s so damn noisy that you have to lean in extra-close to make that witty observation. And so I went to gigs, all around town. I drank coffee in one of Koramangala’s many fancy cafes. I took new dates to one particular microbrewery so often that it became a sort of home ground. I’m sure the staff were onto me.

Funnily, for such a buggy, mediocre app, Tinder sure gets a lot of attention. Every now and then, as if unable to handle the sheer force of all this chemistry, everything vanishes and my phone informs me regretfully that Tinder has stopped.

For the uninitiated, or the happily coupled, here’s the lowdown.

Not everyone knows why they’re on Tinder. But everyone wants to know why you are.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been asked “So – what brings you here?”, as if this is some post-apocalyptic wasteland. No. We live most of our lives online, so why is it a surprise that we also look to meet new people online?

Some people are on dating apps just to look for new friends, and say so upfront {surely there are other avenues than a casual dating site, people}. Some are super-defensive about being on Tinder. Easily one of the most common phrases you’ll see on people’s profiles here are “not here for a hookup.” Well then. Okay. I didn’t ask, but thank you for clarifying. {Another phrase is #sapiosexual, but that’s a matter for a future episode}.

On the other hand, every now and then, I’ll “match” with someone who’s super-honest. Perhaps too honest. Take the case of the visiting researcher who just wanted casual sex – and told me as much within a few minutes of conversation.

“I already know a lot of interesting people,” he said. “I’m in India just for a couple of weeks, so my priority is hookups.”

What a refreshing change, right? Not really.

Hell, I’m all for a hookup – I’m on Tinder, after all – but am I so ancient that we’re past the need to make conversation before we make out? Doesn’t good conversation actually make the sex that much hotter?

I politely thanked him for his frankness, and hit “unmatch”.

People game the system all the time.

Leave aside slightly annoying things like only posting group pictures – leaving it to you to go through every one and figure out which the common factor is.

Hell, that’s not even including the plethora of Brad Pitt profile pictures.

Dating in Bangalore

Let’s even exclude or posting pictures showing you cuddling with adorable dogs {I can’t not swipe right on those! If just to say “ooh what a cute beagle/husky/indie!”}.

No, the most ruinous practice on Tinder is that people swipe right on every profile they see. It’s not an urban legend: it’s true. I tried it once, just to see {FOR SCIENCE}, and within seconds, my inbox was flooded with matches. Not cool, yo. Not cool.

Tinder is also a kind of fungus.

Is this some kind of twisted metaphor, Tinder? I can’t tell.

Not everyone you meet will be new.

By far one of the oddest things about Tinder is how many people are on it. I’ve met long-lost friends, flatmates, colleagues, old classmates, casual acquaintances who I’ve idly wondered about, even teachers.

And which way did I swipe, you ask? Nice try. Not telling.

Finally, you’ll see things. Things you won’t see otherwise. 

The occasional surprise, like this profile, which turned out to be an ad:


But also the outworldly:

tinder india

via @schmmuck

It’s all here, folks. And that’s not even including the outright perverts and trolls. Stay tuned.

Next: The trolls. 

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