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Dating Apps Have Made Us More Free To Express Our Sexuality

Dating Apps Have Made Us More Free To Express Our Sexuality

Swiping right on a firang made me reclaim my city and myself.

It’s my first Tinder date since I moved back to Bombay and I’m nervous. I’m technically a Tinder veteran, using the app to connect with strangers in the years I lived in Europe. I’ve had dates by the Seine, kissed someone under the chiming clock tower in Prague, techno party hopped in Berlin and once even had an Eiffel tower moment with someone I went on to fall in love with.

My Bombay circle is wide so I haven’t felt the need to play with the app, often swiping only on long Uber rides then ghosting my matches when I reach my destination.  The first thing I notice about this match is that he’s 74 miles away. Scratch that, the first thing I notice is that he’s white. Feeling a pang of nostalgia for the Tinderella I used to be I swipe right. We match. I’m an empowered woman so I see nothing wrong with texting first and the conversation is electric, he holds my attention enough for us to text non-stop for the next five days. He’s Swedish and has been sent to Pune for a couple of weeks to conduct a corporate training. He wants to see me. That’s cute, I think. He wants to come spend the weekend in Bombay. I backtrack. I have a good life here, I can’t have some white dude I might have zero chemistry with IRL be dependent on me for the weekend. He laughs, he understands, he says, he’s tired of the women he’s met so far with their #nohookups warnings or immediate desire to get with someone white. This time, I understand, at the end of the day everybody’s looking for something real, for instant connection even if it is momentary.

I’m a tinder veteran but I’ve never had someone travel from another city to see meI’m a tinder veteran but I’ve never had someone travel from another city to see me

We compromise – he’ll book a hotel near me and if we hate each other’s company I’m free to leave and he’s free to invite other beautiful Bombay women to his hotel. The last stipulation is mine, which he is very amused by. I’ve traveled enough to be accommodating and wish local flavor on someone else; it is his first visit to Bombay after all.

So now I’m sitting in the Taj lobby in a leather skirt and white shirt and I’m so nervous I’m actually sweating. Like I said, I’m a tinder veteran but I’ve never had someone come to a city for me before, and its only 2pm. I hold my breath every time the elevator opens. The Taj is full of white men, none of them are him. Constant kalti. I sit down on a fancy couch, cross my legs and try to look effortlessly cool. I consider re-applying my lipstick but there’s always the risk that he’ll catch me at it and I’m trying to give off a “just managed to fit you into my busy day in which I obviously wear a leather skirt” vibe. When I see him I’m so glad he’s good looking I start smiling like an idiot. “You’re so beautiful”, he says, everything is going according to plan. Even though it’s my city he has an air about him that says ‘I’m an adult and I got this’. I dig it; I’m a big fan of adults. He’s much more casually dressed than I am and he calls me out on it. I didn’t know where this day would end up, I say honestly, and when he smiles I know the adventure of it appeals to him as much as it does to me.

We’ve already had a lot of intimate conversations but sparking off each other’s energy face to face is different, it’s butterfly worthy. In the cab I casually lay my hand out palm up and he takes it, this was a test and I get a real fingers-intertwined-never-letting-go handhold. We make it to Bombay Canteen just in time for last order and our vibe is so good our voices fight to spill stories. He has a great sense of humour and his repertoire of stories is very entertaining. He effortlessly pounces on on every opportunity to tease me and I’ve already decided I want him.

He was gentle and felt familiarHe was gentle and felt familiar

I’m going to be honest and say I have now seen the inside of a Taj room and it’s very fancy and the perfect place I would want to fall in like with someone. I’m going to let you imagine all the delicious things we got up to and I’m going to tell you that that was the least of it. What you won’t know is that we confessed the details of our damage until dawn finally broke, that our skin whispered secrets to each other to the soundtrack of Swedish pop, that he was gentle and familiar and felt like a lover from another lifetime. He told me about his childhood, told me stories about his time in the army, his coming of age as a “bad boy” in high school. He tore out words that made his voice sound rusty and I knew they were coming from a place deep down inside him. Our connection was so strong, the kind where you say ‘Yes, exactly’ and still he had so much to teach me and I had so much to show him. We curled into each other like tiger cats that dawn and when he asked me to marry him I laughed but it was the good kind of laugh not the are-you-crazy-one and when I woke up that morning we were holding hands.

We’d done dinner the night before and brunch the next day and when we spent the evening at my best friends house it tasted like belonging.

Later when he dropped me off I decided I didn’t want to see him again. I wanted to save this snapshot of time the way it was, without technology forcing it to fade away. After a difficult break up and a transition back to the Motherland, my Swedish boy was the perfect catalyst to push me into my future.

That evening, my ‘walk of shame’ sparkled.

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com.

By Karma
Illustration by Eshna Goenka