At times, love happens when you least expect it Image: Facebook
There comes a time when we all need a break — from our jobs, friends, family, routine. I needed a break from Delhi, so I moved back home. But before long, I found enough reason to come back. Coming back felt both new and familiar. I had a new job and the same home that I had left behind, and so I decided to hit the dating market. Dating is both easy and tough I’d say. I’m a homebird so I don’t like going to big parties and, therefore, that closes avenues of meeting new people. However, I figured through Tinder I could be a homebird and meet new people, which to me sounded delightful.
In one month, I had spoken to at least a dozen people. I remember being surprised at how many people cribbed about their jobs and life in general to a complete stranger. Each conversation lasted somewhere between a few hours to maybe a couple of days; eventually they all died a natural death. There was one prolonged conversation with an environmentalist cum photographer. We spoke for a few weeks I think and then it tapered off because we were in different cities. That's the thing right, instant gratification.
Anyway, then there was another, he worked at a company I once worked at as well. So I thought, this can’t be so bad, the credentials check out. So, we meet, we go to dinner, we get coffee and I come back home bored. It was the kind of feeling you get from biting into a soggy sandwich. Thankfully, we never met again. By now, things had slowed down and the app's inertia was wearing off, there were a few stray conversations but nothing to hold on to really. Until, there was.
October 2015, it was a slow day, lots of sapeosexuals and other similar disclaimers. Then, there was one. The pictures checked out; there was the close-up, the outdoorsy ‘look I love to hike’ picture that also said I’ve been abroad and the ‘I occasionally sport a beard’ picture. After a quick assessment, I decided to give it a go.
I’m not sure who said hello but I am sure I laughed in the first five minutes that we spoke. We both knew a few of the same people, he did not say ‘plz’ or ‘coolz’ or use acronyms that made no sense at all. He was generous with his praise and humble about the fact that he had achieved far more than I thought was even possible.
Anyway, for nearly three weeks we texted constantly, at finger cramp speed. We spent time getting to know one another, getting accustomed to each others routines, making small jokes about the things we found intriguing in each other. Then, of course, there were the internal conversations, the voices in the head saying things it never should; why haven’t we met yet? Is he too cool for me? What if I get bored? Is it worth more time? Well it’s safe to say that it was!
Eventually, we met. It was, and I quote, ‘a sandwich plan’, which meant that I was sandwiched between two significant plans he had that day. I was touched by the gesture. We met outside a Metro station in central Delhi, where he waited with a cup of coffee. Later, I got to know it was really overpriced and very synthetic. We hugged awkwardly and walked towards a bar. It felt like meeting an old friend. He knew what I had been up to the day before, he knew my plans for the rest of the week, he knew I didn’t like eating junk food but that I did like to drink Old Monk with water and lime.
It was a lovely evening, I do think he came with talking points, which was endearing. The night ended with laughter. But I didn’t hear from him after that. There was radio silence for a while. I called a friend to say, "I went on a date last night, and then he went to Gurgaon. I haven’t heard from him since, maybe something bad happened." No, I wasn't ghosted, turned out it was the network.
Despite the fact that, at the time, he lived on the periphery of the National Capital Region, we met a few more times and then that was that. There was this one time when we went to Dilli Haat and I noticed some of his nervous tics and he judged me a little for buying some questionable jewellery. Soon enough, we were meeting each other's friends — who I have since grown extremely fond of — we were going to movies and before long, we were spending entire weekends together. All of this seems like a lifetime ago now. I sometimes forget that not so long ago we, too, were strangers and now he’s my husband.
Last June, we got married amid much fanfare and revelry with all our friends and family from across the world. No one cribbed about a June wedding in Kolkata and, in return, we made sure there was enough dancing and minor setbacks that made for great stories.
So, my husband and I met on Tinder. Tinder was primarily marketed as an app for people to meet casually and hook up occasionally. So I’m not sure how this happened. We’re very different people, he’s the kind of person who aced every competitive exam there was to give and I stay as far away from them as I possibly can. He’s most comfortable in awkward silences and I feel the compulsive need to fill them. But, we found enough of a middle ground to realise that we were at the right place at the right time.
- As told to Kaushani Banerjee
Nidhi Misra currently lives and works in New Delhi