By Pundrikaksh Sharma
There have always been challenges to the notion of love. The word itself has varied connotations, ranging from different feelings, states and attitudes which range from interpersonal affection, to pleasure and to intense affection.
Therein lies the first problem to love.
Like far too many concepts that govern the daily lives of men, from start to finish, love too is susceptible to being defiled. Heaven or hell, love is a game of Russian roulette, yet as our world propels itself into the future, what remains of love?
In an age where the word ‘tinder’ no longer refers to dry wood but to an experience, Tinder has caught the world in an inferno, a propagator of the ‘hookup culture’ that is all too often a subject of abject criticism by the generation a step ahead of ours, the very same people that would have us be their retries in their own dreams. In a country like India, wherein the decisions of the young depend upon the whims of the adults and ‘log kya kahenge’, the dating scene was always underground.
Covert meeting far away from where the couple lived, names saved under pseudo-contacts and that one chaperone who used to linger around the couple kept the entire dating culture from bustling forward. Add to that the sudden transition to “old-age Indian values” and forced saffron weddings (which is the smart penalty for couples), dating really is quite hard in the Indian scene.
There’s always been a sort of impermanence to relationships in India. While you’d get to hear about a few high-school sweethearts tying the knot, a large number of relationships can’t withstand the Damocles’ Sword which hangs over the fledgling relationship. While the typecast arranged marriage might be losing relevance in urban India, dating has dangers ranging from disapproval from parents to disapproval from our very own peers. A hookup is always frowned upon.
Eureka *sorry* Tinder!
Abroad, where you could go to a bar and pass a drink along to the person you find the most attractive guy/girl and things would go forward from that, that very thing would cause alarm because here in India, there’s a high chance that the first conversation would end up very bad for the girl/guy.
Online stalking and virtual harassment is something that rises from a very misguided sense of entitlement which stalks the virtual halls of Tinder.
Of course it isn’t all bad. Tinder is basically a starting point for a lot of people. That’s still a starting point and your identity is still yours to have, minus the uncalled and yet still irritating judgments by others. You could be someone looking for sex or for something a little more serious. That doesn’t matter, because on Tinder, everyone’s only two things – their bios and their pictures.
And let’s be honest. Much like real life, looks work more often than the entirety of your personality, because no one can really see your personality. That’s for later dates.
So while still underground, Tinder is a fuel for both hookups and relationships but like everything in India, you need to maintain a few rules to ensure your safety.
From Personal Experience…
For a cynic such as myself, Tinder has been amazing. For someone who doesn’t believe altogether too much in love and is a staunch believer in the impermanence of relationships, an app that lets me communicate the same message without fear of judgement and without attempts of ‘fixing me’ which might be something other nihilists/hedonists have in common with me, is a godsend.
Tinder is amazing to meet new people and it can be done from the confines of my bed, or any moment boredom takes over.
I won’t disagree that setting up a date still takes a lot of time, but in a country like India wherein open public spaces never really existed and you always needed a mutual contact to approach someone, Tinder’s neat. Plus, those are perils of traditional dating as well.
Love’s a pretty fluid and complex thing and Tinder only serves to widen that definition. Physical intimacy and emotional intimacy were in a war long before Tinder came along and it’s an injustice to blame the same for an entire generation coming to terms with the fact that you don’t need the pretext of a relationship to justify indulgence in carnal pleasure.
Image Sources: Google Images