Disclaimer: Originally published in April 2019. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
The millennial generation in India has developed a culture that is in a sense ‘commitment-phobic’. We look for people to have a fun time with, rather than investing ourselves in supposedly serious relationships.
This idea is fed by the existence and popularity of dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, among others. Flirty conversations that lead to a formal first date that perhaps culminates in a casual hookup.
The status of your equation is then somewhat ambiguous. Are you boyfriend and girlfriend, or are you just friends who like to ‘get it on’ once in a while?
It’s difficult to tap the intensity and extent of this hook-up culture that has led to an anti-relationship attitude in India. Whether the reason is a bad past experience or simply a lack of time and effort, the hookup culture is seriously gaining ground in the country. The culture, however, varies across regions.
Delhi and Bombay are two metropolitans that are thriving because of an inherently spruced-up hookup culture. The culture, however, varies across the two cities. Here’s how:
What is ‘hookup culture’?
It’s difficult to define hookup culture in a streamlined fashion. Essentially, the hookup culture consists of two people engaging in a casual relationship, with no strings attached.
It gives rise to the idea that one is free to indulge in sexual/semi-sexual and emotional activity with multiple people at the same time, without having to owe their loyalties to anyone.
Meeting someone on a dating app, in a bar or simply through a set-up is what drives this culture. A fear of commitment and intensity leads to people formulating unemotional bonds with others to feed their needs.
Friends, strangers, acquaintances and even co-workers can enter into casual relationships that contribute to the existence and propagation of this ‘hookup culture’.
Also Read: Facebook Dating Looks Beyond Hookups To Build Long Term Relationships But Can They Be Trusted?
The hookup culture is difficult to explain to our parents’ generation. According to them if you are seeing someone or meeting them on a fairly regular basis, it means you are seriously interested in them and will somewhere down the line perhaps even think of marrying them. The concept of a ‘hookup’ is perhaps alien to them.
Delhi vs Bombay
The Delhi vs Bombay debate has taken the two metros by storm. Why should the context of the hookup culture be any different?
The hookup culture in Delhi is somewhat different from the hookup culture in Bombay.
When in Delhi, dating apps like Tinder and Bumble help you find people who you can casually indulge with, on a fairly regular basis. The idea of picking people up in bars, is perhaps a little dormant in the capital.
In Bombay, on the other hand, picking up people in bars is something that is very normal. While bouncers and bar tenders may object to people hooking up in bars in Delhi, the case is the exact opposite for Bombay. Hooking up with strangers is easier and is considered legitimate in the city of dreams.
Secondly, not to take away from the identity of Delhi, but people in Bombay are perhaps a little more open and willing when it comes to hook ups. In Delhi, there is a lot of riff-raff surrounding hook ups.
Perhaps it’s the idea that Delhiites of a certain region are snobbish or have certain qualification factors that need to be fulfilled before one can execute a successful hook up.
In Bombay on the other hand, people are way more chill and accepting of people’s choices and realities.
Additionally, not a lot of places in Delhi are conducive to hooking up. A lot is logistical, moral and safety issues plague the existence of the culture. In Bombay however, spaces are conducive to it.
The hookup culture has embedded itself deeply in the social structure of cities like Bombay and Delhi. It is seen as a preferred form of intimacy, rather than indulging yourself emotionally in the lives of others. The culture now, defines the love lives of people thriving in metros.
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