Love in the Time of Tinder: The Next Swipe?

Dear Film Maker,

I said I’d write. I said I’d tell you. It’s been fifteen days, I’ve seen you in and out. I’ve seen you. I’ve seen you. It isn’t a lot to boast about. What’s five-six evenings against seven years, a lifetime? But I’ve seen you. And I love what I see.

It’s slower now, the fire, the glow. It’s warmer. It’s softer. I’ve progressed from fake voices and straightened hair to half-eaten paneer rolls on the corner of my bed and I trust you with that roll. I trust you with the gunk. I trust you with repeating t-shirts and I trust you with a messy house, a bed strewn with junk, the ever-widening delay in meeting date-deadlines and all this in five-six. I love what I see. You’ve travelled from hiding your laugh-smile, should I get that?, your aversion to PDA to kissing in cabs, the sidewalks, on long walks, with your guffaws and your dilliwala accent, you. I’m fond. I’m familiar. That must drip down this tale, almost as fluently as on all those occasions when we connect through sarcasm. One all? Who gets in the next pun? I’ll let you win.

You’re the Table Tennis guy. I’ve played Badminton for a decade. You dream of space invasion, time-travel, what warped Hitler out and I’ve stuck my nose deep down in witchcraft and wizardry. It should work. This should work. Words sing for you, the way they do for me. We could meet on words. We could make a home out of them, you and I. Say yes? I’ve already picked out my favorite shirt on you, it’s a maze, not really, from afar. Where’s this come from, this sense of belonging, when I’ve only memorized your name two evenings back? I’ve lost track.

Oh yes, you. This sequel. There’s a storm coming, Harry. The problems are on the rise already, the clock says ‘three days’. That’s the thing about virtual reality, it promises you conversation, it promises you a good time, it cherry-picks brown-eyed, intriguing men and yet, it doesn’t wait to watch what happens next. Where’s the next chapter? Who turned off the light? Who tore off that page?

“Kaayar! Apne kahaani ka ant likhne mai darr lagta hai? Khud se pucho chahte kya ho!”

Platonic. Lust. Table for two. Movies are all about the movie, not the person you’re with. I got jealous when you spoke to that other guy. Ten on ten for that skirt, it’s coming off tonight, right? What if everyone was a drunk and you had to pay to get sober? What if? What if? You’re two sides of the same coin. The Yin. The Yang. You’re everything a Girl Who Likes to Read would buy. You’re someone I’d pick up in a bar. You memorize old Hindi songs, you play metal, you spin stories faster than I could commit to one, you sleepy eyes, you evil smile, you stubby fingers, you.

Time’s run out, the mind’s made, the parting issue must be proposed. Different cities. Different places. Different colors. Different tunes.

Different stories. And no more, the two storytellers.

How does one, on reaching cross-roads, choose a road well-travelled, when the heart’s stuck in the hills?

Love. I’m in love with what I see.

Me.

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