‘Single’ blogger Sejal Sehmi ventures to Mumbai to find a man
I laughed hysterically when my filmmaker friend Shakir Kadri asked me to be the subject of his new documentary; a journey of a British Asian woman returning to India to find The One. Yet here I was six weeks later in the marvel that is Mumbai.
Adjusting to the day-to-day living in the city was a challenge in itself; a complete contrast to my annual family visits here. From finding a suitable place to live, depending on my maid to help me buy the groceries even though I was fluent in the local language, right through to travelling on the local trains. (I have a new found respect for passengers travelling in the rush hours, each of who have probably burned 1000 calories from a simple 20-minute journey!)
Week two: Date one
I was all ready to go on my first date – a blind one. According to friends, this is the best way to meet people. Arriving at the bar, I walked past this gorgeous guy who was talking on his phone and thought ‘wouldn’t it be a bonus if THAT guy was my blind date!’ The stars were in my favour; Mr Handsome Phone Guy was my very own Cilla Black’s Surprise Surprise.
Call it clichéd, but we hit it off within the first ten minutes and warmed to each other instantly. Originally a Delhi-ite, he had successfully carved his career in the advertising industry for a good number of years away from his family in Patna. In addition, he was an ardent music lover often writing his own material. As a trained classical dancer, it is always inspirational to speak to someone who has a passion in something outside of their work life so that equalled more plus points!
According to my date, thirty something men and women in Mubai struggle to convince their families that their working lifestyle goes beyond nine to five routine and therefore finding time to settle down is impossible. I could hear echoes of similar conversations I’d had with my friends in the UK - it’s seems we’re in the same boat wherever we are in the world.
Regrettably, my first date in the motherland did not end as well as it had begun. His friendliness turned into him being quite pompous. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and the latter is never attractive. Generally, a date consists of two people but I of course had Big Brother (i.e. the video camera for the documentary) watching over me. Perhaps Mr Phone Guy was only interested in the camera?
Disheartened that my evening did not end on the greatest note, I watched the footage back. Amusingly my date, on several occasions, seemed distracted and disinterested, constantly texting or emailing from his phone. I failed to notice this at the time, only permitting myself to remember what we had in common – perhaps all first dates should be recorded so all women can double-check if they’re making the right decision to have a second date or not?
Admittedly, it also showed that it is impossible to keep me quiet and I had certainly outdone my quota for the evening when it came to talking! It made we wonder how often, on a date, we do actually pay attention without any distractions. In fact, how many of us have been on a date or just to meet a good mate and kept our phones off throughout the entire engagement? How long can we sit without looking at our phones to see who has messaged or poked us on Facebook?
Then there’s the pre-date communication. It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of romance over texts and emails but in reality being with someone can be completely different.
So my first date may not have led to any wedding bells but with 90% of the evening having been quite pleasant, I was looking forward to many more interesting people along the way. The next only challenge was, how would I find them?
Image by: Yashveer Singh