Can I tell you a secret?
Every second love story begins on Grindr. What about everybody else?
They lie, and say they met at Starbucks. Grindr is a haystack of men, but there’s no corresponding shiny needle to find. For every possible Prince Charming that you would find on the app, you’d find half a hundred dozen men you wish you had never met (or said ‘Hi’ to; who meets anyone in person anymore?) Here are five such men you’d see doing the rounds of Grindr every day, while on their gym breaks or lunch, or those lone moments in the loo when they (read: you) have nothing else to do:
The Not Pictured.
Wait. Did someone switch off the lights? Not really. The Not Pictured prowls behind the template grey silhouette – hiding from friends and family – being what he likes to describe himself best as.
Discreet. Does that stop him from wanting to know all your life’s minutest details including your credit card details? Not really. His favourite question – can you share a picture? His favorite answer to the same question? * white noise *
Hello, is anyone there?
Ding ding ding. Time for a quick question. What has six-pack abs, an endearing bellybutton, muscular hands on toned hips, but no face?
Every third profile on Grindr. For most of it, Grindr can be described as an open buffet of men with beautiful bodies – it’s a mash-up of six pack after six pack, the individual contours of these men’s bodies creating a gelatinous mass of pixelated ‘Adonis-like’ beauty. The Torso is every gay man’s ‘wet-dream-come-true’ – a vision of perfection – only missing a head (side note: and the vapid expressions that go with it) and the ability to converse in anything more than a monosyllable. Do you have a face picture? No. Do I stay alone? Yes. Would I want to exchange numbers? No. Can I have a detailed conversation about Existentialism or Quantum physics with a set of chiseled abs?
Well, I have other things on my mind. Hello, abs number 3 and 4, you were saying?
Do I want a relaxing full-body massage with essential tree oils and balms, and a facial thrown in for free? Do I want a ripped professional to take care of my stress? Should I call on +91-massage-me-right-now?
Err, no sorry, but I’ll pass. The Masseur is a no-nonsense spambot, effortlessly copying and pasting promotional massage offers profile after profile, waiting till they strike gold, or the stress spot on the little of your back. He makes it his life’s purpose to rub away all your blues (extra charges for rubbing you the right way) and does not beat around the bush (pun intended) while at it.
Side note: If I want a massage (with thirteen different relaxing oils), I’ll make my way to the spa – but not because I want a happy ending. Grindr, on the other hand, hello-cute-boy-I-haven’t-met-before!
The One With The Celebrity Picture.
Is that a bird? Is that a plane? Is that Ranbir Kapoor I am talking to – umm hello, how do you do, sir? Oh wait, it’s not. It’s just another gay man trying to pretend he’s just another superstar on Grindr. Sigh. For every three men with genuine profiles, there’s a lone poser with a billboard-worthy face and a sparkling smile that does not belong to him. So when do I type out sweet nothings to Bollywood’s next heartthrob?
Suave, spiritual and always ready for an adventure (in your bed or otherwise) – that’s the Tourist. He’s either here on business or backpacking on the quintessential post-college India trip, but our friend from overseas isn’t here to find himself, he’s here to find you. How do you recognize the Tourist?
His profile name shows his country flag? Check.
His ‘About me’ says that he’s visiting? Check.
His profile picture has him grinning away with a drink (no soda, please) on an exotic beach? Check.
He says he’s interested in meeting locals to show him around and explore? check and check.
Any liaison with him follows these three simple questions: Are you a local? Yes. Do you live near the airport? Great. Can I come over? Uh. The Tourist has only one motive: Eat, Pray and Love (sans the Eat, and the Pray). Usually staying at a hotel close to the airport, they prefer drinks at the 24/7 bar in the lobby and desserts up in their room.
So India is the land of the Kama Sutra? Perfect.