Tag Archives: Modern Love

A Straight Guy’s Guide To Acceptance

 

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It’s International Coming Out Day today, boys and girls.

Which means, that as you read this sentence, thousands of men and women are pushing past their sweaters and bad decisions from 2007, and stepping out of their closets (into their out-and-proud sexualities).

I’ll tell you something – whether you are 14 or 40, coming out can be an ordeal, but that’s a story for another time. If your friend is lucky: everything will go well, and the two of you will be downing shots at the bar later tonight.

But if it doesn’t, you – yes, YOU – owe it to him to make his life a whole lot easier. To help you in ‘your’ journey of acceptance, here are a few things you shouldn’t say when a friend (or a sibling) comes out to you today:

  1. ‘Oh that’s amazing, dude. But wait a minute, you won’t hit on me now, will you, ha-ha?’

No, because you clearly aren’t my type. If you were, we would not be friends in the first place – I’d just be gushing about you to my best friend.

  1. ‘Do you know what? I always knew it.’

When someone comes out to you, it’s an exhilarating feeling – it’s full of the giddiness that comes with riding a rollercoaster. Telling someone that you already knew (even if you did) is like pulling the handbrakes.

  1. ‘Maybe if you only started playing more sport, you never know…’

This is when I make a list of all the sportsmen in the world who are gay. Stop with the stereotyping – it wasn’t cool back in 1966; it isn’t cool in 2017.

  1. ‘Haha, is this just because you’ve not had a girlfriend yet?’

Ditch the biology book when you are wondering what your gay friend does behind closed doors – love has nothing to do with how things fit, because it’s not the big 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle that we all assume it to be.

  1. ‘ I don’t really know what to say right now, bro.’

If you don’t, sometimes a hug would do – there’s nothing worse than radio silence. Be normal, the best reactions aren’t even worth remembering because they felt so natural.

  1. ‘So you the guy or the girl?’

Get out.

  1. ‘Whoa, when did you decide you want to be gay?’

The same way you decided to be straight.

  1. ‘But bro, do you have AIDS?

Let’s get it straight (pun intended). AIDS is not a gay disease.

On the other hand, sir, you suffer from something far worse.

Ignorance.

  1. ‘Well, duh!’

Read point two, but only slap yourself around your head this time.

  1. ‘Why didn’t you tell me sooner?’

Making someone’s coming out process about you is usually not the best idea. Focusing on them and their experience instead? Let’s get out those medals of honour.

  1. ‘Man, now you can help me with my shopping!’

The fact that gay men love to shop is probably the worst stereotype that ever exists. That, and the jazz hands.

Just wear what you want to, you’ll look great.

  1. ‘No, you are not.’

Do you know what you are not? A nice person.

  1. ‘Let’s go hit the clubs, mate!’

Yes, thank you. But that’s not why I just told you something this important, right?

  1. ‘Are you really sure about this?’ Maybe it’s just a phase, you never know? Remember, back when I was younger and I….’

Being able to finally feel comfortable in your skin is the best feeling in the world. Someone wanting to share that feeling with you is like wanting to share a large ice cream sundae on a hot summer day. Cherish it.

  1. ‘You mean you are bisexual, right?’

No. Gay. G-A-Y. Get that?

Now that you’ve finished reading the guide, how about you go help your friend with the closet door instead? Those shackles can be tough to pry open, and they could use all the help they could get.

Move along.

 

Read the whole post on MensXP here.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Heartbreak

 

Handling Heartbreak

It’s over.

You’ve cut the cords, the phone calls and your heartstrings. You’ve had those two tubs of ice cream at once. You’ve not showered for days. You’ve blamed everyone from your mother and your best friend to that boy who sat behind you in seventh grade. You’ve heard (or wept to) Taylor Swift’s entire playlist on loop.

Or maybe, you are Taylor Swift.

See, dealing with a break up is only half the battle won, because getting over heartbreak is where you need to get your troops out (unless you are TS, in which case you’ll just write another hit song about it) — it’s time to bring out the Kleenex, boys and girls, because this is going to be a long one.

Let me tell you this.

Mending a broken heart is worse than trying to put together a torn gift voucher to Ralph Lauren (and it’s even worse when you’ve lost your heart to ghosting). While glue can be therapeutic, you’ll need time, and space, and multiple bottles of self-belief (with even more bottles of wine) to walk out of your shell.

But hey, listen.

While it might seem tough, it’s not impossible. What do you do to soften the blow of a breakup?

Read me (no pun intended).

Now heal away with this extremely helpful handle-your-heartbreak bucket list and fall in love with yourself (and someone else, hopefully) sooner than you can drunk dial your ex on a lonely Tuesday night:

1. Get a haircut

Deal with the split and the split ends with a quick makeover; one that probably doesn’t cost as much as a wardrobe do-over.

2. Take a weekend trip

You don’t need to go to Corsica or Rio to find yourself. Head off to the nearest beach and drown your worries in draught beer.

3. Take up a sport

Any sport. Preferably one that involves balls, so that you imagine your ex’s face every time you hit it with your racquet.

4. Clean up your house

Remove all the letters, clothes, toothbrushes, and love notes he left behind. Donate. Cleanse. Repeat till happy.

5. Find a new favourite restaurant

Remember sharing Maki rolls and miso soup at your favourite Sushi bar? Feeding him wasabi peanuts and grinning like idiots over sake shots every Saturday night? You don’t need to anymore. It’s time to make new memories with a new menu card.

6. Find a new favourite wine

Because you’ll need a fresh crate every weekend.

7. Read the biggest book you can find

That’ll save you a lot of time thinking about him.

8. Spend a day in bed

Watch as many Internet fail videos as you can, and make sure you do so in your favourite pyjamas.

9. Try out a poetry class

Channel all your angst into a class. Any class. Try something that interests you. Maybe try poetry. Although your chances of turning into Pablo Neruda overnight are very low, you’ll have something to laugh over next year — preferably over wine, with a new squeeze.

10. Cook up a fancy meal for one

You’ll need to get used to those.

11. Get all your STD tests done

If you are going to start over a clean slate, you better be clean.

12. Buy yourself a gift

And post it to your home address. Act surprised when you receive it. Repeat till you believe.

13. Call your mom

But make sure she’s not in one of her patronising moods.

14. Buy healthier food at the market

Avocadoes are magical. So are ‘multigrain buns-are-better-than-your-man-buns’.

15. Make a playlist.

And fill it up with all the songs that your ex hated — let that be a constant reminder to not go back.

16. Join a gym

If you are going to be working up a sweat every time you think about your break up, you might as well burn calories while you’re at it.

17. Start running

Learn to run fast, not run away from your problems.

18. Write out an email to the ex

Pour your heart out, talk about all the good things and the bad things. Talk about the one time he puked over your shoes after his 30th birthday, and how he got you cupcakes to make up the day after. Vent out your anger. Laugh at your in-jokes. Tell him everything you ever wanted to say; cry about it after, and just when you are about to hit ‘Send’, delete it.

19. Read a book or a blog about getting back in the game

Just like this one.

20. Get back on Grindr

But only when you are ready.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Finding The Perfect Profile Name On Grindr

Profile Name Grindr_guysexual

 

Getting started?

You’ve got your best picture up on your profile — it’s at the gym, or the beach or has you sipping cocktails against the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty. Maybe you are even showing your washboard abs. Maybe you are smiling. Maybe you are smiling, as you show your washboard abs (side note: in which case, can I have your number, please?)

It’s still not working?

That’s right. You are getting all the unsolicited d*ck pics in the world, but no genuine hellos come your way (unless you want your hellos flapping away in your faces). I’ll tell you something. Sometimes choosing an interesting, well thought of name is the only thing that comes between getting a ping or a pass over — because pretty pictures of your dimples just don’t cut it anymore, when all you need is a nice boy to go have a beer with.

What do you do then?

It’s easy peasy. You start right from scratch. Now hurry over and use this guide to find yourself an appropriate online dating handle, because your six-pack clearly isn’t doing it for you:

1. How about your real name?

The obvious thing to do when you are trying to come up with your Grindr handle is to use your actual name — but it’s easier said than done, because then we’d have half a dozen torsos who are all called Karan or Matthew or Tony. What’s the next best thing? You add a number or two — but then, before you know it, you are mere characters away from using your first ever email address. Keep it simple, keep it easy.

As you wipe off those quick tears of nostalgia, and pat yourself on your back (because Raj3188has a nice ring to it) — just make sure the numbers aren’t the same as your ATM pin.

Cashing out emotions might be fine, but you don’t want someone to cash out your savings account.

2. It’s all about the location, location, location?

Too lazy to tell someone where you stay?

It’s simple — squeeze in your location into the twenty-five characters that make up your handle, and you’ll have more than one express delivery coming your way tonight. In all probability, this way you’ll also relate to being the friendly neighborhood GPS tracker — because with a name like BandraBoy or ConnaughtPlace_Cutie, you’ll only get asked for directions to your bachelor pad every other day.

3. So you want to be a Pop Culture nerd?

If you want your date to think you are the charming, quick-witted fox that you are obviously lying about being, it’s better to pull out a long forgotten reference from a book or a movie.

Word of advice: make sure it’s original and hasn’t been thought of before, because you’ll find a dozen other ReginaGeorge69’s out there who are looking for the same thing you are.

Someone to share their ‘Kälteen bars’ with.

At the same time, you don’t need to have the power of deduction to understand that a name as witty as SherlockHomos will only be appreciated by a select few, unless you are prepared for questions like ‘Are you a homo?’ or something even more succinct, like ‘I have the key for your lock. It’s my d*ck.’

PS: While every pop culture nerd craves another, do know that if a guy calls himself TheExcalibur and doesn’t get your funny King Arthur joke, it’s probably a good idea to hit the block button instead of trying to get him to join you at your round table.

4. Let’s talk about sex (or not)?

While this is the easiest way to get noticed, it’s also the story of every other account on Grindr — any reference to your size, sexual preference or fetish, and you are a guaranteed 30 minutes (15, if it’s the middle of the night) away from playing out your dirtiest fantasy with the naughty hottie from the neighborhood.

Whether you are HolePlugger, HighFun or Masc_for_Masc, your inbox is going to be full of messages that will get you your fair share of action, but remember, if you expect to find your future soul mate with a handle like Bottom4u, you are probably looking in the wrong place to begin with.

The Guysexual’s Guide To Ghosting: Vol. III

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Cutting something out of your life only works when it involves one of these four broad categories: complex carbohydrates, processed sugar, cheap vodka and bad vibes. But that’s about it.

I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s not the same when it involves people.

As Arvind learnt the hard way (in the first of my terrifying three-part guide to ghosting), getting left in the lurch can truly be a haunting experience. People like to see death and destruction in horror films, not necessarily their relationships — and while dealing with it can be a terrifying ordeal (only made better with these life hacks), it’s fair to say that it’s a whole new ball game when you are sitting on the other side of this Ouija board of online dating.

Continue reading The Guysexual’s Guide To Ghosting: Vol. III

Ask The Guysexual: Love And Other Drugs Vol III

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Gay men collect questions like they collect friends.

Want to pack up and move on to the next step of your relationship with your boyfriend? Is mauve better than lavender? Does love really not cost a thing? How soon is too soon to say those three words, eight letters? Am I really as cynical as I seem online? More importantly, do you think I am cynical?

Now find answers to all these questions and more in #AskGuysexual’s Love And Other Drugs: Vol. III:

Dear Guysexual,

I’ve been in a loving relationship the past few months, and my boyfriend wants us to move in together.  I really don’t mind, but his parents keep visiting every few months and I am not sure whether I am ready for that kind of intensity in the relationship.  What should I do?

— BoomMate

Dear BoomMate,

Moving in with the boyfriend is the boss level at the end of every video game — your toothbrush joins his, and your antidepressants find their own little sweet spot in his shower cabinet. Your socks tangle in a passionate mess, your underwear finds its own intimate drawer, you even find your side of the bed (the one that doesn’t face the window). You are officially just moments away from getting matching towels. As you unpack and spread your life all over his, applaud. This is where the rollercoaster begins.

But it’s not necessarily where it ends either. When living with your parents can be quite the task, living with a set that belongs to someone else can be trickier — this is the bonus level where you fight a new big bad for brownie points. Firstly, you’ll have to deal with the following questions:

Do you say hello at breakfast just hours after you’ve done the nasty with their son?

How much small talk do you make as you ask them to pass the salt?

Are you supposed to make small talk as you ask them to pass the salt?

Most importantly, is it even polite to ask them to pass the salt?

It can go either way — you might be tugging at their heartstrings with heartwarming stories of your day at work, or playing tug of war for your boyfriend’s attention instead. It’s a risk everyone has to take at some point in his or her life, but is it one you want to take?

Like I said, you’ll be asking a lot of questions before you choose to pack those boxes up — just make sure you have the answers to them before you decide to split the rent (and the time with his parents).

Or you just might have to move away with the same boxes you arrived with.

Dear Guysexual,

I met a really great guy close to two months ago, and our relationship has skyrocketed ever since. I met his friends, and he met mine — and everybody is gaga about each other. I read somewhere that when you meet the One, you just know, and I feel like he’s the One for me. Do you think it’s too soon to tell him I love him?

— LoveFool91

Dear LoveFool91,

Quick question. Do you know what New Year’s Eve, the microwave and the American Billboard Top 100 have in common?

They all have a ticker — a numerical countdown that trickles down to the grand prize as you watch with bated breath — in this case, the New Year (and a new you), hot food, and everyone’s favourite top-rated song that’s currently playing at all the clubs around the world.

That’s the thing about tickers — they make everything about the destination, and leave little for the journey — how often do you hear of people who made their resolutions at 11.57 pm, or jive to no. 9 on the Billboard Top 100?

Just about never. Fortunately, there’s no countdown when it comes to love — because no ticker can ever tell you if you are ready to tell someone how you feel about them. Yes, every little instance counts to the big moment — your first fight, your first kiss, the first time you went to buy groceries together, the first time you bickered while out on a weekend getaway, the first time you spilled your drink on his shirt, the first time you farted, but every little instance is also the big moment. There will be many firsts, just like there will be the first time you tell him you love him.

If you feel like he’s the One, make sure you tell him right away.

Just make sure you don’t do it while you are farting.

Dear Guysexual,

It’s amazing that you’ve been solving matters of the heart for everyone else, but I was wondering if there’s someone who does it for you — what’s your secret?

— ConcernedGuy4You

Dear ConcernedGuy4You,

Firstly, I am going to take that backhanded compliment and store it in my tiny jar of self-validation — it’s little things like these that make me hate myself a little less every morning.

Just kidding. I love myself.

And that’s my secret.

I learn, laugh, love and live. You’ve probably seen the same advice on a DIY Pinterest board, because that’s where I saw it as well. If people learned to appreciate themselves a wee bit more, I wouldn’t be paying my bills writing an advice column.

PS: Although when it comes to matters of the heart, I just consult The Gay Man’s Guide To Dating (out now on Juggernaut Books) by the Guysexual (yours truly). Shameless self-promotion aside, sometimes even the ‘self-help section’ of the library needs help, just like everyone else does.

Have questions that you still need answers to? Tweet them over to @theguysexual and get them answered in #AskGuysexual’s Love And Other Drugs: Volume IV next month!

 

The Guysexual’s Guide To Every Fuckboy In The World

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Kartik, 28 (my copywriter friend who gets a mention every few weeks) matched with Atul, a senior associate at a top legal firm, about two years ago. They bonded over their love for bad puns, great gin and the fact that they were both self-proclaimed Ravenclaws. What could I say?

Wit beyond measure led them to each other’s treasure trails.

For Kartik (as is usual), it was love at first swipe. Like most millennial love stories, it had its (mostly) highs and (many) lows. But something still seemed wrong — the dates were always at home, friends were never involved and future plans were never made. Their trysts started late, but Kartik was never invited to stay the night (including that one time when he puked all over the bathroom floor).

It seemed strange, but Kartik (being Kartik) decided not to second-guess things. He continued making bad puns, and drinking great gin. Why wouldn’t he?

Atul was a great many things. He was smart. He was handsome. He was successful. He was charming. He was a dipsomaniac.

Atul was also a F**kboy.

The quintessential f**kboy (just like Atul) is not always very easy to spot, considering his adaptive nature and ability to blend in. The F**kboy is everywhere (and more importantly, anywhere). Smiling behind you at the checkout aisle in the supermarket. Making googly eyes in the subway. At the library. In your poetry class. In the bus. At the local pub. In your untouched list of Tinder matches. Anyone who’s traversed through this giant desert of dating knows that finding a F**kboy is like finding a wild Rattata on Pokemon Go — it’s that common — which makes avoiding them that much more difficult. Want to know how to bypass the boys that most bad decisions are made of?

Look no further, kids. Here are some telltale signs the guy you are hopelessly crushing on, only plans to crush your heart after:

The F**kboy only messages you post midnight.

He’ll never disappoint.

The one time he messages you at 8 pm, is simply because his flat mates are away.

He drinks his cold pressed juices straight out of the carton.

Just like he drinks his pre-mixed cocktails straight out of plastic bottles.

The f**kboy is an amalgamation of bad pick-up lines, expensive perfume and template text messages that he broadcasts to his little black book of men.

All three have high success rates.

He hoards up on all his used condom wrappers, because ‘how else will he know that he’s the supreme sex god that he claims to be?’

He addresses you as his bro. Even when he meets you in person.

And he doesn’t mean it in the endearing “I-am-so-comfortable-around-you-I-can-call-you-anything’ kind of way.

He’s always vague about his Friday night plans.

But he already has advance tickets for Tomorrowland 2019.

The F**kboy doesn’t snuggle. He prefers the post-coital smoke to the post-coital cuddle.

His idea of the perfect date includes drinks at a dive bar, and dessert back at his place. Dinner is usually not a part of the deal, unless you offer to eat it off him.

He wears his charm like he wears his signature perfume.

Bottles of it at a time.

He introduces you to his friends as a ‘friend from work that he bumped into’.

Eight months into knowing you. You never see them again.

Or all his friends know who you exactly are, but they act like they know something that you obviously don’t: that he’s seeing other people.

He’s always busy when it’s time to meet your friends.

Once it was his dog’s funeral. Twice it was a late night at the office.

And thrice, it was his mother’s birthday.

In the same year.

The F**kboy rolls up his shirtsleeves to just below his elbows, because he likes to live on the edge.

He likes to drive with his windows open, and uses styling mousse so that his hair doesn’t look ‘too windswept.’ Sometimes he doubles it up as lubricant.

He never lets you stay, and has an excuse ready every time you suggest pulling out your jammies. Sometimes it’s a early morning gym session at 5 am. Sometimes it’s an over inquisitive maid who can’t mind her own business. Sometimes it’s an Uber he booked for you when you were cleaning up in the bathroom.

He likes his boys just like he likes his chardonnay.

Free flowing, and out of his system the next morning.

He doesn’t see the point of crossword puzzles, middle school trigonometry or commitment.

He downloads Grindr Xtra just so he can get unlimited blocks.

And an unlimited pass into everyone’s pants.

At some point in your relationship, he’ll tell you that you are the One.

He’ll also tell the same thing to Rizwan. To Sam. To Kabir. To Nikhil. To Rahul. To Kiran. To Sameer. To Zishaan.

He breaks up with you eventually, because ‘he’s not good enough for you, and you deserve better,’ He doesn’t reply to your texts, phone calls (and that one long winding drunken email) after.

That’s the thing.

The F**kboy will only lead you to another one. And another one. And another one. He’ll lead you through a string of bad decisions, heartbreak and life-altering mistakes.

You’ll sigh every time, but you’ll never learn.

Now go message your Atul.

The Avengers of Online Dating: Six Super Liars To Stay Away From!

 

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Staggering amounts of people lie on their online dating profiles.

People lie about their age, they lie about their weight, they lie about what they do, and sometimes they even lie about ‘who they do’ (or don’t). We all like to pretend to be someone else once in a while, and we love doing so especially on our dating profiles — pulling on those masks of deceit, and becoming the best version of ourselves — if superheroes (and supervillains) like the Avengers can do it, why shouldn’t we?

While our favourite ensemble might be gathering troops and picking sides to fight the Infinity War in the recently released trailer, these are the six (Sc)Avengers (doing the rounds of the online dating world) that you definitely need to avoid giving your infinity stone to:

The Hulk

In all his glory, the Hulk is your bulked up Adonis, with a profile to match. With his bulging biceps and cheekbones that need to grace a GQ feature, he looks like the ultimate Men’s Health model. But while it’s common for all of us to fudge the details of our height and weight a little (adding an inch or two or subtracting a kilogram or two from our stats as we fill up our profiles and our egos), the Hulk takes it to a whole new level.

I’ll let you in on something.

The Hulk has lied about his high cheekbones. He has lied about his side obliques that can cut glass. He even lied about those buns of steel. In all probability, your modern day Bruce Banner is a gawky 17-year-old who’s voice is just breaking.

Just like your heart is right now.

The Black Widow

Raj was verbally abusive. Sam told him to go see a therapist. Danny would never call back. Kabir found it hard to commit. Rajeev never stopped calling. Shyam decided to tell his friends why they broke up. Tom called up his mom to tell her that her son is a psycho. Akbar called him a cheating scumbag. Ryan threatened to set his house on fire.

Do you see the pattern? You obviously do. The Black Widow spins a gossamer web of lies that’s built on douchebag exes, quivering voicemails and heartbreaking breakups.

But that’s the thing. If a boy spews venom about an ex or two, it’s fine — we all have relationships that sour out. But if he badmouths every boy he’s ever been with, the chances that you are next on his kill list are as just as likely.

The Hawkeye

The Hawkeye is always watching.

With his keen sense of intuition and the hours he’s spent lurking on your social media feed, (memorising your tweets and liking your brunch pictures on Instagram) he knows the virtual version (and shape) of you by heart.

He knows you like your matcha tea, reality television and Internet cat videos. He knows you prefer your coffee black and your boys brown. He knows the street you live on, and (if he’s good), he even knows your bank account details.

He’ll use all these details to woo you: crack a ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ joke that he probably picked up from the internet, share a Instagram photo of his matcha Frappuccino, or tag you in a viral cat meme — it’s like a meet-cute from a movie, but also it’s just as scripted. He’ll continue pursuing you with all his likes and lies till he steals your heart away.

And if things don’t work out, he’ll use his skills to steal all your money instead.

The Iron Man

The Iron Man seems like he’s the Tony Stark of the online dating world. He’s suave, charming and seems like a man who knows everyone who matters — he tells you he’s had breakfast with A-listers from Bollywood (he’ll tell you about how Ranveer Singh makes the best gluten-free pancakes), he went bowling with Rob Kardashian that one time he was in Los Angeles (before the whole Blac Chyna showdown, obviously) and exchanges daily texts with the crown prince of Saudi Arabia (where they talk about stock prices and women’s rights).

‘I know so many famous people, I don’t think of them as famous people any more’ he gushes to you, over text. When you do take the leap of faith and believe him, and casually ask to share pictures of him with all his red carpet buddies — he mysteriously disappears on you, and you never get the VIP Pass access to his pants.

The Thor

Your blue-eyed boy is perfect on paper — he’s sweet, good-natured and (also) a treat to look at, plus his profile is spiked with inspirational quotes that change your life. He’s so amazing; he could be your custom-made Prince Charming on steroids. Does that sound too good to be true?

Because he is too good to be true. Your god of thunder is all rumble, and no spark when you two actually do meet, which will only happen once you share a dick pic on Grindr — after which the transformation from demigod to douchebag is as certain as another Thor sequel (the real one).

PS: No points for guessing that he doesn’t come with Thor’s magic hammer either (in his pants, or otherwise).

The Captain America

Our Captain America is sitting miles and miles away — either in a leased apartment that is the size (and smell) of a matchbox, or a hostel dorm room dang in the middle of Nowheresville — but here you have your favourite dating app telling you he’s saying hello just from two blocks away.

The king of fake GPS, our resident globetrotter travels all over the world looking for that special someone. He spends breakfast scouting for boys in New York, wastes lunch looking for men in Paris and grabs dinner as he swipes through all the guys in Delhi — he might not have the money to tour the men around the globe, but he definitely has the APK tool kit on his smartphone to look at (and talk to) all of them. Chances are that as you read this sentence, he’s probably cosying up to dudes in Amsterdam, while he flicks channels in his flat in Ahmedabad.