Jessica Faleiro’s fiction, non-fiction, poetry and travel writing have appeared in Asia Literary Review, Indian Quarterly, Mascara Literary Review, Muse India, IndiaCurrents, Rockland Lit, TimesCrest, tambdimati and in various anthologies. Her debut novel ‘Afterlife: Ghost stories from Goa’ (Rupa;2012) will be shortly followed by ‘The Delicate Balance of Little Things’. Jessica hosts talks on the writerly life and runs creative writing workshops in Goa. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University, UK.
Follow her at: https://jessicafaleiro.wordpress.com/
(in Ten Acts)
Hi Smitha. Ashish here.
Hi Ashish. Nice to connect. I like your name.
Ashish, if you don’t mind my asking, who is the little girl in your profile pic?
That’s my daughter Priya. She’s six.
Are you divorced?
So what are you looking for on this online dating app?
I want to connect with new people, outside my normal circle. I’m not looking for flings.
Ok. Have you connected with any so far?
Yes, I’ve met a lady with a carbon footprint reducing business, an IT consultant who moonlights as a tarot card reader, an artist, a professional storyteller...these are not the kinds of people I would meet in my usual social circle.
You’re the first person I’ve come across who uses the app in this way!
It lets you develop a friendship on your terms and at your pace.
Is your wife also using the app?
No, but she knows I’m using it to connect with people.
Does she realise you’re only connecting with women?
:PI don’t think she realises it’s a dating app!
Hmmm...so you left out telling her that little detail? :P
There’s no need. There’s no password on my blackberry. She’s free to check my phone and messages anytime.
So Smitha...do you want to meet up for a coffee sometime? I’m free after I drop my daughter off at school in the mornings.
hi what’s your star sign smitha?
Leo. What’s yours?
What? Does that mean something?
fatal attraction ha ha
You’re drawing that conclusion based purely on our star signs?
na...na...it’s obvious...you liked my photo...na?
we both liked each other’s photo and swiped right...means there’s an attraction at some level, na?
I would need to get to know you better before I could say that.
ok, so I can come to Goa one weekend?...you live alone?
Slow down buddy! I’ve just connected with you online and you’re inviting yourself to Goa already?
means...? you gave me your number and we’re on whatsapp na?
I gave you my number so we could whatsapp because you have an interesting profile and some similarities– you’re also a traveller and into movies, like I am. Plus you have a professional background as a consultant and Master’s degree from IIM – and also because the dating app has such bad connectivity and a slow response rate.
Are you married?
Ok, for how long?
no, thank God
So what are you looking for from this app?
connect with friends, but hoping for a long-term relationship with someone like-minded. What about you?
Yes, the same.
smitha...hope you don’t mind...but I want to ask you a question
Ok, go ahead.
do you know anything about bdsm?
hi madm you want be serviced?
I don’t understand...?
i am profesnal gigulu also givin messeges
hi smitha. did u like my pic?
Yes Mohan, seems that you’ve travelled a lot around India?
yah, I luv going round with my Enfield...hopefully you can join me sometime.
Am still getting to know you.
okkk so what u lookin 4 in a guy?
Someone who is capable of having an engaging conversation and with some common interests...
okkk...good...dat’s me! :-)
hav u had dinner?
what did you eat?
Hey Ahmed. I’ve enjoyed chatting with you. Would you like to meet up for coffee sometime?
Yeah, sure, definitely! One thing I want to check with you.
Ok, go ahead.
Can I bring my wife?
You didn’t mention before that you are married!
Yes, actually, we are looking for a third person to join us. If we all like each other, then we would like to make it a regular thing.
Shailesh, thanks for swiping right. It’s been good chatting with you. But, I’m curious about what you’re looking for on this app. There’s an age difference of more than ten years between us.
Yes, I like older women.
So, have you connected with older women before?
Yes, as friends. I feel that they really understand me and are more accepting and patient. Also, I am a virgin and I feel that an older woman would have more experience to guide me in the bedroom. I want to ensure that when I get married I know what I am doing so I can keep my wife happy.
11.46pm: Are you online?
9.35pm (+1): Are you calling me Motu?
It’s just a pet name.
For whom? You don’t know me well enough to be this familiar. We only connected yesterday afternoon and haven’t even exchanged phone numbers and you’re giving me a pet name?
Arre chill yaar! Sorry if it was offensive.
Hey Deepak, it’s been good chatting with you. I need to leave to do some errands. Keep in touch.
Ok, before you go...just curious. Are you married?
No, I am single. Are you married?
Then what are you looking for on this site?
A compatible sexual partner.
What do you mean by compatible?
Someone who understands me, who I can talk to, share life’s ups and downs with me. Basically, someone who is on the same wavelength as me.
So what are you looking for in a guy?
At this point Stephen, I’m looking for someone single.
Ha ha. Don’t worry. I’m single. I know what you mean.
Why? Do you find lots of married women on the site?
Yes! Married, separated, bisexual, couples looking for a threesome – all getting in touch with me. But one thing I like about people here, they’re pretty upfront and honest about what they’re looking for.
True. So, what are you looking for?
Hoping to connect to someone with whom I can have a decent conversation and hopefully, a long term relationship. Also, I love to travel but hate travelling alone or rather, I should say, I’m tired of it.
Do you travel often?
Yes, for work. Been to five continents so far ;)
:-) What else do you look for in a woman?
Well, basic stuff really. She should know what to say and when to keep quiet, especially around my business associates. I like a woman who knows what to wear outside and inside. She should love giving blowjobs. Also, I’m a pretty romantic guy. I’d love to buy my woman lacy underwear. Do you like lingerie?
Hi Jaswinder. I hope your weekend is off to a great start!
Yes, thanks Smitha. How’s yours going?
Been hectic so far. Just chilling in front of the TV now.
What are you watching?
Cool. I love this episode.
Me too :-)
I really liked your pic. Especially the one of you in the red dress.
Thanks. That one was taken in Dubai.
You’re a really beautiful lady. Have been hoping to connect with someone like that – smart, pretty.
Thank you. So, what are you looking for on this app?
Hoping to meet someone I can share my emotions and feelings with. What about you?
Same here. Are you single or divorced...?
Am married. But my wife is in USA. In Seattle.
So you’re not able to share your emotions and feelings with her?
We’re both busy. You know how it is. Life. Am pretty lonely.
Then why don’t you live in the same place?
She didn’t give me a choice. Just got a job she couldn’t refuse, packed a suitcase and left. We speak on the phone, but it’s not the same.
Smitha, don’t you get get lonely sometimes?