The past decade has brought revolutionary changes to the consumer landscape in India, with western technology and retail concepts rapidly taking hold across the country. It began with the introduction of hypermarkets, such as the madness of the Big Bazaar and its Sabse Sasta Teen Din and Purana Do Naya Lo promotions. Now, it’s progressed to smartphones, the Internet… and Facebook.
With growing access to the Internet, the rise of Facebook and social media has enabled Indians to be better connected to each other than ever. Yet, it does have a downside. A downside that has been unleashed on women not just in India but all over the world. And, that is, the rise of the Indian Internet Romeo.
Young Indian men are using Facebook like they would Shaadi.com, clicking on womens’ profiles, and filling their inboxes with outpourings of longings for liaisons, which they commonly term “fraindship”. If there are any women who are reading this blog post and haven’t received a request for fraindship, I’m sorry you’ve missed out on the pleasure… now please tell me your secret for avoiding it! However, for those of you who have, you’ll know what I’m talking about. In its most innocuous form, it comes as a message like this:
“I am nasim from kolkata INDIA and i vist your profile through some of my friend list mutal & and like to make friend with you in online , & if u like then send me friend request to my Fb and i hope we will be best friend in near future. Pls reply me with yes or no and if u not like then i will not send any msg to u.”
(Yes, I am using real examples received by myself and my girlfriends here).
Others, like the one below, rely on flattery.
“i saw your profile and i gota say u really seem like a very interesting and fun loving person [:-)] …. and u have the most most beautiful eyes i have ever seen . if u don’t get offended can i be friends with u ? it will be my pleasure to be friends with u [:-)] … so what do u like to do in your free time ? how do u spend ur weekend?”
Some attempt to play it much cooler, but still end up sounding foolish.
“hey how r u? i hope all great..!!!well this is mohit.. shifted to mumbai recently…!! somehow came across u here.. i cudnt help myself bt msg u.. your smile distracted me. i wish we can know each other. I believe you r blessed with good looks, and must be cuming across many pick up lines or frd requests.. m not gonna do the same.. like hi.. ur beautiful.. ur sexy.. ur eyes r gorgeous n all.. nor wil i say like to b frds?? sometimes it amuses, sometimes it irritates big time i knw.. n u wonder from where out of blue someone is adding u n wanting to b frds..! bt i wud rather say… lets start off with a conversation… gradually we may knw each othr… n in the process we may end up being friends.. may be even ‘gud frds’.. may be not… So wat say dear??? will expect a reply even b it No..ciao..
Mohit.. (bbpin: xxxxxxxx add if u r there)PS: u have a wonderful smile by th way”.
(Note: this one was addressed to a friend of mine who, not only is not smiling in her profile picture, but her face is obscured so it’s impossible to tell if she’s good looking or not).
Unlike the matrimonial sites, age is definitely no bar when it comes to the Indian Internet Romeo’s pursuit of fraindship on Facebook. I have one very groovy American yoga teacher ex-hippie friend who will be turning 60 next year (although she doesn’t look it) and she receives frequent messages, particularly from but not restricted to, guys from Kerala. Here’s a selection that she was happy to share.
“I seek friends with Tourists Varkala , Kerala . I have visited the Varkala for friendship and Relaxation. Please accept my Friendship. Educated Male Indian aged 39 years. God Bless you”
“hello hw r u this is agesh im a photographer im from india,kerala:)”
“hi…are you been in india?? i am vipin ,an engineer from india,living in south of india ,kerala”
” my name is sarvesh and i m 20 year old and i live dharamshala in himachal pradesh india,,,,,,,, cn i talk to you !!!!”
Some charming Indian Internet Romeos, more adept at English, approach us women casually like we’re models.
“Hey Buddy, I want to do a photoshoot with you. What do you say?”
Now, imagine my bemusement when I discovered that a friend of mine and I BOTH received this exact message from the same guy. What do I say? Ankit Sharma, time to get a new strategy, mate!
Sometimes though, the Indian Internet Romeo will bypass fraindship and get strait to the the point. I received this via email:
“i want to makd free sex with housewife and collega girl”.
Oh yeah baby! I admit, I couldn’t resist. I expressed my interest in a “sexy good time” but only if he showed me his photo first. Another friend of mine sent him a similar email. We were extremely amused and our hopes were high. It must’ve scared him off though because, much to our disappointment, he didn’t revert to either of us.
The point that I’m trying to make here is, Internet Romeos don’t bother wasting your time trying to chat us up. Spare us from this “Mujhse Fraindship Karoge” crap. It is ridiculous and creepy, especially to us older married women. Why would we want to do fraindship with you? You’d have better luck attracting a women by doing some Bollywood dance moves around a tree. But if you really insist, well, thanks for the entertainment and pardon us for our laughter.