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  1. I stumbled upon your ‘flirty party’ post while researching for my ‘body language’ paper using words such as flirty, flirtatious and then came on this post and honestly it broke my heart. I do not know if this is a fictitious post about a fictitious love interest, but if it is real I just feel like saying some things. It’s not a critique or a comment even. But I just want to to mention what I have experienced. If the ‘he’ in this post is an Indian man, then the the ship was already doomed. Even before it sailed. Indian men are, without exception, tr*sh. No matter their age, how woke or erudite or polished or even cute they appear they are all tr*ash. The thing with us women is that we think if we love them they will love us back but that’s not how it works. Almost all the men I have ever seen in my life, including the ones in my family fall for the “fair, cute, not-intimidating, a certain height, not too intelligent, not too independent girl” and ALMOST ALWAYS it is the men who make the choice of the woman they want to love and not vice versa. I have rarely seen a woman who chose a man for herself and he reciprocated or it worked out. That’s just not how it works with Indian men. They want to be the choosers. They are the “reachers” (google ‘reacher-settler couples’) and women are the “settlers”. So Indian women already have a pretty thin chance with an Indian man of any age/ race/ ethnicity/ caste or any stature. It is horrendously sad and depressing for someone who is straight and into men but that’s what it is. Look around and you’ll see that the women who managed to get love were “chosen” by the men and these women always look a certain way – fair skinned, dainty, non intimidating and sometimes downright prudish (or so they project). But you are so right about ‘loving because you deserve it and not the man’. Loving is art. There is no greater art than loving. And you only love because something in you tells you to, and not because the other persons needs to be loved. Finally, I don’t know how old you are also, but Van Gogh was 37 when he left the world and all his love was unrequited and all his art was never sold when he left. But we still know him as a man who loved and a man who made art. Fruition can sometimes transcend life. You get what you want posthumously which is utterly ridiculous, but to quote the Bhagvad Gita – Karmanyevaadhikaraste maa phaleshu kadaachan. And to love is a form of Karma too. Thank you for writing this piece and I hope and pray that you receive love so steady and lasting that it wipes out these unrequited ones. And even if you don’t, please know that romantic love is not the be all and end all of life. You can live a great, fulfilling life WITHOUT a man. (It also helps to know that in straight, heterosexual relationships only 30 percent women have ever experienced an orgasm with a man and the percentage is 90 percent when the women pleasured themselves, which is nuts! (there’s a Mumbai Mirror article on this).

    1. @Sandali Bannerjee: Thank you for being here, for reading & for sharing those thoughts.

      Yes, I’ve spent years examining these very ideas – the limitations on me as a straight, Indian woman and the hurdles that come up in getting the kind of relationships I want with men. True also, most of these relationships (not just romantic) have been tainted with the kind of patriarchy you describe of men feeling they get to/have to do the chasing and always towards women who are ‘above’ them in some way, as if we were trophies, not human beings.

      I’ve written long & angrily about it on this very blog (take a look at some of the tags & categories). And I’ve reached a point beyond that, of examining what this gets me, which is nothing but cynicism & a sense of defeat.

      I have things in my life that make me happy now. That includes some good relationships and some of them are with men. They are not perfect but they’re warm, enriching & honest. And I’m learning about myself with every relationship. The above post focuses on romantic love. I believe that is as valid a need as other kinds of love. And in seeing it as a lesson in self-love & growth, it stops being something to feel shame over. I don’t. To love is natural as it is to desire. The limitations of a few men do not invalidate that.

      I hope you’ll drop in again and chat with me!