The Girl I’ve Met on the App​

Updated: Sep 7

The fear of being judged is a demon not all of us can slay. A few of us hide in the shadows forever than face this anguish, especially when it is about being judged concerning appearances.


“The Girl I’ve Met On An App” by Rajiv R Nair deals with the idea of a boy and girl meeting through a dating app and getting to know each other for a while before meeting in person. Find out what happens when they meet in person?

 
Cover Photo by Ravindra Patoju

9503xxxxxxxx:

​Hi, I’m Arjun.


9316xxxxxxxx:

Hey, you can call me Panda.


9503xxxxxxxx:

What?


9316xxxxxxxx:

Yeah, white and black coloured, bear-like animals.


9503xxxxxxxx:

Yeah. Yeah... I know pandas... Nice to meet you Panda.


This was how our conversation started. We met each other online through some random chatting app and then it was magical, not magical in a way that you might think that this is a love story, but this isn’t. This is about myself. This is my story.


Panda:

Hi, Arjun! I’m impressed by the way you talk to me. You give respect and space to me. I’d like to talk more with you if you wish so too.


Arjun:

Hey Panda, definitely man. I’m glad that you liked talking to me.


Panda:

You’re such a nice buddy. Okay, I wasn’t named Panda. I’m Sneha.


Arjun:

Nice to meet you Sneha, nice name. Sneham means love or friendship, I’m sure you’d be a very good friend to anyone.


Sneha:

I might become a good friend to someone but I don’t have any good friends, not anymore. I hate people nowadays.


[Long pause…]


Sneha:

Look Arjun, I’ll tell you only if you wish to listen to it completely.


Arjun:

I promise. I will listen to it completely without judging you. You can be vocal on anything with me.


Sneha:

It’s been quite some time since I’ve been suffering all this and the first time I thought of telling it to someone, I told it to one of my closest friends, ‘I am a not so desirable person. I’m not so fair and I’m definitely not slim. People just can’t stop body shaming me wherever I go. Once or twice it’s fine. But it’s not okay to comment on someone when they’re not taking it in the funny sense that you’re trying to ridicule them’. When I finished, I was laughed at by my own friend who started calling me names. He in-fact made more fun of me than the rest & I hated myself for telling that to him, but can’t help it na.


Sneha:

I go to a place near my house wherein I carry a book and a couple of cigarettes. They serve nice chilled beer, best vegetarian starters and I started enjoying my own company ever since no one heard me.


Arjun:

Is it Sneha Verma? Your name?


Sneha:

Come-on dude, here I am telling you my life story and you ask me my surname? Not cool and yeah, it’s not Verma.


Arjun:

Okay, I’ll guess it and yeah, I’m all ears to everything you say. I understand that body shaming is so prominent in our culture that no one ever cares to talk about it. Even talking about people’s colour is so in the trend that we call everyone with names based on their size, shape and colour. Sad but that’s the truth. Can’t help but bring it to more people’s notice.

Sneha:

Yeah, true. A year later, I was just moving on with everything life has thrown at me. Until I was forced to look good for my marriage and I needed to be in shape for my own people to even consider me for my marriage. I started gymming, running, playing some sports and tried whatever I could do to reduce my weight. I consulted my cousin who was elder to me thinking that she would at least help me out of this little depression that I was unable to bear. Apart from that, I was unable to bear my relatives’ excessive obsession that weddings are only for perfectly shaped chicks and not for the others out there.


[Taking a deep breath]


Sneha:

I went up to her ‘Yaar, I can’t do this anymore. I’m not able to do anything. It’s not working and I am not ready for marriage yet. Why’s everyone forcing this on me about my weight and my shape? Don’t you know about my PCOS issue? It’s something that I wish would go away, but God not only denies help for existing problems but offers me chronic disorders too.’


Sneha:

You know what she said Arjun?


[A moment later after Arjun didn’t guess]


Sneha:

‘Come on Sneha, people should look at you na? In the wedding hall you can’t come this way. You have to stop eating rice and stuff, work in the gym for an extra 2 hours. It will help you. Do you know? Sapnaji’s daughter was 57 a few months before her marriage. She reduced it to 48 because she wanted to be slim and moreover 3 was her lucky number. You have to get inspired by them. PCOS should not be an excuse ma.’


Sneha:

What bullshit man? What is she talking about? Is she really in her senses? I do everything to get out of it, man. But unfortunately, nothing’s working.


Arjun:

Sneha Mishra? Is that correct?


Sneha:

Oh! Seriously man? You’re so immature Arjun. It’s not Mishra too. It starts with ‘A’. Try your best.


Arjun:

You’ll know how intelligent I am when I guess it correctly.


Sneha:

Every single day after that, Arjun, I cried myself to sleep. I don’t have friends who understand me nor the family that understands me. They don’t care about what I want. All they want is their daughter to look slim and sexy to all the random unknown guests when they get me married to some random 10 Lakhs package IT guy. This is what they expect. They want me to be the Alia Bhatt for the Big Fat North Indian Wedding that they arrange to boast themselves in front of their contemporaries. Duck this shit man.


Arjun:

It’s quite obvious right? Nowadays, marriages are not for the kids, it’s for the parents to show off how much they have and what all they can do. Total crap with drones, sangeets, hundreds of sweets, a grand set, live streaming. I feel like all these preparations are pretty similar to an IPL match arrangement. The spyder cams, cheer girls, food and drinks, a big ground, live streaming. Wow... just superb. Btw, is it Sneha Arora?


Sneha:

No. Not Arora. This is too much. Are you even paying attention?


[A moment later]


Sneha:

But I’ve been doing things, man. I started working out a lot. I’m playing badminton, doing Zumba, walking while on the phone, running while not on the phone. Cut out my food cravings, prepared a diet. I want to prove to every person who ever questioned me and my figure. I want to give tight slipper-slap to all these people with my transformation. I’m doing this for myself even though they want it too; but this is for me and I’m not marrying anyone yet.


[A small pause later]


Arjun:

I’m just taking time to process things and don’t know what else to reply to you. But whatever you’re doing, I wish you the best in that. Hope things get better soon. Is it Ahuja?


Sneha:

No man. Not Ahuja. It’s not your thing dude, leave it.


[A small pause later]


Sneha:

Are you there? I want to thank you for hearing me out, Arjun. I never thought someone could care this much. You haven’t talked much about the issues nor tried to ridicule me while listening. I now feel better, because it’s been quite some time since I’ve told this to someone.


Arjun:

Nevermind buddy. Anytime for you. In fact, I loved talking to you. Can we meet at the Chitrangada Cafe tomorrow? I’ll tell you your surname there.


Sneha:

Haha, that’s my favourite place, I don’t want you to come there and ruin that feeling for me. And ha, let’s see what you’ve got.


Arjun:

It’s not for coffee. Are you fine with that?


Sneha:

Who drinks coffee with friends anyway? Always up for a pint of beer bro. Hifi?


Arjun:

Hifi. See you tomorrow then.

 

Next Day


Arjun, I saw him for the first time, he was looking cute, a normally built guy sitting inside the cafe reading a book.


Just before I walk into the cafe, he looks at me, comes up to the door and opens it for me.


Sneha:

Quite chivalrous. You are a gentleman, Arjun


Arjun:

I know Ms Sneha Aishwarya?


Sneha:

Haha! That’s not my name bugger. You’re so crazy. Crazier than I thought.


Arjun:

I know that’s not your name, but I just wanted you to feel for a split second that I couldn’t find it out. But you’re wrong buddy.


[A moment later]


Arjun:

Your name is Sneha Acharya and I know I am 95% right. Am I not?


Sneha:

What? How the hell did you do that? Yes, I am Snehaa Acharyaa. With an extra ‘A’ at the end of the two names. Interesting find. How did you know?


Arjun:

Because you said vegetarian starters. Who the hell eats vegetarian with beer? And you said Big Fat North Indian Wedding. I clubbed them both and did some permutations and combinations and then found this. Just kidding, I found your profile using Gmail on Linkedin.


Sneha:

Man, Arjun! You’re an impossible retard.


Arjun:

Yeah... I know!


And that’s how I found someone who could listen to my problems.


Arjun:

Hey, cheers mate. Can I ask you something? I always wanted to ask.


Sneha:

Yeah, cheers to you too. Go on and ask.


Arjun:

What’s your weight dude? Haha


Sneha:

Piss off Arjun. I’m not talking to you anymore.


 

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Credits

This contribution is edited by R. K. Chamarla & Tarun Chintam & photographed by Ravindra Patoju.

 

Product

This drama is available in a paperback & ebook.




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