3 of 101: June 3rd 2017
Vidya Pai, my third date, is one of a kind. A social activist and the co-founder of BigStraw – Chew On This . Vidya and I have known each other for almost 8 years. As we both evolved as activists over the years, she has not only introduced me to the glorious art of baking rainbow cakes, but also alternative perspectives on relationships. One of the many things I admire about her is her unwavering commitment to be true to herself and proudly be the person she knows she is – a queer, polyamorous, pansexual person.
Our date was set against the backdrop of the Curve party. The theme was Prom Night and we were supposed to bring dates. This and the fact that I was going to be on a date with Vidya, I couldn’t help but feel like a teenager all over again.
I knew how much my shyness gets in the way of any potential romance. I had to learn how to chill. So, since Vidya and I were going to have a flower stall at the Curve party, we decided to meet at Vidya’s house to prepare the flowers for the night.
Vidya, the ever resourceful, taught me how to put the flowers together. This woman is good with her hands, be it baking, cooking, or arts and crafts. I have always wished I was as creative as her. But I guess you need patience for that; a quality which Vidya has in abundance and which I manage to muster only once in a while.
At the party, we had a good time. We tried to set up a few people – how much success we had playing Cupid really remains to be seen. But one thing was sure: this was one of my best Curve parties, and all because of my amazing date, Vidya. Vidya, I dont know if I had told this to you before, I always had a huge crush on you.
The Curve is a stand-alone social event for Queer Women/Womyn.
The Curve is essentially a community-building event, being organized intermittently round the year within Bangalore, womyn from around India are invited to indulge in fun-filled activities/parties so as to provide a platform for queer womyn to – come together in a non-serious environment. This encourages interaction which otherwise can be difficult in and across large metropolitans.
You can email The Curve at email@example.com
Vidya Pai’s Experience and Version of the Date
Dolly is one of a kind. I have known her for over 7 years now, and she still makes my jaw drop. And mind you, I’m not someone faint of heart or shy to hold my ground. Dolly amazes me with her crazy ideas, her big big heart, her black and white way of seeing things, her excellent execution when she starts on something, her energy to try out every damn thing that hits her fancy.
I was very thrilled about her 101 dates concept (I refuse to call it a project, as she does, because I hope it will be much more than that to her and to those who date her) and immediately asked to be one of her dates, and was pretty much comfortable doing any one of those activities she had listed out.
One fundamental difference between Dolly and me, as I see it, is the way we seem to view relationships, whether friendships or love. She values an unconditional loyalty, I value brutal honesty. She believes there is “The One” for everybody, and supports everybody finding their partners and their happily ever after. I believe in Polyamory – that my happiness lies within me, and that partners can offer companionship through the journey of life, not meet every need of mine and become responsible for my “happiness”. We have debated our points of view on many occasions, and have agreed to disagree, and celebrate our differences. So it is clear that she and I are not really “couple material”, since one of us doesn’t value “couplehood” itself! Therefore the date would be free of pressure and expectations. And with a lovely person… Yay on all counts!
A perfect opportunity presented itself with Curve’s big “Prom Night” party. We had already decided to run an “Anonymous Cupid” stall, relaying messages and flowers between people who took likings towards others at the party. So now that it was a date, she was to come over to make pretty little things out of the flowers we bought, and get ready at my place and then head together to the party.
As with all things Dolly, the whole thing was a riot! Her eagerness to get things done meant I had to keep slapping her wrist for the quality of the work she was doing. At the event, we sold corsages and hand posies, did secret message deliveries. We even made up one or two outrageous messages, and cracked up about it. We independently hung out with other friends from the community, and came back to each other through the evening. All in all, a fun night, that ended at my place. Dolly immediately passed out coz she had early morning plans, and the rest of us kept chatting through the night trying not to disturb her.
Dolly, date or not I have always enjoyed your company. While we may not ever end up as a couple, and I will not always agree with you over everything, you are somebody that I want to know for the rest of my life. I love you, and value the special flavour of madness and kindness that you bring to the world. I look forward to many more years of co-conspiring, working together, hanging out, disagreeing, talking, laughing, and having fun.