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Illustrator Indu Harikumar Covered Women’s Perspective On Online Dating In A Series Of Posts

  • IWB Post
  •  October 12, 2018

Arranged marriages, schools, and colleges are no longer the only way a girl can find her partner in India. The range has broadened with online dating. Swipe right or left and a date is fixed. But how safe is it? How good is it? Illustrator Indu Harikumar helped us find answers with a series that has women sharing their online dating experience. 

Indu has been illustrating Tinder stories that people send to her for quite some time now. The illustrator whose social media page goes by the name Induviduality illustrates love through online dating, has been an illustrator of India’s first adult coloring book, and also illustrates books for children.

In a conversation with us, Indu had shared the reason behind her illustrations on Tinder Tale. She said, “I started drawing 100 Tinder Tales because I want to try something new. I was tired of drawing repetitive concepts and Tinder helped me change that.” 

When we asked her about her ideal date, she answered, “A fair amount of conversation and chemistry, a lot of laughter and some Sangria.” And, on the one lesson that online dating taught her, she said,Well, I’m still learning. But I have noticed that in some way or the other, we are similar. We all look for similar things in a partner. We want appreciation and validation from our significant others.”    

The recent #HowWeDate series on her page is a crowdsourced project started by Indu, which is backed by Tinder. Through a series of illustrations, she tried to delve deeper into the world of Indian women reclaiming their sexuality and relationships through online dating platforms.

There are stories told from the women’s perspective. One of them said that it is a platform that made her feel powerful. “I don’t think women ever have to face rejection online. I haven’t. And that sort of made me feel powerful. It felt like I could have my personal swayamwar, where I could deliberately flirt with someone I found handsome, or someone who was funny or someone whose junk I wanted to see or just block them if I didn’t want anything further. I enjoyed this,” she said.

Another one shared how a casual relationship turned into a serious one. “What started out as a casual non-exclusive relationship has taken a very serious turn and a commitment-phobic like me has no complaints. We’ve engaged in a lot of adventures together, both sexual and otherwise since then.”

Read the stories:

Jay from #Chandigarh shares what she loves about online dating. “I grew up with a lot of overwhelming attention from the opposite sex. Women didn’t like me and men regardless of their age were always too curious. But, no one initiated conversations. Men and women would always judge me from a distance based on my looks. And when I’d say something they’d find me intimidating. So all my life, all the people I’ve known, have spoken to me because I initiated the conversation. Especially men. I always thought that I’d date someone, marry them, die with them and then I wouldn’t have to be alone. That obviously didn’t work out and I made many good and bad decisions because I didn’t want to be alone. So with this unique problem, online dating helped me meet men and be part of the mating ritual again, after a five year long relationship. Ah! It was lovely. All the men I met were always ready to mingle. I don’t think women ever have to face rejection online. I haven’t. And that sort of made me feel powerful. It felt like I could have my personal swyamwar, where I could deliberately flirt with someone I found handsome, or someone who was funny or someone whose junk I wanted to see or just block them if I didn’t want anything further. I enjoyed this. For a person like me who came from a place where men wouldn’t ever talk because they were worried of rejection, this has been a blessing. It has been great for my self esteem. For now, I am with a younger person and I allow myself to be sort of worshipped, it feels great.” #HowWeDate is a crowdsourced art project in partnership with @tinder_india. #Rightswipe for details. #art #artist #illustration #dating #tinder #tinderindia #datingstories #datingstoriesfromIndia #indian #crowdsourced #onlinedating #womenwhodraw #datinginindia #digitaldating #lovestories #india #illustrator #relationships #instaart #recycling

168 Likes, 5 Comments – Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on Instagram: “Jay from #Chandigarh shares what she loves about online dating. “I grew up with a lot of…”

Ess from #Bangalore shares this beautiful tale. 😍 “Tinder is almost the only form of dating I’ve been successful so far. I met many people. Made a few good friends there and also dated around… It was the new year’s, and I had no plans but someone charmed me into making plans for the night. He picked me up for dinner and we were gonna smoke up and spend the new year riding away. I dropped the leftovers that we had carried home. He had been taking care of a litter of puppies who seemed more than happy munching on the food on the road. He let it slide by. We sat in smoked up and had a few beers and soon, the new year began. We forgot to kiss. One thing led to another and soon we diverted to the good stuff of course. It was the first time ever somebody took care of me so much. I did a lot more of random clumsiness that day. Spilled beer, dropped a few things, broke my specs and such other things. I was particularly surprised how calm he was with all this considering he had major OCD. But I loved that little thing about him. He was funny and kind. Enjoyed my time. I felt so safe and happy. I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere but I knew it was the right place to be that day. It was beautiful.” #HowWeDate is a crowdsourced art project in partnership with @tinder_india. #Rightswipe for details. #art #artist #illustration #dating #tinder #tinderindia #datingstories #datingstoriesfromIndia #indian #crowdsourced #onlinedating #womenwhodraw #datinginindia #digitaldating #lovestories #india #illustrator #relationships #instaart

144 Likes, 2 Comments – Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on Instagram: “Ess from #Bangalore shares this beautiful tale. 😍 “Tinder is almost the only form of dating I’ve…”

I love the way @gaachburi writes. “When I joined Tinder last year, I was done with dudes. For the first time in my queer adult life I was not hetero-coupled, and I was hoping that the silver lining in my very full cup of heartbreak would be that maybe now I’d actually date a woman– once I stopped crying in Uber-pools that is. This did not happen. For one Tinder still kept throwing dudes at me or the odd woman who was ‘exploring’ and in an open relationship with their boyfriend. Also there was the pesky fact that I’d downloaded Tinder mainly because I knew the ex was getting it on, and I didn’t want to feel like a loser. I was nowhere ready to meet anyone. Tinder is easier for women of course- every second guy I swiped right on was a Match. And each time these Matches would show an iota of persistence or desire to meet I would delete my Tinder for a few days. One of these Matches popped up in my messages one day ticking a bunch of the right boxes (black cat like mine- check, feminism – check, singer-songwriter- check) so obviously I gave major side-eye — like, every second guy with a guitar on Tinder thinks he’s a musician — and somewhat wearily noted that we also both seemed to be Bengali. In a somewhat unexpected turn of events he now took forever to respond and I was all too ready to say goodbye, which I did. About a month later I was tired of ‘playing tinder-tinder’ as a friend had put it. I was also sick of excessive partying, and was spending my weekends holed up writing. I’d decided to be single for a good long while and was beginning to really wrap the novelty of only having to think about myself around me. It was super. (rest of the story in comments) #HowWeDate is a crowdsourced art project in partnership with @tinder_india. Swipe for details. #art #artist #illustration #dating #tinder #tinderindia #datingstories #datingstoriesfromIndia #indian #crowdsourced #onlinedating #womenwhodraw #datinginindia #digitaldating #lovestories #india #illustrator #relationships #instaart #recycling

199 Likes, 17 Comments – Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on Instagram: “I love the way @gaachburi writes. “When I joined Tinder last year, I was done with dudes. For the…”

Via @__ms.alwar__ from #Mysore. Full marks to this boy! “I met my current boyfriend on Tinder. I’d stopped dating after my previous relationship as the end was bitter and I didn’t trust anyone anymore. I went through a few flings and was disappointed with them too, took a chance to meet this boy and didn’t expect anything to come out of it either. But once we met, we spoke for six straight hours! We met the second time and I went home with him, what ultimately made me fall in love with him was a question he asked after we’d done the deed. He turned to me and asked “Are you going to talk to me after today?”. I was floored cuz he didn’t ask if I was going to meet/come home again, but if I was going to speak to him again. That was very reassuring. He wasn’t like the other people I’d met on and off tinder, he wasn’t trying to show off or to just get me to sleep with him. He was so sincere in his question that I melted. I have had flings before and the guys were really nice, but they were looking to get out of the place by the next morning. They had not been vulnerable like this man. Ten months down the line, we’re still together and he’s remained the same. He’s open about his feelings and it’s not just anger. Once, he told me he was hurt that I didn’t look at him for over an hour at a party we were attending. That’s so beautiful. I used to hold back at expressing my love for him thinking that he’d turn away from it, like all the other guys do. But now, I don’t do that anymore and it’s so liberating. What started out as a casual non-exclusive relationship has taken a very serious turn and a commitment-phobic like me has no complaints. We’ve engaged in a lot of adventures together, both sexual and otherwise since then.” #HowWeDate is a crowdsourced art project in partnership with @tinder_india. Swipe for details. #art #artist #illustration #dating #tinder #tinderindia #datingstories #datingstoriesfromIndia #indian #crowdsourced #onlinedating #womenwhodraw #datinginindia #digitaldating #lovestories #india #illustrator #relationships #instaart #recycling #vulnerability

141 Likes, 5 Comments – Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on Instagram: “Via @__ms.alwar__ from #Mysore. Full marks to this boy! “I met my current boyfriend on Tinder. I’d…”

Thank you everyone for making #HowWeDate what it became. Thank you @tinder_india. Thank you @wanderlusting_dreamer for this story. “This Tinder story is the closest to my heart. I matched with V when I was living in Vadodara. We matched late into the night and the conversations began instantly. And when you know, you just know. And somewhere I knew this was going to get somewhere. The conversation went from Tinder to WhatsApp and to calls and messages. We seemed to agree on everything we spoke about. He kept me on my toes and there was never a dull moment between our conversations. Then came a point of meeting. We lived two lanes apart and since we both were a sucker for 90s we decided to let serendipity play its magic. More like I was a romcom fan and he was an anime fan and we decided to settle for the romance of 90s was the best and of course having watched Serendipity too many times, I said if she can give a book out and wait for the guy to find the book, for sure we can wait till we just bump into each other! I remember when I was too curious to meet him I would drop hints like oh I take five minutes to reach the sabzi market or the Reliance mart just to gauge how far he lived. 😛 We spoke, shared, laughed, cried, fought all over the phone and texts. We still didn’t bump into each other. It felt like I had a bit of home with him in this city, since I was living alone. I would tell him about my many raids from the “Shukravari” market, a Friday market that had all golden treasures or I would go up on the terrace to look at the moon and he would tell me how his view was better than mine. I was my absolute raw self with him and that was a first for me on Tinder. He understood and still does if something is wrong with me just from my hello.” 1/2 #illustration #illustrator #art #arist #drawing #mixedmedia #tinder #tinderindia

200 Likes, 8 Comments – Indu Harikumar (@induviduality) on Instagram: “Thank you everyone for making #HowWeDate what it became. Thank you @tinder_india. Thank you…”

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