Floh: The Friend Finder

Our members have unique stories to share about their journey with Floh. This is one such experience penned by Floh member Dhruvi Shah.

This has become one of my favourite stories to tell.

I had been introduced to a dating app for the first time. Of course, it’s very popular now for different reasons. I matched with someone named Pankaj. In my experience, that is an older person’s name or the ‘Pankaj Udhas’. Of course, the latter is not on a dating app (I hope). So, I was curious.
I get bored of texting very quickly and I cannot proclaim this often enough. So, I asked Pankaj if we could speak on the phone. He was formal and said he would call me the next day. Which, to his credit, he did. We set a “date” and time to meet.

At the time, he was working in the hospitality industry. So, very innocently, he invited me to a hotel in the commercial district of Mumbai. It worked out for me as I had to supervise some interns covering an event at the same hotel. I was en editor of a popular Bollywood blog at the time.
I was nervous and I made a joke about Pankaj having me clear hotel security to ensure he wasn’t having coffee with a terrorist. He didn’t laugh! He just stood on the other side and smiled.
We sat in the all day coffee shop and did I mention, he was wearing a formal suit? While I was wearing a short dress. Well, it was intimidating and awkward to say the least.
He asked me questions about who all were in my family and my food preferences. We’re both vegetarian, in case you were wondering.
And then, about a half hour later, shortly after hanging up on a work call, he said he had to get back to work. And I, obviously, had to get out of there and go check on my interns, for lack of any other plan.

And that was that. I knew I wasn’t going to hear from him or see him again.
Who ends a “date” with a handshake anyway?

Time passed us by. I quit that job and wrote some “relationship pieces” for a local city paper in the interim. I would often ask on Twitter if anyone had anything to contribute. Strangely enough, Pankaj would tweet me saying he had enough experience in the ‘dating app’ zone to comment. Again, I would miss his call and receive a text that said he would be busy to talk later.

For a year and a half, his name was saved on my phone as Pankaj. No job title, no company, no notes. Just Pankaj and his contact no.

Until one day, when I had installed the Floh app on my phone, I came across his profile in the ‘Discover’ tab. And as fate would have it, he signed up for an event I was attending. So, there we were, 24 hours before we were slated to meet, looking at each other’s profiles on the event guest list.

I didn’t think about it too much. I had nothing against the guy. I knew I would be warm when I meet him. He tells me though, he was worried about how I would react on seeing him. His mind had gone off in all directions. But he didn’t know I was a harmless soul.

He was already at Olive, the venue, when I reached. He was speaking with another Floh member. Before I could reach him, Neha (Nair) called out to me to sign me in. Then I spotted Siddharth (Mangharam) and went over to speak with him. Finally, I waved out to him and mouthed, “hey”. He just walked over to me, having breathed a sigh of relief and spoke to me like nothing had happened and we were old friends catching up.

That was interesting to me. He told me he had quit his hospitality job too and was now in the shipping industry. He told me he was fed up of the so-called “dating apps” and had joined Floh earlier in the year. And we literally caught up on the year and half that had gone by.

Fast forward 9 months later, we have hung out at Floh events (obviously) and several coffee, lunch and yogurt dates outside of the events. And you know what? He is actually a friend I can count on and sharing this wonderfully exhausting dating journey with.

We talk about how we’re feeling about people we’re interested in. We egg each other on to ask people out, even people we may not have the courage to approach. We lend a kind ear to each other if a date has gone bad or not according to plan. We talk about our issues. We reflect on our journey as single people just hoping to meet the right person. And we have fun. We laugh, we do stupid things together and we feel good about our friendship.

If it hadn’t been for the Floh event that acted as a catalyst for us to discover this friendship, it would probably have been something else. But I’m glad it was Floh that brought us together. Because I know he has been vetted and validated with identification proof. Alright, jokes aside, I’m really glad I found a friend in Pankaj thanks to Floh. Just one of the many perks of my Floh journey. 🙂