‘I walk in, they all stare like who the **** is this dude?!’ was on repeat in my mind as I entered the hall. People were bustling around making last minute preps. They had a pink band around their wrist. I had a green one. Green bands denoted candidates I guessed, as I sat beside another woman wearing a green band as well. Small talk, I detest small talk, but that was all I had to lean on these 6-7 hours.
In the middle of my small talk, the hall was filled with a booming voice of the host for the day. “Welcome to Meet ‘n’ Greet, 2018” he said. I almost guffawed at the clichéd use of words, but stopped myself (knowing it would be impolite). Then started the painstaking process of making the candidates comfortable. Candidates were still pouring in as the making us comfortable process dragged on. As we all were settling in, the host finally started the event by explaining to us what was to be expected in the next 6 hours. I too will give you a gist for I do not want you to wonder what exactly am I yapping about. Well, it was typically a matchmaking event where people from a particular age group were brought together, coaxed to engage with one another and then decide if we can find that one, a suitable partner for ourselves to spend our lives with.
Like any corporate event it started with a few ice-breaking games. I was skeptical at first, but as the event unfurled, it was slowly turning out to be fun. We all, for some span, completely forgot that our purpose was to look for a life partner. It was swapped with a short term goal- get to know the other candidates, befriend them. Looking back at the event now, I realize, that is the first and the most important step towards finding a partner, finding a friend in them.
The ice-breaking games were followed by an activity, which they’ve termed as ‘the highlight’ of the event- Speed matching. Every person at one point or the other has been a part of the games, but speed matching truly was the highlight of the event. We all were allotted a time span of 4 minutes to have a word with the opposite gender candidate, at the end of the 4 minutes, the guys would move ahead and the women could then talk to the next candidate. I loved this idea because I had a short conversation with every guy and evaluate if we had a good rapport or not. Yes, there were times when I thought I’d like to know this guy better, but, the rules were stringent and the guys had to move forward. Well, I was a little relieved when I got to know about the leeway to this rule- we could have a private conversation with a couple of people liked by you after the speed matching round.
The event had an amazing informal format. And another best part of it was there was no parental supervision. The organizers totally understood the fact that to maintain an informal format and for the successful conveyance of the activities a personal space away from parents’ keen eye is necessary. Hence, the parents of the candidates were not allowed in until the final hour wherein they could meet any person their child liked.
I know, there is such a stark difference between how I started telling you about this event and how I’m ending it. It has literally transcended from black to white. That is exactly what happened to me during the event. I agree, I entered the venue like a brat showcasing no sportsmanship. But I have to give it to the organizers; they did a commendable job of making the event just like the one portrayed.
I won’t disclose to you as to what happened to my best possible matches, but I’ll tell you this, I think I’ll have to attend another of such matchmaking events. The event may not have been successful in helping me find ‘the one’ this time around, but, it was definitely successful in making me believe and imbibe some confidence with regard to their format. I think I will attend another of such events. And if the event is organized by Marwadishaadi.com, I suppose there won’t be any thinking involved. I will definitely attend it (unless I get hitched that is.)”