DUB Speak

Shudh Desi Romance : A spurt of online dating apps in India

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Gone are the days when common friends, weddings, family functions and college fests were the only places to find a ‘banda’ or ‘bandi’. With everything going digital these days, ‘Boy Browsing’ and girls willing to be wooed are vouching for the desi ‘match-making apps’.

While parents might be scrounging and ransacking matrimonial sites, young Indians are liking the idea of dating apps, very cunningly worded as ‘modern-match making apps’ in some cases. Homegrown free apps such as Thrill, Woo, DesiCrush, Truly Madly, Singles Around Me, Aisle and more are available on both Android and iOS.

Most of these apps take cue from the mother of all dating apps- ‘Tinder’, which enjoys an explosive popularity in the US. However, much like our food, we Indians like more choices when it comes finding a suitable date, which sadly Tinder fails to fulfil. Recognising the issues with Tinder, Indian developers have created apps that go beyond just profile pictures and casual dating. Efforts have been increasingly put in order to weed out fake profiles and address the skewed gender ratio.

While Tinder is a location-based social discovery application where the user uses a swiping motion to choose between the photos of other users, shudh desi apps like Woo and Thrill are the more date oriented platforms.

Truly Madly, with its catchy advertisement running all over TV and social media off late, follows the motto- ‘Epic love stories need epic beginnings. Not random introductions.’ We asked a few university students about these apps and whether they would mind getting ‘unsingle’ by the online cupid, which gave us some interesting responses.


“Indian dating apps as a concept sounds good to have fun and time pass, but I think it may not be that safe a move. It might have proven to be good for some, but one needs to be cautious while taking decisions regarding their life on the basis of such apps even if it is something as common as dating.” – Aakriti Sharma, Kamala Nehru College


A student of  Jesus and Mary College shares her experience, ” I was apprehensive at first as many people use Tinder as a means for casual sex. I met my current boyfriend through Tinder and to my surprise, I found some like-minded individuals on the app who approached relationships and sex in very similar ways and if not, respected my decision. With regard to competition with Indian apps, I think the masses are finally ready to accept what was already being done in hushed tones. ‘Boy Browsing’ seems like a much less daunting prospect than casual sex, so perhaps people will gravitate towards that.”


Riya Chhibber

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Journalism has been called the “first rough draft of history”. D.U.B may be termed as the first rough draft of DU history. Freedom to Express.

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