Tag Archives: Techies

Cupid goes to Geekville as techies search online for ‘true love’

Since 1951, the hallowed corridors of IIT Kharagpur (IIT-K) and its sister institutes across India, have produced a crop of the best brains in the country — with intelligence that can rival the Jobs and Gates of the world and armed with pay packages that can give our Jatt boyz a run for their dowry. But behind the success stories of these nerds, geeks and techies, have lingered dark secrets — of long days wasted caressing machines, of lonely nights spent recalling how a real-woman-without-myopia looked like, and of hours exhausted devising mathematical formulae on ‘how to make eye-contact with the cute girl who visits the grocery store?’

If popular stories emanating from some of the best educational institutes in India like the IITs, IIMs and NITs are anything to go by, it won’t be too hard to believe that the skewed boy-to-girl ratio in these institutions has led to many a Devdas-in-the-making. “Even with your high profile IIT degree and your sky-high value in the marriage market, you are still stuck with one of the few girls from IIT, who in no way can be a 10-pointer on looks. That is seriously unfair,” Deepjyoti Deka, a B-tech from IIT Guwahati, sighs.

But now, three IIT-K graduates have taken upon themselves the task of alleviating the dire straits of their forlorn mates. In January this year, 22-year-olds Layak Singh, Kinshuk Bairagi and Nikhil Kaushik launched a social dating website called DateIITians that encourages IITians (primarily, and also those from IIMs, NITs, med schools and other geek-producing institutes) to explore ‘meaningful relationship’ opportunities among, well, lesser mortals.

The website was conceived three years ago, when the trio, still in the second year of their engineering, opted for an internship with an education consultancy company in Kolkata. “While mentoring IIT and IIM aspirants on how to crack the entrances, we came across many interesting (and interested) girls who we otherwise had no chance of meeting,” says Singh. A vision dawned on them — of a world where geeks and nerds can mingle freely, without hesitation and sans prescribed scientific dos and don’ts, with people from the opposite sex. Thus was born DateIITians.

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Three 22-year olds have launched a dating website called DateIITians that encourages IITians (primarily, and also med schools and other geek-producing institutes) to explore ‘meaningful relationship’ opportunities among, well, lesser mortals.

After a registration process, followed by a three-step verification to limit fake profiles, a member can get access to network among peers, flirt with interested candidates, develop a crush and make a proposal. “Requests have to be sent on each step. A buddy request can be followed by a flirt request which can be a personal message or a gift,” Singh says. Gifts can be bought on the site itself through e-commerce and when flirting takes you to the stage where your heart starts fluttering, you can then send a crush request and take it further with a proposal. Singh says, “We are very strict about the content and hence filter all slangs and lewd comments by tracking messages with key-words.”

The website is currently in its alpha stage and new features are being planned for updates, including a 3D chat. “For a guy in a place like Kharagpur, to take a beautiful girl out on a date would mean travelling three hours to Kolkata,” Singh laughs. “So with 3D chat, people will have the option to go on virtual dates.” This means your online avatar can take your partner’s avatar to a cafe, watch a movie or play a game and if, science allows, part with a goodnight kiss.

DateIITians has drawn over 7,000 members in just over four months and has seen 1,100 flirt requests. But not every geek is excited about it. Bhargav, an MBA from XLRI says bitterly, “Sites like this won’t help. Women only like to live off us. Since, most of us are not well versed with the game of love, women leave us after they are done decorating themselves with our pay-cheques.” Deka has a simpler solution for it all, “Who needs a dating site? Take the help of your shining resume and the rich uncle in Bhatinda to find a girl along with some crores.”

This article was originally posted on http://www.sunday-guardian.com by SATARUPA PAUL  20th May