365 first dates! Meet the Chennai guy who’s been dating a new woman every day this year
Cartoonist Scott Adams once famously said, “Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion.”
All those men who can only dream about dating a new woman each day: this man is going to definitely make you jealous.
Chennai-based fashion photographer and actor Sunder Ramu’s only aim was to experience something new and positive every day. He decided to fulfil this dream in the most bizarre yet beautiful way: going on 365 dates this year.
His condition: Women have to take him out and pay for their meal. He is also open to them cooking for him.
His vision: Sponsor and enjoy a meal with all the residents of an NGO at the end of every month.
Folomojo spoke to Sunder and here’s what he had to say about his 365-first-dates story!
On why he chose to do something so different
I wanted to have a new story and a new positive experience every day. I’m meeting people regardless of age, background, marital status, just to have interesting conversations.
On his most interesting date so far
Every single one of them, because it’s a new place and person every day. But my date with a 105-year old grandma from a remote village past Pondicherry, another one spent sailing off the Mumbai coast, and the one on which I went fishing near Mahabalipuram are among the most different.
But honestly, I’ve met entrepreneurs, actors, garbage collectors, singers, filmmakers, dancers, animal activists, home makers, professors…it’s difficult to choose one. I’m having a blast with them all.
On the NGOs he’s chosen to sponsor meals for
It’s a different NGO every month. The first one was an orphanage, the second was for underprivileged children, the third was an old age home for women and the next one is an NGO for homeless dogs.
So far, most of the NGOs I’ve been associated with are based out of Chennai. I’m going to work with NGOs from all over soon. I’m looking forward to meeting juvenile convicted children and blind people at NGOs in Mumbai, eye cancer affected children in Bangalore and a few slum kids in Chennai.
One of my meals was with a cancer survivor from a village in Karnataka through Iksha Foundation, so I want to help there too.
On how much he spends for a meal and if he gets others to chip in
It varies from place to place. It can run from anywhere between Rs. 5,000 to collectively funding whatever the organisation needs. It’s done more for awareness than the actual money.
There are many who contribute towards my meals. From yoga teachers to actors to interior designers, there are many men and women who help me out.
Are there days he doesn’t want to go on a date?
Yes. There are such days, especially when I have too much work or I am exhausted. I don’t make plans on those days because I don’t want the date to be a forced one. However, such days are rare.
On his culinary adventure so far
It has been incredible. I’ve eaten at more than 100 different places and the face that I don’t pick the place or the food means that everyday is a surprise. Be it vegetarian or great meats or just simple home cooked food, it’s all been a different experience. I have to play extra football every day just to balance off the food intake.
One meal he absolutely enjoyed was at Chennai’s Krishnaswamy mess. He claims the food there ‘is to die for’. For him, the neer dosa with fish curry at Mumbai’s Paali Bhavan too is absolutely incredible.
On whether he has a wishlist
Not at all. It’s wonderful without an agenda. But, if I could meet a couple of my exes for a one-off meal and have a fresh conversation it would be fun. It would be nice to have an agenda-free meeting with people who have meant so much to me at one point.
Has he fallen in love with any of the women?
If I do, that would be great. Now or whenever. However, that is not the idea. Next year, if I still miss or want to reach out to one particular person then I will try and do so. But this year, I don’t want to use this as a way of finding someone.
On going on a date with a man
No, no men! Not because of any kind of homophobia. It’s just that being a guy I feel I understand a lot more about men than I do about women. I’m actually meeting someone who was formerly a man next week; I find that interesting.
On what he plans to do next
Next year, I hope to meet homeless people every day, sponsor a meal and share a conversation with them – all this regardless of their age and gender. So men will be included in that!
So far, Sunder has been on 112 dates and counting. He plans to launch a book about his adventure and is also working on a movie script.
For more information about Sunder’s 365 dates, click here
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