NEW DELHI: 'What you see on the internet is not the whole truth', are the words of improv artist and comedian Kaneez Surka while describing how people build an online identity for themselves or their love lives.
The host of Bumble's new podcast 'Is Romance Dead?', Kaneez explores the multifaceted idea of romance - and attempts to answer if it's dead - through her fun, insightful interviews with experts across domains, including from the world of literature, cinema, food, music and pop culture.
In the first episode exploring the relationship between social media and romance, Kaneez has had some interesting takeaways. She speaks about that, and more. Read on:
For Indian millennials and GenZ dating and romance via the internet revolution is commonplace. You took on the theme of social media and romance in the first podcast. What are your takeaways?
The internet is such a big part of the evolution of romance. This episode was so important for that reason. My biggest takeaway was how curated is the information we put out there about ourselves. A lot of people put edited versions of themselves, their romance, their lives out there. There's a pressure to put the perfect version of yourself, your romance or your identity out there. That's the sense I got from most of the people I interviewed. What you see on the internet is not the whole truth.
Do you think chivalry is dead? Does it have a place in modern dating and love?
Is chivalry dead? I do think that genders are trying to find a new dynamic for themselves in 2020, so I don't think it's dead, just like romance, it's evolving. In a modern day romance, chivalry can come from both partners. I don't think the onus should lie on one partner in the relationship. I think both partners can be courteous towards each other, can respect each other, can be kind to each other, can look after each other.
What are some of the key questions you will attempt to find answers to, during the course of the podcast?
Some of the questions I wanted to understand were, obviously, 'Is Romance Dead'? I did go into the podcast with an idea or understanding or belief that romance was dying, and I think I really did learn the opposite during my interviews. When I asked people this question, I realised that it's not dying, it's evolving in this day and age. While it looked like it was dying to me, I think now I believe it's evolving.
What do you think are some bizzare trends when it comes to romance in India?
I don't know if this was a bizarre trend but one of the trends that I picked up from many episodes featuring many experts, was how everyone is looking for that Instagrammable moment, whether it is at the wedding or the perfect cake or the outfit or the perfect travel destination with your partner or honeymoon etc. I found that fascinating because it was just across the board where everyone's looking for that Instagrammable moment.
Another trend was how due to lockdown, the wedding trend had shifted from this big family celebration to a more intimate, romantic celebration. I found that very fascinating, especially in India because people had to keep numbers small. The intimate romantic gatherings were more about the couple now, than the families.You have taken a very broad-based approach to exploring modern-day romance. What were your first thoughts when you learnt about the podcast 'Is Romance Dead'? How was it like to work on a podcast on love and romance?
The makers of the podcast approached me and I was very excited because first, I do a lot of content related to relationships, love and romance, so it felt like something down my alley. Second, the idea of finding out if romance was dead was exciting for me.
Initially, I thought this is just another project and then as I started getting more into it -- maybe because I come from a more cynical place when it comes to romance, I'm not a romantic at heart, I'm more of a realist -- I tried to be more open-minded and maybe learn a thing or two about how different people perceive romance and that's what happened.
I learnt quite a lot about how romance isn't just the one thing I thought it was. I don't want to become a grumpy old person about love, and I wanted to use this opportunity and this podcast to broaden my own personal perspective on romance and love and I hope it has the same effect on the listeners.
I've been associated with Bumble for the last two years now, working on various campaigns with them, so once again it felt like a really nice fit to work on a podcast like this.