FAs soon as Dr Ramesh, 57, introduced himself at Mehdi Nawaz Hall in Ahmedabad on Sunday, he received a call on his mobile. The caller, Sonal Gandhi, 53, asked him to step outside and see her in a pink salwar suit and a diamond necklace.
After a 10-minute interaction, they decided to explore the possibility of living-in. And, India’s first speed-dating camp for lonely seniors in Gujarat’s premier city found its “first couple” in Bangalore-based widower Ramesh, who goes by one name, and Gandhi a divorcee from Ahmedabad.
“We are positive about the idea. Let’s see what is in store,” Ramesh, standing with Sonal, said. “My children are positive and have prompted me for this.” Similarly, Ahmedabad-based Jitendra Bhrahmbhatt, 67, and Ami Pandya, 53, found each other.
But Rajesh Modi, 60, who came to the camp with his daughter Isha, 26, from Mumbai will have to wait longer. “There is one lady I liked but she wants to settle in US, while I don’t want to move out,” he said.
The one-day camp’s organiser, Ahmedabad-based Natubhai Patel, 62, announced cheerfully at 6pm seven couples — from 300 men and 70 women, all in their fifties and sixties, in attendance — had chosen to give live-in relationship a try.
“I brought people together, they met, exchanged their contacts and are now discussing what lies ahead,” said Natubhai, a former statistician with the National Sample Survey Organi-sation. He turned to social work after surviving an earthquake in Kutch in 2001 and set up an NGO, Vina Mulye Amulya Sewa.