Mesh Dating - What is it?
|You're thinking, big deal, its another dating site. Well, these guys actually take it a step further and organize events, so you don't just sit behind your computer meeting people, you actually MEET people. MESH Dating, get it?
|by Peta Cooper
A couple of weeks ago, I went on my first official "blind date" of 2004. Needless to say it was a flop! He was 45 minutes late (no - he wasn't Desi) and then he just sat there and stared at me the whole time. Doesn't that make you feel uncomfortable? You know with quiet people, you never know what they're thinking! They could be plotting your murder for all you know! A couple of months ago, I was introduced to Vibhaw Arya, co-founder of MESH Dating, an upscale dating organization... I know... I know... how MANY more of these do we need?! Don't knock it until you try it, Vib and his partner Chirag Shah have some cool events planned for 2004. Hey guys? Do you think you can find me Mr. Right?!
Peta Cooper: What's so "exclusive" about the singles at MESH?
Vibhaw Arya: The singles that come to MESH are "exclusive" in that they are not only successful professionals, they are also attractive people. The problem that our clientele have is that they are too busy to meet people.
PC: MESH is a cool name, how did you think of it?
Chirag Shah: We were toying around with catchy names. We wanted to convey the message that single professionals can come and mingle with us and other singles. Instead of mingle, we decided to go with the phrase, "mesh," which conveniently stands for "Meet Exclusive Singles Here." Hence, MESH Dating was formed!
PC: Why's the start up age from 23 and not 21?
VA: Well, we certainly don't want to single out any age groups, pardon the pun. However, from our own experience, and learning from the experience of others, we've seen that people at 21 have either just graduated college, and are more focused on establishing their career or are starting grad school, and just trying to make their mark in the real world. At 23, we've found people to be a little more interested in dating and meeting that special someone, and a little more "thought-out."
PC: What are some of the mistakes you see other South Asian singles sites make, that you intend to stay away from?
CS: I don't think it's so much that others are making mistakes; more so I think we've established a practical niche. First, we hold frequent events, so people don't feel pressured that they have to meet someone at any particular event. Since they know that if they don't meet someone at the current event, they have another event they can go to in a few weeks. This enables our guests to relax and be themselves when they attend our events, and things just flow more naturally as a result. Secondly, our events are reasonably priced. In a tough economy, people are very price conscious. Many will hesitate to pay an arm and a leg unless they are guaranteed something.
PC: Besides catering to professional South Asians, would you be open to hosting a party for the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, BiSexual, Trans) South Asian community?
VA: Our mission is to help the community and bring single professionals together. If there is a demand, we will try to meet it!
PC: Before you started MESH, how would you go out and find a date?
CS: The same way our clientele have tried before MESH came along... hanging out at bars, online websites, blind dates via friends, colleagues... you name it!
PC: I'm sure a swinging cat like yourself has a funny "blind date" story to tell our readers!
VA: I'll have to take the fifth on this one! Though, on certain "blind dates," it would not have hurt to have been blind!
PC: Vibhaw, wouldn't it be cool if an ex-girlfriend is reading this, maybe we can do a follow up with her! (winks) Ok! Ok! I'm just kidding... So what sort of events do you have planned for 2004?
CS: We certainly want to build upon the momentum that we've started by holding our happy hours and brunches in NYC. That being said, we are looking to expand in other regions and into other types of events.
PC: Hey Chirag? How about you? Any date tales to tell us?
CS: You're sneaky Peta! But I'll plead the fifth as well!
PC: And what would you like to say to a DesiClub.com reader that can use a little love in their life?
VA: We'd like to thank your readers for reading about MESH and we hope they'll check out our events soon. Of course, for more information, they can definitely check our website at www.meshdating.com.
Do you have any thoughts on this? Feel free to send Peta an e-mail @ Peta Cooper.