At a masquerade ball hosted by A World Alike at an upmarket restaurant in Mehrauli where Sangria flowed like water, I looked around to see a curated set of Delhi’s professional elite, most of them in their 30s —a Supreme Court lawyer, a United Nations consultant, a television journalist, a publishing house editor—swish around the cobblestone courtyard, wine glasses in hands, sizing each other up on the basis of number of years spent abroad.The way the networks describe their target client more or less makes up the definition of ‘class’ in contemporary India.The more you observe their rise, the more they seem to have everything going for them. The reasons: They have too much work, too little time, saturated social circles, few outlets to meet new people like themselves, cultural baggage, and too many expectations.
It wasn’t hard to identify people we would take in.
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A World Alike, a few-months-old invitation-only lifestyle network in Delhi only takes in “well-educated, articulate” individuals with “social, emotional and intellectual capital.” Multi-city singles’ network Floh marks out its clientele as “urban professionals who have graduated from top universities in India and across the world.” Aisle, a closed online community of “urban, like-minded Indians,” makes clear that “if what comes to your mind when you hear “Guns N’ Roses” is guns or roses, then you might not be a good fit.” Footloose No More (FNM), a private match-making network in Mumbai also specifies who it’s not for.
“We don’t want those people joining this group who don’t naturally belong here because we have our events at high-end clubs and venues…