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Dating with an age gap: The Leonardo DiCaprio syndrome

Forget any taboo, leave behind any prejudice and (don’t) mind the gap, suggests comedian Vikram Poddar

Vikram Poddar | Published 01.05.23, 04:38 PM

My Kolkata

In 2017, I ended up dating someone who was 10 years younger than me. This led to awkward conversations like:

Me: “Lol, Cognac sharaab nahin hoti” (A dialogue from Chandni [1989]).


She: Huh?

Me: Aah ok…. I calculate there is a fair chance this film came out before you came in this world

But apart from these awkward conversations, we had no specific issues around our age difference at all. In fact, we fought bitterly over all the normal things like most other couples. A lot of flak has been given to Leonardo DiCaprio for always dating well below his age. To be fair to him, given that Rose threw him off the raft in Titanic, and he didn’t get an Oscar for it either, perhaps he is still hanging on to that raft in some way. Fortunately, no one can accuse me of being Leonardo DiCaprio for dating below my age because first I must look like him.

I was 34 and she was 24 at the time. It didn’t help matters that she was a scuba diver and I was unfortunately not exactly in the fittest prime of my life. When I finally went to meet her at her dive site in Havelock, I realised that most male Scuba divers are a mix of Enrique Iglesias in looks, younger than Twitter Blue, and a more economical yet highly acceptable version of Jason Momoa. And the competition is global — just to add to my masculine self-confidence.

My biggest fear was my girl seeing me come to the dive site from a distance and describing me as such to her girlfriends: “Yes, you see that Henry Cavill-chiselled bod? Yes, you see that guy behind her with the Shahid Kapoor charm, yes right next to him do you see that uncle carrying luggage attached to his waist? Yeah, that’s his waist. And that’s my saiya” To which aforesaid friends tells my girl: “You need to go supersaiyan on his ass for losing some weight”

However, couples with age differences are nothing new. I mean if you can date someone because “OMG HE IS A VIRGO” than surely a difference of 10-15 years is merely the difference between CTC and take-home. Men who date younger get trolled by women older than both of them, as well as by men trying to win the favour of these women. Women who date younger usually get trolled by women older than both of them and by men who otherwise pretty much get trolled by everyone.

Hollywood has had its famous versions like Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. While closer home it has been “Moving in with Malaika”, also known as Arjun Kapoor. The glamour and artiste industry in general has always been considered a little deviant of society’s present norms, but also setting the aspirational norms for the future. Personally, I wouldn’t mind the opposite and date somebody older for a change. And go “huh” when she makes some reference from the Rig Veda.

But the most important thing when it comes to dating across age gaps is that there is enough place on that raft for both Jack and Rose. So don’t hesitate to shoot your shot no matter how much anyone criticises you. Because you only live once. And as a scuba diver ex-girlfriend once taught me — Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

The author is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Last updated on 01.05.23, 04:38 PM

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