A Decade of Dating Advice from Splitsvilla


A Decade of Dating Advice from Splitsvilla

Illustration: Akshita Monga


If you are a man who has grown up in India recently, your idea of sex education is probably “buy sunglasses” and “lurk around the gym with the vague hope that you become a Roadie someday”. At the gym, you may then find another entitled 20-something man with whom you can discuss exercise routines and “saxy bandis”. The two of you then strut around and assume that the entire female population is willing to sleep with you as soon as you say the words, “Hey, how’s you?”

Okay, maybe I’m just talking about a very specific kind of man – one who will grow up and find love in the house of horror that is Splitsvilla. As the show returns for yet another season and us plebs cross 11 years of watching eight Greek Goddesses/Gods from our cities threatening to beat the shit out of each other, it’s about time the show gets the acknowledgement it deserves: It is the most sex education we’ve had on our televisions since the authorities discovered FTV’s midnight hour.

For those of you completely out of the loop, Splitsvilla is a house located somewhere in India that the RSS has a hard time reaching. Every year a few men and women gather in a yearly mating ritual, punctuated by tremendous “woahs” and “ahs”. The men, who have been taken away from the gym for too long, are at this point, more protein shake than people. They are so impatient to see members of the opposite sex that they have to be kept at an arm’s length – usually on a boat, or a moat – so that they don’t accidentally ejaculate during the meeting.

The meeting usually involves all the women judging the men by the number of hours they have spent at the gym, and men making all sorts of tall claims. One such specimen was Nawab Faizi, who in season six, claimed that he was bringing sexy back. If you pay close attention you will see that he is actually in the process of giving all the women in the world a boner.  

Once at least two of the contestants have said “ab feel aaya ke hum Splitsvilla main hain,” all hell breaks loose. The men and women attempt to create and break connections in the first 10 seconds, readying to play the “Game”, an idea that was injected into Indian culture via the seminal TV show, Roadies. The Game involves dramatically exaggerating every movement and word spoken — take a cue from Splitsvilla 8’s Priyanka Bora, who said, “Tujhe toh main yahaan pe hi gaad doongi (I’ll bury you here),” when she actually meant to say, “What am I doing with my life?” Be sure to do this for no reason for the entire duration of your 15 minutes of very little fame.

It doesn’t matter how huge your arms have become with all the steroids, you have to be able to pull off a Bollywood routine with the grace of a swan.

On Splitsvilla connections are made and broken based on the couple’s physical appearance – biggest biceps, smallest brain, etc – faster than the host Rannvijay can say “twist”. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but on Splitsvilla things are a little different. Here, it is perfectly acceptable to judge a book by the first alphabet of the title. Start doing this by immediately body-shaming anyone who doesn’t look like The Rock’s half-Indian lovechild.

Which brings us to our first dating tip from the hallowed Splitsvillain: When you happen to find someone you like, or set out to “Catch your Match,” it is imperative to immediately display how well you can break it down in dance.  

MTV Splitsvilla

“What do we think about true love? Funny you ask…”

Image Credit: MTV Splitsvilla / Facebook

This is apparently the first step on the average Indian kid’s sexual journey. It doesn’t matter how huge your arms have become with all the steroids, you have to be able to pull off a Bollywood routine with the grace of a swan. This season’s baby face Siddharth actually managed to pull off a four-minute contemporary routine. Wanna be someone? Be like Siddharth.   

Once this mating ritual is over, immediately insult the person who dances better than you because no one wants to become the person they play this “pussycat” song for. Your idol, in this case, should be Prince Narula from the triumvirate of edgy Indian programming: Roadies, Splitsvilla, and Big Boss. Proceed to puff out your chest and cock your head like a pigeon; show your partner that you’ll do anything for them, even if it means swearing and slapping wildly at the person closest to you for a full five minutes, most of which will be beeped out anyway for dramatic effect.

Most men shouldn’t bother reading a book before they set out to find their match, because the smartest thing they’re ever going to have to say is on a task called “Licktionary” – which apart from being an exceptional pun is the best way to tell if the tongue of your loved one is the correct consistency.

MTV Splitsvilla

“Ohmygod woh kabhi gym nahi gaya kya?”

Image Credit: MTV Splitsvilla / Facebook

A fair warning to people who are unfaithful to their “connections”: Instant karma in the form of the “Book of Fortune”, or the “Book of Love”, or “The Oracle” is always at play. The book, a legend in the Splitsvilla circle, contains the simplest rhymes known to man, and/or an algorithm to determine your “ideal match”. Don’t be fooled by their simplicity though. The book has the power to immediately break your fleeting connection with your partner, or brainwash them into thinking that you cheated for the greater good of the hallowed “Game”. Either way, expect to be subjected to a self-righteous speech from the hosts.

Statistics reveal that 99 per cent of connections formed through the process of this game will eventually go through a very rough patch. You will soon find yourself running out of “Fiama Di Wills second chances,” and your brain will often feel like it’s in a “dumping ground”, which means, you have to do anything to survive. Ashwini Kaul from Season 7 swore at a woman for three straight minutes to ensure that he would not enter the “dumping ground”. The exit strategy could be as simple as “proving yourself better than alls of country,” or as complex as forming a string of connections that you betray every now and then.

Once all these tips have been followed, you will either have found the love of your life, or yourself in prison. Either way the hallowed “connection” that you have formed with your partner will grow to be stronger than ever, maybe even strong enough for the Bollywood love song to play in the background.

We leave with a tip articulated best by a contestant from season 9, who said, “I like to do my way… if you don’t like, you better go to highway.”