Divya is wearing a blue crochet top and a leather skirt; Kishan is wearing a blue button-down shirt and light chinos
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian/The Guyliner
Impeccable Table Manners

Divya and Kishan

In a week where, if Twitter were a dog, it would be taken to the vet so it could ‘go live on a farm’, and Match of the Day inexplicably became the most important TV show in the country, let us take a brief sojourn into sanity with this week’s Guardian Blind Date.

This week, Divya, a 25-year-old tech consultant, and Kishan, a 27-year-old cancer research technician are within Cupid’s sights. And here they are:


Divya is wearing a blue crochet top and a leather skirt; Kishan is wearing a blue button-down shirt and light chinos
Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian

Will love blossom over dinner for two or will the atmosphere be colder than the tiles on my bathroom floor when I forget to put my slippers on? Well, we’re about to find out; that’s kind of how this thing works.

 – the mid-date selfie is back! – and then return here, like a war hero, for a selected rundown of what they said and what it means, or nothing of the sort.

Divya | Kishan
First impressions?
Smart, well read (he was reading a book when I came in), nice.

Hmmm I wouldn’t read too much into that. (Excuse the pun.) You know who else reads books?

Joe, from the Netflix show YOU, reading a book


First impressions?
Easygoing and sweet. She made the night very relaxing.

Nice answer, but I would like to point out to the Guardian subs that you have two different spellings of ‘easygoing/easy-going’ in this week’s Blind Date. Can we pull ourselves together, please?

What did you talk about?
Where we live/grew up. Our Indian roots. Lord of the Rings. Standup comedy. Our worst travel experiences.
Travel stories. Our favourite TV shows … we ended up quoting scenes from Modern Family to each other.

Travel ✅ – Ah, I dunno, call me a bitch if you like – but make sure you run, fast – but people who get on planes a lot do love to bore you about it, don’t they? Maybe it’s envy on my part from not being hugely well-travelled, although I’ve been around a bit. I know we have to say something on a date, ffs, so I don’t judge them too harshly. And at least they’ve both travelled, so they are sharing stories rather than being lectured by a man who went on a gap year to the same places in The Beach over two decades ago and slid down a waterslide once and maybe ate something weird, he’s got pictures if you want to see?

Lord of the Rings – I would’ve left the room. I’ve only seen one of the films, and I was actually putting the Christmas tree up while it was on – it was early November – so was quite distracted by trying to achieve an even light distribution. I had the books and cracked the spine exactly once. I wish Tolkien fans well – I do remember semi-liking The Hobbit when I was small – but I cannot cope with LOTR chat.

Quoting scenes from Modern Family – My favourite fact about Modern Family – which I do actually like – is that the producers fell out after series 2 or something, and starting making half a season each, totally separately, with episodes usually alternating. So that’s why the characters usually act completely differently half the time, and why every other episode is terrific, yet the rest are terrible. It’s really, really noticeable once you watch. Anyway, the quoting thing is sweet; my boyfriend and I spent the entire walk from our house into central London last week (around 45 minutes) barking lines from Absolutely Fabulous at each other (first three series only, and even then, mainly series one).

Most awkward moment?
When I tried to get some of the fries we were sharing on to my plate and they dropped unceremoniously off my fork.
The burgers – not the most graceful of meals to eat on a first date.

man eats entire burger in one bite without using his hands

Oof. As regular readers will know, I am not a fan of eating on a first date anyway – but that’s because I look ugly when I eat (and also when I talk, laugh, drink, and breathe but I can only eliminate so many obstacles). But burger and fries is possibly the worst first-date food of them all. It stinks, it sits heavy on your tummy – which mean your date probably won’t feel like sitting on you if they eat it – and it is very hard to look bangable when you’re grappling with a slippery quarter pounder which is shedding filling with every nibble. But sometimes you have to think f•ck it, especially when it’s a free meal. It shouldn’t matter what you look like eating, really; they’re going to see your eating face a lot, if the night goes well.

Good table manners?
Well, we were eating loaded fried-chicken burgers and fries, so considering that, yeah, definitely.
Like I said, messy burger, so in that context I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
Hyacinth in the TV show 'keeping up appearances' saying "I don't like this level of intimacy dear"

When I see ‘loaded fries’ on a menu, I (internally) scream involuntarily. I was meeting some friends for dinner the other week and we agreed to meet a pub beforehand. Having lived in the area a decade or so before, I picked the nearest place, some nondescript pub, but when I walked in, I was hit by the smell of loaded fries and half-defrosted pizzas being eaten off enamel plates, selected off menus with large country and western type fonts on them. The pub had not just been gentrified, it had been junkfoodified. Everyone in there looked to be having a great time – albeit in need of sunlight – but I suddenly felt 600 years old and dressed like a ponce so I turned on my heels and escaped to the outdoors away from the smell of cheese and jalapeño and whatever else they were shovelling onto these very anaemic-looking fries.

Anyway enjoy your meal.

Best thing about them?
He was really friendly and easy to speak to.
Her confidence: she knows what she wants.

Ah, they had a good time. They’re young. Maybe I found loaded fries exciting when I was young, I probably did. I ate carbs as if they were air.

Describe Kishan in three words.
Nice, funny and easy-going.

NICE, like, I mean, okay, it’s nice to be nice but I wouldn’t expect to be getting my shirt unbuttoned later if someone described me as ‘nice’. Not that anyone ever would.
FUNNY, like a joke told by a comedian who’s actually sat and written decent material, not some bantersaurus who thinks Boris is a ‘lad’ and has a shower of replies from people with flags and ‘no DMs’ in their Twitter bio.
EASY-GOING, like, so we are hyphenating this or not? Can we make up our mind?

Describe Divya in three words.
Fun, confident and sweet.

FUN, like the waltzers usually are until you remember those two ruby chocolate Magnums you had before you got on.
CONFIDENT, like a dog in a bow-tie walking into a butcher’s shop and asking for a pound of sausages.
SWEET, like revenge. Or Maoam.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
The food was amazing but a bit messy – it was definitely more of a fourth- or fifth-date kind of menu.

Yep, I’d go along with this. Fourth or fifth date, you’ve pretty much reeled them in by then – they’re probably willing to watch you demolish a triple-decker bitch-burger with all the trimmings, which will end up in your lap/cleavage/coke float, and a bucket of fries which inexplicably have five quarts of tinned tomatoes and a boulder of parmesan sloshed over them.

If you could change one thing about the evening what would it be?
I wish it hadn’t been a school night, so we could have stayed longer.

You’re adults, btw, so if you want to stay out late you can, it’s just that there will be consequences later. I mean, you’ll spend half the night digesting all that shite you’ve been eating, so the chances of proper sleep are minimal, so frankly you might as well be out all night.

Marks out of 10?
It was a good first date is all I’ll say.
I’m not going to use numbers.

Princess Leia screaming what

Not this. Not again. This is, like, the third couple this year I think. Is this where we’re heading? This is part of coming on the Guardian Blind Date show: you score the evening, or the person, or whatever, you don’t even have to clarify which. Why are people becoming so frightened of this?

If in doubt, score each other an 8 and go back to your lives! Make it up! We’ll definitely know, anyway.

Anyway, you leave me no option. Divya, I sense your score would’ve been a 7, and Kishan, I’m guessing you’d have said the same, but would’ve meant an 8.

See? It’s easy.

Would you meet again?
We’ve exchanged phone numbers, so let’s see what happens.

Oh so you CAN use numbers. May you share many more bowls of disgusting fries. x


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Something to remember about the review and the daters that I put at the end of every review

The comments I make are based on answers given by participants. The Guardian chooses what to publish and usually edits answers to make the column work better on the page. Most things I say are riffing on the answers given and not judgements about the daters themselves, so please be kind to them in comments, replies, and generally on social media. Daters are under no obligation to get along for our benefit, or explain why they do, or don’t, want to see each other again, so please try not to speculate or fill our feeds with hate. I really mean this. Stop it! If you’re one of the daters, get in touch if you want to give me your side of the story. What was on the fries?

Divya and Kishan ate at Valderrama’s, London N1. Fancy a blind date? Email blind.date@theguardian.com


  1. I have sympathy for the two being sent to a burger bar for their blind date (and, what is more, one that shows sport). Considering that the Guardian does send other blind daters to decent restaurants, I think this is a bit unfair.
    It was somehow satisfying to read you’re not into LOTR. Thank you for your reviews, they’re always my highlight on a Saturday morning, along with Edith Pritchett’s cartoons in the Guardian and Tim Dowling. Might his column (and the lively BTL section) be worthy of scrutiny for your newsletter…?
    Cheers from Munich, Milena

    1. The restaurant doesn’t even exist anymore! So sayeth (or whatever the past tense of sayeth is) Google when I looked if they had gold-foil sprinkled burgers on the menu.

  2. You do not look ugly so that’s enough of that talk!
    Your gif after the ‘school night’ answer could only be beaten by my own extreme swivelling eyeballs on reading this old chestnut again. I hate the school night answer with a passion. I want them to go on a massive bender and then I want to read all about the consequences. Ah well, maybe next week.

  3. I don’t get the phrase “school night” either. Call me pedantic, but you’re not children. No-one will mark a big red X in the register or keep you behind if you’re late the next day. What you really mean is it’s a work night, and you don’t say that because the obvious subtext is “we’ve only just met but I’m already rating our chances so low as to prioritize you less than a dull commute to a job that I hate.”

    Plus – as I know has been said here before – if you aren’t going to cut loose a little in your 20s, when are you?

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