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Singled out ... and loving it!

Footloose No More, an online community for singles, is hosting a brunch for single parents in the city. Soma Das chats up with the founders of this two-year old organisation

The plight of singletons has made it to the big screen and continues to inspire countless (mostly humorous) bestsellers. However, only those who experience it firsthand can understand the angst of waiting for the 'right one' all over again.



When the brother-sister duo of Abhishek and Varsha Agnihotri found themselves in their 30s and single, they started Footloose No More, an online platform for singles to register and meet face-to-face through various events. And yes, both the siblings found their soul mates among the community members as well.

Now in its second year, the group, which targets 28 to 45 year-olds, boasts of 1,500 members. After organising countless parties, wine tasting sessions, treks and movie nights for singletons, the group is set to organise its first brunch for single parents this weekend.

The single parent itch
Explaining the reason behind organising this event, Varsha says, "When I was single, I was open to marrying a single parent. I was keen to start a family as soon as possible and wasn't getting any younger. I felt that I was born to be a mother and didn't mind if I wasn't the biological mother of the baby.

The catalyst came from a letter that a single parent wrote to us explaining how prospective partners tend to back off when they realise that they already have children." That's when the Agnihotris decided to bring together people who were open to marrying single parents. At this weekend's brunch single parents can bring along their kids as well.

The Footloose No More team will baby-sit kids while the parents mingle and bond with fellow single parents. "We insist that children be brought along so that they can bond and parents can become friends with other single parents. It offers a sort of support system for them as well. Instead of sitting at home, they get a chance to connect through various activities," shares Varsha.

Going back in time
A similar thought was how Footloose No More was founded. "After meeting one of our married friends, my brother and I returned depressed. We were made aware of how a busy lifestyle and hectic work hours meant there was little chance of meeting eligible single people in our age group. But Abhishek believed that there had to be singletons like us, unsure of how to meet others and put off by faceless online dating," maintains Varsha.

Modern-day fairy tales
The duo created a Facebook page on the same night and by morning they were wondering if the step was a blunder. Their doubts were laid to rest when they managed to get 200 membership applications in a week. So far, five of their members have married within the group and several more engagements are in the offing.

"One of the biggest plus points is that the members are open to marriage, so there is less uncertainty about the 'relationship status'. Also, we tend to book entire venues for our events, so the range of people you get to meet is enormous and they belong to an upscale strata of society. You may not be able to walk up to someone in a bar but at our meets you can do so," laughs Varsha. Group members range from filmmakers to corporates.

Membership is free though you have to pay the venue / activity fees as per the event. The Agnihotris rigorously screen new members to prevent 'voyeurs' from being a part of the community. "At the end of the day, the idea for the single parents' brunch is similar to the core concept of the community. You may not find your better half but you will end up making friends for life and get a support system in return,"
concludes Varsha.

On:
November 6
Log on to: www.footloosenomore.com or www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=102873577363. Today is the last day of registration.

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