Living a life on your own terms has received a different connotations these days and you will notice that most single people are always questioned, especially on finding someone special. That’s where Footloose No More comes to your rescue, as a platform for singles to meet potential partners for marriage. For the uninitiated, this platform (the largest) is the best way for singles in India to interact safely and enjoy some fun events. Started by Varsha Agnihotri Vadhyar and her brother Abhishek Agnihotri, Footloose No More has more than 500 members from Pune and have helped 43 couples tie the knot till date.
Abhishek defines himself as a filmmaker, writer, arm-chair philosopher, avid TV watcher, play station addict, butter naan lover and founder of Footloose No More. At the moment, Abhishek is director of Magic Mushroom Entertainment and CEO of this platform. Varsha calls herself a wannabe poet, gardener and gives advice on dealing with broken hearts. Presently Varsha is all into producing and writing films and you can see her in the renowned play ‘The Vagina Monologues‘ (in English and Hindi). Both met their better-halfs through their portal. We speak to the brother-sister duo about their unusual venture.
How would you define Footloose No More?
Abhishek: Footloose No More is a platform which has pioneered the making of modern day marriages in urban India! There was a dearth of ways to meet your “other half” in any way apart from being introduced by parents or friends, or online! At that time, Footloose No More changed the way people look at finding a spouse!
Please reveal of how it was launched.
Varsha: One rainy night, we went for dinner to a friend’s house. Since both were single, conversation turned to “how does one find someone to marry?”. We had moved on from our roots, were well educated and from good families but our parents were not able to find us spouses. Our friends only knew so many single people and we had met them all already, with zero results! According to our friends, we would have to be single for the rest of our lives, because everyone eligible was already married! This got us thinking. What were people in their 30s going to do? We tend to spend all our time at work. For our generation, time is short, distances are long, patience is low and trying to actively find someone is too much effort! But we were sure that there were others like us. Only we didn’t know how to find each other.
Abhishek: On that fateful night, we came home and started a Facebook page called Footloose No More! Within a week we were 200 members strong and the first event had an attendance of 100, all people like us who were looking for “the one!” Now, we have our own website. The reason Footloose No More came into existence was that we believed in marriage, wanted our own little families and someone who we could share our joys with.
What are the criterias to join?
Varsha: Anyone over the age of 26 with a year old Facebook account can join. We need to see your friends, how old the account is and if there is anything objectionable! Religious and sexual comments are discouraged! Also, there are papers required and members have to meet us personally.
Where exactly is it spread?
Abhishek: It is currently operational in Mumbai and Pune and will be operational from Delhi in November.
In a country like ours, you feel this is a good option?
Varsha: Footloose No More is the need of the hour. Today, people want to find their life partner themselves! This is a platform where you can be who you are and be sure to meet someone you will get along with without the pressure of people asking you “ladka/ladki kaisa laga?”. What sets us apart is the fact that we have managed to attract the well-settled, successful, educated and well-traveled urban Indian! Each profile will have a real name and a real photograph and this is authenticated in personal meetings. Apart from this, the website is interactive like a social networking platform so members put up status, comment, upload pictures and spruce up their profiles!
Abhishek: But the biggest USP is that we hold regular events where members (we call them “feeple”) meet each other in a safe, populated and fun environment! If they are comfortable with each other, they can take it forward. We also encourage members to come with their family members or friends so that they are comfortable! We are now 49 months old and many marriages strong. The next wedding Footloose wedding is in Pune in November.
What kind of activities are organised?
Abhishek: Events range from Saturday evening events to brunches for corporate singles, creative brunches, single parents events where you can bring your kids, movie nights, cricket matches and treks. The treks are always planned in a way so that both Mumbai and Pune members can meet up.
What is the toughest part of handling this platform? Any amusing incidences or episodes you would like to share.
Abhishek: The toughest part is the energy spent on screening the members. We take this process very seriously since we want Footloose to be the kind of place where parents are comfortable sending their kids! Our favourite incident is when two of our members got married on Father’s Day. The brides father asked to meet us, shook our hand and thanked us. He mentioned he got the best father’s day gift – a son-in-law!