I Used To Charge Women To Date Me!’

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By Manjula Narayan

Raghu Ram, Television personality

What’s your earliest memory?
My earliest memory has to do with my twin brother Rajiv. We hated school and used to hold onto car doors and refuse to go!

How has your family influenced you?
My mother is a journalist and my grandmother played a big role in bringing us up. So respect for women was something I learnt at home. My parents are very honest people. Since my mother was a working woman and Rajiv and I weren’t good at studies, people would blame her a lot. But my father was completely supportive. He used to cut veggies for her to cook. They are the nicest people I know. About me and Rajiv, you’ll never fully understand identical twins unless you too are a twin. One egg cell has been split into two, so he and I are literally the same person. He understands me fully. We don’t fight. He’s a philosopher and guide to me because he’s very sorted. We make sure we are always together. My mom always said that our wives would need to be friends and thankfully, they are.

What do you dislike about yourself?
I’m not a good human being. I feel I have a split personality — a good guy and a not-so-good guy. I’m working on it. I’m taking sanyas for a few months and going to the Himalayas to do that.

The most outrageous thing you’ve done?
I used to charge for dates. At that point, I had quit my job and had no money. I seemed to be popular with women so I’d go out with two girls every night and I’d charge them for it. I’m not lying!

Are you religious?
I hate religion. It is the ultimate evil. People become dhakans at the mention of religion and a lot of exploitation takes place in its name. For the last 10 years, I have not stepped into a place of worship. But spirituality does appeal to me. Once, I even started my own religion, which I called The Zong. Of course, it never took off! God is a figment of man’s imagination, but I do try to figure out karma and cause and effect.

What’s your take on love and marriage?
Human beings are not monogamous, but fidelity is a choice you make. Men and women are so different, they shouldn’t be on the same planet. Yet, people fall in love all the time. My wife and I lived together before we got married. The wedding ceremony is a symbol of commitment but it’s not really required.

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