In India, a country of more than a billion people, one of the commodities in shortest supply is privacy – in particular for young, and not so young, unmarried couples. People tend to live at home until they are married, and even when they move out things can be difficult in this rapidly changing, yet still deeply conservative, country.
In the city of Bangalore, one of the most liberal of Indian cities, The Deal knows of an unmarried woman in her late 30s, who moved from Delhi to pursue her career. She rented her own apartment but her landlord now refuses to allow her to have any men in it – she wants to move out, but she can’t afford to lose the hefty bond she paid.
If you walk into any Indian park the benches are always occupied by couples, trying to steal a moment of tenderness. They too are sometimes harassed by police looking for a bribe, or attacked by self-appointed defenders of Indian morality. It is a very Indian problem and a new Delhi-based start-up has come up with an Indian solution.
StayUncle, an online booking agency, has hit on the idea of teaming up with reputable hotels to offer short-term room rentals for eight to 10 hours.
It helps the hotels with occupancy and gives the couples, able to book from their new smartphones, privacy and safety. It also makes love all that much more affordable. It’s a bit like the Japanese love hotels, but with much more discretion.