The Washington Post

He’s outdoorsy, she’s a spelling whiz. They both like Nicki Minaj. So, how was the date?

(Photograph courtesy daters )

Over Greek food at Mourayo in Dupont Circle, two D.C. consultants find common ground in time spent abroad in India. But will the outdoorsy camper and spelling bee champ make it to Date 2?

Athan: One of the waiters brought her over. I thought she was definitely my type. Bhavana is Indian, and I could tell that right away. My first impression was really positive, and I think that actually made me more nervous at first.

Bhavana: He looked nice; he was wearing a jacket. He looked a little older, because he had a beard, but I thought he was pretty good-looking. Definitely a good first impression.

Athan: We joked about our names, how they’re pretty different. Interesting names always mean interesting people. We ordered one of the eggplant dishes, and I threw out the Hindi name for eggplant, and at first it really confused her. She had no clue what I was talking about — this was before we had talked about my travels to India at all — so that kind of got us started on India and where Bhavana was from in India and where I had traveled, which was cool.

(Photographs of juices and bird by Bigstock; turkey by Photodisc; Christmas tree by Benjamin C. Tankersley)

Bhavana: We both worked in India for a year, we’re interested in development, so I think there’s definitely some stuff we had in common. He was teaching English there. I’m of Indian descent, and as I went through college it became important to me to go there and explore what it was like to live there.

Athan: I was trying to be thoroughly impressive, but I think Bhavana said she doesn’t speak too much Hindi, so that was the beginning and the end of the Hindi after that confusing facial expression.

Bhavana: He grew up in Amish country, which I thought was really cool. I’ve never met anybody that grew up there. He’s of mixed heritage. He was, like, the only multicultural kid up there. It was interesting to hear about that experience. I grew up in Montgomery County, so I’ve always been surrounded by what I feel like is a lot of diversity.

Athan: We were joking about that and how I had, like, a Huck Finn-style growing-up experience where I would literally build rafts and go down rivers.

Bhavana: He seems way more outdoorsy than I am. I’m more nerdy, I think. I’m the kind of person that wants to be outdoorsy but just isn’t.

Athan: She said her version of camping is driving a car to a campsite and basically living out of the car, which is a little bit different than my idea of camping, which is going to live in the Wyoming wilderness for five weeks.

Bhavana: He asked a lot of questions, and I think I was also asking a lot of questions. I feel like we both learned a lot about each other.

Athan: Bhavana sings and plays the drums, which is pretty baller. She sings Nicki Minaj covers in a cappella competitions. Isn’t that awesome? And Nicki Minaj is my favorite rapper, so it totally spoke to me.

Bhavana: We were talking a lot, so eventually we were like, Okay, we should take those pictures before we leave. By that time we’d been there for a couple of hours. The stories he would tell were funny. We were kind of teasing in a funny way.

Athan: Bhavana is obviously a really freaking bright person and really smart, and her way of showing it is she spells things better than everyone else, except for the word “alleviate,” which is apparently the word that she got out on in a spelling bee way back.

Bhavana: He lives over on H Street, so he had to get home on Metro. I was walking distance to the place, so we just went outside and hugged goodbye, and we both said we had a nice time.

Rate the date

Bhavana: 3.5 (out of 5). I don’t think I’ve had that long of a first date. I definitely would see him again if he was interested in doing that. It was fun. He was a really nice guy.

Athan: 4. I had a great time, and I definitely need to give Bhavana a few spelling bee lessons, and I want to hear her sing some Nicki Minaj.

For stories, features such as Gene Weingarten, @Work Advice and more, visit WP Magazine.

Follow the Magazine on Twitter.

Like us on Facebook.

E-mail us at

UPDATE: Athan called Bhavana a couple days after the date, and the two met for drinks and games at the Board Room. “Bhavana claimed never to have lost a game of Connect Four in her life. So, of course, I made sure she lost a game of Connect Four to me,” Athan says. He admits she beat him several times before his win. Despite the loss, Bhavana says, “It was really fun!” Athan has plans for a rematch.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.