Fans of “Love Is Blind” know by now that there’s altruism, and then there’s Deeptism. While the former involves the self-sacrificing practice of concern for others, the latter is more grounded. It's a self-loving, positive take on life by a woman who sought love on a public platform only to find it had betrayed her.
“I know he’s got to be hurting with all the negativity. Let’s just be kind and careful in how we communicate our thoughts and feelings.”
Deepti Vempati on her ex-Fiancé
“To heal and grow and become a better person, you have to be in a healthy environment,” Deepti Vempati (arguably the breakout contestant of the reality dating show’s second season) said of her ex-fiancé in a Zoom interview with TODAY. “As much as I love everyone supporting me and having my back, spreading hate is not the way.”
After fielding an onslaught of questions about her experience on the show, its impacts on her family and her current dating life, Vempati made a point to touch on the recent backlash her ex, Abhishek ‘Shake’ Chatterjee, has received. (After this interview was conducted, Chatterjee posted a public apology where he said, "I’m ready to take accountability for my actions and be better.")
“There’s been a lot of hate coming towards a lot of the cast members, especially Shake,” she said. “I know he’s got to be hurting with all the negativity. Let’s just be kind and careful in how we communicate our thoughts and feelings.”
'I’m not everyone's cup of tea'
Last year, after a friend sent her an application, the Information Data Analyst signed up for the hit Netflix series which puts 30 people in an isolated studio for ten days
At first, she was skeptical, uncertain of how her Indian parents (who had an arranged marriage) would react to her appearance on a show which gives participants 10 days to get engaged. It’s only after agreeing to say “I do” at an altar that couples get to check out their love match in person and see if they have the chiseled jawlines, brown eyes, or curvy figures they typically go for.
“I wanted to find my husband, and I wanted to find my person through this, and I was really hopeful that I could,” Deepti explained of her decision to apply for the series. “Nothing ever works out how you think it’s going to, but it’s always for the best.”
Like everyone else who watched the series' second season, for ten episodes Vempati watched her relationship with Chatterjee, a man she had fallen in love with sight unseen, unravel.
Vempati also saw for the first time what he was up to when her back was turned and the cameras were rolling.
After meeting in the pods, Vempati accepted a proposal from the veterinarian whose initial impression failed to dazzle other contestants and even herself. Throughout the first two episodes, audiences watched Chatterjee’s irreverent attempt to flout the show’s efforts to keep the superficial factors of dating non-factors. “I love buying clothes for girls,” he told a date during one episode. “What’s your size?” During another date, he seemed to innocently express his interest in music festivals only to come out with a more telling question. “Do you like being on a guy’s shoulders?” He asked. “Will I have trouble picking you up?”
Still — as if channeling Deeptism — Vempati remained open-minded, and eventually, she and Chatterjee managed to find common ground over their shared cultural roots.
At one point, after opening up about her own weight loss journey, Vempati seemed to accurately tap into Chatterjee's obsession with having a thin partner. He even seemed on a path of growth at one point when he admitted his own insecurities. Still, despite an enthusiastic meet-cute in which Chatterjee couldn’t take his hands off of Vempati, once the couples ventured outside of the pods he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He expressed to just about anyone willing to listen that he was incapable of feeling attracted to the woman he’d said “I love you” to back in the pods.
“The viewers don’t get to see this, but Kyle was actually my number two person in the pods.”
Vempati said about kyle abrams
“I’m not everyone’s cup of tea even though my name is Deepti,” she quipped during her interview with TODAY. “I don’t fault him for not having the physical chemistry with me. It’s just you know, the way he went about it.”
For Vempati, as hard as Chatterjee's words were to hear, she felt the most pain for her family.
“It was honestly really hard for my family to watch,” she admitted. “Just because we invited (Shake) into our home and he knew he was being filmed and usually when you’re aware of that, you kind of tend to be careful with what you say and how you say it. The fact that he had no filter and just expressed whatever he felt in such a harsh way was really, really tough because you don’t even talk about your friend that way.”
Are Deepti and Kyle dating?
Vempati might not have been to Chatterjee's liking, but during the show's reunion on Friday, March 4, participant Kyle Abrams threw a curveball when he declared his love for her. Towards the end of the special, Abrams expressed that failing to ask Vempati to marry him was his “biggest regret.”
“My biggest regret is I should have asked Vempati to marry me. I should have tried harder for you,” he said during the cast’s first onscreen get-together since filming wrapped. “I love her so much. She’s the best.”
Instead of getting down on one knee for Vempati in the pods, the construction worker popped the question to Shaina Hurley. The two ultimately broke up before making it to the altar.
“The viewers don’t get to see this, but Kyle was actually my number two person in the pods,” Vempati revealed. Still, when asked about whether or not the two have gotten together, she opted to stay tight-lipped. “Maybe, maybe not,” she replied with a smile.
While their status is publicly unknown, Vempati admitted that the two had chemistry in the pods.
“We talked a lot, and we had such deep conversations,” she said of Abrams. "So I know him as a person like I really know him. And yeah, we’re pretty close.”
You don’t see that on screen as much because he kind of puts up this tough exterior sometimes, but he’s the softest kind of soul.”
Deepti Vempati on Kyle Abrams' connection.
Unlike Hurley, whose biggest hurdle with Abrams appeared to be her inability to accept their religious differences, Vempati said his atheism is a non-issue. “I think everyone has their own journey to a higher power if you believe it or not. It’s your own personal thing,” she explained, adding that in the pods, the two were able to talk about everything. “Politics, religion, you know, there’s just so many things, music, poetry. He’s a very emotional guy. You don’t see that on screen as much because he kind of puts up this tough exterior sometimes, but he’s the softest kind of soul.”
'The sweetest kind of soul in the entire world'
It's high praise from a woman who says the title for "the sweetest kind of soul in the entire world," goes to her father.
“My dad is like, you know, the sweetest kind of soul in the entire world,” Vempati said, remarking that it brought tears to her eyes to think about what he went through while watching her in the series.
“My mom was strong too, and she was hurt too. But to see my dad like that brings tears to my eyes because, oh, man, it was really hard for him to watch it,” she admitted. “I’ll be fine. I’ll get over it. But for them, it was a huge deal because the world is gonna see this and for (Chatterjee) to paint me in such a way was just difficult and sad.”
Besides her potential love with Abrams, Vempati asserts she walked away from the series with love in hand. “I’ve gotten so many amazing beautiful friendships out of this show,” she said of the participants from her season. “You can have soulmate friendships and I think that's exactly what I found.”