Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just friends

"Mom, I am going to meet Ninad. Cya.."
"Wait a minute. When his majesty wants to be back home?"
"8 o'clock. As usual I'll be late by an hour ! And if you start talking now,
it will be one and half hours.. Hehe.."

Ninad and I grabbed places at a table at Coffee Corner, our usual place for
philosophical discussions. These philosophical discussions are very useful
in the sense that they are ideal for passing all the extra time you have got
by postponing all the assignments to the last day before deadline. On top of
that, though these discussions are completely useless in a certain way, you
don't exactly feel like you have wasted your time.

"Two coffee please. And there is no hurry. Take your own time!"
"Ninad, isn't Sameer coming here?"
"No, as usual some stupid reason. He knows that I know thats a lie. Still
we observe that gentleman-like courtesy of not calling a spade a spade."
"So what has our Mr. Philosopher got to tell me?"
"Today in college, the last lecture was Economics. That professor has the knack
of making it sound the most boring lecture in the world. So I decided to bunk
it and and went to bus-stop. There I saw Priya standing in the queue. And then.."
"Oh is that the lady love in your life? Isn't she a junior of yours?
Cool Ninad ! Sameer told me all about that !! Is she too a Ms. Philosopher?"
"Onkar, I simply hate this habit of yours of interrupting almost every sentence
that I speak !"
"What a coincidence ! I too hate this habit of mine ! Great minds think alike !..
Ok ok, sorry boss. Proceed, Mr. Socrates."
"So Priya and I got into the bus. Thankfully there were empty seats. And after maybe
ten minutes of time she realised that she had forgotten to buy a book for F.A.- Financial
Accounting- of which tomorrow she has to submit an assignment."

"OK Priya, no big deal. No need to go back. You can simply drop in to my home at
about 5 o'clock and collect the book as well as the notes if you want."
"Yeah thats good. Thank god I met you here or else I would have had to go back all
the way in this scorching heat. Yeah, I'll surely drop in by 5 o'clock."
"And yes, I forgot to ask you one thing. You remember, last week you were not
picking your cell so I had to call on your landline number?"
"Yeah, by mistake I had kept the phone on silent mode even after I returned from
college. Why? What happened?"
"The weird thing was that before passing on the call to you, your dad conducted a police
enquiry of me. Whats my full name? What do I do? Where do I stay? Whats my dad's
occupation... Didn't he tell you about that?"
"Nooo and after hanging up your call, you know what, he asked me all these things
he had asked you ! Oh my gawd, my dad is reaaaally orthodox to the core. But I clarified
everything at the end by saying that I see you like my brother.."
"What? Come on! you are not my sister. We are just friends. And thats all. Nothing
more than that, nothing less than that."
"Whats the big deal? Come on, if you are not boyfriend to a girl, you are just like
a brother to her.. Isn't it?"

"Onkar, don't give me that mischievous smile. Let me finish what I want to say and
that too without you making faces. Or else tomorrow's newspaper will have a front
page news - Tortured youth strangles his friend with bare hands ! Ok, what was I telling?
Oh yes.. then after this she got a phone call and we left this topic there itself.
When I got down at the bus-stop, Sameer was buying some stuff in the general stores
in front of the bus stop..."

"Oh Ninad, so sorry. Because you saw me, you didn't get down with her. Extremely
sorry man, I made you miss some of the precious moments of your life. Hey Bhagwan,
agar aapko mujhpe aur meri sachchaai pe jarasaa bhi yakeen hai.."
"Dammmiitt, stop yaar. Come on there is nothing like that. She gets down at the next
"But she could have got down here too. Pyar parbat bhi hilaa sakta hai! Aur agar tere
pyaar me jaraasi bhi taakat hai toh..."
"Goddamn you, Sameer. Stop those filmi dialogues. And I told you, she is not my
girlfriend ! We are..."
"Oh, so is she your sister then? Did she tie a Rakhi to you this Rakshabandhan? Tell
me, what has..."
"Look here Sameer, she is neither my girlfriend, nor is my sister. We are just friends."
"Oh don't give me this crap. This is a very standard excuse every lover-boy gives. So
tell me what are the plans for coming Valentine? I tell you, the best thing you can gift

"And Onkar thats how it went with Sameer. And he must have added extra spice to this
story before narrating it to you. Tell me Onkar, she said she should be like a sister
to me. But I can't call her a sister.You know, what my didi means to me. Its altogether
different. Until some lady means to me like what what my didi is, I can't call her a sister.
Its not a trifle thing for me to call a lady my sister. One has to live up to those words.
But does that mean she is my girlfriend, like Sameer says? She is a good girl, but definitely she can't be my girlfriend. She is not someone whom I may like. Can't we be just friends?"

"If you have convinced yourself Ninad, then why not?"

"OK, convincing myself is one thing. But if Sameer, our close friend says something like
that, what may society talk like? I was just thinking Onkar... I tried to analyse... The
mindset of society takes generations to develop. You know, I couldn't remember a single
legend or story in mythology in which a young guy and a young girl are just friends. When
it comes to friends, its either only girls or only guys. The only way a guy and a girl of same age are related is through love which is either marital or non-marital. OK, the mythology is old stuff. The mindset of the society does change. But have a look around, do you recollect any example in modern literature, which we studied in our schools or junior collges, showing friendship between a guy and a girl even somewhere near to the guys-only or girls-only friendship? Are there even a handful number of movies showing this? After thinking all this, I am really confused.
You tell me Onkar,
Is it that a relation between a young guy and a young girl should always be declared to the society as either brother-sister relation or a relation of love? Can't they just be friends, nothing more than thator nothing less than that?
Do you have an answer?"

Do you have an answer?


Suneel Madhekar said...

The answer, of course, is yes, they can be friends. It is ironic that a dog is allowed to be a friend of a boy/girl but a boy and a girl are not allowed to be friends! The traditional Indian society has a lot of taboos and blind-beliefs. Education is supposed to get rid of these virtual mental-blocks, but unfortunately, many educated individuals profess the same taboos... The society consists of individuals and change begins at the individual level, that is, at Ninad and Priya and Sameer's level.

In my opinion, Sameer is no party to the relationship at all... It is for Ninad and Priya to decide the nature of their relationship.

Suneel Madhekar said...

You're right in pointing out that the brother-sister relationship and the relationship of love are formal relationships that entail strong emotional bonding and personal and social responsibility. Insisting that all boy-girl relationships conform to one of these two standards essentially shuts out the informal but beautiful and important relationship of friendship.

v2d said...

Nice point made...
I guess it is also our responsibility not to distort things( teasing; up to certain limit should be allowed!) and respect relationships as they are...and as rightly said by suneel..people should let it to both of them to decide the nature of their relationship...complement to suneel too for his ironical dog+boy+girl wala example...nice one.. :)

sushant said...

The gr8 fucking indian culture says that, thou shall only marry girls to produce more children. otherwise thou shall be sibling with that girl, so that you dont fuck up. the gr8 fucking indian culture also states that a girl or boy can not express their love in public, but they can marry and produce more childrren by making love all the while inside their homes. thus the gr8 fucking indian culture is the fucking gr8est culture in the whole wide universe, with each and everyone so fucking interested in everyone else's personal lives.

pushkaraj said...

You have brought out the question very well through ur story... This is indeeed the mindset of our society..unfortunately...

pushkaraj said...

In my opinion there can indeed by a relationship betwwen a boy and a girl that is neither bro-sis nor bF-gF.. that is friendship..

I think relationships go beyond thier tags of "friends".. or for that matter any other relationship.. eg. Ones mother can also be his/her BEST friend.. So it depends upon the tuning bn indivisuals that the relationship bn them flourishes.. :)

Swaprava Nath said...

Good refreshing cool air after the hustle and bustle of IISc life!! I really like the way you write, in fact, in some cases I find a good author in you, who can create allegories! Keep it up.

Now some personal attacks: did you find in the position of Ninad sometimes? There is no chance to ask him, since I think he's a fictitious character.

Even if it is related someway to you, I should say you can redefine the classical, orthodox definitions. If you believe you can, you will be!!!!!

Small typo: 'F.C.- Financial
Accounting', I guess, it'll be FA??


heliophile said...

Thanks Swaprava,
Typo corrected !!


Rohit Bhide said...

I think it highlights the eccentric behaviour in human society. We are bothered about the personal lives of others rather than ours. I think we need to come out of these cuccoons and stop peeping into others personal lives.

But the important thing is we always love to gossip!!!! and thats where the thing starts.

Rach said...

The answer... should be a YES... but, who all are willing to accept this answer, is a qn all by itself !

Liked ur blog... pretty interesting!.. good work :)

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