September 20, 2011

He's just a friend.. and no I won't tie him a rakhi to prove that!

Posted by maithili at 4:39 PM

              A man and a woman cannot just be friends. Stereotyped but true. Either one of them develops so called "soft corner" for the other or they are made to disguise their friendship in the name of "maana hua bhai-behen" or what is more popularly called "rakhi brother" or "rakhi sister".
   What angers me further is that it is  ok for guys to have as many female friends as they want. Infact  they build up a reputation as "Oh that guy is so nice.. He always helps girls". A girl in similar position would be perceived as "That girl is very chaalu, plays around with a lot of guys." 
              A girl is under constant vigilance all her life. When she is a child she is never let away from the eye of her parents fearing that someone would take advantage of her. When she steps into teenage, the neighbors and relatives constantly keep a check. A little falling out of line and you become the hot gossip. You get that "please keep your image high, who will marry a girl who hangs out with so many guys?" from your parents. Once a girl is married she is subjected to the possessive guard of her husband. 'Why are you late?" "Who was that guy you were talking to?" becomes routine and in absence of the husband even if the newspaperwala comes to collect his bill the gossipwine would go as "She must be having an affair, I saw someone get into her house the other day when her husband was away." Where does all this end?? No where!! IT just gets coming to us and so came the "rakhi brother".
           I have made rakhi brothers too. My brother was born 7 years after me and so during that time I made 2 rakhi brothers who were my next door neighbors. Our school had this tradition of tying a rakhi to your desk partner ( we were seated one boy one girl per bench) and I made a couple of rakhi brothers there. 
          Growing up, the litmus test to check if a girl likes a guy is to ask her to tie rakhi to him (trust me this happens in every school!). If she avoids it then "daal me kuch kaala hai" and if she does it then she doesnt harbor any feelings! 
          This has also been used by girls to shrug of the love lorn guys after them. Remember that "Excuse me! Kya re? Ban ja mera bhaiyya re" song ?? I have also come across couples who cocoon their relationship by tying a rakhi (what what things people in love do!) 
          In my early teens I was tomboyish. Now tomboyish doesn't mean I used to play guy sports wearing  their kind of clothes. I just gelled more with guys than with girls. We were a group of 7 boys and only one girl -thats me. Such things are transitory and we all moved on in years to come. One friendships day they decided to all meet up and surprised me by giving  a call. They were just outside my gate and I couldn't invite them because I was alone at home( it is a strict no! and yes it does turn very embarrassing sometimes). We all chatted happily oblivious of the surroundings in my compound and the time and when my parents returned I knew from their expression that I had done something wrong.
          They were angry and expressed their disappointment in the way I was talking to them in front of the entire locality! Oh come on I had grown up with same guys and now it was all different. My parents never objected to my mixing up with guys. That was another time when I was 13 and this incident was when I was 17. 4 years created such a huge difference in perceiving the same situation! My parents, even though themselves trusted me and my friends, were worried about my reputation in the locality! That is how it works! Even if you don't care, you are made to care about such shallow things..
          I gave up the fight. I m not essentially rebellious by nature. I saw the wisdom in not hanging out with the guys. My friends were decent enough to understand my plight. My parents were worrying that seeing that I mix with so many guys, the rowdies would think I m a cheap character and start approaching. I guess my parents were right in their track. 
         That one incident changed my entire perception about people and life. I learnt what it meant to keep up one's image. The friendship between a man and woman is a very delicate one and has to be treated with a lot of dignity.
         What's so cool if a girl roams about with an army of guys and flirts with her so called "rakhi brothers"? It is demeaning both the friendship and the bonding of brother-sister.
         I do not give a chance to the people to embarrass my parents with my roaming about with guys.
How genuine a girl-boy friendship can be,is another topic. Come on, no one would see if he is a rakhi brother before spreading rumors right? Then why the fake show?
         If a genuine friend of mine from the opposite sex needs my help I m always there to lend it and yes I have the courage to accept a friendship as friendship.
         "He's just a friend and I won't tie him a rakhi to prove that!" 

If you remain within your limits, the world would respect your limits...


Viya ;) on September 20, 2011 at 5:11 PM said...

Its just so difficult for the society to accept friendship between a girl and a boy!..
I've never been close to any of my friends who are guys and i was always puzzled with few of these girls who hit off well with guys and the minute someone teased these girls for having guy friends, they would come with rakhis the next day.. Why can't they just accept openly they are friends and nothing more and were they just tying the rakhi to shut other people up?

Times have changed and the so-called "broad-minded society" would accept friendship between a boy and girl!

♥●• Izdiher·•●♥ on September 20, 2011 at 5:21 PM said...

Totally agree with you . Most of the point you raised are goddamn true. I reckon it is human nature .Well composed post .

TheGirlAtFirstAvenue on September 20, 2011 at 5:26 PM said...

When i was in school i believed that a guy and a girl couldn't be 'just friends' but i dont anymore. I have very good guy friends who have been just that - friends. And i've known some of them for more than 15 yrs!! It is never awkward and nothing has changed between us over the years... Some of them are still single and it still doesnt affect in any way! So i guess it differs from person to person!

And as long as the guy was good in my parents eyes, they dint mind me being with them or going out with them.. they never cared about what neighbours or relatives would say... am very lucky in that matter and so thankful to them! And it only made me grow more sensible and responsible!

Also somehow i absolutely HATE the concept of 'rakhi brothers'. It makes no sense to me at all.. I would never tie a rakhi to anyone other than my own brother.. When am not ready to make that guy a boyfriend how can i consider making him my brother!!! I draw the line at friend!!!

But really... its high time people change their mind sets about all these...

Nice post.. And i think i've made a mini post out of my comment :P

Red Handed on September 20, 2011 at 6:01 PM said...

So i always though a boy n girl can b just friends....then i fell for my bestfriend and he proposed.
But yeh my relatives complain to my parents about the number of pics i have where i am almost holding hands with some boy of my class...It is just a photo and they think i am some slut moving on from one man to another. Jesus!
My parents know me better to fall for their talks.

maithili on September 20, 2011 at 7:14 PM said...

@Viya: with my understanding so far I have realised that nothing has changed much in this so called "modern society".

@Izdiher: thank you dear.. Yes the post is totally nonfiction!

@Chandana: wow that is half the length of my post!! The mind set of people hasn't changed. A few of us can set out to change our ways but a vast majority will be the same! Nothing much you can do but maintain your dignity by not letting them talk !

@REd: :D :D My parents don't fall for their talks but yes they don't like anyone talking bad about cant stop mouths from talking right?

The DRAGON in the skin of a goat ;-p on September 20, 2011 at 8:04 PM said...

By the definition above I'm still a tomboy...todate I happen to be the only girl in most of the gangs that I gang...apartment gang, college gang...I've never had to tie a Rakhi to anybody to prove a thing but that's mainly cause I always have given people enough reasons to wag their I've never cared...Mum would say things initially but when I told her if I live my life in fear of what others say I will never probably struck a chord with her that she could never live that way and she let's me be..BTW all the comments for this post seem to be mini posts themselves right? Says things about the post itself :D

Mystical Skeptical Me on September 20, 2011 at 11:38 PM said...

"A girl and a guy can never be just friends". This was said to me by a guy who later fell for me... He was a very good friend and it took a long time to accept the fact that I may have feelings for him as well...It ended badly, before it could even start..mostly because people tagged me a bitch because of my unsure attitude. The saddest part was,my mother knew him and she hated him, after she came to know of the fact that he liked me. Before this, it was nothing serious. Anywayy...there goes my confession ;) I understand and totally relate to what you have written! :D :D

PeeVee on September 20, 2011 at 11:56 PM said...

That puts a lot of things in perspective. And considering we live in Indian society which 'jumps to the rescue' of female honor so effectively, it's only us girls who suffer and have to make the necessary life style changes to accommodate almost everyone's thinking ranging from neighbours, cousins, extended family, even that chacha's bahi's second sister's wife's saala's mother-in-law's husband. Even him.

Spaceman Spiff on September 21, 2011 at 11:46 AM said...

Most of my best friends are guys, and no, I haven't tied rakhi to any of them. A simple thread cannot put a stop to hormones. If there is a chemistry, it's better to admit it, deal with it, and get over it, rather than tying a rakhi and then controlling all those feelings. That's not being fair to the guy or the girl. As long as you know where to draw the line, you'll be fine. In one way, you know, girls are selfish that way.

I'm really lucky that my parents haven't really had a problem with my guy friends. I go out with them, they come over, I go out with them on bikes. But they don't say anything because they know that it's just friendhsip and nothing more. And as far as society is concerned.. Well, kuch tho log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna. :)

Suruchi on September 21, 2011 at 3:54 PM said...

super true-but do they still do the tie-rakhi litmus test?????
a school friend of mine was married to her elder brother's friend whom she called bhaiyya for a good three months before the parents decided they suited each other!

everything's a matter of perceptions now, but we can't live forever fearing what people would say...i say and write what i like-don't know any other way to be. i don't want tongues to wag unnecessarily but i also don't want to pretend because of that!

it is still tough being a girl/woman sometimes...sigh!:-)

Moon Goddess on January 6, 2012 at 1:14 AM said...

I was never comfortable with a Rakhi relationship as it destroyed my marriage. My ex-husband's Rakhi sister is the younger sister of his ex-gf that made everything feel so awkward. And even when he keeps defending that she is just a Rakhi sister, I can see that how they treat each other is more than sisterly and brotherly love...I have brothers and grew up with my uncles and I know how brotherly love is...
How my ex-husband treats this rakhi sister of his seems to be abusing the notion of 'rakhi' just to cover-up how they really feel for each other. Well, Im glad there is no Rakhi culture in my country maybe because we are not hiding what is real. It is hard to be a hypocrite...and I think such practice should be stopped or else more relationships will be destroyed out of confusion.

ABHISHEK DWIVEDI on August 11, 2014 at 4:59 PM said...

You are absolutely right. But please Mind my statement below. At this point of time, you are saying this but tomorrow when your daughter does the same thing then your reaction may be same(I don't hope so) In the world,people mostly understand what they face and they never assume the condition of any other.You have faced that situation so you understand how it feels when your parents question you when you do the party at home with guys. It is our very bad habit that we know that the things are wrong,even we use to criticize then but when time comes to resist them,we accept them due to our fear or for our mean.

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