“A girl and boy can never be just friends.”
“She calls him a friend? He has obviously been friendzoned”
“OMG. You two should so date! You look adorable”
“You both will get married in future, mark my words.”
I can’t help but roll my eyes at these ridiculous statements. Yes, I am sufficiently aesthetically pleasing, and yes the man I call my best friend is sufficiently charming, but that does not mean we will automatically fall for each other. I guess, somewhere Bollywood is to be blamed for this. Maybe, the stepping stone to love is friendship, but that does not mean every friendship has to blossom into love. I have always been closer to males than females for some weird reason, but that does not mean I harbour romantic feelings for all of them, or any of them for that matter.
What Harry Met Sally popularized back in the 90’s is still rampant and has been adopted by our very own Bollywood. Kuch kuch Hota Hai, Mujhse Dosti Karogi, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na,every story on friendship has to inevitably transform itself into a story of love. How I met your Mother was ruined for me when Robyn and Ted got together. Why does every friendship need to be portrayed as something more, when it truly is innocent?
I think that ridiculous idea is drilled into your head since middle school. I remember innocently sitting with a male friend in 7th standard, and suddenly, the next day, we were being teased. Yes, I get that you are being acquainted with your hormones during that time, but does that mean you start judging the most innocent of all relationships? What started as an innocent prank has destroyed many a friendship.
Thankfully, neither of us paid attention to that childish teasing(They did say that we were far too wise beyond our years then, thank god) and we formed a very strong bond. By tenth grade, he was the Peter Pan to my Wendy. We were very strong friends, and still share a close friendship, despite being 900 km apart.
One of my closest friends now is a pen pal of sorts. We interact through social media. We have rarely met, and every time we try to meet, something goes wrong. But that does not make our friendship any less meaningful or any less close. And yes, he is a male. Does that automatically mean that we will fall in love over social media? The very idea is preposterous and laughable.
In college, I met another guy. we instantly hit it off. Slowly, we became close and he became my best friend. You’d think getting out of your teenage years would impart some maturity, but no, people still speculate whether we are anything more than friends. And again, we don’t care.
I am not an easy person to live with. I am rude, childish, petulant, adamant and grumpy. My mood can change within a heartbeat. But he has the patience to deal with my stupid tantrums. He can bring a smile on my face hours after my horrid breakup. He makes me laugh when I feel like crying. He understands my every little dream. He encourages me when I fail. He isn’t afraid to embarrass himself in front of others just so that he can improve my mood. He sings “washing powder Nirma” in the most girly voice just because I ask him to. I love him, and he loves me. But, that love is platonic.
My best friends have always been males. And I have always had more male friends than female. And that isn’t because I am a tomboy or something. I am as girly as they come. But, for some weird reason, I have always been more comfortable with boys ever since I was a little kid. My first friend in Kindergarten, was in fact a male. And I’m sure I there are a million other girls like me.
The point I’m trying to make here is simple. Yes, film and television thrive on love stories. And in some cases, you best friend can be the person you fall in love with, but that is the exception, and not the rule. If same sex friendships can be everlasting, why can’t a girl and boy just remain friends? When I am in trouble, I know I can count on any of these three males, and they will be there for me, come what may. No, it isn’t romantic, but it is love all the same.
To conclude, I would like to say that if you can call him at 3 am to cry about something as stupid as running out of chocolate, and he patiently consoles you, you know you have made a friend for life. And if people want to judge you or question the purity of your relationship, well, its their loss. True friends enter your life rarely, and I am glad to have found some who are there for me through thick and thin. As William Penn said” A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.”