Day 4: My Closest Friend (s)

I’m not the kind of person who makes friends easily. I’m socially awkward, have trust issues and generally not the one to warm up to random people. But I have been lucky enough to find friends in the most unlikeliest places… friends with whom I’ve shared my deepest, darkest secrets, my fears, insecurities… who have listen to me rant, who have supported my crazy decisions and then stood by me when I was on my knees picking up broken pieces of my messed up life. Yes, when it comes to good friends, I’ve been very lucky.

Today, I’m just going to write about ‘one’ such friend. (I literally picked up chits to decide whom to write about.)

Milan I’ve known Milan for – omg! – close to a decade now. She was one of my roomies (we were four girls) back when I was an undergrad student. I remember the first time I moved into the tiny room… we spent the first night quizzing each other about our likes and dislikes. Later, I wrote in my journal “My roomies are really sweet though. Not bitchy or difficult to get along with… but I’m sure we’ll never be ‘best friends’, know what I mean?”

I have never been so wrong about anything in my life and for this, I’m glad. We turned out to be more than just ‘best friends’. And I’m happy to say that even today, Milan’s one of my closest friends.

We shouldn’t even be friends, actually. Milan loves Shah Rukh Khan and watching Hindi movies while I prefer Almodovar or Wong Kar-wai (and ahem, totally despise SRK). She enjoys music from old Hindi films and I’m more of a metal-head. She loves cricket and her favourite player is Dhoni while I’d pick football and Iniesta over the former any day.

But somehow we found a balance in our friendship. I used to tag along with her to watch Bollywood movies, rolling my eyes and tut-tutting throughout and she’d accompany me to watch Harry Potter. She made me listen to, and then fall in love with, Hum Bewafa and I introduced her to Lighthouse.

We love dogs and if given the chance, would leave everything behind to simply travel the world. We both love Love Actually and still faithfully watch Grey’s Anatomy. But most importantly, she’s always there when I need her. She listens without judging. And believes in my dreams, even when I don’t.

Milan, thanks for everything. You’re a star!

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Dating Woes

Dating isn’t a breeze. We all know that… Girls, you know what I’m talking about. First you find a guy (and there seems to be a serious dearth of guys lately), then you date and then after five or six months, you slowly start getting ‘serious’ (considering at this point of time you still can tolerate each other) and then before you know it, someone gets cold feet and bam! it’s over. Just like that! And you’re back to square one…

Nope. Dating just isn’t easy.

Wouldn’t it be much better if we could foresee the route that a ‘potential’ date might take? Well, I’ve found a pretty handy (more or less, depending on how much time you have on your hands) way of ‘filtering’ out guys. The key is stereotyping the fuck outta them. Yep! You heard me right. Certain stereotypes apply to ALL desi guys. Once you’ve picked up on the traits, construct a suitable dating regression curve and tada! you know when exactly things will start going downhill.

And even if you’re not into regression curves and all that jazz, generally stereotyping people is always fun! Here are some examples to kick things off…

The Artistically Vain

He is the one who looks down upon anything mainstream. The desi version of the East Village hipster, he watches Satyajit Ray/Fellini films, reads translated works of Pablo Neruda and listens to only Rabindra sangeet. But every once in a while – if you’re super observant – you can hear him imperceptibly hum along to the latest item number on Radio Mirchi (if you point it out though, he’ll completely deny it).

The Mind-numbing Bore

This guy can talk his way into a comatose – yours! He drives a Merc while listening to Imran Khan’s Amplifier on full-volume and peppers all his sentences with liberal doses of benchod. Having a conversation with him is impossible for he only partakes in verbose soliloquies. He’ll buy you flowers and call you jaan or – eeks! – his hunny-bunny.

The Wannabe Metal-head

Metallicaaaaaaaaaaa! (Because you know, they invented the genre.) This guy attends every metal fest in his staple insert-name-of-band black tee and maybe found headbanging to Megadeath at the local pub every weekend. He’ll judge you based on your musical preferences because, you know, he’s SO metal! Ways to piss him off? Say shit like, “How can you listen to this? It’s just noise!” or “You can’t even make out what they are singing!” or even better, “Don’t you listen to Sonu Nigam?”

The Techie

He’s perhaps the quietest and mellowest guy on this list. He’s the one you friendzoned 30 seconds into your first conversation. Now he just listens to the Eagles and hopes that someday you’ll realise what an all-out good guy he is. If you’re already dating this guy, then beware: he secretly balks at your habit of making ready-to-eat rasam rice and mentally compares your puliyogare to his moms – Every. Single. Time.

This is just a mini-preview of the different ways you can stereotype Indian guys. Then there are the overly enthusiastic football fans, the WoW geeks, the psytrance beach bums, the sexist snobs… the list goes on and on. Your best bet is to make your own framework for classification and then jump right into the horror pool that is the desi dating scene.

Good luck!