Being part of a semi orthodox Muslim family the values that were indoctrinated asked me to adhere to the girl am born as. But the environment demanded different. Be it cousins, neighbours, family friends – Boys outnumbered girls… So before joining preschool, I grew comfortable in the company of boys simply because girls couldn’t be found. The ones found would either not talk or corporate.
Blessed with a pleasing nature and a homely face, making friends was never difficult. At school I found girls and boys whom I could gel with. I should have been comfortable with boys but, what my family taught was slightly contradicting to it.
An article says, “What we really want is for female-people to retain a profound sense of insecurity in all their friendships at all times, so that they might never be confident and self-determined“. And as expected, I grew up to a confused person who didn’t know what to share with whom, whom to talk to and with a lot other child problems. I could talk baseless for hours but sharing a personal issue was difficult. Result? I had girl friends with whom I chose to be strong. They would confide things to me but I wouldn’t. But, with boys, parents have already taught to be careful with. I chose to stay boyish. The kind who they would share their feelings about other girls and their own family, the kind they would find easy-going but would never propose. People liked me for my flexibility, but I dint really know who I liked better.
In short, I grew up stuffing majority of my personal matters inside, totally insecure, until 12 years back when I found the most unpopular girl of our class being cornered and helpless. There was another girl who wanted to help her, so I joined along. The whole class disliked the idea, but we thought a girl wouldn’t survive for two more years of Engineering, in a class that showed a frozen face to her. We became like the trio of the movie Dil Chahta Hai. For the first time, the very first time, I met two girls who are assertive and feared none. And so for the first time, I learned to do so. For me, they were somebody to share my feelings, to pour down my thoughts without any inhibition and, most importantly, to be MYSELF. We devised crazy plots, played pranks, enjoyed movies, shared infatuations and found pleasure in everything that we did. We were the evil crew – Partners in crime. Their opponents were my mine too and we did target them well. I wouldn’t really mention everything that we did for the fear that my children may reading this in the future 😉 But we did a lot of things that girls of our age might have not even thought of. Boozing or pubs or sex is definitely not what I meant but, we did many other crazy things. The fun we had during combine studies can never be forgotten. As exams yielded good results, parents never doubted the combine study sessions 😉 My favourite part of this relationship was the immense support we each other and the confidence that evolved out of it to what we are.
The relation began with a good intention, and was expected to last long. The one for whom the relation began, unfortunately ended it and ended in the cheapest way it could be – bringing others down in competition for male attention. Pure betrayal!! We couldn’t stand each other’s sight anymore. There were futile trials later to fix it, but we walked away from college in the hope that time would sort things out. That time never came. We could have, all of us could have, anyone of us could have attempted to bring back our times. 10 years!!We do not hate each other anymore. We are in touch – the typical Facebook “hi, hello” type. All the love we had for each other abruptly transposed into a severe dislike of the same volume and BANG!!
I don’t like to make sweeping assumptions, but have observed that women generally (including me) are not able to control emotions – words or tears – when upset. So most of them would either not share their feelings for the fear of creating a scene or creating so much tension in the air. When you do this the other side may not stay composed, but instead blame you and start recollecting those minute incidents which you had disliked once upon a time, pour it on you, creating an even worse situation. Finally all that you remember will be how much you hate each other.
But ask me. I would still recollect those two years as the fondest memories of life. We never made up. I do not regret. They are not my favourites anymore, but certain matters that I learned from our friendship are still valued. They were not meant to be a part of my future and so…
…And just because I couldn’t make up with both, doesn’t mean I never had girlfriends after that. Today, I have a lot of them with whom I have fought, made up,respected.Just that I am careful enough to make sure things wouldn’t go to extreme, only because I learnt that saying sorry is not a big deal and can heal a lot of angry minds.
When Bhavia asked me to write about women friendships, I had no clue how to start with. Now, I don’t know how to stop it. Differences? Yes, definitely yes.
– Girls prefer to sit around and talk / walk and talk / drive and talk. More inclined to sharing feelings and personally connecting with each other. Guys try to go for a cricket when together and connect themselves.
– Guys can make fun of each other for a whole day and still be cheerful, can take a lot things with a lighter heart. A friend passed out of college 4 yrs after we did 😉 and mentioned that he doesn’t have more certificates than any of us. It has been ten years. People still make fun of him right on his face and he enjoys it. Had there been a girl in the situation, nobody would even dared to mention about that and would have only tried to help her emotionally balance the situation.
– Women would favour to stay with friends who need them and would expect the same back. They take privilege to say that they are needed and have time for friends. Men choose to be with people who have common interests – driving, cricket, video games, boozing and try to avoid people who would interfere in their normal routine. They would be happy to say that they have freedom in friendship.
– Women can hold love and grudge more than men do (like we did and so many I know of). Men (in friendships. May not be with wife or girlfriends) tend to forget a lot of things that they take fights lightly and wouldn’t mind accepting faults. A boy who later turned to be the best of my friends, taught to carry a lighter heart and to keep ego aside for friends to stay beside. There were times when he would slap his friends or get slapped, but they would value the relationship more than what had happened two minutes ago.
– Women can talk and find happiness in simple things of life. I think men will get bored soon unless there is a tablet or Xbox
– Women try to put themselves in others shoes, give importance to a friend’s problem and treat as though it is theirs’ (only as long as they are not involved in the same problem and as long as they are not in danger). Men would ask you let it go off for the better, but if you aren’t ready then they can go to any extreme – even to kill. Read it here.
– When women make up after a fight, they try to bring all that was the cause of the fight, talk it off. Tears, tension and finally a hug. Men just hug. Years later when I met an old boy friend with whom there was a clash, he just hugged and mentioned how thrilled he was to meet me. From then, we have been in constant touch, there was never a mention of what happened before and why, but the air is clear and I am glad he is my friend.
– Intimacy drives women friendships and activities help men…. (Not always true)…
– Disloyal ones are rejected by both men and women.
Having said all that, I wouldn’t generalise friendships based on gender. Every relation women-women, women-men or men-men begins with passion and may end (god forbid not) for trivial reasons. I respect friendship a lot though am touch with only a handful.
What makes a relation last is the willingness to see each other as individuals: You do not write off somebody just because they did something that you do not like. It is when they continuously hurt you, ditch you and bitch about you that finally you decide to leave them for once and for all. So the only people who can accept me the way I am, will stay close to me and if only I succeed in doing the same, can I stay close to them.
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