Friday, July 29, 2011

Just Friends.

There are questions and then there are questions.

There’s the unanswerable, “Do you think I look fat in this?"

The mind numbing, " Are we there yet?" asked by a 3 year old and her 7 year old brother with 3.5 minutes frequency from the back seat of the car.

The inconsequential ones like “Is there a god?”, “What’s the meaning of life?" which stands proudly alongside other idiotic ones like “What’s your religion?”, “If my god and your god has a pissing contest, which one would win?"

The weird ones, “What do you do?”, "How are you?”, "Does it hurt?", "Are you sleeping?"

The leading ones like, “Have you ever been in love...really?”, “Are you happy?”, " Does he/she understand the real you?”, “Has anyone told you how beautiful you are?"

The 'none of your business' ones like, “How do you plead?”, “What’s your qualification?" “Are you married?" “Which part of India?" “Where are you going?"

Then the stupid one: "Who are you?"

But the one question that generations have been forced to confront, even though the issue probably must have been one ancient one is:

Can a man and woman be just friends?

It all started with that chick flick movie 'When Harry met Sally”. Never has a movie raised such a level of self introspection, except perhaps Blue Lagoon, which gave raise to that often repeated probability question, "if you were stuck in a deserted island who you would like to be with you?"

For me it’s a basket ball. But I am digressing.

So can they be? Just friends?

I believe they can be, under certain conditions. After years of research and several months of banishment to the couch, I have the answers that you seek, thereby putting yet another question to rest among ones like "Does size matter?"

The conditions for a man and a woman to be just friends the below criteria have to be met.

- Both are committed to someone else they still care about.
- One is committed and the other is just plain undesirable.
- No one is committed to anyone else but one is just plain undesirable.
- Both are uncommitted and both are scared of rejection/humiliation.
- Both are uncommitted and one is scared of rejection.
- One is committed and the other is scared of rejection/humiliation/end of friendship/physical harm.
- One of them is gay. (This is same as point 2 and 3)

Okie. Let the lynching start. But before you let your self righteous cloud your judgment, please be honest and decide for yourself, where do you fit in the above criteria.

There's no rule saying that man and woman has to be just friends. No matter how much we like to peg, identify and label relationships, for the sake of yourself, others ,the mysterious society or for that inherited baggage we like to call our culture and heritage, the truth is that it really doesn’t matter, does it?

There is also another set of criteria that seems to work also.

- Both are committed to another, who they may or may not care about but one does not want it to go beyond a good friendship.
- Both are committed to another, who they may or may not care about and both do not want it to go beyond a good friendship.
- Both are not committed to anyone and each does not want for whatever reasons go beyond a god friendship.

What is this good friendship?

Does it mean only no sex?

I was talking to a family friend of mine about this. A woman.She says that eventually there comes a time where the relation reaches a stage where, normally its the man, shows an interest beyond just friendship. She just sleeps with them. According to her most men cannot differentiate between lust and love and this is a phase they have to cross.She has got lots of friends she said with a smile.Just friends?, I asked. She just smiled and said, between a man and woman who are friends, there are only degrees.

I guess that's true of any friendship, irrespective of gender but I doubt I will ever sleep with Dog.

I mean, I fall in love with all my girl friends. I don’t see how I cannot. They are great people, great company, great sense of humor, and they are girls. I love them. Nope. I have not slept with any of them. But I am married to one (brownie point alert!)

Here's my take. Man and woman make great friends. I have not met a single woman who says otherwise. Women like having male friends. They feel they are less complicated and more fun. As long as they are not married to it. Marriage seems to sometime make a friend into a prison warden.

It must be the same with us too. Once we get over our initial very male feelings, we can make great buddies. It’s like having a dog. We just need to be put in our right place and taken for walks. After that it’s just party and great fun. But watch out when we start talking about our doomed marriages and misunderstanding wives, we are probably trying to get into your pants. We can be persistent.

But you knew that when you wanted to be just friends, didn’t you?

That is what friendship truly is. To accept instead of expect. No other relationship has that much freedom. To label it will only cheapen it as we have already done to so many of our relationships.

So, can a man and a woman be just friends? Hell no. But that's probably the beauty of it.

But how many of us will admit to it?

That was a leading question.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Surviving Life's Sucker Punches

I am into survival these days.

It’s my latest addiction.

Don’t even ask me why. I have no logical reasons for the things that I do. It may have something to do with the movie 2012. But thats rubbish. If the world as we know is coming to an end, I would rather sit on the balcony with a drink in my hand, waiting for it.


This latest madness is unexplainable. But if and when I am stuck in the middle of a desert or a jungle or a deserted island, I will be ready.

You see I am prepared.

I have always had this thing for camping and trekking. Both the activities suit my misanthropic nature and my inherent yearning to be independent of the trappings of a society. Of course I will still need the tents, the can foods, the bottled water and the car to get to where I plan to do this getting away.

That’s what I love about being a misanthrope. You need the presence of a society to get away from it. Like the child who has that parent to hate.

Right now, my Ben (my truck who think it’s a car), is stocked with two 3 people tents, a foldable mattress, 2 sleeping bags, 2 lean to shelters, a foldable spade, an axe, 4 survival knives in various parts of the car (yep, I am also taking into consideration a Zombie invasion), a medical kit, a survival kit which consists of thermal blanket, fire starter, hooks and nylon thread for fishing, a compass and a whistle. I also have a SAS Survival handbook, nylon twine for making snares and traps, bungee cords, Velcro straps, 1 torch with batteries, 1 torch that can be powered by Ben, garbage bags, 2 tarpaulin sheets, rope and 2 fleece blankets.

Over the past 2 years, I have been studying up hunting, making bow and arrows, how to put up snares and traps. I have all the theoretical knowledge on where to find water in a desert, how to make a water sill and make potable water from shrubs and sea water. I can make fire with Coke cans and with water in a condom (when you are surviving, unprotected sex is fine).

I can make a dug out shelter, even a lean to if it comes to that. I know better than to ration water if I am stuck in a desert. I know that sooner or later I will need to get myself used to eating insects, but I am willing to postpone that for some time.

Now all I need to do is to get lost.

Thing is I am not a paranoid person. It’s just that I like being prepared.

This is the reason why I always base my lie on a truth.


Now my fear is that I will die of a heart attack or fall off a ladder before I get to try my skills out there in the wilderness.

This is because, like it’s said in that book Black Swan, you can never be prepared because life changing occurrences has the habit of coming at you from a direction you are not expecting it to.

Now that could be true. But me? I am brilliant.

You see, me finding myself in the wilderness with a condom and a flint stone is the unexpected direction. Since I am prepared for it, I think I will now die in my sleep.

This could be my middle finger to destiny.

It’s like learning karate. Until then you are getting your arse whopped by every senior in school and the day you enroll and finish your martial art classes, you find that there's absolutely no fights anymore in your life. It’s like finally finishing and understanding Stephen Hawkins’s book only to find out that the bible was correct; god did bury those dinosaur bones just to test our faith.

It’s what I would like to call, Life's Sucker Punch.

This is what makes a non smoking, teetotaler, jog-5km-a day bloke, keel over and die of a heart attack when he is shaving.

You don't see it coming.

So this is my lesson to you my friends, prepare for your worst case scenario. Chances are that you will never face it. And if at all by chance, fate decides to call your bluff, you will still be prepared.

Told you.

It’s one hell of a middle finger.