Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hello Bro / Sis!

Since my college days, I have come across a peculiar thought process that students have when they are studying and some continue thinking in the same vein even when they are professionals. It is a concept that I could neither understand, nor could I bow to this thought flow. I always questioned it in my mind and this is the first time that I have got down to analyze it in some depth. The point of discussion is: why do peers of the opposite sex prefer to be either lovers or tone it down to a sibling equation instead of being just friends?

I’m sure all of you at some point of time felt how it’s easier to explain to your lover that your best friend of the opposite sex is like a brother or sister to you. That’s convenient and lays a lot of matters to rest, which includes doubts about your ‘actual’ equation with your opposite-sex friend. But this convenience is something that I would like to question. Why can’t you say that you are friends and still put matters to rest? Why does it have to be coated with the garb of an idea of being siblings? Haven’t these people heard of the word ‘incest’?

Children from their adolescent age are taught to be brothers and sisters, rather than friends. The next-door boy, who was your playmate since you can remember, is suddenly referred to as a brother by your parents. They don’t want a ‘friend’ to visit you anymore, and certainly not inside your bedroom. Only a member of the ‘family’ can do that, and you have to comply to it. If you question it, you are only convincing them that you have mischief on your mind!

I think that it is a by-product of the taboo that exists (yes, still) between a girl and a boy being friends. To call your best friend your sibling is including that person in a sort of family construct, thereby settling matters once and for all that you are not lovers and will never be. I observed that it is not only for others, the two people involved also find a lot of security and comfort in this slotting. Then they can open their minds to other fishes in the pond, because they have got the most nagging of all worries, do-you-love-your friend, sorted out.

In office, colleagues like to get in the comfort zone of being siblings to avoid gossip. Before tongues start wagging about your behind-the-cooler chats with that pretty front office girl, slip it to a jealous colleague that you and she are like brother-sister. That effectively pulls you out from the look-at-me scampering. It might also make you popular with the guys who want access to your (well, sounds awful but that is what you have labeled yourself) ‘sister’. Not a very envious position, right?

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