The guys on campus are crystal clear about one thing this year — whether it’s Friendship Day or Rakshabandhan (August 10) — they’re not turning ‘good friends’ or ‘bhais’ to their college classmates. No being the best friend who doesn’t get to hit on you, no being a bro who only gets ‘used’.
"It’s cool to be the shoulder to cry on for a friend. But when they use your shoulder to fire Cupid’s darts at their crush you should get out," said Gaurav Gund, 24, Amity University. "Friend-zoned, Rakhi-zoned, bro-zoned — call it whatever, it’s not cool," says Zubin Kenneth Samuel, 18, of IP University, adding, "I would prefer bunking college on those days if that’s what it takes to get out of the ‘zone’."
Some girls sympathise with the boys when it comes to ‘the nice guy syndrome’ killing prospects. Ankita Biswas, 24, advises, "Be wary of lines such as, ‘You’re such a great friend’. It’s mostly followed by ‘Can you hook me up with your friend?’"
While earlier, starting out as a ‘friend’ was seen as a pre-cursor to romance courtesy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and other Bollywood flicks, it now spells trouble, agree shrinks."It’s a convenient way for the insecure and vulnerable who might also have commitment issues. It’s a non-accountable relationship," says psychologist Ishnita Keskar.
Meanwhile, the debate continues. "Break out of the ‘just-another-nice-guy’ stereotype. Let your crush know you’re interested," says Tarun Verma, 22, a BTech student, while Chaity Sarkar, 20, of Maulana Azad Medical College, says, "Girls are smarter than the average boy nowadays. Friend-zoning is their way of putting the boys in their right place."
"Girls are smarter than the average boy nowadays. Friend-zoning is their way of putting the boys in their right place." - Chaity Sarkar, 20, Maulana Azad Medical College
"Break out of the ‘just-another-nice-guy’ stereotype. Let your crush know you’re interested." - Tarun Verma, 22, BTech student