There are Friendship bands on Friendship Day; but lately, youngsters in India are also donning a ‘four-letter’ band on their wrists. These thin, black plastic bands are the new things on the block amongst the youth today. Break one and you need not sing Akon’s hit track, “I wanna f*** you”.
Says Ananya Seth, a class 9 student of a south-Delhi school, “Most of my friends are into physical relationships. It’s very embarrassing to ask someone directly. These bands make it easier to pass on the message.” Adds Nikhil Malhotra, a second-year college student, “These bands are unisex and very common at parties. They are worn when you want to say they you don’t want to go home alone. But they don’t mean that you can’t refuse someone who you don’t want to be with.”
Bhavna Dixit, 26, a call-center employee, who claims to be one of the founder members of this trend says, “It first began as a practical joke we played on one of our colleagues. After a while, we realised that this could actually be used to express feelings.” Bhavna believes that with the band, youngsters have found a way to vent their carnal desires. “The pace at which this trend has caught on amazes me. It certainly shows the broad-mindedness of today’s youth, that is neither scared nor hesitant of trying out new things,” she says.
But Smriti Nagpal, who has just graduated, does not agree. “These bands are just another means of prostitution,” she says.
(Names have been changed)