Woh Mera Bhai Hai! (Nahi, tum dono chutiye ho)

He had been in love with her for years. He spoke to her, hung out with her, they’d been friends for long. And then suddenly, as casually as she could, she dropped a bomb on his head. ‘Arey, you’re like my brother’.

Wait, what? Brother??

How the fuck?
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I have never understood it.

If you’re friendly with a girl, and it is clear that there is nothing going to happen on the evil desires front, you suddenly become a bhai, a brother.

Why do girls do this? Is there some sort of a threat? That by making someone your bhai, you are ticking one creep off the list?

I have asked women this through the years, and the most common response that I got is this:

‘It’s easy for you to say this, as you’re a (terribly attractive, Narkasura in bed but at the same time extremely good at heart and caring) guy in India. As girls, we are always on our toes. Something might happen at any given point of time. What’s the harm in making someone your brother? Why do you have to keep making issues out of stuff like this?’

My response has always been an exasperated sigh. Seriously? We speak about women standing up for themselves, being strong and independent. And on a daily, social level, one has to make random guys a ‘brother’?

I don’t get it. What is wrong with friends? Just being friends. You are both of different genders, and are not romantically involved, and since we don’t live in caves and club animals for dinner, you can easily be friends who do nothing harmful to each other. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with us?

But no. The proclamation will fall. While growing up, almost every girl I knew had a bunch of loonies who she would call her bhai. I have always wondered if they constantly feel a threat. That there might be guys waiting to pounce on them, and the only way to fend them off is by calling them a brother.

I have wracked my brain about this for years.

And found my favourite culprit for everything wrong with our society today.

Yes. Bollywood.

For years, Bollywood has been propogating the idea that love starts from friendship and ends in marriage. Who can forget that legendary line in Maine Pyar Kiya, where Mohnish Behl tells a young Salman Khan this:


As if to make the point more clear, the director made Salman Khan wear this cap through much of the film.

friend cap

Even today, there are three Facebook pages with the name ‘Ek Ladka Aur Ladki Kabhi Dost Nahi Ban Sakte’.

Then, there was Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. Where an English teacher is asking the class innocously what they think love means. What she doesn’t know is that sitting amongst the students is the guy who taught heavenly bodies to fall in love and bang each other. This resulted in the Big Bang, after which our solar system was born.

Yes, that guy.

SHAHRUKH FUCKING KHAN.

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The teacher asks the class what is love. Shah Rukh Khan tells the class that Love is Friendship. While he was making cheesy moves on the new girl in class, we Indians took that shit seriously.

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What the fuck does that even mean? He was clearly wanting to get into her pants, and since they had just become friends, was trying to act mushy.

Believing that Love is Friendship because of that movie is absurd. Extending Extrapolating that logic to other films, the logic is the same as:

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balakrishna

Probably the next in the line of culprits is the system of Rakshabandhan that we followed in school. I don’t understand the relevance of it. Nor do I know why girls have to tie rakhis to boys in school.

And strangely, it was a matter of pride. The guy with the most rakhis (mostly those cute, fair guys who would later grow up to look like albino salamanders) strutted around in them like peacocks, while the others just had one rakhi on their hands, attached to Indian culture with a red and golden gossamer.

What is the point of the whole exercise? After thinking about it for months, I realised it is for that one moment in the future when the girl who tied that rakhi, would be rescued by her rakhi brother.
(EXT. DARK NIGHT, LONELY STREET. A GIRL IS WALKING ALONE).

A man has been following her for a while. When she turns a corner, he runs and holds her. Turning her around, the girl is shocked to see who it is – Rakesh.

‘Let me go’, she says, ‘don’t you remember, I tied you a rakhi in Class 3?’

‘Arey pagli’, the man says, ‘that wasn’t me. I got a rakhi from Anjali, your friend. I still visit her sometimes…’
That’s the only reasoning I could come up with for the practice of girls tying rakhis to boys in school. And as if all this is not enough, when people grow up and can think for themselves, they choose to continue with this regressive habit of making guys their bhai.

Rakhi Bhai is the term. ‘Woh mera rakhi bhai hai’. Has it ever happened to me? Yes. Once.

There was a pretty girl that I liked. I knew that I stood no chance, but hope keeps man alive. So I pursued her hopelessly, till one day she casually told the others in the group that I was ‘her brother’. I gave her the expression that Sunny Deol gives to the Pakistani army, and left the scene in a hurry. It has never happened to me since, and I make it a point to stay away from girls who indulge in Rakhibhai-giri.

Well, fuck you. He’s not your rakhi bhai. He’s just a friend. There’s no point in drawing imaginary lines in your head in a society where there are already giant red lines drawn every year.

If he’s a friend, learn to accept him as your friend. Don’t give me that bhai-why bullshit.

8 thoughts on “Woh Mera Bhai Hai! (Nahi, tum dono chutiye ho)

  1. drskk

    What if I tie someone a rakhi coz he doesn’t have a sister, after understanding the meaning and gravity of the relationship and believing in it. What if I tie a rakhi to a guy whom I consider a brother. As much a brother as my own flesh and blood since the day I have known him. Who was never a friend or a romantic interest? What if I could respect someone enough, and it is reciprocated. I have always loved your entries… at least never ever hated them… and I am not easily offended. But my relationship with my brother is the purest and most pious relationship I have in this world. And so when ever I do tie a rakhi to anyone else, I make it a point that it’s someone whom I respect and honour and who honours the relationship as much as I do. And I absolutely detest girls who hide their love interests behind these pretences, but that doesn’t mean the relationship is demeaning. It’s the person who is demented.

    Reply
  2. Nidaa C

    And oh yea… this Rakhi-bhai system is horribly regressive and bullshit. But Aditi’s reasons above kinda explains it which never occurred to me.

    Reply
  3. Nidaa C

    There are also guys who make random girls their sis. Iam sure you must know a few. Once a friend of mine told me, ‘you’re so cute, like a lil sister i never had’. While all went Awww I didnt like it. What the fuck is this ‘behen-jaisi’. I feel some guys too make average lookers their sisters to pataofy hotter girls. Another playboy friend of mine once went out with a girl with average looks, shocking all of us for hes openly superficial (and theres nothing wrong with that. to each their own). And the reason he gave was ‘waise hi she wasnt getting any attention and this will improve my chances with hot chicks’.

    Reply
  4. randumbtune

    @sallu-mama with nazi-patch on his leather jacket. Ahahahahaha.
    Ahahahah, steroids-power! Ahahaha
    would love to read an article about the bollywood/tollywood costume designers.
    Also what the fuck is it with all these lover-boy-actors ( Srk, sallu, shaid) with pink lipstick ? Cringessss ehhh.

    Reply
  5. Gaurav Joshi (@GauravJ_09)

    Thoroughly loved it. The Bollywood love stereotype really makes me cringe. And the Rakhi culture in school, 😀 😀
    When I was in school, I literally remember some of my classmates hiding in washrooms while this session used to take place. (The guy with most rakhis was considered “not worthy of having gf”). A friend of mine had a crush on this girl and she tied him rakhi and all her friends were clapping and cheering. I mean WTF? What does this mean? The women empowerment and bhaiyya point you raised is absolutely justified. A woman calling her bhai for protection seems quite regressive, at least to me.
    Well done! This was hilarious and witty at the same time.

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  6. Aditi

    Okay this whole ‘make him a brother’ thing is probably a defence mechanism. Most average Indian men are clearly not evolved enough to understand consent dynamics. When the ‘no’ is ignored and taken as ‘keep asking’ – it becomes ‘I have a boyfriend’ or ‘you’re like my brother’ just to make him stop – since traditional ideas tend to hold more value to men than a woman’s disinterest or opinion.
    Another reasoning for this could be that indian women are slightly afraid of pissing off a man by rejecting him outright(because that does get nasty) and try to resort to safe and effective ways to get rid of unwanted attention. So yeah,while it does sound rubbish idea and I personally have never made anyone my ‘brother’ try to take in consideration a naive woman who is scared out of her wits trying to find a way to reject someone nicely without suffering nasty consequences before you dismiss everyone who practices this as an idiot.
    Just a thought.

    Reply
  7. Pragmatic_Dreamer

    No one could’ve said this any better!
    I really don’t understand how you could just make someone your brother/sister!
    Some guy I barely knew made me his sister because I looked like one of his cousins!
    Another time I came across a girl who dated the same guy she was ready to tie a rakhi to!!
    (Seriously, WTH!)
    It’s like people can’t ever just be friends or acquaintances. They have to be either lovers or brothers/sisters…

    Reply

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