We live in a society where a girl and a boy, even though just friends, are always speculated to be romantically involved with each other. This notion is greatly celebrated by our mainstream Hindi movies which carelessly quotes “Ek ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nai ho sakte (A boy and a girl can never be just friends).” Our families too share this notion.
An incident happened with one of my friends that came to my notice just proved how socially backwards our society is. My friend is a government employee and one day we decided to meet. I was early at her workplace so I waited in her office while she wrapped up for the day. While I was sitting in her office, her colleagues came in and saw me there. After finishing her work we went out. At our next meeting, she disclosed a very upsetting news to me. She told me that her colleagues have been speculating that she is having an affair with many guys because she has been visited by many male friends. This incident gives a reflection of the sick mindset of people who do not think twice before maligning a woman’s reputation.
Such kinds of incidents raise some questions. Can’t a girl and a boy be just friends? Can’t a girl have more male friends than female friends? We talk about feminism, we talk about empowering women, it’s a good talk but first, we need to change our mindsets. As it’s said ‘charity begins at home’, we need to start the change from our home. Talk to the young ones, the future generation; tell them it is okay to befriend a person of other genders. If someone tries to defame a girl’s image by mentioning how many male friends she has, stop them right there and try to talk some sense into them. I hope this sick mindset will change, sooner or later, but it will change.