While growing up, Bollywood movies and mohalle wali aunties gave me a strict warning:
"Ek ladka aur ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte."
That was the thought I internalised and acted upon for the longest time. Any boy getting even remotely friendly would be shunned away solely because of his gender. Until one fateful day...
I saw him in the college canteen. We got talking and bonded over our collective let down about college life being fun. Little did we know that exactly at this point, we were forging a friendship that would become the reason for us even attending college.
The awkward small talk we were having turned pretty deep when I mentioned my secret love for the song 'I don't care, I love it.' He sang the whole song, forced me to sing along, and in that moment, I knew that boys would come and go but I'd found my soul twin in the boy standing beside me.
But, you see, our connection went much deeper than sharing a common playlist. I knew I could discuss anything with him. I had to be prim and proper with a crush but with him, I could be goofy. I could indulge in weird dance moves, sing bad songs and do mediocre imitations of our teachers and he would never judge me for any of it.
Long story short, I could be myself with him.
Moreover, his advice has been rather important in my romantic endeavours. Meeting someone new is generally a confusing affair. You don't know what to say, when to ask them out or if they even have any feelings for you. My guy best friend has made sure he gives me a sneak peek into the men's world. From interpreting text messages to handling me when I'm freaking out about my relationships, he has always been there to calm me down.
I'll be honest, he doesn't have the emotional understanding of my girlfriends. For example, when I called him after my first break up, he asked me if I'm all right, and then told me to drink some water. As I burst into laughter, he told me he didn't know what to say but offered to beat up my ex. He was visibly annoyed at how my douche bag of an ex had disrespected me. It made me realize that he is fiercely protective of me. To this day, I know that if there is anyone who has my back under any circumstance, it is my guy best friend.
A girlfriend may talk subliminally because she is scared about hurting you but the great part is that the boy best friend will always balance it out by keeping it real. Mine isn't sensitive to my plight at all. But it if anything, it has worked out in my favour. He was quick to tell me if a dress didn't look too good on me and he was absolutely fine about telling me when he didn't approve of someone I was seeing. His advice seemed insensitive initially but it has saved me from fashion faux pas as well as bad relationships.
We've had conversations about our weird habits, I've cried in front of him just like he has in front of me, we never go shopping without each other and he is my main man. From finding my favourite ice cream to helping me make decisions I'm too afraid to make by myself, he is the guy I can always depend on for anything under the sun.