We are told that we get to choose our friends. But, has anything been that simple, when it comes to making our own choices - specifically in a society like ours? There are always layers to things, and we learn as we go. Here, it's the thought that 'ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte'. 

Salman Khan
Source: The Quint

We've all grown up listening to things like these or being teased about having friends of the opposite gender. I know, I have been. 

For a long time, I was conscious about my friendships being judged, just because relatives and society always have an opinion. And, Bollywood didn't help - which included Maine Pyar Kiya literally blurting it out or films putting friends in a love triangle. 

When we choose our friends, we do not move around with a pro-con list or bio data that we're looking for - yogurt maker thodi hai. We choose people because we want them in our lives. 

My tiny friend circle also consists of a guy best friend. I didn't choose to be friends because he's a guy. But, because of the mere fact that I can be myself around the person, without being judged. Something, we expect from friends. And of course, the similar interests helped - including binging on food and movies.  

The thing is, men and women can be more than just a 'love interest'. And, love can be platonic, friendships are proof of it. Just because I eat outside, watch a movie or even hang out with a guy, doesn't mean I have to be in a romantic relationship with him. But, when someone goes on and points that I shouldn't call it 'platonic' if I do all these things, that impacts how I behave around the people who actually matter to me.

Oh, and the glances or relatives asking - 'FB par kiske saath photo daali hai?' adds on to the drama. I mean, why are we so obsessed with tags?

All I know is, I do not need people forcing opinions that are too toxic to be entertained. Yes, my best friend is a guy. And yes, it is platonic. But, why do I even have to explain? It's 2022, and we still do not get the concept of choice - this says a lot about us as society. Now, that's something we need to think about.

With whatever little experience that I have, I know that it's difficult to change people's opinion, and it's even more difficult to not let it impact you. But, what we are and what we want, is more important than things that someone else has to say. And let's face it, someone will always have something to say. 

Zor se bolo - ek ladka aur ek ladki bilkul dost ho sakte hain. Sorry, Salman Bhai.