An Ode to Nice Guys

This is the first write up on my blog that has been written by someone else. I don’t know this person and I don’t know if he will mind his write up being put up in someone else’s blog. All i know is its a beautifully written piece and is my all time favourite which is why it is worth sharing with everyone around, specially the nice guys. The write up starts after the picture which i found to be in perfect harmony with what’s written underneath.

Ode to the Nice Guys
This rant was written for the Wharton Undergraduate Journal

This is a tribute to the nice guys. The nice guys that finish last, that never become more than friends, that endure hours of whining and bitching about what assholes guys are, while disproving the very point. This is dedicated to those guys who always provide a shoulder to lean on but restrain themselves to tentative hugs, those guys who hold open doors and give reassuring pats on the back and sit patiently outside the changing room at department stores. This is in honor of the guys that obligingly reiterate how cute/beautiful/smart/funny/sexy their female friends are at the appropriate moment, because they know most girls need that litany of support. This is in honor of the guys with open minds, with laid-back attitudes, with honest concern. This is in honor of the guys who respect a girl’s every facet, from her privacy to her theology to her clothing style.

This is for the guys who escort their drunk, bewildered female friends back from parties and never take advantage once they’re at her door, for the guys who accompany girls to bars as buffers against the rest of the creepy male population, for the guys who know a girl is fishing for compliments but give them out anyway, for the guys who always play by the rules in a game where the rules favor cheaters, for the guys who are accredited as boyfriend material but somehow don’t end up being boyfriends, for all the nice guys who are overlooked, underestimated, and unappreciated, for all the nice guys who are manipulated, misled, and unjustly abandoned, this is for you.

This is for that time she left 40 urgent messages on your cell phone, and when you called her back, she spent three hours painstakingly dissecting two sentences her boyfriend said to her over dinner. And even though you thought her boyfriend was a chump and a jerk, you assured her that it was all ok and she shouldn’t worry about it. This is for that time she interrupted the best killing spree you’d ever orchestrated in GTA3 to rant about a rumor that romantically linked her and the guy she thinks is the most repulsive person in the world. And even though you thought it was immature and you had nothing against the guy, you paused the game for two hours and helped her concoct a counter-rumor to spread around the floor. This is also for that time she didn’t have a date, so after numerous vows that there was nothing “serious” between the two of you, she dragged you to a party where you knew nobody, the beer was awful, and she flirted shamelessly with you, justifying each fit of reckless teasing by announcing to everyone: “oh, but we’re just friends!” And even though you were invited purely as a symbolic warm body for her ego, you went anyways. Because you’re nice like that.

The nice guys don’t often get credit where credit is due. And perhaps more disturbing, the nice guys don’t seem to get laid as often as they should. And I wish I could logically explain this trend, but I can’t. From what I have observed on campus and what I have learned from talking to friends at other schools and in the workplace, the only conclusion I can form is that many girls are just illogical, manipulative bitches. Many of them claim they just want to date a nice guy, but when presented with such a specimen, they say irrational, confusing things such as “oh, he’s too nice to date” or “he would be a good boyfriend but he’s not for me” or “he already puts up with so much from me, I couldn’t possibly ask him out!” or the most frustrating of all: “no, it would ruin our friendship.” Yet, they continue to lament the lack of datable men in the world, and they expect their too-nice-to-date male friends to sympathize and apologize for the men that are jerks. Sorry, guys, girls like that are beyond my ability to fathom. I can’t figure out why the connection breaks down between what they say (I want a nice guy!) and what they do (I’m going to sleep with this complete ass now!). But one thing I can do, is say that the nice-guy-finishes-last phenomenon doesn’t last forever. There are definitely many girls who grow out of that train of thought and realize they should be dating the nice guys, not taking them for granted. The tricky part is finding those girls, and even trickier, finding the ones that are single.

So, until those girls are found, I propose a toast to all the nice guys. You know who you are, and I know you’re sick of hearing yourself described as ubiquitously nice. But the truth of the matter is, the world needs your patience in the department store, your holding open of doors, your party escorting services, your propensity to be a sucker for a pretty smile. For all the crazy, inane, absurd things you tolerate, for all the situations where you are the faceless, nameless hero, my accolades, my acknowledgement, and my gratitude go out to you. You do have credibility in this society, and your well deserved vindication is coming.

Fu-zu Jen, SEAS/WH, 2003

Blasts from the past

I have been wanting to write something like this for a long time but have just not been able to gather my thoughts. Even now as i make another attempt to link my thoughts i am no where near it . So i am just gonna write the way it comes to my mind, thought after thought.

Past is something that everyone has. But not everyone wants to remember it. It haunts some and motivates others. And then there are those who love to live in the past coz it was just so great and the present is nothing compared to it. The advice that is given by friends and loved ones of such people is to Move on!!. But what does it mean exactly? And does it work? Is it good to move on in all such cases?

A lot of people will think that i am talking about a romantic relationship. I am not. I am talking about all things that involve love, commitment and passion. It can be a relationship between a couple who are madly in love, two very good friends, a father and a son,your college, your bat or racket(for sports freaks like me), your first kiss and so on. 

Why do some people always compare their present with their past. Like how life was in school and how it is in college. To some extent we all have done it but the ones who don’t accept the new life are the ones who have trouble coping with change. Moving on is another way of asking to cope with change. Still it confuses me. 

Suppose there is a couple who have had a great relationship for many years but somehow it just doesn’t work out. One out of the two will make the first attempt to let go and move on. But does it mean that this person was not as serious about the relationship as the other. I mean if you make a move too quickly you feel you are still cheating your partner and if you are too late then by that time you have already started feeling like a looser. But to talk about a romantic relationship is the easiest.

What about the family of people who lost their lives in the Mumbai attacks? what do they do? can they move on? and should they move on? If someone tries to, they would feel ashamed of them self for trying to forget the love of this family member. But if they don’t then they will have this in their head all the time. In such a case they can just be proud of him and live the rest of their lives with a big hole in it coz they can never move on from that. But what you can move on from also changes from person to person.

Recently i had gone to my college for a sort of reunion and i met most of my gang. As soon as i entered i felt this weird love and affection towards my college that i had not felt before. I looked at my college and my hostel in a very different way. A way in which a failed scientist looks at his past accomplishments. With disbelief. Anyway we started talking and catching up on what each one of us was doing and finally decided to play cricket for old times sake. Now cricket is something that i am most nostalgic about so by the time our reunion ended i was so full with the feeling of nostalgia that i just didn’t wanna leave the college. I wished that these days had not ended and i could still live in the hostel.When I finally said goodbye to the college i started comparing my last two years after college with my years in college. I was never a great achiever in academic terms but still i felt that i had achieved more in college then i did after it. This feeling didn’t leave me even after i drove back home. And It still hasn’t. Why is it like this? Why does one look back at the years gone by when he knows he can’t relive them?

I guess one looks back at his friends, relationships, accomplishments either when he feels he has achieved a lot or when he is scared that he wont be able to better it. Like i have said before its very difficult to make friends once you cross that magic age, so one just can’t get over the fact that friendship has actually ended and it will be very difficult to make as good friends.Still its just difficult, not impossible and the same is true for other relationships as well. But this does not occour to us when we hare hit by blast from the past.

In most cases how do people deal with disasters of the past? By disasters i mean anything that could have uprooted your life. They just ignore it. Yes. Just pretend to overlook the obvious for sometime and soon it will stop existing. This is what people do to move on. Just forget that you had a best friend or a bat which won you the man of the match and it will stop bothering you. You will learn to live with it. But how long can you adjust like this in life? And a friend or bat is still easy, what about the woman who lost her husband/son? what does she do? forget about him? Pretend he didn’t exist? Cmon!!! 

Moving on is easier said than done as all of us will experience these blasts from time to time. It will happen whenever we see something that reminds us of someone or the other way around. But each one of us has to find our own ways to nullify the effects of these blasts as there is no obvious answer as far as i know. And If there is then i guess i am just too myopic to see it.

 

P.S. I just realized that i have written so much but the funny thing is that i feel like i still havn’t made my point.

The Circle of Trust

Friendship is something almost all of us indulge in but i don’t know if there is someone out there who understands it fully. There are so many times when all my logic fails. From making friends to keeping them, nothing makes sense.  This is how i see all of us making friends…. I like to call this thought the Circle Of Trust (COT).

When we are young, vibrant and innocent we don’t have many screening stages before we let someone enter the circle(COT). We usually welcome all those who want to come in and especially the ones who don’t kick us in the balls and steal our lunch box. At that stage in our life the size of the circle is huge, it can even fit in the entire cricket and football team for some of us. But as we grow old and smart(hypothetically) we start understanding how people function and how they don’t. We don’t realize it but, subconsciously we put up so many screening formalities in our head that hardly anyone is able to get through them and reach the Circle Of Trust. That is why we make fewer friends as we grow up, and this is exactly why you should hold on to your school(8th-12th) or college friends coz 1) The screening process at that time in our life is just right, not too strong and not too weak. and 2) coz the older you get the lesser the chance of you making better friends.

It is ironical but the older you get the smarter you get (for most) and the smarter you get, the lesser you trust. And so it again comes down to how complicated friendship actually is.

Let me start with one of the most cliched statements about friendship ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’. Does it mean that others are not? So basically are you supposed to be there ALL THE TIME ? Well OK. That’s possible but only till the time you are not in a relationship, coz once that happens the ‘need’ and ‘indeed’ go for a toss. Why is it that a friend who you have known all your life, who you have loved all your life, who in one word is your ‘Best’ friend suddenly becomes ‘just another’ friend? I really want to find the answer to this.

You have loved your friend, cared for him/her, accepted them the way they are and have never asked them to change, then WHY the FUCK do they change for that all important person who suddenly comes in their life. So now even being a best friend is not enough, you also need to be loved by the friend’s special friend coz if you are not then what you will hear is ” No yaar, you will always be my best friend, no matter what but, you know he/she doesn’t like to see me hanging out with you. I hope you understand”. WHAT THE FUCK YAAR!!! why should i understand, Why the fuck can’t he/she understand instead of me?

These are the things that eat my head very often and i have been unable to find an answer to this for so long. After thinking about all this what i now understand of friendship is very different from what my initial thoughts were.

You meet someone and become friends. You start getting along really well and spend a lot of time together. Then it comes down to telling each other what you did the whole day, which guy stared, which girl was wearing a very small skirt and so on. Then you become dependent on each other. Once that happens, you start to share a special bond.

But how do you qualify as a great friend or a best friend. Its not that easy as It takes a lot out of you in most cases. You start by just being there at each others side at most times. Then you learn to handle the situations where your friend does not want you to be there (i know its complicated 🙂 ). And when your friend finds that special friend, then you just be there whenever they have a fight or an argument coz otherwise he/she will not have the time.

How are you supposed to hang on to your old friend in such a case? How are you to tell yourself to understand when in reality you don’t want to understand. How do you let go of your teenage friendship, I have no idea and once again i am where i started. I guess friendship is just not meant to be understood. At least not yet, not just yet.