Ever wondered about a gap? Of course. You have, always. From the first window you got between your teeth to your adolescence when thigh gaps became an unspoken desire, or the emotional gap you felt for the first time between your parents and you – ‘gap’ has always been a significant part of your life. And you have detested it most of the time. Only a handful number of people can boast of their diastema. Generation gap is one thing that has troubled every individual. Hence, it is not a surprise that the word ‘gap’ has earned a negative connotation for itself.
What is surprising is that it is not true even though we love to hate it. How conveniently we forget the gaps we deliberately introduce when we need our own “space”, just like we introduce gaps between railway tracks to prevent constant pushing and pulling against one another. These gaps complete us letting us have our own individuality.
Perhaps this recurring, incessant urge to “fill in the gap” blocks our vision to view a ‘gap’ as something providing liberation and novelty … a space to wander about and deliberate when others are working hard to fill in the gap, in the process suffocating you … a ‘gap’ that gives us a beautiful relationship despite being devoid of those butterflies in the stomach.
I am talking about that particular gap which gives you a person to depend upon when you want to cut out the drama from your life. It is just a small gap between two words that lets you breathe, small enough for you to occasionally jump over to take a completely different perspective. A gap that provides subconsciously required separation with a promise of continuity. It resides perfectly between those two words where its existence is sometimes questioned with suspicion and uncertainty, sometimes with a shocking denial of its authenticity.
Can there truly be a gap between ‘boy’ and ‘friend’? It almost resonates with the famous Mohnish Behl’s dialogue – “Ek ladka ladki kabhi dost nahi hote.”
Only if the character knew that friendships were gender blind. (sigh)
It was not completely his fault. He had been raised in a society which still took a girl-guy friendship with a pinch of salt. A section of society influenced the character and the character’s dialogue influenced more sections. It’s certainly innocuous but films mostly end up showing two best friends falling for each other in the end thus destroying the vision of immaculate guy-girl friendship in gullible eyes. Films mostly try to show that friendship is the first step to eventually falling in love. Hence, when there is a friendship blossoming up, the next level has to be love!
I am not guilt free. I too felt bad when Rani didn’t end up with Oleksander in ‘Queen’ but I am glad it didn’t turn out that way. So much for that idea of ‘non-existent cute gentleman who can truly be only a friend’ ! There’s so much concentration on ‘romance’ that platonic friendship is mired in expectations and anticipations of evolving into something … well, ‘romantic’ !
Will I get jealous when my boy friend ( Mind the gap ! ) gives priority to his girlfriend? Perhaps , yes . No, the cupid has not hit me. When a mother grows jealous of her daughter-in-law because her son devotes more time to her , it’s not because of the cupid. When one girl becomes jealous of a guy because her sorority sister is giving more time to her boyfriend, it is also not because of the cupid. So why does the jealousy cropping up between opposite-sex friendships have to be necessarily seen through romantic lenses? I am sure the chubby toddler has better things to do.
Cupid will someday turn its attention towards us if it hasn’t so far. Meanwhile , we can try to appreciate the gap that is giving us a beautiful relationship. One that helps us understand the bro-code and more importantly, technology – related issues. (I hope the so-called feminist squad is not reading it). The gap between ‘boy’ and ‘friend’ is not a gulf that swallows the connecting chord, nor an abyss which can force you to fall infinitely into nothingness. It won’t complete you but you sure are incomplete without it. Feel lucky if you have a boy friend.