I have a bunch of cocksure youngsters around me. They are at that magical  I-know-all- the-answers age: arrogant and overconfident that, above anything else, they will not end up like you. To them I am the deadwood middle manager who floats about in their way as they go about conquering the world.

Imagine my gratification when one of the fachchas melted enough to ask my advice. M-Y advice on a personal matter as if I was a relatioship guru who had conquered all. Maybe she mistook me for her friend in the hazy sheesha bar(unlikely, as friend is office hottie Sonia-AKA Barbie girl) but there hyper Sakshi was (she’s called hyper for a reason) , whispering conspiratorily while I rolled up my sleeves and prepared to dispense hard earned pearls of wisdom.

“The thing is,” hyper Sakshi began, “uhm my boyfriend uhm Aditya …he has this friend-colleague Richa and I’m worried that they might be getting too close…’, she went on haltingly as Barbie-Sonia and I exchanged knowing glances over our drinks–telephatically communicating all that Sakshi had left unsaid. That while Aditya was uh- challenged in the looks department (to be blunt- the name Aditya, conjuring up the vision of an able bodied, polished man with a whole head of hair is a definite misnomer for him); his investment banking status made him a prize catch of any feline on the prowl. That even though we hadn’t seen Richa, she was surely a hottie and an investment banker- so looks and brains in a package, while Sakshi was-shall we say ‘mass-manufactured’ like the rest of us. That if we were in Richa’s boots, we would defnitely be more than ‘just-friends’ with an eligible investment banker;–girlfriend or no girlfriend!

“And we went to this party the other day,’ Sakshi was pouring her heart out now. “And they both were holed up in a corner, cracking all these office jokes. I felt like such an outsider…it was as if he was with her. He says they are just friends, but…”


I took a long sip, all my pearls of wisdom fast popping out like the bubbles in my drink.

In an ideal world, you would be secure enough not to be bothered about who your guy hangs out with. You would support it and call it healthy. In an ideal world, if you loved someone, you’d let them go.

In an ideal world, they would come back. In an ideal world ‘just friends’ would really be ‘just friends’ (and not Shahid and Priyanka). In an ideal world there would be no heartbreaks.

“Why dont you flirt around with a guy here? Lets see how Aditya likes that!” Sonia suggested. Sakshi looked terrified at the thought.

Yes, thats the world we live in. The games go on.

And it never ends. I know many happily married women with kids who cant stand their husbands getting familiar with female colleagues.

As my darling hubby jokingly says in a very MPK (Maine Pyar Kiya for those born after 1985-well almost all of you), “Ek jawaan ladka aur ek jawaan ladki kabhi dost nahin ho sakte!” (loosely translated as a girl and a guy can never be friends.)

I remind him of this dialogue when he shows signs of getting too fond of a female in the vicinity.

‘C’mon!” he responds. ‘What if you had a guy best friend? Can’t you be just friends with him?…Well?…..I cant believe you’re thinking about it!”

Truth be told, it depends on the guy. If Farhan Akhtar was my colleague, I dont think I could be ‘just friends’ with him.

Anyway coming back to Sakshi, between ourselves, Sonia and i convinced her that it was ok, everything was fine, she was overreacting etc etc

But is it? Is it okay for your guy to have a female best friend? Would they really be just friends?