It’s not just the trepidation of getting that perfect gift for their sister that’s making men uneasy this Rakshabandhan. Apparently, it’s also the fear of being bro-zoned. The latest government order (now withdrawn) in Daman and Diu subjecting all women employees to tie Rakhi to their male colleagues today isn’t quite helping the cause either. “Guys, is it true?” we asked, and Bengaluru’s funniest men answered — with anecdotes and all.
“I think men going into hiding on Rakshabandhan fearing a rakhi being tied, is a concept started by Bollywood to showcase stupidity,” shrugs Satish Perumal. For this Bengaluru-based standup comic, ‘bro zoning’ is real though. “I was ugly growing up and no one dared to tie a rakhi on me – I wasn’t even bro-zone worthy! But the funniest instance has got to be being bro-zoned by my current girlfriend. I persisted and we’ve been dating for three years now. Poor her!” he laughs. According to Sanjay Manaktala, this is a purely age-based dilemma. “It’s prevalent amongst the youth because every kid under 21 has only one thing on their mind. But for men, aka people above a certain age, confidence takes priority,” says the ex-techie whose brand of observational comedy is lapped up across the world. Prod the city’s ‘clean humourist’ Praveen Kumar for a memory, and he retrieves it alright! “When I was in Grade Nine I used to have a crush on a North Indian girl who lived opposite my house. I tried many ways to impress her – through her mom, dad and brother, but nothing worked. My friends finally started teasing her with me. I liked it and she was giving me these signals too. Finally, she called me to her house and tied a rakhi. It was a horrible experience,” he says.
If the fear is certainly real for you, you can probably take a leaf from the pages of these funny men’s lives for inspo. “I remember, a friend of mine in school who used to buy rakhis and fill his arms with them so there was no space for anyone else to tie one,” recollects Shridhar Venkataramana, an IIM-B grad-turned-comic.
Sanjay Manaktala is a smarty – “I once got bro-zoned by a girl that I liked with the whole rakhi thing. But then, in return, I gave her a gift voucher to her favourite restaurant which is a very obvious date place for couples and said, ‘You can take me’. We even went out a few times after,” he laughs.
For Praveen for whom this fear was real before he was married, it’s simple. “Take a day off or act like your hand is broken!”...