Brotherhood

AKA Bhai-chara
AKA Bromance
AKA The ability to use the word ‘Bhai’ in a sentence four times with completely different connotation for each utterance.
Also Refer: “Bhai, woh Bhai ko dekh rahi thi to Bhai bola ‘Bhaaaai, sahi hai!'”

Ah, the sacred bond between men, spanning an entire gamut of intensities from being just Bro-mhacharis together to “U gay m8?”. Popularized as “Bro Code” by the extremely quotable Barney Stinson from that show I wouldn’t be caught dead watching, the deeper concept of Bro-ness is often lost. While most assume that it is just an extremely close friendship, we’d beg to differ. It’s not that we’re very close, and given the amount of swearing at each other, one could doubt if we were even friends. Therein lies the beauty of the Code: we do not have to make an effort to express anything to each other, at all.

This manifests across all aspects of life, and is easily observable when juxtaposed against other garden-variety day-to-day interactions:

SPENDING TIME:

Friends – Over a quick chai-poha or idli-sambar, laughing about something mundane at some cheap but reliable establishment
Dates – Playing mind games that put the Chakravyuha to shame, while being dressed up and looking somewhat presentable
Bros – Sitting on the floor of somebody’s house in underwear, with 15-yr old Glen Fidditch (but cheap chakhna; we’re not freaking Czars), verbally destroying anything to ever walk God’s green Earth, and generally pretending like nobody else in the world has half a brain cell

MAKING PLANS:

Friends – Outings will start with the creation of a WhatsApp group, that bleeds members till a Ladakh Bike trip plan becomes a sad walk around Andheri
Dates – Carefully orchestrated affairs, with the intervention of wingmen, paid-off waiters and possibly, minor celebrities
Bros – Starts and ends with “Chal b*****ke”; whether it’s to go to Pune for breakfast at 2 am, or dragging away a Bro who’s gone senti at Marine Drive, or a plan to grab that questionable looking faluda from the redi at the corner

HOBBIES:

Friends – You’ll politely banter and make vague sounds of interest as someone describes their latest FitBit, music obsession or workout regime
Dates -You’ll get into (and eventually start hating shit like) Florentine pottery, etched glass figurines, cat breeds and patterned curtains
Bros – You’ll come ranting to them because of the aforementioned two, they’ll urge you to GTFO and do something productive (for your sake), or stupid (for their sake)

Take this little blog entry for example. Friends might like it, love it, maybe even text you nice little things about the excellent work you supposedly did. Bhais will never read the damn thing, and even if they do, the only response you might get is a grunt, and possibly a proclamation that they themselves could have eaten 7 dictionary pages and crapped out a better essay than your sorry effort. Now some would call this “negative reinforcement” and “harmful clique-turned-cult behaviour”, but it’s just a way for the Bhai in question to stay grounded, lest he get an inflated head from all the praise. Stops him thinking too much of himself or his abilities, you see.

But, best of all, Bros know when to shut the fuck up. They know that if a Bhai is hurting, they should allow him max. 15 seconds of grace and silence before telling him to nut up, come drinking, and do something stupid. They know the value of silence after the soul-stirring guitar solo at the end of “High Hopes”, which should only be punctuated by a deep sigh and the sound of a glass being set down. They know the sense of accomplishment that is attained after finishing a run or a trek together, and they know better than to shatter it with squeals, shrieks and selfies. Because sometimes it isn’t about being there for each other, understanding one another, or *shudder* expressing yourselves to each other.

Sometimes, it’s just about shutting the fuck up, together. True story.

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Inspired by – Bros, PaBro Neruda’s “Keeping Quiet”

Disclaimer I:
This piece is purely about the sense of Bhaichara, and is not intended to be misogynistic in any way. If you take offense at this, please read it again and understand the spirit of the writing.

Disclaimer II:
If you still take offense, you’re an idiot.

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