Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Unfinished Story : Friends Group



The Girl who was “One of the Boys”

Story by Vikram Karve



This story happened 47 years ago in the year 1975







Pune – circa 1975






“I want to be a part of your friends’ group…” Nisha said to me – during lunch break.

“No…” I said to her, “our friends’ group is an all-boys’ group – girls are not allowed…”

“But why…?” she asked me.

“I have observed that when a woman finds her way into a group of men friends – that group breaks up and disintegrates…” I said to her.

“I don’t understand…” she said.

“See – if you join our group – you may fall in love with someone – and take him away from us…” I said to her.

“I will not fall in love with anyone of your group – I promise you…” she said.

“But – someone may fall in love with you – and then – he may leave the group to be with you…” I said to her.

“Don’t worry – I will not allow anyone to fall in love with me…” she said.

“That’s not possible – you are very attractive – everyone will vie for your attention – this may result in fervent competition to impress you – and may lead to rivalry among us – and this rivalry to win your attention – this may disturb the harmony of our friends’ group…” I said to her.

“I assure you that this won’t happen…” she said to me, “I will be “one of the boys” – just like you – friendship and good company – that’s all I want…”

“If you want friendship and company – why don’t you join a girls’ group…?” I said to her.

“I don’t get along with girls of my age – most of them are married – or – waiting to be married…” she said.

“There are many working women too – of your age…” I said to her.

“They all work in offices – behind desks – have you seen any girl slogging it out here in the factory…? Do you know – in my engineering college – I was the only girl in my mechanical engineering class of 30 – now – I work on the shopfloor – like all of you – I want to be friends with you all – rather than those mushy girls…” she said, “please accept me in your boys’ group – I promise you – I will be “one of the boys” – you will like me as a buddy…”

“I will have to ask the others…” I said to her.

“They will do as you say – after all – you are the “leader” of the group…” she said.

“Leader…?” I exclaimed – feeling good – my ego boosted.

“Yes…” she said to me, “that’s why I am talking to you…”

“Okay…” I said, “join us in the evening…”

“Thank you so much…” Nisha said, “trust me – you’ll be happy you let me join your group…”

And so – Nisha – a girl – she joined our all-boys’ friends’ group.





Dear Reader – this story happened 47 years ago in 1975.

So – let me transport you 47 years back in time to the year 1975.

Today – you see that most college students form “couples” – a boy and a girl move around together.

In the Pune of those days – culturally – it was not considered “proper” for a boy and a girl to move around together – unless they were engaged or serious about marriage.

A girl who moved around freely with boys – especially a girl who kept changing boyfriends – was deemed to be of “loose morals” – and once she gained this reputation – it was difficult for her parents to find an “arranged marriage” match for her – in case her boyfriends dumped her.

So – in colleges – there were all-girls’ friends’ groups – and – consequently – there were all-boys’ friends’ groups.

In our case – our all-boy’s friends’ group had continued after engineering college – since all of us had got jobs in automotive and engineering firms located in the industrial area in the outskirts in Pune.

We all lived in “chummeries” or as “paying guests” in Pune City.

Every morning at 7 AM – we would catch our company buses and go to work – and – would be back by 5 PM in the evenings.

Every evening – after work – we would get down from our company buses near our favorite café – have a conversation over cup of tea and a bun (bun-maska and chai) – and then – go “home” to our “chummeries” of paying guest accommodation.

On Thursdays (our weekly off) – we would spend the day together – hiking to places like Sinhagad – a trip to nearby places Lonavala – or – just a movie, a meal and a loaf on Main Street.

(Those days – in the 1970’s – we worked 6 days a week – and – in Pune – the industrial holiday was on Thursday)

Work on the shop-floor was quite tiring – and – combined with the longish “to and fro” journey in travelling to work and back in the rather “Spartan” company buses – we would be quite exhausted – so – the refreshing cup of tea and delightful conversation were very rejuvenating for us – and we eagerly looked forward to our evening get-together – and our weekly Thursday outings too.





To be continued...

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
3. E&OE

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