How you doin’?
Sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? The familiar, less-than-silky drawl of Joey Tribbiani from Friends has made us smile innumerable times The patented pick-up line worked like a charm, and The Player (before I became one), watching this simpleton operate with his usual panache as he went about picking up girls, often wondered “How the hell does he do it?” Of course it’s just a sitcom. We aren’t meant to take it seriously. But that’s where most of us make a blunder. Art, irrespective of the form, always imitates life. So is there a lesson to be learnt from Joey’s coarse Casanova? Maybe, if we delve deeper into it.
The painful Indian paradox
Yes, it’s quite painful, the paradox that the Indian male faces. Enveloped as we are by a culture that preaches restraint, we have complicated most things to the extent that some of the most basic of human activities leave us twitchy and unsure of ourselves. The question that arises here is can “courting a girl” be classified as a basic human activity.
Now, if we scrape off some of the gloss from these high sounding words what would we be left with – Attracting a mate! Pure, straight and simple. That is exactly what we are all pursuing. So along with pursuing the solutions to all other basic needs like hunger and shelter, we are subconsciously also pursuing the solution to spreading our genes.
Over the years, we have invented complex trades that take years to master. We are forever in pursuit of that elusive job and spend at least a couple of decades learning the solutions to convoluted problems. But we allowed these complexities to invade all aspects of our existence including the ritual of mating.
To help us cope up with these complications, we invented effective solutions. We builtschools, universities, libraries and observatories and taught ourselves to dissect life and remain in control. But just think about it. Were we ever told a word about what we ought to when a girl walks past us leaving us sans a heart but a lot of stiff?
Where we went wrong
No, it was obviously taken for granted that unlike all the other pursuits at which we were given a vigorous training, attracting a mate was something that we would naturally master. The kind of regimented lifestyle that we lead, I believe, has killed in most of us the ability to understand the psychology of the opposite sex. The system of education that we have in India is great for producing cogs to serve the corporate machinery but it fails miserably when it comes to creating individuals.
Disenchantment and Disillusion
Most of us have no idea whatsoever as to how we should go about attracting the right person in our lives. That, perhaps, is the reason why most Indian males are so frustrated. All these instances of sexual assaults – rapes, eve-teasing etc. are quite simply an expression of their frustration. For example why do a vast majority of uneducated or partially educated youth turn to crime? It’s because they have not learnt an adequate trade to support themselves financially. Same is the case with sexual assaults. A vast majority of Indian men have no idea of what they should do to attract a girl. So some of them use physical force and end up doing things that they later regret.
The Psychological Barrier
Now the question that arises is why have I used a character like Joey to explain the dilemma of the frustration and helplessness of today’s males? Because his mind is so uncluttered, so devoid of imagination, so primitive. And this makes him absolutely and utterly fearless. He sets his sights upon a girl and approaches her. Can any of us ever dream of doing something similar? I don’t think so. The symptoms hardly ever differ. Sweaty palms, perspiration, breathlessness, a feeling that the entire world is observing your every move, a conviction that you will make a fool of yourself and perhaps get yourself slapped for your efforts.
The Player’s Proposal
And we quietly walk past her. There are obviously a few Naturals who feel none of these heartbreaking symptoms. They ooze confidence and buoyancy. They are always relaxed and reassured. But most of us aren’t. But that needn’t be the case.
The character of Joey makes one thing very clear. We have absolutely nothing to lose. Believe that. Most of us simply stop trying, because at some point of time in our romantic careers, we were either turned down or slighted by a girl. That moment must have been so painful that we decided that we are better off alone than have our sensibilities assaulted again by similar emotions. Take it as a suggestion. Don’t stop trying, but rather train yourselves better. There are a number of tested tricks that I would gladly share with all my friends that I believe have helped become who I am. So keep reading and keep evolving. May the force be with you!