Isn’t That Man Enough?

On March 24, 2019 by mohitsawhney

Hey, why don’t you hold a hand too?“, Harshul asked.

We had formed a circle around folks who were dancing. I was sitting beside my friend, Harshul.

It was a friend’s house. Her parents were away and all of us belles and beaus from college were partying like there was no tomorrow

Harshul was known to be a thorough bully, a ruffian! One who couldn’t take NO for an answer. He was grabbing any random hand of the girls who were dancing in the middle and giving it a kiss.

The girls were all kind of okay with that. They didn’t object and their expression was nothing more than a “what a rogue!” or “what the Hell was that?” In fact, some were blushing as if they were grateful, “thank you for considering me worth it!

I was holding a pint of beer in my hand. So was Harshul, taking turns sipping beer and kissing a hand.

Is it his reputation which is letting him get away with that?“, I kept wondering.

Suddenly, Harshul peered over and asked, “Would you like to kiss a hand too?

I chose not to utter a word.

Saying No would have meant that “I was not being man enough!” and saying “Yes” would be disastrous.

But Harshul could not take that for an answer either. He insisted, “I’ll pass a hand over to you and then you can kiss!

Before I could answer, he grabbed a hand, brought it close to his own lips and then all of a sudden got it close to my face.

I used both my hands to hold my beer bottle and kept drinking straight from the bottle to avoid committing an act of folly!

C’mon! Do it!“, ordered Harshul.

I continued to hold the bottle to my mouth.

“Take that bottle aside and be a man!“, Harshul demanded.

Then I did something that would change my life forever. I actually took that hand and …gave it a kiss.

Before I knew it, the entire scene changed.

The music stopped.

The room which was dimly lit a while ago was now glowing with brightness.

A dozens of pairs of eyes were staring at me. Full with anger, disgust or disbelief.

The air felt tense. I started choking.

My mind started justifying my action, “Even Harshul did it. Then, no one had a problem. So, what is it that I have done so wrong that everyone is so damn offended?

Sides were formed. Everyone was either on the side of the victimized, traumatized girl or on my side. There was a lot of energy in the room. We could all hear a Bollywood song (was it “Hum bhi hai josh mein“) meaning “Even we’re full of vehemence“, playing at the local tea stall nearby.

Both sides wanted to win. 

To make it more interesting, Kirti (the girl with a hand) was there with her boyfriend, Jay.

Jay, 6 feet 2 inches, well-built man, slowly emerged from the opposite side and gave me a …a tight slap!

I almost saw my entire life pass by in front of my eyes in a flash.

My well-wishers from my side shouted and took out the hockey sticks. It’s impressive how they had arranged it resourcefully in no time.

Kirti was standing there too. I took a few steps forward toward the opposite side and did something I will never forget.

I turned around to face my side and said, “SHUT UP!

All I could now think was: “I have made a mistake. I have to own up to it“.

I then looked at Kirti and said, “Your friend has just given me a slap. I deserved that. I am standing in front of you in case you want to give me another one or a punch.!

And no matter how sissy it may sound, I added, “You are just like my sister!

I just left it at that. Nothing happened. There was no more drama. I felt slightly more at peace.

Let me ask you now: Have you NEVER made a mistake?

Well, if you have, then congratulations! It is said that, “ONE WHO MAKES NO MISTAKES DOES NOT USUALLY MAKE ANYTHING!

It doesn’t matter if you are making mistakes. What matters is what you do after that. You can either learn to accept it and become a better human being or remain in denial and become worse.

After a mistake, you can either fight or take a flight or go with a third alternative: ‘you can make amends and make friends‘.


  • Admitting your mistakes makes you learn from them and in turn makes you a better decision maker.
  • Saves you from a small issue snowballing into much BIGGER problems. Nip it in the bud by owning up and correcting course quickly.
  • Builds credibility and strengthens relationships. It may sound counter-intuitive but such contentious issues often lead to even deeper bonds.

It has been 20 years since that college incident.

Kirti now lives in London. She has twin daughters. She didn’t marry Jay.

And just in case you are wondering how do I know, well that’s because Kirti and I ended up becoming great friends for life!

She never forgets to send me a RakhiNow, if that isn’t man enough, what is?


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