Art of 'bromancing'

Brothers-in-arms

Expressions of friendship between men are no longer limited to a handshake, a congratulatory punch in the shoulder or a friendly headlock. There’s a new word in town and it’s called Bromance. Formed from ‘brother’ and ‘romance’ — it defines a type of friendship between men that is strictly platonic and exists between firmly heterosexual men.

Hollywood too has veered from the unspoken bond between a Laurel and Hardy or ‘The Odd Couples’ constant bickering, where men goofed around and made audiences laugh, to films like ‘I love you man’, where the hero goes in search of a best friend and after a series of man dates, makes his fiancee madly jealous with his bromancing. Metrolife looks into some of the shared activities in Bangalore that can be described as bromances.

Formed in 2006, the Happy Hookers are a gang of golfers, who meet once a week for some sporting action followed by an evening of fellowship, wining and dining. “Golfing is the glue that binds us together but we also share similar tastes, lifestyles and sense of humour,” says Peter Rodrigues, one of the founder members of the group.

“Teetotallers are taboo as wining and dining are an integral part of our activities. Half of our members weigh over 100 kg and we just played against each other in a tournament called Fat Boy Slim, for obvious reasons,” he laughs.

The group contributes to a kitty and once a year take off on a golfing/bonding trip to Ooty. “If a new person  joins, he has to be approved by all 22 members. It’s a very democratic process,” he adds. The group has its own logo, a buxom beauty swinging a golf club, and they plan to up their golfing skills and get more competitive on the green.
Come twilight and this group of octogenarian meet at the senior citizens’ park in Indiranagar. They range from doctors to Army officers, retired civil servants to anthropologists. “Our average age is 80 plus, hence our activities are limited to intellectual ones. We have an insatiable thirst for information, so we choose a topic on politics, religion, arts, current social/environment issues and pick it to death. We go home each day a little better informed than before.” “Sometimes we hold impromptu pop quizzes on a subject and make sure we find out all the answers,” says Louis Machado, one of the members.

Any passing senior citizen is invited to join the group and participate in these intense debates that are religiously attended each day marked by fellowship and camaraderie. Ramakrishna, one of the gang members, is a retired accountant and etymologist with a penchant for discovering the origin of words. Major Jacob has managed turf clubs around the world, Dr Thomas is a social anthropologist, Col Munnar is a history buff and Shah, a well-travelled businessman. They are among the ten members of the group who spend each evening together pushing the intellectual envelope as far as it can go.

“We had to add more benches to our spot as we grew in number. Our discussions and meetings remain confined to the park and never spill over into our homes. It is a part of our lives that we enjoy exclusively,” they say.

Rishad Minocher and his gang of bikers have been buddies since childhood and share a common love of bikes and biking.

“Every Sunday, while most Bangaloreans are enjoying a leisurely day off, they meet up before sunrise and take a trip out of town on their beloved machines.”

“Men tend to bond better over a hobby. It gives us a good reason to meet regularly, share a few laughs, a bit of healthy gossip and some good times away from the every day routine,” he says. A few members have come in over the years. But by and large, the group remains constant, are all married with families and enjoy each other’s company. In other words, they are Bromancers.

After a bike ride to the outskirts of the City, they stop at a turn-around point and head back with a breakfast stop on the way. Once a month, the group meets up at a member’s home for some drinks and fellowship. Not into risky speeding or taxing long rides, their long association is clearly for fellowship and each other’s company.

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