Before friendship bands became the ‘coolest’ form of offering your friendship to someone, there was a fad of ‘katti/ batti’ in the early ‘90s. This method was as fast and easy as ABC, and it didn’t require a Friendship Day! If you were mad at someone, you could ‘break’ your friendship with a ‘katti’ (unfriend) instantly; in order to patch up with them, all you had to do was say ‘batti/ buchchi/ abba’ (friend).
Before ‘friending’ on Facebook became the norm, we used to tell who our friends were by friendship bands. Even before that we used the Katti/Batti rule of friendship. Here we explore the ways of declaring friendship status in the days of old.
This process was popular for quite some time, and was regarded as the most personal form of expressing your friendship to someone: it entailed an element of ‘physical touch’. ‘Batti’ required you to entwine your index and middle finger with the other person’s fingers, and ‘katti’ required you to entwine your little finger with the person you wanted to ‘unfriend’.
Sometimes, the feeling of being ‘katti’ with someone would make you sad and uncomfortable, while the person who decided to do this would be swelling in anger somewhere. But after a few days when they’d cool down and decide to become friends again and ask a mutual friend to help them do ‘batti’ with you, you’d in turn experience immense joy. A lot of emotion, guilt, resentment and exhilaration was involved in this simple ‘katti/ batti’ way of maintaining a friendship, as we became friends, frenemies and kids all at once!
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