"It happened during my last year of college. I used to stay in a girls' hostel. One evening, I could not find my debit card and started searching for it. My two other roommates ('P,' who is a year younger than I, and 'D,' who is the same age as I) assisted me with the search.
I then called my mom. After telling me about how reckless I am with things, she agreed to block the card. The next morning, I received a message saying an amount of $10,000 was withdrawn from my account. This was in 2012, so it took a while for me to receive the message. It said that the amount was withdrawn the previous evening at 5 pm. However, that happened well before I asked my mom to block the card. I thought that I probably did not even realize that I lost the card then. I felt so bad. My parents asked me to let it go and be more careful in the future, but I couldn't let it go.
It was not just about the money. Something did not seem right at all. It was really difficult to withdraw cash without knowing the pin number and the card is automatically blocked after three failed attempts. One thing became clearer to me. The person who withdrew the cash had to have known the pin number. This made me sleepless. I wanted to know who broke my trust.
Two days later, I did what I needed to do. I reached the head office of the bank and filed a formal complaint, along with a police complaint, and requested for the security footage of that particular ATM machine. I pleaded with them for an hour just to get the footage. As the footage came in at the location, the bank person started scrolling through the time and then it hit me.
There she was - D, gingerly pressing the pin number and withdrawing cash. My heart stopped. I just could not believe what I saw.
I was pretty close to D. Both of us had developed a bond over the four years we had been roommates. We used to frequently travel together. She used to hang out with me and my boyfriend at the movies and we'd go shopping regularly. I used to confide in her many personal things. I was there for her when she faced a huge problem with an online cheater and things like that. My parents used to bring her things whenever they visited me. She was like my sister.
It was like a slap in the face when I then remembered hundreds of instances when we would go to the ATM together to withdraw cash. It would not have been a huge problem to get the pin number. All she needed to do was look. I felt so betrayed. I still feel so betrayed.
I now have a huge problem with trusting people and making friends."
"I'm still exasperated by what this person said to me. I'll never understand it.
She was beautiful, smart, and one of the nicest people I had ever met. Until she said this, and never again could I call her these things.
I was riding the bus with her. Let's call her 'Heather.' Heather and I had known each other for a long time. Oddly, we were friends, even though she was a very popular girl, a cheerleader. She was later nominated for homecoming queen. And I, of course, was an odd, dorky, insecure nerd before it became the norm for media.
It was the first year of high school and one of my best friends, let's call her Mary, had started dating a guy. I thought it was so great. Mary found someone who adored her, and she him. In fact, they are still together to this day, about six years later.
Heather mentioned Mary that day on the bus. I said I was so happy for them and I thought they were great together. Heather said that she didn't think Mary was 'like that.' And she said she wasn't sure she wanted to associate with her anymore.
Okay, I thought. That's a little strange. Heather had a boyfriend so she couldn't be talking about how it was off that my friend had a boyfriend now. Was there a rumor that they had done it already? Yes, this would have been news, I mean we were 14 after all. What could it possibly be?
I racked my brain trying to figure out what Heather's problem was. She could see the gears turning in my head, but not quite clicking. She started to look embarrassed and started fidgeting.
'It's just that I don't agree with it. It's not right, and Mary will understand that one day. And if she doesn't, then she doesn't truly understand how the world should work. And I don't want to be around someone like that. Things are meant to be a certain way, and that is not what nature says. It's disgusting and she's better than that.' Heather said these words to me and then it clicked.
You see, Mary's boyfriend was black.
I was in complete shock that Heather said that. This girl, this sweet, sweet girl, was a blatant racist, and she didn't even realize it.
'I don't have a problem with them,' she said as she tried to make it not seem so bad. 'It is just not what happens in nature. Redbirds and bluebirds don't mix.'
I was sick to my stomach. I was hurt, saddened, and I lost hope for society that day. Heather displayed the racism that represented the Southern, Conservative town that I grew up in. I was in shock. I had never heard such a blatantly racist remark before.
I looked at her and tried to keep my composure. I told her that no, red birds and blue birds don't mix. But this is because they are two different kinds of animals. A red bird that happens to have spots does not discriminate against a red bird without spots. We are all the same species regardless of what location our ancestors are from. Heather seemed to take my words in, but the damage was already done.
I lose respect for someone instantly when they reveal themselves to be racist. It can be gained back if they abandon this way of thinking, and pursue true acceptance and equality. But a lot of irreparable damage is already done."
"When I started college, I was randomly assigned roommates. They were both beautiful. The first was a busty blonde who had abs nicer than most men. She is currently very well-known as a fitness model across the states and has won a national title. The second was a wild party girl whose boyfriend was the president of the campus' largest fraternity. She always wore bright jewelry and makeup. They were both the type of women I envied and wanted to be like... or so I thought.
We pretty much did everything together. They basically went through my closet and gave me a makeover. I started to dress and act exactly like them. It felt good and I felt pretty and noticed for the first time in my life. Then, I introduced them to my high school friends, who were not fond of them. They thought they were conceited and rude. They did not like the person I was becoming.
Another girl on our floor was lonely. I decided to go out of my way to befriend and help her fit in. The blonde roommate did not like that. Two weeks before we were going to move into a new apartment together, she confronted me. She told me she was tired of me hanging out with these 'weird people' and said that it made me, her, and my other roommate 'look bad.'
'I don't know why you are attracted to having these freaks as your friends,' the blonde roommate told me.
Her words bothered me. I went to talk to my other roommate for her opinion.
'Oh, weird,' she said, while doing her makeup and not really listening to me. 'Hey, I've been meaning to talk to you. Summer is coming and you're really pale. I think you should get a tanning membership.'
I tried not to get offended and told her that I couldn't afford one.
'Don't you donate money every month to some kid overseas, or something? Just stop doing that. This is really important,' she replied.
I couldn't believe this. The irony of everything was that they had not just become these people overnight. They had been like this from day one, but I ignored it. A year of friendship and respect was gone in less than a day.
I decided not to move in with them. We would hang out every once in a while after the semester ended, but I never went out of my way to meet up. We are friends on social media, but I have not seen either of them in years."
"My freshman year of college, I went to a satellite-branch of an American art school in Paris. The majority of my year was pretty great. There are only so many times one can wake up and think, I feel like seeing the Mona Lisa today and actually be able to to it. We were all international students from Europe, Asia, the Americas, you name it.
I struck up a close friendship with 'Vikram.' He was a junior, but we were about the same age since I had taken a year off. There was no romance. We were just good friends. We had a mutual friend and classmate named 'Niko.' Niko was younger than me, but in Vikram's year. He had skipped a couple of grades.
One year later, we were all in New York City at the 'main' school. Vikram and Niko shared an apt in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I was in a dorm room in the city. When school ended, I was about to be kicked out of the dorm. I was desperate to find a place and Vikram offered a spare room in their apartment. The apartment (which had myself, Vikram, Niko, Niko's boyfriend, and three other housemates) was actually a kosher building. We had two sinks in the kitchen and nothing in the neighborhood was open on Saturday.
We were a multicultural, LGBTQ happy-happy housemate situation. I was the only straight white girl in the group. I was the minority! Everything was going great for a year, until one day.
One pleasant spring afternoon, we were all chilling in the living room, working on our final projects. Out of freaking nowhere Vikram came out with, 'I don't know why I bother. My teacher's just a filthy Jew.'
To say a pin dropped would be putting it lightly. Niko and I just stared for a moment.
'Uh... what?' one of us said.
'Oh, my teacher,' Vikram replied. 'Whatever, I don't care. You know the Jews. Just filthy.'
I know he meant 'filthy' in terms of morality, not physically (English was his second language) but, wow, that was a bombshell. He said it with no malice in his voice. It was just supremely casual, like, Well, yeah, Jews are evil. Am I right?
It was bizarre. He had never expressed anything like that before and then just dropped it so casually into conversation. Niko was Romany and had lost family in concentration camps.
'Uh... that's really, really not cool,' I said to Vikram
'You're not a Jew, why do you care?' he replied. 'You're Irish, right?'
I am Irish, but I'm not an anti-Semite? I have misgivings about ultra-Orthodox Judaism as I do about any ultra-orthodox religion but DANG, that was something to casually drop over pizza and Family Guy reruns.
Literally within one hour, all of our relationships went from 'close international friends and roommates' to mutually unfriending him on Facebook. We all still had three months left on the lease. Those were a fun few months, let me tell you."
"I lost respect for someone who I thought was my best friend.
We both belong to lower middle-class families. Both families have faced financial problems since childhood but that did not affect our friendship in any way.
Normally, my friend visited my house every once in a while. But, as of a few months ago, he would come to my house frequently, saying he wanted to speak to my father about something important. He was visiting our house more than once in a day wanting to meet with my father, even though he was busy.
Finally, when he got the chance to meet my father, he asked him for a loan of $80,000. He said he needed the money desperately as he had some personal needs. Initially, my father said no. Even we did not have that much money on hand at that point in time. But he kept telling us how important it was. He added that if my father gave it to him, it would be a huge help for him. My father said it would be difficult for him to arrange that amount in such a short span of time.
The next day, his mother called my father repeatedly and asked for help. She had never called my father before for anything, but she was calling frequently on that day to convince him about their situation. Somehow, my father arranged $50,000. My friend said that he would return the amount as soon as he could. However, after that, he never visited my house.
One day, my father saw him and he asked him about the money because we needed it immediately. He said that he needed time and he would return it after a month. It has been six months now. He visited our house only once to return half the amount. He never came back. My father had asked me to stay away from this and not to talk to him about money.
One fine day, my family and my friend's family were at the same marriage ceremony. He didn't even talk to us. Even his mother, who had called us many times when they needed help, ignored us. She did not even look at us. It was a disappointing moment.
I lost respect for that family at that instant. They could have, at least, met us and talked to us. We had known each other for more than a decade, but they chose to ignore us. I hate these kinds of people who beg you when they need you desperately and then forget when they don't need your help. Now my father has stopped expecting from them. We don't even talk to each other and behave like strangers whenever I see him.
Money has ruined our decades-long friendship. I am very disappointed and angry with him. But, deep down, I miss the good old days."
"A few years ago, I went on a date. A mutual friend of ours set it up. I was supposed to meet her at the train station, after that, we would decide where to go together. I waited for her at the station. When she got there, she was already late by around one hour and 45 minutes. She apologized for being late. I passed a smile and waved it off.
We went to a food court and the date was going fine. We mildly flirted with each other. I tried to constantly make her laugh. It was then time to leave and split the bill. I offered to go Dutch.
I understand that some people think that it is the man's duty to pay for a date or that it is courteous, but I am a student and I do not think that my father earns the money that he does to support my dates. He would never ever say no to me for anything, but I would start paying for others the day I started earning. Plus, it was not a celebration. It was a normal date between two people of similar stature.
In that instance, she did pay her part and we left for the train station. We shared a good hug before she left to go home. I came back to my home and went to sleep immediately.
After I woke up at 9 pm, due to my ridiculous sleep cycle, I had 13 missed calls from our mutual friend. I thought she would be excited to hear about the date, so I called her back.
'I am never setting you up on a date again,' I heard her say as soon as she picked up. 'You messed it up and she was so upset with me.'
'What happened?' I asked, taken aback.
'You dumb head! You made her pay for you. That is cheap.'
'No, she paid for herself and I paid for myself.'
'You are a man. You are supposed to pay for her, too. You know, this way you will die single,' she said, indicating that she was only joking about that last statement. 'But, honestly, you should have paid. That's your job. After all, it was a date.'
'OK,' I said. 'I apologize.'
'It is OK. I will tell her you did not know. Now, just message her and get your second date fixed. You guys will be so good together.'
'I don't think I want a second date with her.'
'Why? She is so cool.'
'I don't think our thought process will ever match.'
I did not lose respect for the girl I went on a date with because I don't think I knew her enough to feel bad. I lost respect for my friend who thought it was a boy's duty to pay. She is the kind of girl who talks about equality and shares posts about feminism daily. But, then, it suddenly becomes a man's responsibility to pay on a date.
"After a much tiring day in the office, I was heading back home. I generally avoid the crowded bus for commuting. I prefer the AC-powered buses since it is very hot and humid in Kolkata and the evening rush is just too much to handle. I had boarded an AC bus to go to the airport to go home and sat on an empty seat. Beside me was a girl. I will call her 'Anu.'
Anu was busy on her smartphone. I could see her fiddling with it just like everyone else. I know I should not have been sneaky but, you know guys and their curiosity. I could see she was reading articles on economic depression and inflation while intermittently watching Sherlock. While our bus got stuck in a massive traffic jam, I was browsing movies on a torrent site.
'How do you open that?' Anu suddenly asked me.
I was kind of taken aback. I looked at her face to see her looking at my phone.
'Some of the websites are still operational,' I told her. 'They have not yet shut it down.'
Then we started talking about our professional lives and such. Anu was pursuing her Master of Commerce degree. She asked for my number, which I shared with her. I got off at the airport stop and she went to the terminus to pick up her elder sister.
After a few days, she sent me a message on WhatsApp. We started interacting on a daily basis and I asked her if she wanted to meet up. I met her thrice after that. I would insist on meeting up to discuss economics and maybe study with her for some exams. I could feel that she was a bit nerdy.
In the meantime, I was slipping into depression. I was having issues with my girlfriend of many years. I wanted to share those issues with Anu since I was looking up to her as a friend and someone I could reach out to. She started avoiding me. There was something very strange and uncanny about her behavior. She would not want to meet up in a public place and kind of avoiding to take calls etc. I thought of it and realized maybe she is just too busy with her studies, exams and her life.
Later, my ex-girlfriend got married to someone of her parents' choice. I slipped into an acute depression and was experiencing a series of panic attacks. I was scrambling to speak to someone about this issue. I couldn't think of anyone else other than Anu at the time. Most of my friends were settled out of Kolkata. It was kind of embarrassing to reach out to someone over the phone. None of them would have been able to virtually relate to the kind of situation I was in.
I desperately called Anu. Once again, she was avoiding me and not communicating properly. She sent me a message on WhatsApp. The conversation went like this:
ANU: 'I can't talk to you anymore. My boyfriend doesn't like me talking to you. I am tired of the arguments and accusations. I can't talk to you anymore. It is what it is.'
ME: 'OK. No problem, ma'am. You've misunderstood me. I just thought of you as a friend and sister and someone I could reach out. No worries at all. I won't message you ever again. You could have told this to me before rather than avoiding and ditching.'
That was the last time I ever interacted with her. I had lost all the respect I had for her instantly.
When someone is depressed and has suicidal thoughts, all that he or she would want is a little consolation and maybe a hug. You don't ask that person to back off with his or her problem just because your boyfriend or girlfriend has issues with it. It is very rare that people reach out. When they do, no matter what, a little consoling and moral support can help save a life.
I know it was her prerogative to help me with my depression issues, but she failed to understand the woes of another human being. I would never have tried to reach out to her if I knew her boyfriend had issues with her talking to me. I would have never even interacted with her at all.
All that time we spent together and talking with each other never meant anything to her at all. I have always wondered what she would do if her boyfriend had a problem with her sister. Would she have told her sister the same thing?"
"I had a friend who is very rich, as in filthy rich. His house had around 15-16 cars. The most basic model they had was a Mini Cooper S. He was my classmate. He used to show off too much. It didn't bother me since he always treated me well. Once, in the ninth or tenth grade, all of our friends had to go to his house to play. The house was huge. It had around eight rooms, each a size in which 20 people could sleep on the floor. The bathroom was so big that it could accommodate 10-15 people easily.
While we were playing cricket in his front yard, one guy hit the ball so hard that it went outside the field. I was the fielder, so I started running toward the gate to pick the ball from the outside. Just then, my rich friend told me not to go. I thought someone else was going, so I stood there. What he did then shocked me.
'Hey, you, watchman,' he called out to the watchman of his house, 'can't you see the ball went out? Go and bring it to us. We have to continue the game. We don't have all day. Run and go.'
'OK sir,' the watchman replied. 'I'll go now.' The watchman ran to the gate.
This friend of mine was hardly 15-16 years old and the watchman was around 45-50 years old. The way he treated the watchman just because of his wealth made my respect for him vanish in a second.
Meanwhile, his father, a businessman who earns around $100 million monthly, came and spoke to us for some time. This was the first time we had all met him. He was so down-to-earth and gave everyone equal respect. His father gained my respect while my friend lost it.
Whoever you are, however rich you are, treat everyone equally. I treat my office janitor, watchman, everyone equally. I am sure many out there also do, but if you don't just because you earn more than them, it does not mean you can degrade them. They are humans, too. They deserve equal respect as anyone."
"Once when I was new at college, my school was gearing up for the National Level Science and Technical Exhibition. The exhibition was scheduled to take place within the following month. As I was very new, I used to sit alone and talk less with others. One day, a girl from my class who was sitting next to my desk walked up to me.
'Hello, Mr. Silent,' she said with a cute voice, 'can we be friends?'
I nodded and replied in a low-pitched voice, 'Sure. You don't need to ask about it.'
She was a tall, fair-looking girl. Her eyes were so big and bright as if they saw more than they could comprehend.
That day we had a very long conversation from morning until evening. Before leaving for home, she gave me her WhatsApp number. On the same night, she messaged me and asked, 'Will you please make a group model in exhibition with me?' Without thinking much and making any delay, I replied, 'Yes, for sure.'
The next day, we started working together on the model. The preparation on the model lasted for a whole month. We got closer to each other during the time and a good friendship established between us. I started to believe in her blindly.
Finally, the time came when we both were about to present our model in front of the judge. Everything was going right and we both were ready. But the team next to us had one less member on their team. Their model looked impressive in comparison to ours.
Then, suddenly, she switched to the other team to help them, leaving her own model.
'I know you are smart and can handle our model alone,' she said. I had to demonstrate the model alone at the last moment.
I felt very bad. What she did was like stabbing me in the back. I invested a lot in the model because of her. When the time came to show our strength together, she pulled her hands back."
"I was newly married. This one guy whom my husband used to call his younger brother, I will call 'Toby,' called me before the marriage and talked very nicely. I thought he was a gentlemen.
Then, later, after the marriage, we planned to visit their city to meet them for sightseeing. Toby came to pick us up, along with his wife, six-month-old baby, and another friend of his.
'Hey, how is your fiancé?' my husband asked the other friend while we were in the car.
'She is good,' he replied.
'Are you engaged?' I asked. 'When are you getting married?'
'Yes, in two months.'
Then, Toby said, 'He cannot wait two months to do her.'
As Toby laughed at his joke, his wife, my husband, and I were left speechless and shocked.
Another day, while we were going to the beach, Toby kept on passing lewd remarks on women passing by. He was commenting on their clothes, the way they walked, their looks, and their bodies.
When we reached the beach, I gave my mobile phone to him to take a photo of my hubby and I. He, along with his friend, started taking our photos in different poses. Suddenly, I noticed that both of them were looking at the pictures that they had just taken seconds before. They were commenting on them and laughing. Toby's wife, who was behind them, saw what they were doing. I could see anger on her face.
After the picture session was over, I got my phone back and started looking through the pics to figure out what they could have possibly been commenting at. I found that two of my shirt buttons had been unbuttoned in the middle, which I had not noticed before. My bra and a little skin were showing through in the pic.
I instantly lost whatever respect I had had for Toby and pledged to never see this guy again in my life."
"I recently met a few of my friends in a wedding. We all were discussing about the good old times and laughing at witty jokes. Who doesn't like to meet old friends?
One of our friends is extremely good in academics, sports, coding and what not. He is an absolute inspiration. He is that kind of a guy who boys want to be like and who girls love. Being of a compassionate nature, he has helped all of us in some fashion. Enough said. He joined us with his newly married wife and was as charming as ever.
A few of my friends asked him a question about his early marriage. He said that he was in love with a different girl and never wanted to marry, at least that's what he told us back in the day. So, we asked why he got married so early.
He said, 'My dad came with her photo and placed it on the dining table. He told me, "If you marry this girl, you will get $20,000,000 and a car." I said OK without even seeing her photo.'
He laughed while complaining about the color of the car. But, he was not joking. He was very serious about it and he meant it. We also came to find out that he had rejected a few girls for the same reason. It's not that he accepted money that caused us to lose respect for him. It was because he did not even care to take a look at the girl.
We were irritated. He was fine to marry her without meeting her. He never knew she was the one. He said okay only for money. On the other hand, his wife was just a few meters away smiling and laughing with joy for marrying someone who she thought loved her.
He made sure she did not hear this and told us that he had told her a different story about how much he loved her after seeing the photo. It looked like she believed him. What if she had heard the story? How bad would she have felt knowing her husband married her for money and not for her? Her smile would have completely vanished.
Did we lose respect for him instantly? Not only for him, but also for a few others who gave him high-fives and said that was a perfect decision. What is the point in being extremely brilliant if you cannot value the emotions of another human? A man who loves money more than people cannot be intelligent."
"It was one day before my best friend's marriage. Our entire group was there at her place taking pictures, making fun of her, and much more. Even though we had issues with her initially since she dumped her long-time boyfriend for this new guy, our friendship overpowered every sort of irritation and anger.
According to us, she and her old boyfriend were meant to be together forever. Unfortunately, the guy could not find a job and had some debt also. He had actually come to her place to have a word with her and her parents, requesting they just give him a year to find a job. But they refused. I was actually shattered when I came to find out it was her decision to break up. She had already found another man who was well-settled, good-looking, etc.
My friends and I were shocked once we heard the news. We tried to convince her to stay with him, explaining the magic of love and pain of heartbreak. But through her, I actually realized that for some girls, it is very, very easy to let go of things with no emotion at all. I lost a huge amount of respect toward her and her family.
On the day before, we were all sitting and having food. My friend was super excited. She started talking about their honeymoon plans. Then, I saw the ex-boyfriend coming with a big gift package. I was worried because there were so many people who did not even know him.
What if he creates a scene? I thought.
The guy was standing in a corner, sadly watching all the lights and flowers. My friend was so furious that she called her brother. They both went to him and talked in private. He tried giving her the package, which she refused. She just asked him to go away. She did not even offer him food or even a seat. She didn't even smile at him and shoved him away brutally. The guy, literally, with teary eyes, turned back, looked at us, looked at her, and left. I felt so bad. I was actually quiet for some time. Then we all left to our own places.
I then had a total loss of respect toward her and her family. She could have at least talked with him nicely. After all, it was her decision to leave him. Since I know the guy, I don't think he would have packed some bomb or something as a gift to take revenge on her. Humanity is something which we lack today."