The internet is a bizarre place and sometimes we come across things that really make us go, “WHAT!?” And today, my friends is one such day. There is an app launched in Mumbai on the 15th of August called Rent A Boy|Friend.
Yup, while this may seem hilarious at first, wait till you hear the entire pitch of the Indian homegrown app. It claims that if you rent a ‘boy|friend’ then it will 'cure' your depression. Yep. That’s what they said. And apparently, that's all it takes to help you with a real mental health issue.
It’s the brainchild of 29-year-old Kaushal Prakash who claims to have been the victim of severe depression three years ago. He is of the belief that if everyone rents a boy friend then, obviously, depression will be a thing of the past. Because, you know, who needs therapists and psychiatrists, right?!
The man claims that there won’t be any physical relation between the two people. “There won’t be any sexual relations or private meetings”, says he. But I’m baffled as to why then is the website flooded with shirtless men from ages of 22-25 showing off their biscuit abs?!
According to a news report in DNA, RABF is going to have a toll-free number you can call on and get a 15-20 minute consult for Rs 500. Prakash actuallly seems to believe that he has found the cure to one of the most common mental illnesses today. “It’s very simple. A depressed person wishes that someone would listen to what they have to say and understand them. It’s no rocket science,” he explains.
Clearly for all those among us who have been mustering up the courage and spending so much time and money at psychologists, it wasn’t 'rocket science' at all. You just needed a boy toy.
A boastful Prakash explains the three categories of boys you can rent. “I have A-grade models. You can rent a celebrity for Rs. 3000, or a model for up to Rs. 2000, or an aam aadmi (commoner) for just Rs. 300-400 per hour”, he further elaborates.
Does this sound like a shady racket to anyone else? *cringe*
When the founder was asked the very pressing question as to why someone shouldn’t consult a licensed professional, to this he says, “In India, people have that typical ‘log kya kahenge’ reaction, the same response girls get when they wear short clothes.”
Yep. Slow claps for misogyny. Yayyy!
Also, the initiative doesn’t include women because according to Prakash 'rent a girl friend sounds weird in India but it’s okay abroad.'
There are so many things wrong with this initiative that I don’t even know where to begin. Depression is a mental illness and just like a physical ailment, if the correct treatment isn’t found, it’s impossible to 'cure' it. Also, can we stop belittling mental health by using it as a marketing gimmick? At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, I'll say that seeking professional help is the way to go guys, nothing else.
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