Friendship flavors

April 6, 2010

Friends come in all flavors. Sweet, bitter, jittery, spicy.. you name it and you might be able to think of a friend of that flavor. You catch onto some real fast. Some, you acquire and develop as you try them more and more. Some become your “comfort flavors”. You turn to them whenever you’re really happy or depressingly sad, or even just like that..all the time. And just like it is with food, you can have some all the time, and you really need to be in-the-mood for others.

And this long weekend… was my opportunity to indulge in my favorite ‘anytime immediate comfort’ flavor- my best friend D was coming to meet me.. ALL the way from Bangalore. We had been planning this trip for a long time. A little too long.. something like 2 years atleast! And both of us being pretty decent at procrastination, we postponed it till now, when I am almost all set to leave for abroad and we thought that we might not get another go at it like at this time. So well.. all in all.. we finally met.. at peace.. at leisure.. not at each other’s or some common friend’s wedding.. not at CP for a quick bite before I catch my flight back.. not for any other reason.. but just to be.

We have known each other for more than 10 years. And it must have been the 2nd day in college, when she complimented me on my cute pink Lucknow embroidery kurta, that I knew that this babe and me were going to hit it big. And what has continued since has been magical.. a friendship that keeps growing deeper and better with time. She’s my talking buddy.. much rather.. my yapping buddy. We can talk for hours (which is very very unlike me btw). We can talk about anything and everything under the sun. If we had the opportunity, I bet we could even make it to the Guinness Book of World Records for yapping with each other! We hit it off so well during our grad days, that inspite of our poles apart differences in attitudes and choices, we were almost addicted to our conversations. Just imagine, months like May and June, icky Delhi summers, two babes (who are ever so conscious about getting tanned) bear the mid-afternoon sun standing at the college bus stop waiting for a bus back home. And half an hour later, as the bus approaches, both peep into the bus, gawk at it and let it pass.. just so that they could continue their conversation. And an hour later, when the talk has still not subsided, they decide to walk for about 2 kms to another bus-stop just to vile away time. Cut to present: we have come to terms with the distances and the priorities that occupy the other’s time and mind. And we have made peace with the fact that atleast we can be connected online most of the day and are there just a phone call away. Even the grind of grad days, then post-grad, and internships, and jobs, and promotions, and boys, and boyfriend, and marriage and husband, and new cities..and just about everything that you suffer in your 20s to nearing 30s.. has not been able to dissuade us.

We have seen each other grow up and handle life, and in the most curious manner, seen drastic changes in the other, laughed over it and kept up with it. So whereas I have seen a hard-to-impress, aggressive, “difficult”, absolute-go-getter Punjab-di-Putri mellow and settle down to beautifully handle a home, a marriage  and balance it with her career, she has seen a much timid, peaceful, “sab chalta hai” me become the aggressive, hard, in-your-face chak de phatte person I am today. But rather than drifting apart as one might expect, we have grown closer and are growing together. We are typically thinking about the same things. We have the same agendas on our mind. We ponder and worry about the same mysteries of times and life. And we catch on to the same fads at various times, be it reading, our ‘me’ time, cooking, power dressing, weight loss or whatever. We are each others sounding boards, as well as the ranting pillows. We crack the most innocent jokes and we bitch like the best of *******. And we share our achievements and our fears with equal gest. And believe me.. inspite of the very different personalities we are, we surprise even ourselves at these similarities!  The best thing is.. between us.. there’s no fooling each other. Because we are like two very different facets of the same fiercely-independent, strong-minded female of today.

Friends will come and go, flavors and choices will change, but the very special place that she holds in my life will always be reserved for her. She makes me understand myself. And no matter how far we go, or what we face, we will always be right there for each other.. to grow fonder and age together.

In short, we are like soul-mates.

Disclaimer: neither of us believes that there is just one soul-mate per being, nor that it is only your better half who is eligible to become one. :)

On the fringes of life?

March 24, 2010

Something’s missing. Some great big deal is missing. I feel like I have been on a pause mode for a much longer time than I have wanted to. Maybe its just one of those days when you have too much energy inside of you to keep contained. Or maybe its one of those introspective days. Or maybe it was the damn training I took last night.. (but couldn’t be. I was sleeping through it most of the time).

Lying in bed in the night, when I look back at my day, I see thousands of moments wasted in doing things I did not want to, being what I do not want to be, thinking about things I do not want to think about. I live most of my day in a scenario much different from what I want it to be.

Mostly, its just another day when I do not really like what I am doing. Did someone push me towards this? Not at all. This was a mature conscious choice. Or was it? Wasn’t this a choice that was governed by a fear of the unknown and the risk of taking the plunge. Doing something drastic and drowning my days in whatever I loved doing. I am intelligent and qualified enough to do a lot of nonsense stuff (in the very worldly kind of way) , like those movie makers or cooks or travelers. Who do what they like doing best. And possibly enjoy every single moment of what they do. I crave for those moments in what I do. And as far as what I do goes, I am putting in all my love for people and simplicity into making an enterprise more attuned to those handful of geeks around the world, who have no better business than to guard someone else’s information with their lives. And just so that that enterprise can cater better to those few thousands of geeks and make more money. Sigh. I mean, there are billions of people in this world. And thousands of kinds of people. And such interesting and amazing people. But no. What do i do? Spend my brain and my time on learning what they know so much better and “trying” to make it nicer for them. Worth my day? I don’t think so.

So, am I going to take the plunge and quit my job and go bazooka over things that I love? No, I am not. Because I like this easy life. I like the regular flow of money. I like the “security”. I like the chance to be able to do more materialistic and worldly things. I even sometimes like parts of what I do. And if I got a chance to spend just a part of my day on this and the other parts on better things, I would lap it up without a thought. But, till then, I am going to strive till i die to minimize my time here, and maximize my time doing “better” things.

As the title suggests, I feel like I am still living on the fringes of life, just waiting for the right opportunity to jump into the well of life and finally live it. I envy all you guys out there who are at peace (… and I do not mean it in the RIP way ofcourse). I feel like I am living a small, tiny life. And I want a big, magnanimous one. Oh someone.. please gimme a little push!

As far as “not being what I want to” goes… maybe that’s for another post. Till then..

Corporatorize family..

March 18, 2010

Families are inefficient. They are not always logical and they are even unfair in a lot of ways. Add our Indian magic to it, and you have a bigger mess at hand. Bottomless discussions, no sense of time, endless debates for every small thing- even if its just about making the shopping list. Although I think that the more eccentric generation of ours is wearing off that part  a bit, the part about endless debates, but that’s for another post.

Well, coming back to the point. The part that seems most inefficient and unfair is when we start to deal with contribution to a family and the house. At least for a lot of Indian families (they are the ones I get to see the most, aren’t they), the girls end up being responsible for a bigger chunk of work than the boys. Automatically. JLT. Being in the same house and brought up under the same parents, why is it that girls know how to cook at the age of 8 whereas the boys wouldn’t know how to operate a pressure cooker even at the age of 30. Its unfair. The boys in a lot of families I know do not contribute enough or at all but get all the benefits and treatment. In fact, better treatment at times. And no, in case you are wondering, I am not talking about people who are at the lower fringes of society, uneducated and who do not know any better, I am actually talking about families like mine. Good, educated, middle-class families. Where these things are not happening because of prejudice or ignorance, but just because people have a set frame of mind. And with the whole Shining India thing where girls are opening up to opportunities in employment, etc. the chunk of work that comes under the girls’ wing is getting even bigger. And its unfair. And its inefficient.

Now, only if we could apply a few “corporate” principles in the family. Everyone is tallied against what their contributions have been. They get their place in the family on the basis of what they have done. Everyone’s responsible for their doing and there is no expectation that the other person will just do it for them. Equal opportunities, equal contribution, equal benefits. Bingo. I think a lot of these awkward workings is because of the “family”.

I never realized much of it because ours has been a all-daughters family, and my dear C is a very well brought up person who handles everything. So forever and ever, I had people who had equal share of work and fun. And we always work together to create a beautiful life and good food :-D And I think even if I had a bro, my mumma would have straightened him out real well.

The issue is, why do mothers’ have this tingling thought of making it best for their sons?! Sometimes, even the most useless of sons.  Why can’t they be treated the same way? Don’t they realize they are making it difficult for their sons to go out and live on their own. Or they are making it a pain in the neck for any YPT who comes along and marries their son. And forget mothers, how can these boys not see the whole unbalance? Not notice work around the house,  and expect to be fed right at the table without moving a finger. I have always yelped when I see this happening. I shriek and complain and make these boys move their a**. Or treat them to a good silent treatment making it clear that they do not deserve.

All in all, time to wake up guys. Don’t be a sissy and hold fort as if times aren’t changing. If we girls can do the housework, manage a high-profile job AND make it work with our family and friends, I am sure you can do atleast half. So whereas a lot of people would laugh at the metrosexual male, I believe its the way to go!

Pyaar ke Dhai Akshar..

February 15, 2010

It was Valentine’s day yesterday and somehow, the buzz was not there. The sunshine didn’t look just perfectly golden, the breeze was welcome but did not carry that love-is-in-the-air feeling, there was no hop in the step or tune in the tone. For me.

It seemed like just any other normal day, and as the day came to a close, I thought about what had changed. There were times, till very recently too, that Valentine’s day, or rather the whole of February carried romance with it. Love was in the air, I could “relate” to every romantic song and you just felt like being in love. It was like being drunk on that emotion.

So what has changed? No, I did not pick up a fight with Dear C. We were not busy. We were not occupied or ill and it was a Sunday. “Did I wait for something to happen?” No. “Was I hoping for a secret something?” No. “Did I even think of planning out something for V day?” No. “Was I scared of the saffron hooligans?” Are you out of your mind.

But somehow, somewhere down the path of life and love and marriage, I seem to have surpassed the stage where I am wanting and waiting for an explicit gesture of love. An open declaration of the relationship. An exerted show of affection. Love, for me now, is not about making the other feel good and important, its about equality and support. Its about being there all the time. its about sharing and caring and respecting and understanding. Its even about shrieking your head out and fighting your stand with the other.

I realize that I do not need a day to show or feel it. But that I am enveloped in it all throughout. I feel it all the time. I see it in the careless smile and the caring look. I feel it in a beautifully set out, awesomely cooked dinner, when I step in the house late from work. I see it in “I’ll come to pick you up..” on the slightest hint of headache or fever. And then again, isn’t this what love is meant to be all about? That you know that there’s someone who’s looking out for you all the time. And maybe the hop-in-the-step and the love-is-in-the-air have just become such an inherent part of life that I am oblivious to them now.

I realize that I am not looking at just one moment of love. I am looking at a whole lifetime. Every second, every action, every word. I realize that I am not drunk on love, I am infinitely drugged on it :)

Thank you C for always being there. Happy Valentine’s.. for ever and ever.

So here it goes..

February 9, 2010

Well.. it should be more like “here it goes again”. This must be my umpteemth attempt at writing a blog post, I had even framed one a while before I even made an account. But that post seems so isolated and outdated now that it does not make any sense putting that up. So well.. here it goes again.. my umpteenth-plus-one-th try at this.

And what do I plan to write about? All the things that cross my mind as I go through my day. The only glitch is that experiencing these thoughts and ideas is so much easier and quicker than typing them down, sitting at one place, doing just that one thing. But the good side is.. that maybe this exercise will help me do things- at one place, at a time, just that one thing. Restless, aren’t we?! And I bet I do not mean just myself when I say that ‘don’t you wish you had more hours and more ways to do things in a day. Do you feel like you carry a to-do list hanging on your head all day?’ Well, if you do- welcome to the gang :)

And maybe this to-do thing is what’s stopping me from coming into the greatness that I deserve. It’s as if my life-line goes like “she will do good meaningful things when the work-tasks are taken care of, the friends-family are met/spoken to, the emails are written, the fridge’s orderly and stocked, the clothes are ironed, the cabinets are sorted and ordered, and the house is scrubbed clean”. Well.. .. why can’t we just have more time!

More laters.. as usual.. running out of time. :)

Hello world!

January 11, 2010

Haven’t we forever started with these two little words!