Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Friends for Life

When I wrote about Dhanya in the previous post, I had mentioned that there are countless other friends I have made along the way who are a valuable part of my life today.  Being an only child, I had a lonely childhood and my single-most wish those days was to have a sibling. I even used to coax my parents to adopt a child so that I will have company. This was the only thing I used to pray for until one day amma found out and she sat me through and explained that I should not be praying for such specifics and only accept whatever comes your way. I don't think I have prayed for anything else after that.  But I guess universe has this weird ways of fulfilling your heart's desires 😉

 I have had friends who always got my back at each stage of my life. When I look back now each of those stages had it's own characteristics. School time we had a small group of very close friends. Those days were all about giggly conversations, crazy inside jokes, homework and punishments,  favorite teachers , lunch time games , science/math exhibitions, competition between four houses, youth festivals and what not.  Each of these used to be so important for us at that time and it filled our conversations and thoughts completely.  After spending the entire day at school together (and of course talking all day), we still spoke on phone as soon as we reached home (and got scoldings for that). Of course knowing each other's families was an added advantage.  Even now their parents are like a second family to me.  They knew us and trusted us and turned to each other for advice and to conspire against our mischief s too 😄 These school friends were, still are, and will always remain the most uncomplicated and endearing friendships I ever had.

 The PUC time was about enjoying the freedom from the uniforms and the protected life we were leading. We got permissions to go on our own to town, take out our cycles which wasn't very common for girls in a small town like ours in those days. We enjoyed exploring the city we lived in; checking out exhibitions, book shops or even  a couple of   lunch outs or an ice-cream treat . I still remember going to current books and we decided to take the full Round rather than cut across through 'Thekkinkad maidanam'  (Sorry only Thrissur people will know this technicality 😈)   as we had no clue which exit to take even though had lived in Thrissur all our lives.   Thankfully, I was able to maintain the same friendships in school although we were in different groups. Most of us had been in the same school from pre-kg till 10th and this was the first time we were mingling with people who we haven't known from childhood and this helped us expand our circle of friends too. We had a very hectic schedule with entrance coaching, assignments, tuition, labs  and such but I guess it was the time we most enjoyed as well. College fests, college elections, onam/x-mas celebrations, the very long lunch sessions , small small pranks in class, strategising   against the roadside romeos 😁 - I really don't know how those two years flew by.   It was also a time of intense emotions and standing for what is right. I remember few of us wrote a long letter to our sir in tuition class when we felt one student misbehaved with one of the girls (even though the victim chose to keep quiet) and made him take action. 

Then came the engineering days and for some reason I was not comfortable at all. Probably the separation from the childhood friends (all of us were in different colleges or even cities) or the  shift to a co-ed or having to choose a field I wasn't too keen on pursuing. In fact there are quite many people in my class whom I hadn't spoken at all during those years 😔  Of course, I did make new friends that time but I guess the friendships deepened much later probably towards final year or even after most of us came to Bangalore for jobs. Also some of my PUC friends were in Vimala College which was just opposite our class and I guess I have eaten from Vimala canteen most of the times and have visited GEC canteen only once or twice.  In fact, those days the only thing I looked forward was when our school gang reunited during holidays. This was the time we got permissions for a night out or for an early morning trip to Guruvayoor taking a private bus.

Moving to a new city for job gave a whole range of friends from all over the places - Hostel-mates , Housemates,  Teammates , Travel-mates , Volunteering friends , even counterparts and expats.   I will have to write pages and pages if I need to write about all of them whom I met at different phases.  This was the period of  independence, greater responsibilities, new places, new experiences , discovering new hobbies or in short - growing up.  There were the happiest of times  and also the most depressing times as well. There were occasions where  I have taken the role of agony aunt trying to support others and there have been many other occasions where I have experienced the caring support from all these angels around me.  Probably one unique thing about this time is that over the years I have made friends across all age groups. There are few who are in the parental domain, some just a couple of years elder to me, while some even decades younger. I am waiting for the day when a teammate comes to me and say I was not born when you started working 😁

I am ever grateful for all these priceless relationships and hopefully some more in the years to come. They are the family I handpicked and answer to my childhood prayers 😍

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The sister I got to choose 👭

I am sure all of you will agree that there is always a special bond with your childhood friends . The beauty of this friendship is that no matter how much time you have spent apart, seeing each other again simply means picking up where you have left off and you can just dive right back in. You know, understand and relate to each other on a level that others simply can’t understand . Not even your mother. Not even your spouse.

I am lucky to have a handful of school friends whom I remain close to even now. This is about one of these friends who is my best friend, my soul sister, my 3 AM friend. We even share the same name and zodiac ( our birthdays are just 4 days apart) and have shared the same bench in school for so many years.

I have known her from the age of four when we were both in LKG and we have literally grown up together sharing all our secrets, awkward phases, heartbreaks and triumphs. We have gone through some tough times together, we have gone through some tough times apart, but what has remained constant is that we have always been there for each other along the way - the good times, and the bad, and the boring in-between. That’s what true friendship is about right?

We know the dynamics of each other’s families and over the years she became a part of my family and me a part of hers . There is no room for pretense with her. She can catch the slightest change of tone in my voice over the phone and I can’t brush her off and say “ It's nothing…” when she asks what is wrong. I think both of us are acutely aware who the other person is and continue to understand each other even though life has taken us in different directions. She knows me inside out - my flaws, my upbringing, my weaknesses, my journey. Our relationship is about mutual respect, love, and understanding . We are part of each other’s lives and want to be so in future as well, however it may evolve.

After graduating from high school, we both went on our different ways – I took engineering and she took medicine and later migrated to different parts of the country for jobs. In fact, I remember being so worried that we would drift apart and had made a very emotional new year card for her in high school. I couldn’t imagine how we would stay close when we were in different colleges , different friends and is not meeting each other daily. And that was a time when we didn’t have WhatsApp or Facebook or even mobile phones.  But here we are, 25 years later and we are still best friends. Our friendship is still as strong as ever.

Of course,  I have made countless other friends along the way, who didn’t share the same bench as me in school, but still play a valuable role in my life today. I do cherish them, but that doesn’t change the fact that they don’t know me, or understand me, in the same way as she does.

Dhanya,  it is very difficult to end this blog because there’s surely a million reasons I would want to thank you for and words are not enough.

- Thank you for being there to pick me up, just when I needed it.
- Thank you for being that friend who I can call and vent to when I need a listening ear.
- Thank you for being my confidant. You never judged me and is the only person I’m not afraid to show how weak I am.
- Thank you for being that person I can come to when I really need advice and know that I will get an honest opinion.
- Thank you for inspiring me. You’re strong, independent, caring, selfless and you inspire me to become a better person.
- Thank you for being that someone who after close to 40 years of friendship, I can still call my best friend and know that nothing will ever change that
- Thank you for being you. Just so you know, you’re one of the few people I truly look up to.  You’re amazing ❤

Monday, August 12, 2019

Significant Other

Today happens to be my b'day and it is also a reminder of a decision I took on my birthday 7 years back. So thought of starting the gratitude series with it 😉

I was not interested in getting married and so I didn't think much when this  alliance came through my cousin as I had gone through this ordeal quite many times already. I was ready with my 'No' even before we talked or met. So I did surprise myself when I felt positive after our first meeting.  I realized  I have found someone who accepted me exactly as I am with all my shortcomings.

Of course it did take it's own sweet time for two strangers who did not want to get married to get adjusted to the system. We have very different interests or views on some areas but thankfully there are a lot many where we share the same interests and views. Many a times I have wondered how it is even possible that someone else have the exact same weird thought process as me. And for the rest where we differ, we have learned to agree to disagree 😊   

It does feel awkward when you have to voice out your feelings and if Ram ever reads this , he is going to be super embarrassed and mad at me for putting this out in public. Thankfully, he never reads my blogs 😐

Anyways I am better in writing than 'saying' and so  I think  this is my opportunity  and here I am

 - I am grateful  that he came into my life when I was searching for a foothold in this world and have shown me what true love really is.  Thank you for being the one who understands everything I am going through

 - I am grateful for his unconditional support and for helping me become a better person.  Thank you  for letting me dream and  for believing in me even when I don't

 -  I am grateful  for his ability to make me smile especially when I need it most. Thank you for always making me feel loved, cared for, and special.

 - I am grateful for our differences coz with out that life would be too monotonous. And yeah Thank you for being the peacemaker and for being the one who seeks me out for reconciliation when we have had an argument 😀

- I am grateful that he is so thoughtful and considerate and always does the right thing.  When he makes decisions, he considers the needs of others first.  Thank you for being so  loving, and kind; not just towards me  but also for everyone around ( including the spiders, cockroaches, rats, snakes and reptiles 😐 )

I could go on for eternity with things that make me thankful for him  and  I  find myself more keenly aware of all that when he travels. It is then that I notice the countless little things that he does each day to make my life easier and creates a void coz he is not there to do them. And I often wonder how I managed my life without him for so long 😜   So yes, Thank you for always making life easier for me. You are my world💕

Monday, August 05, 2019

The Year of Gratitude Challenge

I have attempted a similar experiment earlier which was for a week and then I continued it in a
personal journal for some more time. Last few years I was keeping a memory jar which collected all my important life moments. But sometimes life gets in the way and I tend to forget about it. It always feels good to take time to be grateful for what we do have in our lives.

I had stumbled upon a 52 week gratitude challenge on Pinterest and it's been in my saved boards for a long time now. I was scared to pick it up as I have to admit that consistency in blogging is not my strong point. But when I came across the same yesterday I wanted to take it up and here I am going to attempt to blog every week. It's far too easy to get into and stay in complain mode but I have planned to take time out every week to remind myself of the good things in my life and hopefully it will help me to regain some focus back in my life :)