Tag Archives: Friendships

14 September

14 Sep

I’m still somersaulting in the rainbow of ma’s words. She knows me more than I know myself, but you and I both knew that anyway. There’s no way our parents don’t know the real us, and there’s really no hiding from them spelling the minutest of those details out to us; especially the unpleasant ones. Haha!

R and I honoured our plan to meet each other and she stopped by for a quick but very welcome break, yesterday. With her did she bring not only lots of newness amidst the familiarity, but also an opportunity for the two of us to just be ourselves like old times. Sipping over cups of tea and munching through tales of our every day lives and reflections, we clocked time like I haven’t done in a long while. So many memories were shared, so many new facets of our lives exchanged. The camera and taking photographs were completely forgotten about; or maybe we just don’t really do that sort of thing anyway. It is always hard to say bye, but it’s beginning to dawn upon me that these byes are born more out of gratitude and happiness, than from sadness. The small gifts that come along our way in the form of conversations, chuckles and laughter, a lingering eye contact that speaks of untold yet familiar stories…they’re all for keeps and cannot be filed alongside sadness. R arrived with a gift of sorts for me too, and it has been a delightful sight ever since I laid my eyes on it.


I’m not very versed in cuisines as such, but the possibility of owing a book makes me feel like I have already travelled to the place of its origin. This one is filled with stories, chapters, pictures, and of course, the magical delight of food.


I love South East Asian food for there’s a sense of comfort and fulfilment that always overflows so generously from the steaming bowls and plates they come in. My very limited travails have taken me through streets of food and discoveries that have always been a must do on my list; there’s always so much to learn and grasp.


This book seems to have it all and more. Besides, those pictures. And that fish; oh my.


What a perfect buy.

The thing that really calls out to me are the numerous similarities in the ingredients and methods of cooking Indonesian and Indian food comprise. I cannot wait to discover the treasures in this book; equipping me sufficiently for whenever a travel stop does happen to this famed island. Happies.


S called me ever so randomly yesterday – she has moved countries – and our conversation was rife with peals of laughter and curses, memories and time standing still. I miss her dearly. The last time I went back home to Bangalore was to say bye to her and it was just like how we would’ve said bye anyway – complete with conversations, lots of dancing, food, music, laughter and jokes. Marriage changes things not just for the couple but for their friends as well. But everyone is on their respective journeys and we’ve to learn to incorporate whatever we can into these newfound routes. Mad times. I hope they don’t ever change.

Here’s a song S introduced me to which she played during her wedding, and which I love to bits. Also, it fits because it’s Onam. Onamashamsagal (happy Onam), my dear friends.


*afk, dancing*

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A Title Where Words Fail Me

25 May

After a lot of effort and trying really hard to write on Monday, I came away with more drafts than I would’ve liked. Four in the span of two hours almost shows the desperation I felt to get those words out and on to this space because they needed that release from my mind and heart, except those same words didn’t really budge in my favour. I lamented about it over here for a bit, and let it be because I’ve come to learn the importance and the necessity of letting things be when they need to be left alone. I was trying to write about my girlfriends. Clearly it didn’t prove to be an easy task and one that I’m still not trying to attempt at the moment, unless my words are ready to match all that my heart and soul feel.

The first time I was prompted to write about them was because of a phone call I received from A who lives every single ocean away from me. If you have a girl brigade, a sisterhood, a team, support system, your essential go-to gang, which germinated and evolved over the years; everyone’s probably all over the place by now, with distance and life having played their cards like they do on every single one of us.

Some of us left to be with our husbands, some for higher educational pursuits, some to take their careers forward while some stayed behind, choosing to continue their professional and personal journeys back at our home ground. These changes were bound to happen, but if you asked me five years ago, I wouldn’t have acknowledged this awareness with as much consciousness. It’s one of those things you know is an eventuality, just like ageing is, except when you stand and look at your life sometimes, nothing feels different. I’ve written about this weird time illusion here, and I felt this way a lot of last year especially.

However, I don’t really feel the same way any longer. My friends are interspersed across geographic locations and even though we pick up the phone and call each other, and even though we catch up from where we left off with an ease only those very comfortable relationships allow, I feel a difference in the passing of time. While we can laugh, gossip, be giddy-headed (my mom’s favourite adjective to describe my friends and me) and totally mad, we’ve also changed. I sense a growing up that has happened when we were too busy transitioning and not paying much attention to this metamorphosis that was also simultaneously happening on the side. Today we’re a little more busy or preoccupied, a little more aware, a little more understanding of space and what it means to give each other that without questioning it. We’re a little more wise, more cautious, more skilled at handling ourselves in situations we never thought we could get out of alive. There’s a little more grace, a lot more dignity, and that command for respect. There’s a sense of stature, of direction (even when we feel so lost, which we do so often), of being in control (again, even if we aren’t really in control or feel like our life’s going crazy).

If I were to have a reunion with my friends, it would feel like time has stopped or gone back to its old ways where nothing has changed, where there were no responsibilities or as much stress about and accountability for one’s actions. We would gag on our own laughter and warrant stares from other tables, order food like we’re starving beasts and get bills that run longer than the length of our table. We would talk dirty, cheap, and still maintain that poise even with our hair flying in every direction from that amount of shoulder-shaking laughter and occasional snorts. Despite a higher spending capacity earned by our grit and effort, we would drink a lot less than we would’ve had we met a few years earlier, but we would’ve still had the same amount of cheese and french fries. And we would definitely moan over anything that deserved moaning as we savoured it off our plates. Time speaks in its own way, and will always continue to. Today if I were to meet my friends over a lazy lunch, we would still talk about all that crazy stuff like we did back in college even though our conversations would also now involve spouses, maids or the lack thereof, housekeeping, parents, the need for space, existential choices and decisions, the perennial lack of money and how expensive things have become, life and how it feels like it’s going nowhere. We would bitch about everything that needed bitching about. And then we would order dessert or step out for some exclusive Corner House treats. It all feels the same and yet different, too. Some of us may arrive later than the others thanks to housekeeping and/or marital duties. Some of us may arrive late because we never really were the ones to arrive in time anyway. Some of us may arrive first and leave first. Some of us could arrive first and linger around. Some of us may not even show up and it would be understood.

Priorities.

If I was to engage in some navel-gazing today, I would certainly say that we’ve caught up with time, or are getting there at least. We are more aware of time’s ways and its fragility. We are more conscious of time and its limited stock disclaimer. In every sense, I know we are more clear about taking the next step forward, whatever it may be, because we know that no one’s waiting any more. We’ve all taken foot on our respective journeys, irrespective of where we are, and while distance and time are relative, our bonds have withstood their tests so far.

To the ones who got married early and are having babies, to the ones who got married early and don’t really care about babies, to the ones who are driven by higher educational goals, to the ones who’ve moved out of home, to the ones who’ve stayed back at home, to the ones who so badly want to leave home, to the ones who want to be away from home but have their sense of home close by, to the ones who feel jaded by time, to the ones who just don’t care, to the ones who have the wind in their hair, to the ones who feel an oscillation of love and hate regularly, to the ones who feel like our bodies are changing faster than we care to accept or recognize, to the ones who stand their ground, to the ones who are everywhere yet here together – we’re all fighting the good fight every single day. We’re all just still a phone call away, irrespective of time zones, changing priorities, errant bosses. We’re still that sisterhood we never thought we’d become but which we worked towards becoming anyway.

To that support system which no one else can be – it’s a blessing, time’s doing and distance’s way of showing how close we can be, no matter how physically far apart we actually are.

Un-Settled

17 May

Bereft of inspiration, that drive and motivation coupled with my rapidly dwindling capacities to handle the heat here – even my uncle’s car thermometer freaked out a bit when it claimed 49 and 50 degrees C were taking over us – I’m sitting right on the not so cool but manageable marble floor, far away from the sight or temporarily false comforts of my sofa and bed. My seemingly insipid lunch of rajma chawal has long been had and the need to get as much off of me and as little back on to me feels both necessary and refreshing. Off with the constrictions, hooks, buttons and straps and on with, well, the lesser the better, as all my mind thinks of as an add-on is rose lassi or chilled mango milkshake. It’s a tough choice.

Everything has a colour to its tone, its mood and its movement. The day goes from yellow to brown to beige to white and the heat is just telling of a white beyond this current shade…a tone and a mood that I’m unfamiliar and certainly uncomfortable with. But my ringing phone and that mandatory conversation with mom eases things back a little till you hear the click of a mother-daughter’s tête-à-tête coming to an end on the other side of your phone. The hope is that it is for the time being, for today, but who knows? We never really were talkers like how some mum and daughter relationships are. But distance and time have played their cards well and the result is that we are, after all, a normal mother and a normal daughter sharing a very normal and crazy mother-daughter relationship. She nags, I argue, she hmms, I grimace, she counsels, I listen, she listens, I open the floodgates of the many things that have happened and not happened since I last spoke to her and as if I haven’t spoken to her for ever, she is patient -sometimes, I am child-like, she laughs, I chuckle…see, it’s all normal. And in between all this, the white heat is forgotten and kept for the next day to worry about.

Even in this scarcity of inspiration, the newest thing I’ve done just because I needed something new, was to change the blog’s background. It isn’t very different from the previous one, but slight shades brighter, which makes me feel inspired and motivated, weirdly. There are ideas brimming in my head as always, but fail to see the light of day because they seldom make it to an actual platform where they can be worked on. This journey looks lonely and maybe it will be, from time to time, but there’s got to be a start for it to even become a journey.

I was just wondering about the state of being settled as I wrote an email to a friend earlier today. To me it looks like an illusion more than a goal to be reached because it seems just as fleeting; perhaps because of changing priorities or because of that never ending thirst that seldom seems to be quenched or satisfied. Today, not much comes to my mind…there are no exciting details or events to share…there is nothing to crib about, either. It’s a strange kind of limbo – to be where you are yet dream of being elsewhere, to find stillness yet comfort even when you’re always thinking of your next move. And in between all this incompleteness, it’s the achievement of small things that makes a lot of us feel complete.

Like conversations with mum, a glass of perfect cold water, the idea of rose lassi or mango milkshake, emails to friends, and oh, unhooked bras, isn’t it ladies?

Canine Comfort

10 May

From as far back as I can remember, my life has always had dogs in it, one way or the other. It’s been the longest time since I had one as a pet whom I could exclusively call my family’s and mine in the best, truest and most possessive sense of the word. But that never really stopped my brother or me from making dog friends in our neighbourhood as and when we moved places; carrying with us experiences and memories of fluff balls and very characteristic personalities, if I may say so. While my heart and soul craves to have one of my own, I know there lies a longish wait ahead just so we can keep the animal’s best interests in mind when choosing to get one for ourselves. To imply, the husband isn’t really all over the place in love with them like yours truly can be; however, his rationale towards not getting a dog just so we can feel happy about it without considering it being left alone at home while we’re out at work, speaks well of not just his tolerance towards dogs but also about the practicality of such a situation. It’s another thing that marriage goals involve getting one’s spouse on to the other side without much friction which I hope will someday work and help us be dog parents eventually. But till this distant goal looks more attainable, here’s what I’ve been up to unabashedly.

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Friends, meet Potato. (Look at those eyes…)

He is our neighbourhood dude who takes it as his sole right and purpose to boss over the other dogs here and the stray rag picker or Maruti van that may threaten his surroundings and most importantly, his space and mental peace. He is unapologetically moody and doesn’t hurry time when it comes to lowering his ears or showing some of us kind humans his softer side. He may look at you occasionally, but that’s about it. A tail wag is questionable and mostly doubtful.

I came across him when I moved here. Back then we maintained our distance from each other even if I tried extending a warm hand of friendship. Clearly he didn’t think much of it. Befriending him was a priority and something I still try and work hard towards; and that simply meant me collecting bones and saving them for him which he would sneakily gobble down behind the garden’s bushes. However, many bone feeding instances later yielded no tail wag or signs of affection either. The only thing he would do is look at me more…long enough for me to get that picture in place.

But over the months, I’ve been able to work on his trust a little bit at a time, and today, this is where our relationship stands.

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He feels more free to sit by my gate for hours on end – at first I thought it was to ease off from the sun under the shade of trees, but I learnt it’s more than just to get free and safe shade – and he allows me to sit by his side (though still at a slight distance) enough for me to take his picture. Also, he now lowers his ears on seeing me, which is heartening.

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And much to my joy, he (sometimes) urges me to pet him by coming up to me and nudging me…which is such a great sign and so rewarding.

As time progressed, so did our attitude towards each other. He now feels more free to enter my space without feeling scared or being distant about it.

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As usual, he seems far from apologetic for staking claim on my porch.

And yesterday, this happened, at the risk of destroying one of my potted plants on which he chose to conveniently rest his face.

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That’s him not just sitting very regally in a space that he has decided is his, but that’s him leaning on my plants and that’s him keeping his arch rival (a rather simple and sweet dog) at bay. However, suddenly being promoted to being an alpha male, he allows his lady to sit by his side which works best for me as I have one more canine friend to make.

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Meet Susie (doesn’t she look like a Susie?). She is definitely more clean, well mannered and gentler than this brown fatty who thinks the world is his.

Susie has no airs to her and loves her biscuits and bones. However, like every other female across all species and living beings, her genteelness cannot be mistaken for weakness given she’s at the front when it comes to keeping her space safe. Of course like every other female, she’s also picky about the battles she fights.

It’s no wonder there’s so much to learn from Nature and her children. After all, we are a part of this big family and it’s heartening to know that we have so much to give to each other. Even Potato Fatty who usually doesn’t give a shit.

Moments

9 Apr

All I ever need is a moment.
Because it’s in that fleeting moment that I know
that I love you, even if just at the slightest.
It’s that one moment when you look at me
and know that maybe, after all, you do miss me
and love me a little more than you’ve allowed your denial to see.

It’s that one moment when our hands touch
that I know I could hold them forever.
Or when you look at me the way you do,
that you know you want this on loop.
Because all it ever takes for a lifetime’s surety
is that ever fleeting moment;
faster than any thought or consequence or
even declaration.

It’s that one moment when you show me all you’ve got
minus exhibition or spoken word;
without knowing just how much you’ve given me.
Because all it takes in that one beautiful moment
is to know that you belong with me
and that I’ll be yours
even if we realize our truth a million moments later.

I’m not waiting. But I know.
We both know
because every moment reminds me
that this is meant to be.
And when you arrive,
you’ll find me.

And when you arrive,
that fleeting moment will be born to stay.

photo (3)