Archive for Friends

Hang-on or let-go

B and I love having friends over. We discovered this similarity of ours within the first few months of our marriage and it was of course a welcome surprise. During our 5 years of stay at Hyderabad, we met and befriended a terrific set of like minded people and we all got along like a house on fire.  We all could talk about anything under the sun, laugh our hearts out, whine together, basically let our hair down (quite literally, taking into account some of the head banging sessions we’ve had with a few of them!). Our friends made sure that the decision to leave Hyderabad and move to Panama was anything but easy. We went through our share of drama with welled up eyes and long hugs over a few farewell parties before we left the city we had so much fallen in love with.

The first few months in Panama were all about coping up. Coping up with an alien land, alien language and a bunch of strangers. After the years of having a comfortable ecosystem and dealing with a set of known faces, I was bewildered with the amount of newness this place had brought along. It was way too overwhelming even for someone like me who likes change. At least that’s what I thought till sometime back. The newly acquired postal address brings along a series of errands to be dealt with. It started with getting acquainted with the nearest Indian grocery store, fresh produce market, a good school,  the bookshop with  the best coffee  and moved on to the initial sessions of introduction and redundant conversations with the security guard, maintainence staff, cleaner and the school bus driver. And all this was done while helplessly groping through the pages of  ‘Quick & Easy way to learn Spanish’. During these few months, I stuck to the basic needs like deciding on my daughter’s school, enrolling B and I for Spanish classes and procuring a domestic help (Yes..that’s the  bestest thing about this place!). Beyond these, I just refused to demonstrate or practice any of my social skills. I was happy with having my big bunch of friends in my head, heart and of course in the virtual spaces. Gmail, facebook, orkut…you name it ..I made my presence felt everywhere like never before. I kept myself updated with the news back in Hyderabad. What’s the plan over the weekend, who is hosting the first diwali taash party, who’s booking the movie tickets, what’s the menu for the potluck et al. The more I kept myself plugged in, the more I wallowed with a sense of loss. Blame it on my love for drama, I just could not let go. I still haven’t. I jump up and whine at each group mail that I’ve made sure I still get copied on. But I must admit that I secretly did hope to rekindle my interest and inclination towards socializing beyond the world wide web. 

After quite a long time, B and I got a glimpse of the social ‘us’. Yesterday evening, we decided to have our newly acquired set of friends over for some drinks and chit chat. Over some homemade bhel and spiked lemonade, the chit chat turned into a series of interesting conversations and the chatterbox in me felt gratefully indulged. After a marathon pour out session and some serious dose of asian fusion music in the living room of our home, we decided to get some fresh air and drove to causeway,a sea side area of the city lined with trees and plenty of  interesting places to unwind. We were thrilled to find an alfresco that matched beautifully with our liberated mood last evening. It was a quaint little place with just the right amount of lighting, neither too bright to shake us off from the languorous feeling nor too dim to leave us yawning. The restaurant overlooked the placid sea lined with yachts. Some fuss free wooden benches and chairs added to the charm. A one pager menu reduced the conflict in decision making and the waiters dressed in bright red further reduced the stress of looking out for them for ordering. A nice breeze blew with just the right amount of chill and intensity to make us comfortable but not interfere with the overall warm feeling. Sitting there, staring into the sea with familiar voices and laughter in the background, I felt a certain connection with this alien land. It led to a new but known feeling that I could not quite put a finger on. A feeling that can be compared to the one that we get after meeting a close friend after a very long gap. A feeling tinged with certain amount of initial awkwardness followed by connections deeper than the last time. The setting was a promising start to the rest of our evening by the bay and I wasn’t disappointed. Now, I’m secretly hoping for a carry over that outlasts the hangover!

 

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Priceless

Euphoria. Many people have written about this feeling, this state of mind called euphoria. I’ve come across newspapers, magazines, journals, supplements, coffee table books talking about it and have found myself peeking into those articles, secretly hoping that the feeling would actually rub off on me just by looking at the words that communicate it. Somehow, I never doubted its potency. Right now, as I write and feel it through my veins, it acquires a whole new meaning altogether.

What makes me euphoric? Quite a few things. My children and their antics definately top the list but there is one more thing that comes a close second. And that is those wonderful times spent with some wonderful people.

We all have our lives to live and then there are people we share this life with. The people around us are not always chosen by us. Sometimes they are there by default. People like our grandparents, parents and relatives. They have always been there. They chose us long before we could choose them.  Not that I’m complaining though given a choice I would have definately liked to tweak a few of them a wee bit. But then, there are also a bunch of people that we choose to share this life with. They are the ones we largely refer to as friends.

Friend, a word that invokes a range of emotions in each one of us. Emotions that transcend the boundaries of caste, colour, culture, community,region etc and makes two people connect in a way that only this emotion can. It helps us extend ourselves to our optimum capacity. It presents a deeply embedded part of us in a more tangible format in front of our eyes. It gives us a sneak preview into those hidden corners deep within us that we somtimes overlook in haste. It somewhere completes us.

This one is for all those wonderful people who I proudly call my friends. 

You all came into my life at diffrent stages and became a part of my being. If I were to break into pieces, I’ll have a piece of each one of you. I hope, dream and pray that we get to relive those wonderful moments together all over again! In reality this time and not just in virtual spaces.    

 

Hurry up don’t let sunlight go to waste
Grab your coat and we’ll make our clean getaway
We’re just gonna leave behind
These worry machines we call our minds
Run off to the sea
Watch the sunlight kick of the diamond waves
Freedom , it’s calling , it’s calling
Freedom
Freedom, our light’s we’re golden
Freedom, from everything
Chasing waves as the seagulls cry and dive
Kicking sand as the crazy man rides by
Talking ’bout the end of the world
Wish he’d take a break and live for right now
“cause we understand, that this moment is all that we have
Freedom , it’s calling , it’s calling
Freedom
Freedom, our light’s we’re golden
Freedom, from everything
When the tightrope won’t stop shaking
And opinion starts to wear you down
Time to pull our secret weapon on out
And laugh these bullets right from our hearts
-Bird 

Thank you for making me feel this way. Priceless. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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