Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Girlfriends- The Real SoulMates

For oft when on my couch I lie,

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye,

Which is the bliss of solitude.

-William Wordsworth

Quite unlike a normal day, I have a few minutes to spare and I was in the mood for some introspection. Happened to overhear a conversation between 2 college going girls and it bought a rush of memories. The girls were discussing about what to wear to work and what hairdo to adorn to college the next day! I remembered making calls to my bestie asking her what I should wear to the parties, to a function or just to go out. Oh the hours those phone calls used to last! While in school, a minimum of 5 calls after school was a must. The joy and satisfaction was priceless. Conversations would range from normal Wassup to philosophy and life!

Unlike men who never let anything come in between their manfriends and man -time, we women tend to get tied down to a lot of things. Especially after marriage. My bestie and I have been friends for decades. Longevity doesn’t necessarily elicit a deeper friendship but it sure keeps you from having to explain yourself. She knows my story. The ups and downs, the good, bad, ugly. She is my “Remember when” girl.

It’s hard to nurture friendships when you’re busy raising kids. Some days, I don’t have the time or energy. I pick up the phone to call her but something comes up. Despite all this, in some strange way we are connected. There are times when I have received a call just when I needed to speak to her. In my weakest moments  I have noticed that while faith keeps you standing, more than family, friends hold your hand as you slowly move forward. They help you find a new normal, continue checking on you and show love in a million heartfelt ways. And now listening to those girls having fun, I realize the laughter is only part of the story, what comes after the complicated grown-up stuff. And while we certainly need the wonderful men in our lives, for they play a crucial role, too, men simply aren’t designed to understand us like one of our own. Sometimes it takes another woman to intuitively recognize what needs to be done — then do it. Or to sense what needs to be said — then say it. Or to take the thoughts and emotions we don’t voice — and know what to make of them.

Here are the unspoken rules. I want my girl to know..SO…

  1. True girlfriends will tell you the good and the bad stuff. They will also find a way to make you feel OK about both.
  2. Your best friend may have other friends too. Accept it.
  3. We are imperfect people. Your friends will disappoint you. Forgive them even before they as
  4. A lack of phone contact should not breed insecurity, just excitement when you finally do connect.
  5. Don’t be a high maintenance friend, life’s hard enough. Just love well and often
  6. Apologize when you screw up, because you will.
  7. Don’t just say you’re going to pray for her, actually pray, even when she doesn’t ask.
  8. There’s a fine line between sharing information and gossiping. Don’t cross it and ask your friends to do the same.
  9. And lastly, no matter what it takes, catch up once in awhile. It will be worth it!

I hope this acts as a friendly reminder of why girlfriends matter in good times and bad, laughter and tears, and through the highs and lows that reveal who’s with us for the long haul, and who’s willing to share in our suffering so that one day, when we’re laughing together again , there will be a history that makes the laughter sound richer and stirs the curiosity of anyone in earshot.

Call your girlfriend. Now.

Image result for girls looking out

 

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Posted in RoMa Chronicles

I miss you, already

I stood undecidedly in front of the laptop, all the while looking at my phone.

Picking up the phone, I whats app’d a more intelligent friend, “What time is it in dubai now?”
“8.30 in the morning! Like you dont know by now!?!”

A boring, sulky, sad monday morning with nothing to look forward to. Except this. SO I continued to look at the phone and the laptop. I could picture him carrying his bag and walking over to his car. His sleek, white, automatic car. The one that stole his heart before me:). He would then put his bag in the boot, get on to the driver seat, say a  little prayer and get on the road. I could picture this clearly.

I dialed the number. “beep beep beep…”
My phone acts very weird when I call ISD. I knew it. That’s why I never call him when I most want to speak to him. Its the surest way I wouldn’t! We generally seem to talk about the weather. About the apartment he has, the work going on at my house..about the traffic and his car. About his flat mates. About his work. Mine too. About family. Or maybe just about how his day and mine…

Today its different. Probably because for a few days now, I am so used to seeing him next to me, I cant even get the timings right. I am so used to not having to ping him all the time on whats app coz he was with me that I cant seem to remember our routines online! I was so used to hearing him speak to me directly that I seem to have forgotten how he sounds on the phone. I tried again. I was subject to the same monotonous voice that would have repeated the same lines a hundred thousand times, the same monotonous voice that will repeat the same lines a hundred thousand times…

I think, the last time before he left, during some conversation, he told me to leave a message in case his phone is busy or if he didnt pick up. He was always a busy man. I like it that way. It kinda gives me the feeling that he wont have time to think and feel bad! Its partly the ridiculousness of talking to a machine… its partly, “What message do I leave?”. I never call him up to talk a specific topic…I call him to… I just call him…sometimes to say that I miss him, sometimes to just hear him and sometimes just for those stolen moments…

Walking out to the balcony, watching the sun scorn at the earth, I wondered if it would be like this there too. Hot. I knew it would be. I know. I walked. I took my phone and walked. I didnt want to walk but I had to coz I coukdnt just sit there. I learnt that day that I could not decide on a topic and think about it while I was walking. I was supposed to think of all the happy times we’d shared. Instead I found myself thinking how much life’s changed  since the last time we’d been with each other.

I must have walked a good 20 minutes, before another wave of lets-try-once-more hit me. I whats app’d my intelligent friend again. “What time is it in Gulf  now?”
“9.00 in the morning. Whats with you? Why you obsessed with the timing in gulf now? And why on earth you acting like you dont know! Its been just a few hours since you returned, you crazy crazy woman!”

I dial. Once again. Last time. I promise.

0097155……….

I was holding the phone tight, “Please let it ring…”

I was surprised when it did. And then, cut! The rich guy or rather the stingy guy! He hated me spending money on calling him. Oh well, he called back. He always did. Short, simple string of words. People wouldn’t believe it, but we were always stingy with words. Either he talked and I listened or I talked and he listened. It was hardly ever a dialogue.I talk to him. I tell him to have a great day. He says something again.… A few seconds later, when I feel bad about him wasting money on my call, I say a hurried bye and press the disconnect button with my finger… I could hear the eerie  sound one has to hear while the call gets disconnected, when I say “I miss you already….”

:/

Posted in m@dness

Of forgotten memories

“Many things that seemed to be the crux of our existence at one point in time slowly fade away into memories and then into archives of insignificance in the larger chapters of our lives. We can’t even mourn or be happy about them because we don’t remember them in the first place.”- Manuscrypts

It’s strange, what memory keeps and ruefully discards.For example, I don’t remember the time the top of my head didn’t even reach the desk, or the time when I was on my toes craning to reach the top end of the fridge where the chocolates were kept and falling short. And a lot of childhood memories that I do have, are derived from snapshots taken back then. Moments frozen beautifully in an innocent time, when if I fell down I could cry and scream, without looking around to see if anyone noticed. When chocolate could sinfully drip down my chin and people would say “How cute!” instead of “What a slob!” When “Oh god please tell me” was the way to go and the solution for some of the biggest problems we faced!

My episodic memory, is primarily made up of photographs, or certain startling moments, be it happy or sad, of certain words spoken, looks and tones. However, entire years have been blocked out of memory, almost as if they never happened. I remember a birthday party my mother hosted for me when I was 5 because I see photographs of it now and then. I remember going cycling with a few friends when I was in 6th Standard and had a ladybird as MY VEHICLE because I still have its basket in my store room. I remember putting the fishes of my my brother’s aquarium into the water tank because my family still makes fun of me.

I have memories of my childhood, bits and pieces and sometimes it disturbs me. Aren’t we supposed to remember every minute detail of our lives or are we just supposed to forget so that we get space in our minds to create new memories? I remember some things but seem to have forgotten most of it. Coming back to where I started, I remember having a fascination towards barbie dolls when I was a young girl and hated sharing it with anybody except Gou(who used to be my playmate when I was about 10 yrs old). It was the centre of my universe once upon a time and just the other day when I gave it all away to my niece, I didnt feel anything at all! It was only when I thought why I had kept it for so long that I realised that it used to be the essence of my life once upon a time. Trivial I know, but I realised right then that there were so many other things that were important to me and tht time erased all memories of.

I wrote this today because I met a person on the road the other day. I was sure I knew the person from somewhere but just couldnt remember the name! This person walked up to me and called out my name and hugged me as I stood there, flabbergasted. This person went on to ask how I was doing and gave me updates about life and talk about the stuff we used to do. We talked for a full 15 minutes in a very animated fashion. This person finally said bye after saying how weird it was that we were best friends in school for about 5 years n still never kept in touch after school! It took me about ten minutes after this person went, to actually recollect this person’s name! I felt disgusted by all of it. Sad actually. At the tricks time plays on all of us.

As I write this I remember things, places, people and experiences that I used to cherish once upon a time. All these that used to be the crux of my existence at one point in time in my life which have become nothing but  shards of a forgotten past. None of it makes any impact on my life now and I  dont think it will be the centre of my universe ever again.  Slowly I began to accept  that a moment can mean a thousand different things. Indelible impressions can be left on people and places. And I suddenly understood the innate depth of a memory. I know I can’t stop time. I can’t capture light. But I know I would love to delve deeper into my treasure chest of memories. In search of answers, however profound or silly. Yes, I am staring at an abyss. Now will the abyss please stare back at me?Maybe someday that which we lost to time, will come back to us and remind us of a forgotten past and gift us a smile or a tear maybe.

Footfalls echo in the memory

Down the passage which we did not take

Towards the door we never opened
~T.S. Eliot