Category: friendship

Thank you for not walking in my shoes

Thank you for not walking in my shoes

Come walk a mile in my shoes, see what I see, feel what I feel, live what I live, share with me my worries and my fears. Isn’t that what makes us human? The ability to be someone else for just a little while?

But then not everyone does that. Not everyone should do that. We need these people in our lives, the ones who refuse to walk in our shoes. Oh they may annoy us and frustrate us and make us really angry but we need them. I know I do. This post today is a Thank You to all my friends who refuse to walk in my shoes.

Thank you dear friend for not walking in my shoes; for making light of my worries when I am down and out. You make me see that life could have been worse.

Thank you for laughing at me when I am afraid. It is the sunshine of that laughter that melts away the mist of my fear.

Thank you for not being ‘understanding’ and leaving me alone even when I beg you to, because you know your presence is what I need though I may not admit it, even to myself.

Thank you for not holding my hand, for not walking with me into that pit of self-pity, the one I dig for myself, for pulling me out with a no-nonsense tug.

Thank you for keeping your head when I am losing mine, for doing for me what you think best, because sometimes you know me better than me.

Thank you dear friend for thrusting at me a delightful pair of stilettos when all I would have were my worn old sneakers. At some point in our lives all we need is a different pair of shoes.

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda for the prompt ‘Walk a Mile in my Shoes’.

 

I am taking my Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa and Blogchatter.

Of friends and friendships

Of friends and friendships

Really, writing a post on friends and friendship is so very hard. Not because one doesn’t have much to say but because everything that one would say has already been said, over and over again, till all that remains is a bunch of tired clichés.

I’ve written about it often enough too. Friends have helped me become less judgemental, more accepting. They’ve helped me try out new things, offered a shoulder to cry on, heard out my rants and made me stick to resolutions.

As you grow older you move on from having a single all-purpose BFF, so to say, to a vast category of friends. As I try to write about some of them I’ll go with those that are top of my mind now.

It’s been a week since I got back from my hometown but I’m still a bit hungover so School Friends are bound to top the list. They are the best kind, aren’t they? I mean how can you not be friends with the girl whose plait got yanked by the teacher along with yours? Quite like Krishna yanked the reins of those horses in the battlefield of  Kurukshetra. School friends have been witness to the ultimate insults heaped upon you and not believed a single one of them. They are the ones who’ve known you from the time you were a plump tween battling the bulge and, if you are lucky, they are still with you as you turn into a middle age woman battling the bulge.

The thing is – to them it doesn’t matter.

They only remember you as the girl whose mum made the most smashing tiffin, the one who made a Bollywood parody out of Macbeth, or the one who could touch her tongue to her nose or one who couldn’t stop laughing even when she was sent out of class.

Those are the things that matter to them and that’s why they are special.

Neighbourhood friends were an integral part of my childhood but then as I grew and got caught up in academics and work I thought I’d didn’t need them at all, where was the time? Life seems to have come a full circle and I cannot imagine what I’d do without them.

 

Neighbours might not all be the sexy kind but they’re still a blessing

They are the ones who host you the time the door bangs shut just as you step out to put the trash. They also give you the number of the keymaker and assure you, you looked just fine in your frumpy faded nightdress. They take your couriers when you’re not around and even hand over the COD amount.
 They make rangolis at your doorstep and light diyas for you when you’re out for Diwali.
They’re the ones who hear/see your Taraka avatar with the children. They not only keep your secret but also keep loving you despite that.

How did I ever do without them!

And finally my very favourite kind – the Slightly Crazy-so-not-my-type of friends. This one is a bit of a peculiarity because you are pretty much poles apart and yet you connect at some strange level – the level headedness of one balancing the craziness of the other, mixing excitement and caution for a perfect cocktail that keeps you high but holds you back from going over the edge. These are the friends who got me to do things I’d never have done on my own. Things I would have wished I had done but never actually gone out and taken the plunge. But for them I would never have trekked to a fort with zero level of fitness, run a marathon (not a full one, just a baby one but id did get me walking), bought dangerously high heels or joined a Zumba class. What fun all of that turned out to be. I might soon be heading to Spanish class rather than slogging it out on Youtube as I’d originally planned.

Life would drab and dull without these crazy ones.

There, those are the friends I am grateful for today. Which are the friends you cherish most?

Linking up with Amrita for #ThankfulThursdays. Thank you for a fabulous prompt Amrita.

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Also linking up with Vidya’s Gratitude Circle Blog Hop. Do click on the link and head on over.

Why I’m loving being Mean Mum

Why I’m loving being Mean Mum

“You’re done H, you can go. N you need to revise the last two chapters again,” said I wrapping up the revision for the day.
“That’s not fair, she deserves her free time too”, chirped up H.
Eh? What was that? Who was that? I looked up surprised at this vehement protest from the most unexpected quarters.
I have, many times in the past, rued the fact that the twins never see eye to eye on anything, anything at all. They have a different sets of friends and often enjoy playing different games.
Over the last few weeks, however, I’ve noticed a change – the beginning of a partnership, a truce of sorts against a common enemy. Moi!
As I’ve pushed and prodded them towards their books, they’ve ducked and dillydallied to the best of their ability and they’ve perhaps decided that they need to join forces to combat the onslaught :-).
After N finished her two extra chapters she walked off to her room and I overheard them talking, “So not fair na, we don’t even need to study so much. We can’t call our friends over even on weekends.” says he.
She nods in agreement, “I couldn’t plan a single prank for April Fools Day. And it comes just once in 365 days. Imagine! So unfair.”
Hah! I feel so smug! I cannot stop grinning.
Even as I type this they’re playing table tennis without a table, with a bouncy ball shouting in laughter during their break – the break which started out at 15 minutes and has stretched to almost an hour. I just don’t have the heart to break up their camaraderie. They talk and laugh and wrestle and play computer games together.
I am going to grab complete credit for this transformation. The truce is so charming I am almost glad of the exams. Almost. I hope it extends beyond the exams too.
And so here’s the learning for the day:
If you want your kids to become best buddies try turning into Mean Mom.

 

PS: It has the side benefit of getting their studies done and may also be useful in inculcating some great habits.

 

Keep your friends close

Keep your friends close

On my blog here, I generally haven’t been very forthcoming with my opinions on happenings around me in the country or the world. All I talk about is my small little universe here with the twins and the Husband. It does take up most of my thoughts (I am obsessivemom, remember?).
That’s not to say I don’t have opinions. How can I not, living in this age of information overload? We have unlimited access to news 24X7 and yet the truth remains ever more elusive. How weird is that! It might have to do with the fact that our media is so highly polarised. We get umpteen versions of the same truth. No matter what side we’re on we find more than enough information to sustain our point of view.
And so we end up believing what we want to and can continue to stick with it and argue about it without even considering that a different viewpoint might exist.
Many times when I’ve been reading a piece that doesn’t resonate with me I’ve shut it down in disgust because it made me so very frustrated and angry. I’ve unfollowed and unfriended for my peace of mind simply because some points of view unsettle me so.
However, there’s a bit of a danger in that, a danger of the formation of an ‘us’ and a ‘they’ – people who think what I think and those who don’t. That certainly cannot be healthy.
So how then do I get a reality check?
I get mine through friends. Friends who come from different backgrounds, belong to different parts of the country, friends who think differently, who support different parties, who come up with arguments different from mine and who argue vociferously.
I keep them close.
You should too.
The other day I was out for dinner with a bunch of them. Between spoonfuls of cheesy pasta and some first class biryani our conversation veered towards a recent political development. Before we knew it we were in the middle of an argument, a rather heated one. Ten minutes later we were back to the biryani and the baby potatoes and all was well with the world.
And that is how it should be.
As long as you don’t make each argument a point of prestige, as long as it’s not about winning or losing, as long as you’re willing to be convinced, to admit you didn’t see it like that, that you didn’t know a certain fact. It will be fine.
There will be times of course when you won’t agree at all and days when you won’t part on a happy note. But that’s fine too because you’re friends and you bond on many many levels not just on that one political or social point. And so you will come back to each other sharing exam woes and teen troubles while laughing over ‘fat’ jokes even as you plan breakfast outings or lunch dates.
Just as pasta and biryani share my plate happily making it richer for the difference, so can different thinking friends stay together and make your life that much richer, make your viewpoint broader, more tolerant.
Keep your friends close and your ‘different thinking’ friends even closer.
End note: If you find me getting into an argument with you it means I consider you a dear friend, a very dear one.


How can I not be grateful? #gratitudecircle

How can I not be grateful? #gratitudecircle

When I sat down to write the last post of the year, which was supposed to be my gratitude post I drew a blank. Gratitude posts don’t come easily to me. However, later when I was posting the new year wish on my Facebook timeline I realised the one thing that had cheered me through the year had been my friends and family.
And there it was – that one single thing, which I mentioned ever so casually, was the biggest blessing anyone can ever want – the love of friends and family. And this year has been more bountiful than ever because I met up many friends, actually many many friends, some for the first time, in person, face to face.
In all of my ten years of blogging I hadn’t ever met any of my blogger friends, in part because I am in one rather isolated corner of the country and part due to my own rather unexplained reluctance to do so. It was momentous then, that I met Shilpa a dear BARmate right at the beginning of the year. And we chatted for hours like familiar friends, easy and comfortable.
That set the tone for the entire year.
A friend from my journalism days dropped by. Seriously, there really is no gossip as delicious as office gossip. I caught up with who-had-moved-where, who-got-the-pink-slip, who-moved-to-television and who-will-always-stick-to-print. I do miss all of that sometimes.
Then came another friend from my Mumbai days. She was my roomie in the working women’s hostel. She’s the one who would ‘save’ tea and breakfast for me while I slept in on Sunday mornings, the one with whom I trawled Churchgate pavements for books and Fashion Street for clothes. She’s the one who made hostel life bearable.
I travelled to Delhi during the summer and met up with a bunch of school friends. The years fell away as we chatted about dreaded teachers and well-loved school mates and made as much noise as we made during ‘tiffin-time’ at school.
I spent a few days with my first ever mommy friend. Our kids were almost the same age and we reminisced how we celebrated when they first went to play-school, how we’d felt at once bereft yet relieved when we had those two hours of me-time. It’s amazing how the toughest days make the best of friends.
Later in the year, I ventured to the Pune Lit Fest, meeting up another writer friend who was soon to launch a book. She’s the one who prodded me to write my first ever story for the Chicken Soup series. I wrapped up the year at her launch event feeling very proud and very happy for her because I know exactly how hard it is to write a book with two sons and a house to run.
But the most momentous occasion of all was meeting up with my cousins – the Super Six. We recreated a two-decade old childhood photograph and it was absolutely the best thing to have happened. I wrote about it here.
Lastly, most importantly, each time I have been happy or upset I have had all of you to unburden myself to. We haven’t met and we may never meet, yet how can I not be grateful for your presence?
I might not have broken any records, or won any lottery, but the year was crammed with scores of super-happy moments. How can I not be grateful?
Thank you 2016.

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

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