Day 26: Please stop the trolling!

Just because there are smartphones and there is Internet and there are apps that allow to us to spread just about anything, I don’t think there is any NEED to troll people whose actions have ABSOLUTELY NO bearing on you..

I am stunned at the uproar the wedding of two film stars in Kerala created yesterday. And I’m even more stunned at how educated friends of mine have been bombarding me with these “jokes” and memes. Stop it.

So what if they both are divorced? So what if they maintained that there was nothing going on between them? So what if the daughter of the man chose to support her father’s second marriage? So what if his first wife ‘sacrificed’ her career for him and the child? So what if there was always talk of these two ending up together someday?

Who are we to judge anybody? Who are we to say she suffered for the past how-many-ever years with him and yet he is now with another woman? Who are we to say the daughter was heartless in supporting her father and cared nothing for the mother who went through labour to bring her into this world? Who are we to claim she never had any faults? Who are we to claim he never had any faults? Who are we to decide which parent the child should support in such a case? In any case, how it it your right to get involved in their lives to the extent of being vile, crude and downright crassy?

For God’s sake. This is about the lives of a family that fell apart…and a new one that formed. No one knows what went on in those lives in the past years. No one knows if he was a devil, if she was a devil, if the child was not brought up well. No one knows what prompted the discord and what created the distances. No one knows what split two people apart and what brought two people together.

Everything we’ve known came from the grapevine. It’s all pure speculation. How can we just change sides when it suits us? You all, supporting the ex-wife and mourning over her huge sacrifice of career and being a mother — did you so quickly forget how you all blamed her for being a horrible mother and terrible wife when the divorce happened?😮

Stop the trolling. This is not affecting your life by any measure. This is not going to make you wait outside theatres in mile-long queues. This is not going to make IFFI stop making good movies that humanity needs and turn their lenses on what’s happenings in outer space. This is not going to take away any jobs you/your family have in various parts of the world.

Stop the trolling. And for God’s sake, leave them alone. How people choose to live their lives, within their rights and life premises, is none of anybody else’s business.

Stop the trolling. Your troll jokes and forwards are NOT FUNNY. If you think they are, and if you can’t help spreading that shit, spare me. I exited some WhatsApp groups yesterday to which you all promptly added me back. Trust me: if you can’t stop, I will not think twice about blocking you and never remembering to unblock you after that. And I don’t mean just this instance.

Have some class, and have some principles.

Day 16: Go Set A Watchman

This is not a book review. I’m terrible at writing book reviews, so I shall not.

This is about the feeling I was left with when I’d finished the book. And for once, I can’t find the right words to express them.

To Kill A Mocking Bird shall always remain in my Top 5 favourites. The reason I loved TKAMB was because I identified a lot with Scout and loved her. I was also a huge fan of Atticus. But mainly, Scout. The tomboy that she was. The way her brother was her best friend. The way her father was no nonsense, yet loving. The way she was always with boys.

So, when I picked this one up, I was prepared to not like it enough. I had believed the reviews fellow readers gave. I’d played down my expectations and was ready to turn the last page over and think “Just did not do justice to the first one”.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I loved Go Set A Watchman for a lot of different reasons, Scout and Atticus being the prime ones. I shall not list them all here because I honestly don’t know how to word those, and I won’t do any justice.

All I know is, I loved the experience of reading this book. I read and re-read some portions because the sheer awesomeness brought tears to my eyes. I sat with a pencil and marked out some really touching parts. I read a certain bit and hugged Pumbaa tight. I typed out a particular bit and texted that to my brother. I thought back to my childhood and smiled fondly. I missed Achan a lot – a LOT. I felt immense gratitude to my parents for bringing me up the way I was brought up. I wanted to curl up inside the book and be at peace❤

I will always love it for the many pearls of wisdom I picked out and stowed away in a far corner of my mind. I’ll leave you with these…

The Lord never sends you more than you can bear.

This helps me have that bit of extra faith to stop me from giving up…

Sometimes we have to kill a little so we can live.

…and this convinces me that while to err is human, to forgive can also be human; it doesn’t always take divinity.

Because finally,

…every man’s watchman, is his conscience.

Day 11: The insides of a Ghost

…are amazing. It will make you feel like you’re floating, that you’re surrounded with awesomeness, that you’re “above” everyone else. It will make you feel like you’re being held and comforted by hands that do not really touch you, yet you feel the cozyness so well that it makes you want to hold on for ever. It will suck you up into an alter world and when it is time to leave, make you want to cling on and never get back to reality.

The insides of a Ghost are beyond awesome: a feeling I do not have enough words to express.

I grew up with boys. Till I was about 6-7, I was constantly in the company of my brother, and whenever we cousins got together, it was all boys. Then I moved with parents and brother to Guruvayur, which then turned out to be the BEST TWO formative years of my childhood. And there as well, all my friends were my brother’s friends.

We played cricket and 7 stones and all sorts of boyish (and sometimes quite violent :P) games. When we came back to Trivandrum, though I did make some girlfriends, most of my “everyday” company were my brother’s friends. When my favourite cousins came from Qatar once a year, the “games” were mostly re-enacting “the WWF”. And they took it rather seriously (that it was all staged on TV wasn’t something we figured too easily).

Therefore, I was always a tomboy. A big part of me still am and always will. A few dear friends of mine will vociferously vouch for this fact (and that’s a while other post!) I still remember the highpoint of tomboyness — going to UB City, Bangalore, once…and while the friends were going crazy window shopping at Louis Vuittons and the likes, I was in the basement parking, going gaga at all the awesome cars parked there😛

Which probably is why, when we once went for a wedding reception at the Royal Orchid Hotel in Bangalore, in 2010, while Amma was ogling at the grandeur of the place and sparkle of the event (read dresses, saris, jewellery, shoes, etc.) that the other pretty women turned up in, I was ogling at a Rolls-Royce Phantom parked proudly outside. I had to then be physically shepherded inside by Amma (it was her best friend’s son’s wedding). I made a mental note to take a pic on the way back.

I’m not the kind with the patience for weddings and those elaborate parties, yet I deliberately delayed leaving the wedding hall, to make sure there will be as much space and calm around the Phantom when we leave. I had great hopes. I was already imagining sharing that photo with a few of my friends and the subsequent conversations after that. Needless to say, none of that worked out the way it should have!

On the way out, I gave the camera to Achan and asked him to click a few awesome shots. I made a bee line to the Phantom (did not even lean on it like it was mine – bah!) and turned around just in time to see one watchman shaking his head and spewing random Kannada syllables to Achan. Another one was walking straight toward me. He shooed me away. Literally. He said “Shooo…(blah blah blah in Kannada) go…no no no“. Ugh. I made another (highly improbable) mental note of someday going back and taking that pic!

Last month, Achan called me up and said a close friend of his from the good old “Lions Club” days of Trivandrum is in Kuwait. He gave me the phone number and told me to reconnect.

Wilson Uncle was someone I saw once a month till I was about 4 years old, I guess. I had a very vague memory of him being this bespectacled man who used to joke that I’m his girlfriend and that he was going to marry me😛 I was always terrified of him and potently shy! He was 23 at that time. Every time I saw him, I would shriek and flee! And now, nearly 30 years later, I was meeting him again. And what a meeting that was. I had expected there to be awkward silences and nothing much to talk about, but I had a fabulous few hours!

And the highlight of the meeting: He is the one who introduced me to the insides of a Ghost!

Before picking me up, when he told me to watch for a “blue and white car”, I expected anything but a Rolls-Royce Ghost, of the most amazing blue! My jaw hit floor, and then once I got my bearings back, I hop, skipped and jumped across the road and got inside the most amazing car! :D Needless to say, I was too overjoyed to maintain any kind of social behaviour that will fall in the “appropriate” category. I became a complete “jolly villager” and went “Is this your car!? Oooh!”😀 And when he nodded in the affirmative, went further ahead asking “Your own car, or company car?” He had the most amused expression before he said “own car alright”.😀 When we stopped for lunch and he switched off the engine, the Spirit of Ecstasy retracted into the bonnet, and I even went “Oh where did that thing go!? 😮” Fine – I didn’t know it worked like that, ok! 🙄

When I got off the car after a rather amazing ride, I was reminded of the watchman who shooed me off from near the Phantom. And here I was, feeling giddy after having sat in another version of the  after-world beings. In your face, Mr Security. In. Your. Face! Ha!

With age comes maturity, and therefore I took no pics. Errr fine – I already told you I was on jolly villager mode. I have a crappy phone, which would do no justice to the photo (plus I am completely camera allergic and I am yet to find a camera that will like what it sees!)

Therefore, the only pics I took were with my eyes. And they’re uploaded on to a special folder in my brain. No share option there. Sad, I know. I’m secretly hoping he will offer to meet again, and come in the Ghost. I will make sure I have a pic of myself behind the wheel😉

It was an amazing feeling, and I thanked my Achan profusely (but only after duly pulling his leg about where is an Alto and where is a Rolls-Royce) for making a dream like that come true. This is totally why he is the awesomestestest!😉

insidesofaghost

The insides of a Ghost…as spectacular as its outsides!

Day 10: My greatest support system

What we come to call as “support system” usually are parents, siblings, relatives and the friends you categorise as “best friends”. They’re the ones you can fall back on, without having to feel bad about doing so, knowing full well you’ll be taken care of, even though it is not an entitlement. Only, you sometimes end up taking that for granted. If not the people, then at least the fact that there WILL be a support system.

Until you move out of all your familiarities and face a whole new world.

There is this girl who was my classmate during post-graduation. We were a pretty close-knit class of just 15 students. She was one of the sweetest in the class. She had none of the recklessness I had in me; she had none of the popularity, the stupefying clownness, the annoying self-righteousness, the frustrating over-confidence or the plain damsel-in-distressness that the rest of her classmates had. She was a simple, Mamma’s girl. She did not bunk classes, she did not do anything she feared her parents wouldn’t be proud of, she did not even hate the person who made her everyday life a living hell😛 I hated that person on her behalf :P She was just a very sweet, happy person. I would always remember her as someone who vowed not to get married, but would adopt a girl child because she was fabulous with kids.

But I wouldn’t say she was in my best friend category at that time. Her constant company made it rather difficult for me to figure out how much I could like her😛 After college life came to an end and we all went our separate lives, though, she and I became much closer. She got married, had a baby girl — and every once in a while, we used to have video chats, where I gurgled to the baby in her own unspoken language. We were pretty pretty close.

And then, I went into hibernation. For about 3-4 years. Our conversations became thrice in a year; once for her birthday, once for mine, and once for Christmas / New Year😛

When I moved to Kuwait in March 2016, a lot of people assumed I have half my family here (you know all those jokes about half of every Malayali lives in the “Gelf”). I therefore drew a lot of surprise when I said I don’t have anyone in Kuwait. No relatives? Not even friends? Are you sure you’ll be OK there?

Well, I did have friends. I had, 2-3 months prior to relocating, figured out that this girl was in Kuwait (and all the while, I’d been thinking she was in Bahrain, don’t ask me why!) with her husband and daughter. I knew I didn’t want to be a burden for her, especially not after having been in hibernation for so long. And, I’d lost touch in those 4 years.

Or so I thought. I was wrong. She turned out to be my biggest support system ever. 

I cannot imagine the past 7 months in this country, if she hadn’t been here. She took me into her life and home (literally) and we re-connected like there had been never a day that went by without us talking.

I crashed on her couch for almost 15 days, shamelessly making her cook for me (in return I washed the dishes, something I’d never do given a choice :P) in the morning and night. I would put all my clothes into her washing machine and go off to work. In the evening, I walked back to see them all out drying on the clothes stand. She and her husband voluntarily took it up on themselves to help me find a place of my own, took me shopping, told me exactly what and what not to buy from where. We sat up till 12 most nights, reminiscing college and friends and our separate lives and laughing our eyes out. How her husband tolerated the incessant laughter without arranging to have me deported, still beats me😛

Even now, after all this time, I know I can walk in anytime and not feel like a guest. I still take my laundry to her place and get it done (each time praying her husband won’t kick me out :P) When I get a pizza craving and don’t want to eat alone, I know she’ll tell her husband “She is craving pizzas. Let’s go get some!”😀 When I need company to buy plants, I know she is ready before I can say “pla”. And when I am depressed and want to bitch about the marabhootham, she is always available😀 When I am extremely unwell, I know I have someone I won’t be a burden to. When I’m thoroughly bored, I know if I ping her to say that, she will say “Oh come over already” without missing a beat. And man, her humour timing and sense is always reason for a complete riot!

And the best of all — she bakes the most awesome cakes. And if that wasn’t enough, she recently attended a bread making class and now makes beautiful croissants and focasias and what nots. OK – I haven’t tasted them yet, but well, got to be awesome.

Well, cake or no cake, I’m super glad to have her for a friend. The kind of friend you know isn’t “just a friend”.

What would I do without you, Deepti!? Thank you for everything you do, for being you!🙂

I can never thank you enough for being you…

On June 3, I read this on Pepper’s blog and I could not stop myself from commenting. When I used to be an “active blogger,” I followed a lot of bloggers — all of whom I still do; only, I’ve stopped commenting on their blogs — because I sometimes read posts in bits and pieces and most times, I cannot comment because of lack of time or connectivity or some such. And, I definitely do not want to be accused of commenting only some blogs and not all😉😉😉 So, I generally lurk, read and slip away. Pepper’s post about the heat/humidity and the AC and her mom — I don’t know why it tugged at some corner of my heart, but it did. I commented and told her to give her mom a tight hug from me and tell her I would worship her🙂

I don’t know why it touched me so much. Could be because my mom was here…and I was having an awesome “mommy time” with her🙂 Just the two of us — for the first time. I don’t remember ever having spent such days together — just her and me. The brother or father was always there🙂

Well, she’d been worried sick about me since the time I moved house😀 Every time I got on the phone with her, she would tell me that she was always busy till about 11.30 every night — and by then she’d know I’d be fast asleep…and that each night, after 11.30, she would sit and think of me living alone and worry about me for half an hour😀 I thought that was funny; she did not think so.  So, she’d taken a vacation and come to spend 10 days with me.

When she came, she was recovering from a fever and wasn’t in the best of her spirits. And I was a little worried — because she seemed to have aged drastically, in the past 4 months that I had not seen her. And she was walking really slowly — which reminded me of my grandmom😦 She looked at least 10 years older, and I told her that. Worried, close to being alarmed, I told her she needs to rest more, eat healthy and take good care of self. She kept telling me it was the fever hangover. Two days, I remained worried. She was not her usual self. I was glad I’d decided to take two full days off from work. Normally, when she is in the house, no matter which house it is, she takes over kitchen🙂 This time, I did not let that happen. I cooked, made her tea now and then, told her stories, had serious discussions, shared fun stories , and generally gave her rest.

The third day, on a Saturday, she recovered fully. The first thing she did was to walk quickly up and down my living room some 5 times to show me she is not old😀😀

And then we had a great time for the rest of her visit. Well, we did not budge from the house😀 She did not want to go anywhere. So I joined back at work on Tuesday, and remained busy till 8 p.m. all those days. Thankfully, the work days were not as crazy as they normally are. So, we had pointless fun discussions, poignant serious ones and had much fun.

I taught her easy-to-make “rice items” — jeera rice, tomato rice, puliyodharai, lemon rice, etc — and she experimented with one each for each meal. Thrilled at how easy each was to make, she took copious notes of each one’s recipe and preparation methods. And then she called up my dad who’s been making his own meals — and for lil’ Bruce and my brother. I watched as she animatedly explained to dad how these were all easy-to-make but tasty recipes😀 Well, if I never knew it till now, now I know where I get my “animated persona” from😛  I also realised where I’d inherited the palm-on-cheek “ouch” pose from😛

I had grand plans of taking her for a drive and showing off my new-found skills😉 But none of that happened. Since, I did not want her freaking out much, I had thought it’d be best to take her for a drive after the traffic died slightly. Which would only be after 9.30 where I live. Only,  the rain gods had their own plans. It rained torrentially all those evenings🙂

While Pumbaa and I jumped around in joy at the torrential thunderstorms, Mom sat and comforted the scared Khloe. While I WhatsApp-ed and checked mail and chatted with folks on phone, she went about silently, dusting every nook and corner of the house. On work days, while I spent most of my time staring at my laptop, Mom cooked me yummy meals and put the house in order. While I was on calls, she peeled and sliced my favourite mangoes and “delivered” it in bowls right next to my laptop so I did not have to budge. While I stepped out one evening to meet a friend for a while, she sat in the balcony looking out for me.  While I played around with Pumbaa and Khloe, she folded all my clothes.

Needless to say, I did not notice any of these things till she was all packed and ready to leave. On the day of her return, with only 2 minutes to leave the house, she realised she hadn’t folded my clothes from the previous day’s laundry and looked at me with a most devastated expression, saying “Aiyooooo! Molde thuniyonnnum madakkeela! Sorry!”, with her signature palm-on-cheek pose! I was stunned! I had never even expected it to be done. And that’s when I realised that the folded clothes I’d been dumping into my cupboard each day was not the work of a laundry angel, but my Mom’s doing. That’s when I noticed the second bedroom looking spic and span. That’s when I noticed all the dust gone from everywhere. That’s when I noticed that my bed was made. That’s when I noticed that the past few days had been SO FULL OF LIFE.

At her apology for not folding my clothes, I told her she is a “chakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkara, sooo cute you are!” and her eyes shone happily — and I was glad to see that she definitely did not look even a year older, forget 10🙂

Today morning, I still could remember vividly her expression when she said sorry for not folding my clothes. And for the first time in my life, I thought to myself, “I guess one needs to be a mother to be able to be like that…” Well, I don’t think I have it in me to be anything like mine! In fact, I have already reseerved truckloads of sympathy for my “someday” children😀

It’s just been a day since she left — and it feels like forever. I miss her sooooo bad, I wish she either did not come, or I’d gone with her back to Trivandrum! And I sooooo envy my brother for being able to live in the same house as she, even now😐 I think I must crib about being “lonely” now onward, so she’d come over more often😉  And the next time she comes, I should get my dad and Bruce to come too — so she would not be in any hurry to return🙂

Amma, I love you so much, and I can never thank you enough for being you — so awesome!🙂

The Queen of Subtlety

Subtlety, if you ask me, is not an art possessed and practiced by many. Some think they have it, but don’t. Some actually have it, but never put it into action at the right moment. And well, some others have it, and practice it quite well.

And then there’s Princess (you need to spend 5 continuous minutes with her to know why exactly she is Princess) who does not know that subtlety exists. Which makes her nothing less than The Queen of Subtlety.

Incident #1 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and her two friends (which includes me) were on a break; sipping tea at the pantry. There was no one else in the pantry. If the three of us weren’t talking, there would be no other sound there. We were discussing random life issues, friends, relatives and other such. For once, there was ABSOLUTELY no gossip about colleagues happening right then. After a few minutes, our manager’s ex-manager (who still likes to act the part of our manager’s manager) walked in to fill her tea cup. There was a moment of silence right then, as we had just finished a random conversation. For no reason in particular, on seeing the lady that walked in, Princess said “Shhh” at us (but alas, loudly enough for all of the pantry to hear). We were not talking about her, but I’m sure after the “Shhh”, she thought we were. Sigh!🙄

Incident #2 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and I were at our workstations, quietly going about our lives work. And then, Princess rolled her chair towards me and we began discussing something — I’m not sure if it was work or something else. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw our manager’s manager walk into our bay, and launch into a conversation with our manager. I whispered to Princess to check them both out, that they’re colour coded (they were both in red shirts). That’s ALL I said. Princess turned around, looked, and burst out laughing. And then she turned back to me, saw my horrified expression and went “Ooops” and eerily quiet. I dread to even think what he might have thought! Sigh!🙄

Incident #3 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and I work on the 7th Floor of our office building. We have a friend on the Ground Floor. Once, after collecting a courier that Princess received (a reasonably sized box which looked suspicious even to me!), we decided to walk over to our friend and have a chat. As we walked in, I told Princess that we’ll tell our friend we’re here to have a serious meeting with her and her manager, and that Princess was to hide the courier from the friend’s view. We walked to her seat, and found her seat vacant; she was in a meeting room with her team. As we were contemplating whether to stay or leave, the meeting room door opened and the friend’s teammate walked out. Instead of being a normal human being and just staying calm, Princess did something very close to acrobatics and tried to hide the courier box from the girl’s sight (don’t ask me why!!). Of course, quite unsuccessfully at that. We got a look of weird displeasure from that girl. Sigh!🙄

Incident #4 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and I were walking to the pantry, for a cup of tea. Just as we got out of the bay, we saw two foreigners standing by the door, having a serious discussion. I walked on in silence. But not the Princess, oh no! She took one look at the two (fairly older) gentlemen and said “Oooh! Nice.” With smoke coming out of my ears, I hastened my pace, looked at her horrified and asked her what the hell that was! And she explains, “But I meant one of their bags; not them!” Yes, very evident that was. Sigh!🙄

As The Queen of Subtlety continues to rule, the rest of us are sure that we’ll have many more foot-in-mouth moments, handed over in a golden plate, even without having to say a word! Secretly, I think I need to make new friends.

True friends are hard to come by!

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart… Oh, that’s a song.  Not how I meant to start this.😀

But well, it’s amazing alright. How the best of people always have the best of friends😉 Like how Calvin has Hobbes; Asterix has Obelix; Tintin has Snowy; the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. have each other; and well, Boban has Moli.😀

I think the best of the lot is Calvin and Hobbes.

And if I be Calvin, I’ve found my Hobbes😉 [Or vice-versa, if my ‘Hobbes’ doesn’t like being a tiger😀 *But for now, you’ll have to make do with being Hobbes. The other option would be to make you Richard Parker, who coincidentally is again a tiger. I think Hobbes is much cuter, nicer and definitely more fun to be with*]

I’m very, very, VERY choosy when it comes to friends—especially the kind that can be ‘Hobbes’. And this one was, well, totally unexpected. Someone I definitely did not see myself ever getting so close to or being such great friends with!

The time I first met Hobbes, I never thought we’d ever strike a chord. Hobbes seemed a very serious, withdrawn person. The kind that is so withdrawn, they barely look up at you when you’re being introduced to them and quickly nod before going back to their work. Uh uh…definitely not the kind who would be friends with someone goofy like me😀 So well, I maintained a distance, and was always just courteous and polite.

I liked Hobbes, but that was about it. In the meantime, I also heard bits of conversation here and there of Hobbes being this serious person; people seemed to be quite scared of Hobbes, and I saw very few people being comfortable and carefree around Hobbes—cementing my impression of Hobbes as someone who could not easily be “friended”. Well, that impression lasted about a week.

Till I first heard Hobbes laugh. It was a loud, clear, right-from-the heart guffaw. Yes, a guffaw. You have to hear it to know what I mean😀 Despite not knowing what the joke was or who it was shared with, I found myself looking up and smiling at Hobbes. Well, to be precise, at the back of Hobbes’ head!😀 And that was when I figured Hobbes out: in an instant. And I liked Hobbes a lot more then🙂

Only someone that’s completely genuine, sincere, adorable and so full of humour can ever laugh like that. Seriously. Laughter—especially the kind that emanated from Hobbes that day, and many, many times after that—is something that will give away a person’s character immediately: it can tell you who is fake, who is real🙂 Hobbes was definitely very, very real! I figured I could be myself, goofy and well, just me. The only question was if Hobbes wanted that. Hehe.

You need to know the nuances of laughter to be able to figure people out😀 When I shared that piece of insight once, Hobbes said “I refuse to laugh like that from now on!”😀 Well, the damage was done already, my dear😀 Hobbes once told me “Not everyone retorts to me the way you do. You picked my sense of humour too fast. And I’m not like this to everyone either. I appear serious, proud and very quiet. It’s a facade…kind of a protection that I put around myself.” Well, I’m glad I broke through the facade, and damaged your “aura” (which I still insist on never having noticed :P). I now have a friend for life—and an awesome one at that😉

When I look back now, I still cannot believe Hobbes and I became friends. I would never have believed it if someone had told me then that Hobbes and I would become such friends someday. I would’ve scoffed, I suppose😉 But well, we did become friends…though very, very, very gradually.

With Jaya, my best friend—an alter ego, maybe I should say—it took just about 5 minutes for us to bond and become friends for life. Was I not so choosy then, you ask? Well, is it tough to like yourself in 5 minutes?😉 Anyway, I thought a friend as valuable as that would never come by a second time. I was wrong. I guess 2 really is a good number for me🙂

Hobbes is perhaps one other person who is equally choosy about friends. I guess we have both had enough experiences that hold us back, make us take our time to fully understand another person before going from ‘just friends’ to ‘great friends’. And now, I can say without a moment’s hesitation that Hobbes is a “great” friend to have.

I’ve seen Hobbes in good times and bad—and I have immeasurable respect for the way Hobbes wades through it all.

Hobbes’ sense of humour and quick wit, for one. It can leave you laughing uncontrollably till you end up gasping for air at times…OR leave you so stunned, you wouldn’t know whether to laugh or just gawk. Spontaneity at its best. Certain conclusions and one-liners Hobbes comes up with are…well…bloody hilarious. Something you just do not expect from a person who appears “serious, proud and very quiet”.

There are times when Hobbes gets washed over by a wave of depression…and I pretend not to understand that and keep insisting that Hobbes smile at least “half a smile”😀 *Hobbes, I really do understand when you’re in the dumps, but there is nothing I can do to help you at such times. Apart from telling you to smile! Apart from listening and saying “Hmmm”*

There are times when I am pissed off with something and I go crib to Hobbes—knowing very well that my problems are nothing compared to Hobbes’. But well, me being me, I still crib😀 I could go on and on and on and on, and Hobbes would patiently listen. There would be nothing Hobbes will have to say, to help me, but listen Hobbes will. No questions asked, no judgements made. And all this, while I am just making a mountain out of a miniscule mole hill.🙂

When it comes to a fault, Hobbes does not see if there’s friendship or enmity. If Hobbes has to blast, Hobbes will blast. Despite being such close friends, I’ve been blasted too (which surprised a few people because we were supposed to be ‘friends’; now who blasts friends, huh?). Well, I do. Hobbes does, too. What are friends for, if they can’t correct you when you’re wrong? If there’s credit to be given, Hobbes gives it generously—again, irrespective of friendship or enmity. I think that’s a fabulous quality: to be able to separate life from work🙂

If you are a friend, Hobbes will perhaps die for you. Well, not literally, of course. But if you want Hobbes to do something for you, Hobbes will do it, despite perhaps not liking it at all. It always surprises me, because I would never do that! I’ve kidded about certain things, and Hobbes always agreed to do it, even after admitting it may not be the best thing to do. Maybe one should NOT be so fiercely loyal to friends. You never know how loyal your ‘friend’ is to you. *Note the point, Hobbes :)*

There are times when Hobbes deserves a kick—for judging people wrongly, for making the wrong ‘friends’, for trusting the wrong people (repeatedly, at that), for helping the ones who do not deserve to be helped…and in all this process, getting hurt. But well, can’t be helped…because Hobbes is Hobbes. I like that🙂 *No matter what the other person is or does, you have to be you, Hobbes :)*.

Yes, now that I think about it, I really like that! People come and go, some even walk over Hobbes, leaving bruises…but the next time they need help, Hobbes does not think twice before helping (and most probably getting hurt again). Though I’ve blasted Hobbes for that many times, I think that’s amazing. *Remain so, just stop expecting any gratitude, whatsoever. And I still will blast you the next time you do that :D* In Hobbes’ own words, “You fool me once – you are clever; You fool me twice – I am stupid; Hobbes is not stupid; wow, I like that line”.  I do too😀😀

Of course, Hobbes has faults. Well, who doesn’t (except me!), right? Hobbes frets too much about the past; is too perfect and orderly (yes, that’s a fault!); goes into a shell and refuses to talk about it if something upsets Hobbes; does not appreciate telegrams (!); is not a great fan of Calvin & Hobbes despite being christened Hobbes (!!); thinks an i10 is better than a Punto (bah); aaaaaand walks way too fast😀😀 Saddest of all, Hobbes does not forgive the mistakes made by self (if they can be called ‘mistakes’, which I personally don’t think is what those are; I think everything is a lesson, a learning, an experience…it makes you one bit stronger, one bit wiser). *You need to get over them, Hobbes. I know it is easier said than done, but you have to. Otherwise, you won’t really get time to make new mistakes🙂 What’s life without mistakes, to crib over and learn from?*

There are times Hobbes can be absolutely morbid, absolutely mind-numbing and absolutely shocking. I have fallen off my chair quite often at certain things Hobbes said. I’ve laughed sooooo much that I’ve gone so red in the face, making Hobbes all alarmed that something might happen to me.😀

I’ve also gaped in awe at certain other things. Like the courage, the perseverance, the patience, the sense, the logic. Most importantly, the pure will to survive and succeed.

The most amazing thing, however, is the way Hobbes can get up or down to any age level😀 Right from 5 to 50😉 We are capable of being two kids fighting over who is better than the other…and can, in the blink of an eye, be two very mature adults, having a serious discussion on life’s complexities😀

We have long conversations and longer spells of comfortable silences. I read somewhere “The best kind of friend is one with whom you sit on a bench, saying nothing and when you get up and go, you feel as if you had the best conversation of your life!” Oh, I believe that to the last word now🙂

*Hobbes, I’m immensely grateful to you for the companionship you gave during some real bad times; for listening to all my cribbing like it was the most important thing at that moment; for guiding me on when I needed directions; for the many, many coffee breaks and walks; for the many deals; for some real impressive pep talks; for the umpteen laughs; for all the mentorship; for cheering me up when I was depressed; for making September 2011 a bearable ordeal; for correcting me when I was wrong; for being a true friend all the time. And most importantly, for being the delight that you are…for being you.*🙂

Friendship is a rather strange thing. It is not about going out together and ‘having fun’ all the time; it’s not about having weekend trips together; it is not about lavishing gifts on them; it’s not about sitting around a table together and secretly wondering if you have everything your friend has. Most importantly, it’s NOT about being supportive even when your ‘friend’ is obviously wrong: that’s being the goody-goody, I’m-there-for-you-whatever-you-do Samaritan. Friends don’t let each other tread the wrong path.

Friendship is definitely about being there for each other, through good times and bad. But more importantly, it’s about being a critic and a guide. Goof around, have fun, call each other names, pull each other’s legs, land a surprise, lend a shoulder. But when your friend is wrong, have the courage to point it out, help the person correct the wrong and get back into the right. Be an unconditional friend, but be a valuable one first. That’s when you’re a true friend.

Which is why…

TrueFriendsAreHardToComeBy

Guess with Hobbes, I just got damn lucky🙂

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P.S.: Hobbes, here’s wishing you a fantastic new beginning that remains fantastic till the end. What you leave behind, is definitely something that is best left behind🙂

P.S. of P.S.: I’m not to be held responsible if being known as “Hobbes” does further damage to your “aura”😀😀

P.S. of P.S. of P.S.: I still insist: there is no aura😀😛