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!🙂

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😀😛

Thank You for being there…

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Wish you all a very happy day today🙂

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Special mention to four of my bestest friends: Achan, Amma, Chettan and Suraj🙂

And to all my friends. You’ve all given me a lot. Thanks for being there. For being F.R.I.E.N.D.S.🙂

yey! happiness is happening!!

Very little had been happening in life to be ecstatic about — of course, I’m generally a happy soul, so it takes unbelievably lovely news/things that’ll make me feel like I’m feeling now — about to burst with happiness!

What do you think could be better than a mail (comment, in this case) from a friend you’d thought you ‘lost’, saying:

I need yu beside me no matter what(I/Yu) do, for I kno il never find another yu…..;)

Yey!!

Jaya, I  just cannot tell you how happy I am….how happy those words have made me. I had almost given up on being forgiven…and while I never expressed it much, it used to tear me apart that you’d lost that ‘connection’ with me! But now! Wow! I…I love  you!😀 I am just so happy!🙂

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For all you people who gave me consolation, chided me and assured me “it’ll all be ok” when I wept about what it takes to lose a friend…here’s what she said…here’s how she forgave🙂 Yey!

Its not everyday that you get a friend who thinks like you, acts like you, eats like you, sleeps like you, talks like you and what not like you… But when you know the other person like yourself, its hard to be angry with the other person for long. But when you do get angry, its even harder to get over it…. Cos, for my wedding I dint really care about the 1000-2000 ppl who came ter (I din even kno half of them). And above all my friends it was yu who mattered the most, cos it wos yu who i told first when I went bonkers for the guy, yu wer te first person to kno when the dates go t fixed for te wedding and yu wer te first person I expected to be at my home b4 te weddin. ……….…………………But I also know that I was tooo rude to you even though you tried a lot of ways to make it up. But I guess wot tey say bt time healing is true  Cos I just wnt to say I am all over it now and I am reelly SORRY for being so rude. Im taking back all tat I said n yur still my best friend.
Cos like te song goes,’I need yu beside me no matter what(I/Yu) do, for I kno il never find another yu…..;)I kno im bein a lil mushy here, but I don care.Lov yu loads diiii….;);)

I’m just so so soooo happy today, that I could even be convinced into liking Bangalore!😉

Yey!😀


all it takes to lose…

Doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been friends for; doesn’t matter how many times you’ve stood by each other; doesn’t matter how many jokes sorry_13092029you’ve shared; doesn’t matter how long you’ve been there for each other; doesn’t matter how many jokes you’ve shared; doesn’t matter how many pranks you’ve played; doesn’t matter how many, many times you’ve told each other “You’re my best buddy!”. All it takes to lose a friend is not to attend her wedding!

I learnt this the hard way. May none of you ever!

P.S.:

My apologies! You’re still my best friend!😥

A dog’s purpose :)

)

wish she was i🙂

This is not my literary creation. This is a mail I received a few minutes ago! The sweetest I’v EVER received, I must say. E.V.E.R ! I just could not resist the urge to put it up! All you dog lovers…enjoy this. And all you dog haters, enjoy this (and please, get a dog soon…at least get me one😉 my favourite breed’s picture is also included at the end of this post😀😀 )!🙂

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

awww

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, ‘I know why.’

awwwwwwwwwwwww

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, ‘People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?’ The six-year-old continued, ‘Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.’

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher, you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

look how adorably comfy this one is!

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

my dream doggie🙂

Never pretend to be something you’re not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!

By far, my most image-heavy post😀😀 I love dogs…and cant avoid putting in their pictures (its half past 12 and am damn sleepy! Else I’d have sourced more pictures😀 )

those smells…those songs…and…… those memories!

Ever wondered how the most inconspicuous things in life bring you memories that matter most? Like a smell that reminds you of a certain day or place…a song that pull you into a time machine and shoots you back into the past…a scene from an ad/film that reminds you of a similar day/situation in your life…i dont know how many of you experience this and how often…but i do…almost everyday, all the time! Sometimes i wonder if i have a future at all😀 …i always seem to be flitting between the past and the present😉 .

The other day, i heard the song “agar thum mil jaaye” from the film Zeher, i was so reminded of the concrete paving at the park where i used to spend time with 2 lovely friends of mine in Dombivali, Mumbai. We used to go there every evening around 6…and just sit there staring at stars, guys and the love-bit couples who always used to find seats behind the board that said ” ” (yes, you guessed right; it was in hindi, which I don’t really think i read right)…

Then there is the feeling of getting wet in the rain…no matter where I am, i’m always reminded of GOA, PVR and Krishh…that day we were at the beach–my bro, ma best friend and my sunshine–we had so much fun till it started pouring heavily, and we had to rush off to PVR for cover. Wet from head to toe, we sat inside that freezing theatre, watching the worst film ever made!

The sight of the “next” electronics store reminds me of a broken foot and 100s of Mumbai’s foot-over-bridge steps that i crossed with it!! Oh the fun we had that June!

Tin Tin comics remind me of an Alliance Francais classmate whom i hated!

Barista reminds me of a slapstick joke that made a friend spurt out a mouthful of coffee over the clean walls there!

Odonil reminds me of a long-back crush!!!

All films that have babies and adoring parents remind me of Amma and Achan…and i wanna go home…to kerala…trivandrum…ooooh…i so miss them…i soo love them too!!!

Best of all: there is this weird smell (not a stink)…i dont know how to describe it (wish i could attach it to this post)…know what it reminds me of?? hehehe…you wouldn’t guess! it reminds me so much of my playschool bathroom!!! Hahaha…no, i repeat this isnt a stink. It was this squeaky clean place (where i used to spend most of my time to stay away from ABCs and I23s…)

And posts like this reminds me of my Alzheimers…i dont know what i’m writing…i logged in to write something i really wanted to let you all know…but it’s totally slipped ma mind…am not in the best of ma senses, i guess…missing home beeeeeg time….sorry for a bad time, guys! Imagine you never read this, please!😀

P.S: This post will be edited and re-posted when the “senses” are bac😀

There’s more….coming soon!