When the friend-ship sinks

 We have all read reams and reams of philosophy and poetry written to express the pain of broken love. We also have lots of songs telling us friendship is great. Like Ye Dosti hum nhi todenge or Yaaron, dosti badi hi haseen hai.

But there is hardly any poetry or song dedicated to the nuances of a broken friendship. That shit hurts. Don’t you feel friendships are way deeper than our romantic liaisons? That we are more invested in our friends than we are with our partners? Probably because we have known our friends way longer than many other people in our life. They are the ones who have seen us growing up. In many a sense. It may be from childhood to adulthood. Or coming out of a bad relationship and turning wiser. Getting married or even turning parents, and becoming responsible. 

We have all had out hearts broken by friends, haven’t we?  Maybe in school. Or college. Or workspace. I have had many a fights with my friends. But the first time I had an actual breakup with a friend, that was painful. It was like someone had slipped the rug from under me. One day, everything was fine. The next thing I knew is that I had been replaced. Without warning. Without a question, or an answer. I kept going over the incidents of the last few days to think of what I may have done wrong. I made up possible scenarios of what it could be. I tried to tell myself I was over thinking. It took me sometime to convince myself that it indeed was over. There was no closure. And that took me a longer time to come out of it. I haven’t known heart break of the romantic kind. But I feel a friendship breakup is pretty close. 

For a romantic discord, there is “breakup”. But for friendship – nothing. You know nobody addresses it because there is not even a term dedicated to it like, freakup or something. By the way, that word I just made up is pure genius. Don’t you think? Anyway. You are not allowed to grieve for a freakup like you do for your beloved. You just pretend to move on. Like a very important person in your life did not just move away. Like the person was your go-to for 5 or 10 or more years did not just leave you in a lurch.
“Oh, she would have laughed at this”, or “oh, he would be so mad at me for this”. Situations remind you of your friends and all the good times you shared. But you would be a schmuck to go all sentimental about someone you were not even in a “relationship” with. Why, isn’t friendship one of the most important relationship you form outside of your family? Sometimes, even THE most important.

Friends grow apart for various reasons. For reasons that are difficult to categorize as right or wrong. But they do grow apart. Life, as they call it. There are no Arijit Singh songs to help you grieve. There are no alcohol sessions to help you rant. There are no drunk dials or messages to the “ex”. Just silence. You maintain “dignity” and “grace”. No washing of dirty linen in public. Just wondering what went wrong. Just wondering what would your life be like today if (s)he were here. Just continue living as if one of the most important relationships in your life did not just end. 

I say, when that friend-ship sinks, go down like the Titanic. Open the bubbly and sing Channa Mereya. Put on that music full blast and dance to “Breakup kar liya“. Go ballistic. Cry and rant. Because God knows you need that closure. Because don’t we all know, pyaar dosti hai

Carrie Bradshaw

It’s funny I am doing a character biopsy of Carrie Bradshaw because she is a writer and does the exact same thing for a living.  Sex and the City  is a famous show featuring four women friends, who wade through life having each other’s back. All four are pretty strong characters in their own right, but the one that moved me the most is Carrie.  She lives in NY and is weekly columnist for New York Observer.

The first thing that made me feel connected with her was the fact that she was a writer AND she wrote about relationships, feminism, sexual freedom and promiscuity. Carrie falls in love with a certain Mr. Big, handsome but commitment phobic. Mr. Big develops cold feet on the day of their wedding, leaving Carrie at the altar. She is angry, depressed, and dejected all at the same time. While all her friends tell her that they have never trusted Mr. Big, Carrie still cannot believe it. This stuff always happens in the movies. Or to other people. For her, she had the perfect relationship. She had been hit by a running train.

Carrie is a deeply emotional person and a hopeless romantic at that. She loves Mr. Big deeply and wants him to reciprocate the same. But Mr. Big is commitment phobic and is quite open about it. But Carrie is so deeply in love with him that  even when she confronts the truth, she doesn’t want to accept it. She wants to go right back to the safety of the knowledge that Mr.Big loves her as much as she does. Eventually as she and Mr.Big break up, she takes a long time to come to terms with it. 

After a few inconsequential one night stands, she ends with the very sincere Aidan. He, is exactly what Carrie thinks she wanted. He is all things that Carrie ever wanted in Big. Aidan loves her deeply, for the person that she is. He never has any qualms admitting it either. For sometime, everything goes well. They even get engaged and Carrie thinks that  he is the one for her until one day, she bumps into Mr. Big at a party. He introduces Carrie to his girlfriend who he is about to get married to. And that throws off Carrie, right into that deep tunnel where she was after being dumped at the altar. She cannot understand why he didn’t marry her but was ready to marry this new girlfriend. She doesn’t want to admit to her herself that she cannot take it. Probably she is jealous. Or maybe she never got over him. And after a couple of short meetings, Carrie finds herself in Mr. Big’s bed one night and understands what she’s gotten into. She is the cheater in her relationship.

Carrie is also a very honest person. And so, one fine day she reveals the truth about her affair to Aidan, leaving him in pretty much the same state as she was after being dumped by Mr.Big. Aidan didn’t know what he lacked. What could he have done to not let this happen. And while consoling Aidan, it finally hit Carrie that there was nothing that Aidan could have done. Because the problem lied with her. And it also made her understand that it was also not her but Big’s commitment phobia that led to their breakup. It wasn’t her. 

Later, Aidan and Carrie do get back together only to part ways one more time. Aidan could never get back to loving Carrie or trust her as before. But Carrie finally finds herself free of any baggage and ready for a fresh relationship. Eventually she does fall in love with a French guy, Aleksandr, who convinces her to move to Paris with him. Long story short, things do not work out with him and in the meantime, Big’s marriage falls apart too. And he finally realizes that he has always loved Carrie. A very melodramatic reunion later, they do end up getting married.

The sexual freedom and promiscuity of western society aside, I connected a lot with Carrie’s personality. The depth of love she has for Mr. Big comes from a place of deep emotions. Even though she is a writer and can decode relationships for friends and the entire city of New York, she herself is at the mercy of her own heart. She loves her friends and they have all been there for each other through multiple heart breaks, child birth and even cancer. They have all discussed retiring together and being there for each other without needing a man. That, not marriage is the only “happily ever after” in a woman’s life. It may have been true for some others, but the Carrie I know and understand would never ever be satisfied with just that.
This is what she is, in her own words:

I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love. 

W worthy of Worth!

There are some relationships that are absolutely worthy of every feeling you have felt while being in them. Be it love, anger, anxiety, suspicion or plain hatred. Friendship is one such.

I have often shared my feelings about my besties N and S in this space. I have had numerous fights with them over the years, but we also go back at least 10 years or more. They are as good as family. They know where I come from, my thought process, my triumphs and my weaknesses. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that I would feel completely lost without them.

But today I want to write about my gang of friends who worked with me in my last organisation. I don’t agree that it was coincidence that brought us together. We all must have been related somehow in our last birth. We were destined to meet in this birth. And so, the huge gang of us, from all possible corners of the country Delhi, Harayana, Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad met in the organisation we all worked in back then. We hit it off instantly. When we all would get together, there would nothing be but laughter and more laughter until our cheeks hurt or we had tears running down our eyes. And our night outs were legendary. We would all gather at anyone’s place without any agenda as to what we would do that night. But every single time, the night would fall short, but not our session of leg pulling, dancing and making merry.

Slowly things changed. People left. People got married. Some went onsite. Today most of us are in different organisations and in different locations as well. But we try to keep in touch through Facebook and Whatsapp. Of course, the chemistry is no where near what it used to be. But last night, suddenly it was decided to connect via video chat. So at a very short notice, 5 of us, did. Two from US, one from Dublin, another one from Bangalore and yours truly. The one hour that we spent laughing last night brought back all those memories. The best part is, whenever we talk, how much ever time may have passed in between, we can always just pick up from there and move on. Most of us have gotten married now. Some of us have had babies, like yours truly, some are on the way and others will have, in the future. I realize how far we have come. And yet, nothing seems to have changed.

All of us make new friends all the time. But not all friendships stand the test of time. And so this post is dedicated to all my “Freakos” (as we like to call ourselves) who are fun, who are mad, who are there and who are not there. We have had an amazing journey so far. No matter what happens tomorrow, I want to tell you guys how amazing you all are. A big big thank you for making this life worthwhile with your presence and your infectious energy and your support πŸ™‚

This relationship is worthy of all the super things I have ever felt when I am with you guys! Jai Ho Freakos!

That’s almost all of us! πŸ˜€

 

Of Motherhood and Friendships !!

When I got pregnant last year, I thought about a lot of things that would change in my life. Like going out for a vacation or movie or dinner at our whim. Anytime, any place. Like reading and re-reading my favorite books late into the night. Like talking to H over a cup of steaming ginger tea late into the night. About my girl friends, or petty office politics, or the world hunger problems. I was prepared for these and how. Now vacations have to be pre planned and detailed to the T to make sure everything is baby friendly. Even a trip to the mall is like securing stuff for a rough night. Diapers, change of dress, milk yada yada. Books are a forgotten luxury. Oh boy! I miss them so so much. And as for H and I, there’s hardly any talk, forget world hunger. The little that we get to talk is, of course, about the baby. You know, baby’s milk, baby’s poo. So there.

But one thing that I hadn’t figured was that even friendships changed. Or to put it more correctly, friends change. Even if they are “happy” about your “good news”, in reality, they are just mentally checking you off from the party list. You find that weird, because you, at heart, are still the outgoing fun kinda girl. And when the baby arrives, you’d think they would be there to hold your hand and walk you through this difficult stage in your life. But holy cow. That’s a good morning message for you. In the name of giving you space to figure things out, they almost leave a gaping hole where once they were. Probably they can’t stand the “cutesy baby stuff”. But hey!! Wasn’t that what friendship was all about? In sickness and in health? In love and out of love? Or am I from an era bygone?

By the way, talking of relationships and (lost) love, happy Valentine’s day people. It’s late, but you see, I have just had a baby. Hope you can keep with that, or won’t you?

 

My best friend’s wedding!

It’s the best friend’s wedding. It’s something she andIi had been waiting and discussing for the longest time. But call it irony or what, its happening at a time when i am at my busiest. S hardly gives me any time to read or write, let alone plan or attend a wedding.

It would have been so much fun to organise a bachelorette for her, but being in different cities and being held up makes matters worse. I am missing out on all the fun and shaadi shopping , and she, on my awesome company πŸ˜‰

But babes, I want to tell you something. You know I am not good at saying out these things out loud. So here it is.

I am so so happy for you. Finally THE wedding is happening. With your man. And I know how much you have struggled to reach this space and time. Personal and professional tribulations of the highest order. I know for a fact that anyone else in your shoes would have lost it by this time. But you strode on. You know you are the strongest and I don’t need to tell you that. You deserve all this happiness and much more. And I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

I just wish I could have been there for you, with you, being a part of this happiness journey. But nonetheless, my wishes are always with you as you start this journey of a lifetime. Loads of love. See you soon. And trust me, you will make the prettiest bride ever. Your man is indeed very lucky to have you πŸ™‚

PS : I know I could have sent her a personal email. But my bestie loves a little drama. So here is a straight-from-the-heart message for her.