(2/6) The Best Friend

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Shrti.

Oh my God, Shrti.

If it were true that people are a reflection of their best friends…

I remember when she said she was coming to visit. She’d just graduated from the dream I’d lost and my mother asked me, “Are you sure this won’t affect you?” The answer was a reflex – She won’t let it affect me. Just wait till you two meet.

The first time I ever saw her – white shirt, black slacks, high heels and a no-nonsense smile – I thought to myself, Yeah, we’re never going to be friends. But then she said, “Hi” and I couldn’t imagine anything else.

We were as different as two people can be. I was that girl you see in class but don’t really want to be seen with. And she was… She is that person who makes heads turn when she walks into a room. But she sat next to me everyday. I’d fight like a child and she’d take it in stride. She ignored my silent judgements and my open bitching made her laugh. I never understood why.

Then came that fight. The one that showed my ugly side. It brought our friendship to a screeching halt. This is it. This is how it ends. On my way to present, she came running to say, “You’re going to do just fine.” That’s who she was. She fixed things with one line.

She taught me how to socialise, how to ask for things I want, how it’s not your body that pulls of a dress – it’s your mind. She taught me to find comfort with myself and if I couldn’t, she would be there, ready with a hug.

When I moved away, I thought the distance would create a lot of space. But she didn’t let it. Irrelevant of when, didn’t matter what – All I had to do was pick up the phone and call. You see why, when she said she’s coming to visit, I couldn’t stop grinning?!

She found herself an internship and we became roommates. The last time we’d done this, it hadn’t been so bad. But I knew this time would be different. My room was my safe haven. Yet, it was okay. And not because of me.

She would insist we went out. I wasn’t allowed to whine. She’d force me out of bed for those walks that made me better. I could only complain about one thing at a time. Every time I thought I was giving up, she would all but kick my butt until I didn’t know what I was thinking about.

I’m not joking. I’m not exaggerating. I’m not being extra nice. The honest truth is – She saved me from myself.

Three months. That’s how long it took her to pick me up from my state of depression and have me signing up for internships and smiling. She’d get a cab all the way from across town to get lunch with me before we headed back to work.  She didn’t have to. She could have been that person that shrugged her shoulders and muttered, “Get over it.” Nobody
ever insisted she take that effort. But she did. Day after day until she knew I was okay.

And then she moved away. To a different house and then to her home city.

Looking back, I often wonder – maybe she came to live with me at that point just so I wouldn’t drown completely. Maybe she was meant to be my lifeguard and when she was done with it, she had to leave. Like destiny.

I never formally said ‘thank you‘ to her. We never talked about it as something significant. She didn’t do it for gratitude. But that’s what I feel when I think of it all. For the love she continues to give. For her non-judgemental listening. For her motivation. For her care. For her.

If it were true that people are a reflection of their best friends, I’d be the best damned human there ever was and Shrti, you are one of the reasons for it.

Thank you for being you. For loving me the way you do.

And always remember, I love you, too. <3

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The Fear of Falling

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There are these moments in life. These moments when you see someone for the very first time and you feel your heart skip a beat. Not because you’ve fallen at first sight. But because in that instant you know, with time, falling for this person would no longer be a choice.

I met someone for the first time recently. He caught me off guard and if only I didn’t know better, I would have said the skip of a heartbeat was from feeling startled. But it wasn’t. It was the moment when I saw trouble.

Ten seconds later, I felt my heart hammer. Because I knew. This was a trap I was going to walk into, willingly.

There are three kinds of people when it comes to circumstances like these – the ones that never take the first step forward if they knew it was trouble, the ones that would walk in a little and then choose to back away because they know it’s unhealthy to their heart and of course, there are people like me. We know it’s trouble. We know how this ends. But we will still keep going with the hope that this will be different from the last time while always knowing deep inside that this path is taking us to a place we’ve known before. A place that’s going to emotionally cost us a little too much than it’s worth.

It’s been a few months now. We get along quite well. He’s one of my closest friends. And I feel that pit in my stomach because I know what’s happening.

We have so much in common and yet, we couldn’t be more different if we tried. We want the same things from life. Just not in the same way. We’d be right for each other but it won’t last. And somehow, I’m still here. Because I enjoy the time we spend. I value the little things that only I know. And beyond all, there is something about finding company that’s been where you have and understands the nooks and crooks of all the emotions you feel at very specific moments.

Which is precisely why, at this very moment in my life, I feel nothing but fear. I’m afraid of falling for this person and ruin a friendship that I hold dearly. That I’m going to make this awkward. That we’ll never get back to this place of comfort again. And I’ve thought of the million things I could do to stop this including the middle of the night ridiculousness that is “I could always move to Mars!”

But quite honestly, I don’t think that’s going to work. I’d miss my dog too much.

So I’m going to do what I do best. I’m going to sit back and hope this goes away. That this turns out to be different than the rest. That what I’m feeling is not the hint of a crush but rather a fondness for a friend.

And if it doesn’t..

Well, you’ll probably find a blog post about heartbreak within the next year.

Marriage : From “I Do” to “I Can’t”

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The past three days, the topic around me has been constant. Marriage. As one friend of mine gets ready to seek out his bride, another friend who already found her love just told her parents about it. In another part of the world, a guy I’m acquainted with just got blackmailed into signing his divorce papers after his wife ran away. Three very very different stages of life. The excited, the fighter and the hurt.

I, just like most other girls, have dreamt of my wedding – the dress, the venue, the weather, the jewelry, the guest list and so on. But I’ve always felt like I’ve misunderstood the concept of marriage. To me, it’s when two people, with common goals and interests, come together to share their lives. Caring and loving each other. Becoming the best of friends till death do you apart. Sure there are going to be some hard times. That’s the reason you have each other – to lean back on when the going gets tough. The feeling that you have someone to catch you if you fall will make you aim and rise higher in life. However, every single one of these traits must be found in both the husband and the wife. My father always told me, “Remember, you’re not the only one entering that marriage with hopes and dreams. It doesn’t matter if the other person is everything you’ve ever wanted. You have to stop and wonder if you can be everything the other person wants as well.” I think I’m still growing up on that last sentence. I’m not quite there yet. But are my ideas of marriage immature? Am I fooling myself with a dream of an unrealistic fairytale?

In a world that is now driven by your bank balance, prenup is the shit. Getting married? Lock your money first. I’m sorry, but where’s the love? Where’s the romance? Even arranged marriages are more like blind-dating these days. Surely there must be more to that relationship than “I think it’s going to be a good run.” Why do we start a marriage believing it might end some day? Why do we care more about saving our money than saving our marriage? Is losing your bank balance more tragic than losing your spouse? Don’t even get me started on the running away with your secret lover after you get married part. But as much as I would love to support the guy I know and call the woman a bitch, I’m sure her side of the story is a lot different. Marriage is a two-way street. You get what you give. It’s important to always keep in mind that the other person too has emotions.

In marriage and in life. Treat the other person, any person with respect and love. You’ll be surprised at how many long-lasting friendships and relationships you make..