OK, so we all have friends and while they are a part of our childhood mischief’s and fun filled school picnics or pranks, our set of friends keeps on expanding as we grow up and start out with college and then moving on to start with our first jobs, the transition keeps happening, that’s a part of life. But there is a different connection with our childhood friends. I still remember those days when one of us would get the VCR at home and then invite our friends over to watch the movies, it was like a small party and get together for us while trying to watch maximum number of movies possible till we had the VCR on rent. Those simple fun filled days and no- frills get together’s meant the world to us. In-fact a friends birthday party meant indulging on the lovely wafers, cake and samosas without even bothering from where they were coming from, (yes! We kids had a good immunity back then). The onset of summers meant the gulping on glasses of “I love you” Rasna (luckily those days there was no such concept of holiday homework). We could go to any friend’s house and ask for a glass of water and we had these huge smiles on our faces if we were offered Rasna instead of water and then sometimes, we would be making faces when suddenly of all the flavors we would end up getting the KHUS flavored Rasna 😀 and then complaining to the same friend for not giving us the Mango flavor or the Kala Khatta. For entertainment we had our humble Doordarshan and our set of friends either from the colony or from the school. Life back then was simple, no fancy brands and showoffs but pure love and friendship and a lot of time to spend with our friends!
The tension that we face these days only highlights the importance of having friends, holding on to them, talking to them, going out with them, with the fragile state of minds these days and the even more fragile relationships, it has only become all the more important to hold to your loved ones. And so begins the story of my girl gang.
After my tenth standard I had vowed not to meet my school friends ever again, because of all the trouble they gave me in the school 😀 and I actually didn’t meet most of them during my college days and as we moved on to a new friend circle and we were trying to enjoy our new found freedom that we had got after completing our school. But I was always connected to only one of my school friend because deep down I felt that she was the only one who could understand me. A few years passed by and most of us were married by then, I too had settled in “Amchi Mumbai”. One fine day while I am at work my mobile rings and my school bestie calls me and says – “Hey, our entire class group is on Orkut, would you like to join”. I was a bit hesitant initially but then I agreed to be a part of it. And so that evening once I was home I quickly created my account and joined my school group, I could see various discussions happening and everyone participating in the same so willingly and putting across their thoughts on the forum, it felt so cheerful and upbeat to see the huge change in my friends. I noticed that my friends were no more unwilling and skeptical to talk and share their thoughts or felt timid to talk about things that they would otherwise run away from discussing or even mentioning about the same while they were in school. I felt good seeing them finally so independent in putting across their thoughts and opinions. Thanks to Orkut, the entire school gang was together on the forum after so many years. And this brought all of closer and that’s when some of them started taking efforts for planning and meeting over lunch/dinner, and once we all managed to break the ice, we were able to socialize more effortlessly.
And that meant that we finally went out for a one day picnic and that was enough to make each one of realize what we had been missing all these years!!! It meant that we ended up playing all the games – Kabbadi/Kho-Kho, Dodge Ball, that we used to play as kids and now we were playing the same games even though we were grown ups and some of us were even parents by then 😀 (Trust me!!! Try it and bring out the child inside you, and you will enjoy the experience thoroughly)
There was so much to talk, there was so much to share, each one of us had a story to say, things/incidents that we had been holding on for too long, it was time for us to share, the journey from school to work to marriage was indeed a long one with some pleasant and unpleasant memories. We stayed awake and shared and listened, WOW…..everyone had so much to speak, and while we listened to them, some of us breathed easy, it seemed as if finally the weight was off the chest. These journeys and sharing and reaching out to each other in need of hour and otherwise, brought some of us closer. So close that we were more than friends, we were like family and by then we had started making plans for our first international trip. Yeah…It was an absolutely exciting and exhilarating adventure to say the least.
I still remember and I still have a good laugh at it and now you will laugh too, because my friends went to the Domestic Airport and I was waiting for them at the International Airport, my eyes searching for them everywhere, talking on the mobile but nowhere to be seen 😀 just imagine that invigorating feeling, these girls all hassled and trying to get to the International Airport and while I can see that the check in for our flight had already begun, and boy was my heart beating so fast, it was a mix feeling of excitement, anger, happiness, confusion all in one. Well finally these girls made it and we rushed inside to get the formalities done. That feeling and memory will always remain forever etched in my mind. And so finally we boarded the plane and we flew towards our destination, barely holding on to our excitements and those redundant broad smiles. It had been our dream to travel together and we had finally made it possible after working out all the nitty-gritties, work schedules, home schedules, kids, our husbands….Whoa!….with so many things to manage on the home/work front, this trip was worth all the effort we had put in!
Okmom- posing for a picture
The next ten days that we spent together, we ended up making innumerable memories, the travel/shopping/eating and trying out the new food culture, all of this just enriched our experience. It brought us closer, we were more than friends, we were more of a family now, always ready to look out for another. The reason for me to share this part of my journey was that I wanted my children to understand the importance of making friends. These days when children fight over frivolous matters, it makes me wonder if real friendship exists these days, its a question I ask myself. But then children tend to learn and emulate from their elders and parents, and I am glad they are learning the importance of not only making friends but holding on to them and sorting their own issues, without holding any grudges.
Today I feel delighted when my children ask me, how I have managed to stay connected with my childhood friends, and I happily answer them. In fact now they themselves ask me ‘Mom, when is your next trip? What is the destination’. When are you meeting your friends. They seem more excited than me 😀 I feel content as my job is getting done, the kids slowly are realizing, how important it is to go out with friends, share, talk and at times just empty your hearts, most importantly the relevance of not having too much of expectations. The sooner they learn the better. The more stronger they are mentally, the more ready they will be to handle the challenges life will throw at them tomorrow, of course nothing can be guaranteed, but then we can always take the necessary steps to prep up our child.
They have been there for you through the good times, the rough moments, and everything in between. They pick you up when you’re feeling down and lift you up even higher when you’re on top of the world. So hold on to these treasures because whether it is their ability to laugh with you (and sometimes at you) for hours on end? Or that they’ll be there for you at a drop of a hat if you need a shoulder to cry on? Or the fact that they love you unconditionally for everything that you are (and aren’t)? Friends are irreplaceable. So go out there for that long pending trip, or that pending dinner or lunch, catch up with them, call them, talk to them….just go and make some unforgettable memories, Live-Laugh-Love.
I would like to end this blog with this quote :
“Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes.”– Friedrich Nietzsche
Do feel free to leave your thoughts and comments below. Ciao.