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Dear C,

You were the first person I in my life, that I could really connect with. I had friends before you, but I never got the whole funda behind the “best-friend” thing. I wasn’t good at socializing or making friends. But you made it easy. Despite my pathetic memory, I still remember my first day in CS class. I had transferred in from a different branch, I was completely new, and did not know anyone. I entered the classroom, and it was huge, I was scared, and wanted to run away or get swollen by the floors below (we sat on the fifth floor πŸ˜› ). I looked at the last bench, it was empty. You were sitting with someone on the second last bench, and I don’t know what made you graciously make place for a third person on that tiny bench. That gesture really touched me. And the next day onwards, we both ditched the other girl πŸ˜‰ and started sitting together. We had so much fun together. You taught me how to gossip, how to crack jokes so that the guys sitting in front would get caught laughing while we would keep a straight face. You added mirch-masala to newsΒ  which you got from your gossip-network that spread throughout college, so I would get the whole dope, and feel like an insider. For the first time in my life, I felt like I has a best friend. I could talk most stuff with you, you just understood, we somehow clicked.

It is that bond we used to share, I think, that causes me so much pain now. We have not talked in years, and after our fight, it was almost a punishment to sit next to you. The last few months of college were made painful, since neither of us wanted to be bench-partners, yet neither would come ahead and say it aloud. After college we just stopped talking. Had no reason to.

I can never forget the fight, nor its reason. And yet, I will continue to stalk your FB/orkut profile, and feel jealous that your wedding pics look so much more awesome than mine, and at some level, want to know what is really going on with you. But.. but I know that will never happen.

I am really sad that I lost you. What happened cannot be undone, but what I truly am thankful for is the fact that you were a part of my life. However much I hate you for things that happened between us, it will never change the fact that you were really, truly my first best friend ever.

Your glad-to-be-once-best-friend.

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Contrast the two scenarios below..

M is our long time neighbour. She took VRS from her job 5 years ago. Since then she and her husband have been forced to live with their children in Bangalore to baby-sit their grand-daughter the whole day, so that the son and DIL can go to office without worrying about the safety and welfare of the kid. The grand parents have retired a couple of years back and wanted to spend the remaining years in Mumbai, enjoying , travelling, meeting and spending time with their friends and family.. all of what they could not devote a lot of time when they had their jobs. But then they felt that they could not refuse their kid’s plea for help. So now instead of enjoying their retirement days in peace, they are forced to live in a city they have never been to, where they do not have any friends or family, and where they cannot understand even a little bit of the local language. They cannot travel or go on a holiday, since then there would be no one to take care of the little girl. Isn’t child care the responsibility of parents? Is it right for a couple to just dump the kids on their parents since they are now retired and have some free time on their hands, instead of trying to work it out amongst themselves, reducing some work hours so that they can be home for the kid more.. try other alternatives like hiring a maid or keeping the kid at a baby-sitting?

The other scenario is of a relative K. When her DIL had a kid, she advised her to let the kid get used to baby-sitting so that both K and the DIL could get some time off for themselves. Even though both K and her DIL are SAHMs, the kid started going to baby-sitting for 2-4 hours a day. As a result, she got used to the people there. DIL wanted to take tutions for a couple of hours a few years down the line. Her job was now easier since the kid would happily go off to the baby-sitting and she could take her tutions in peace. Plus, she did not even have to trouble anyone else (read parents/in laws). Would you call K and her DIL selfish?

What scenario would you prefer? Even though I am sure that the grandparents love to spend time with their grandchildren and like to help out their sons and daughters, is it right to constrain them so much so that they do not get time to enjoy their life? I know I should not be the one to judge with having no experience at all in this area, but it just irked me, and I would hate doing this to my inlaws or parents.. Exploiting their good-nature for your own benefit, is just so wrong.

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“So you think you can wait for two more years, until I can ask your family for your hand?”

She stared at her screen. He was doing this online!!!

This was the moment she had been waiting for.

————
They were very good friends, they knew everything about each other. Their chat sessions would go on for hours after they returned from college every day. She did not realise when her feelings changed from friendship to love. She was going on a vacation with her family. And she knew she would miss him. What she did not know just yet, was how much.

She realised she had very strong feelings for him, Feelings she had never felt for anyone else before this. There was just the uncertainty. She did not know what he thought of her. He was ambitious. She knew he was not going to be satisfied with his graduate degree. He wanted to do a post-graduation. She did not want to be an obstacle in all this. He was not sure where he would do his post graduation. There were very few colleges in the country that made his list, and getting in any of those colleges would mean hard work. And there was a definite possibility that he would have to go out of the country for higher education. Even thinking about him leaving the country, and being away from him led to tears streaming down her face. She found it surprising, and so hard to understand, how was it that he meant so much to her! Why was it so hard to even imagine him going away for two years, was this love?

———–

He had just given his entrance exams, and the results of the same were expected while she was on her vacation. He wanted her to be the first one to hear the good news, so he waited till it would be a decent hour to call a girl. Since she was with her parents, and he did not want to irritate his future in-laws by calling her in the middle of the night.

“I cleared it!!! I don’t have to go out of India any more”

” ” Speechless with joy!!! (Mann mein laddoo footing :D)

She could not wait to get back home and congratulate him in person.

After she had a moment to digest the information, she was so ecstatic that all the people who had come to the tour were made aware of the fact that a “friend” of hers had passed his entrance tests!

Much happiness was had for the remaining part of the trip.

——-

“I sure can”, she typed happily. She was just glad that they could be together, the two years would get over in a jiffy!

——-

PS: This is my proposal story. Now I tag all of you readers to go write your proposal/engagement stories.. Would love to read them all πŸ™‚

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“Why does she get to tell me what to do! I am not used to this” she fumed.

“Please humor her, she is my mom after-all. And we do live in a joint family everybody has to do their part of the chores. Why are you being so selfish?”. He could not understand her. Was she the same person he had fallen in love with a couple of months earlier. It was not as if his mom had dumped all the household chores on her, she just asked her to help her out a little bit. Chores that would hardly take 30-45 minutes of Priya’s time. He had seen everyone in the house do their shares chores everyday since childhood, and couldn’t get why Priya found it so hard.

“I am not used to doing chores. My parents never asked me to, why can’t you just hire a maid or something. I work for 10-12 hours everyday, then why am I still expected to chip in with the chores?”. She was extremely frustrated. Apart from the chores she also resented that according to their joint house traditions – her husband gave all his salary to his dad, and he would get pocket-money – like a kid. She wished they could stay alone, just the two of them, with no one else to bother them with petty things like chores.

“We’ll discuss this later, right now both of us are getting late for work, let’s go”. He avoided the topic as usual.

———–

At work too she was distracted by their morning conversation. Plus, she was feeling a little queasy. She assumed it was due to the road-side pani-puris she had gorged on after work yesterday. She felt a little faint and suddenly fell down.

When she opened her eyes, she found her MIL sitting beside her, gently sponging her head with ice-cold water. Tears welled up in her eyes, as she realised how wrong she had been in judging the lady. She knew her MIL had problems with her knees and it would not have been easy commuting so far to her office. In fact MIL did not even come out of the house, if she could help it, since there were some problem with the lift of their building for the last two days, and she would find it extremely painful to go up and down the stairs.

“How long have you been here?”

“Ssh, you should just rest for a while. You had a bad case of food poisoning, you had fainted at work, and your colleagues called at home. The doctor just checked on you and he gave some medicines, but your fever wasn’t subsiding. So I thought maybe this would help. You don’t worry about a thing now, ok? I am here for you.”

And she went back to sleep, with a warm fuzzy feeling, assured that she now had not one but two Moms.

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Why is it that our closest relationships constantly have these love/hate troughs and crests?

Consider me and P: Mostly, it is on the love side :P, but then we have a fight! and then we both try to irk each other even more. Both of us are convinced it was the other persons fault. If we are on the bike, my strategy is to deliberately turn my face so that he can’t see me, and he reciprocates by turning the mirror away so that I can’t look at him even if I want to :). The after some amount of his very fast riding by him (he knows I am scared of it, especially since I don’t keep my hand on his shoulder after a fight, I very very tightly grasp the handle on the back of the bike) and some angry mutterings/ crying by me, we are back to normal πŸ™‚

If we are at home and we fight, I resort to sitting in one corner of the room, trying to watch something on the laptop / browse blogs, and he switches off the light and scares me by making his “ghost-face” (do not laugh! yeah I am sissy like that 😦 ).

But the best part is undoubtedly, after the fight πŸ˜€ :D.. all the I’m sorry’s , why did you make your ghost-face!!! – you know I am scared of it, I’ll try to irritate you less often (lol).. and of course the … πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

The best thing about our fights is that both of us know very well that the fights are not going to last long. Both of us have a rule that we do not sleep over a fight. We have to resolve the fight before we go to sleep. And of course the knowledge that the fight is not really going to change the special bond that we have helps.

In reality, I really value our fights, they make us understand how much we feel for each other, and how much it hurts to be angry at the other person, most importantly, at the end of the fight both of us end up feeling so lucky that we found each other.

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– to make me get so mad at him !

– to make me fall in love with him all over again πŸ˜€

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Why do parents oppose inter-regional relationships? Do they not care about their children? How or more importantly why do they care so much about what would society say rather than thinking about the happiness of their child for a lifetime? Don’t they love their children? Or do they believe that the child will truly be happy only with a person of similar background? I agree that similar background makes the changes associated with marriage a little simpler, but how can that be a necessity is beyond me.

I have seen so many of my friends where parents have opposed marriage, just because the chosen partner is from a different region/ speaks a different language/ belongs to a different sub-caste. It’s not like they hail from villages or something. They are very well-educated, highly successful surgeons!Β  Yet, just because the guy is from a different region, they don’t approve of him. It’s the 21st century for gods sake! My friend suffered for 4 long years before her parents finally accepted that she won’t give up on the guy, and agreed to the marriage. But those 4 years, she went through hell. Another dear friend has broken off just because the guys parents could not accept her since she is from a little lower class than then, it doesn’t matter that she is extremely intelligent, and caring and loves the guy very very much.

Can anyone please explain the rationale behind such thinking?

PS. My parents have been great in this respect.. They were (almost) relieved that I chose P myself πŸ˜€

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