BFF – BEST FRIENDS FOREVER OR BITCHY FAKE FRIENDS?

“What’s your plan for valentine’s day? How are you planning to celebrate? Do we meet? What can we do?” I asked my friends.

It was almost a decade ago since we planned about the 14th of February. Even though we weren’t into some committed couple relationships, we were committed to each other as BFF’s. We tried to celebrate all important days of the year together, as a family. We were a group of 5 friends, 2 guys and 3 girls. We pretty much shared everything that could be shared. We were inseparable. Somehow, that year, this very date, I wanted to celebrate valentine’s day together. I persuaded everyone to go to some place to have lunch together. Everyone eventually agreed, except my best friend. She was and still is one of a kind. I lost all my wits and soon after my cool, just to make her come. Eventually it happened.

That reminds me of times, when I found myself in a position, where they would come to me with stuffs, and I tried to find a middle way to solve stuffs. I never liked doing that. I found myself taking all decisions, for us and somehow they all agreed, except my best friend, Anu.

Years went by, I left town for higher studies, their complains turned into small issues, small issues took the shape of big fights, causing them to tear apart. Far away, all I could do was, nothing. Still, I tried to pull them all in, maintain the group. I tried to talk to each one of them, and they could not just understand what went wrong and wanted out. Then they started blaming me for asking them to do things, as they wanted to do something different. I had to stop. Numerous things broke us and I am glad we all were strong enough to evolve and reign. This was the only picture that I had, it was my point of view. But, others had theirs. The views which I found out years later.

Good thing was, Anu was still my best friend. She tried to get us together, even when no one talked to her. I felt she did it for me and my heart was filled with love. I always lived in an imaginary love-friendship mansion with her, which was brutally demolished by the wrecking ball of truth. I always wondered, “Everything has fallen in place, we all have the old friendship going then why no one wants to reconcile with Anu?” I never asked anyone or her but this question killed me.

It was for me to figure out and eventually I did. One day, it so happened that, i met one of our friend. He explained to me, what went wrong. He told me how Anu used to manipulate things. She had always wanted to be the attraction of the group, the leader. She wanted everyone to love her and go to her asking for help. She also poisoned their ears about me with things, I would never think of. The get together she had arranged was because she wanted to get back on with her friendship with them, as they were blaming me for the everything. After I heard all these, I was shattered and devastated. How could she? She is my best friend. How? I could barely digest the new fed information. I felt it’s better to talk it out.

I told her about it. She was furious. She said, “What?? I didn’t say you are the culprit, they said and I just agreed. I called them there because they said they didn’t like you and wanted to be my friend.” She went silent after that. I went blank. Was that a reason to reconcile? “I trusted, loved and adored you, but you betrayed me?” is all I thought. What changed?? Do I really deserve it? Was I losing two of my friends? Was it necessary after all these years? I apologized to them both individually, saying; “I haven’t done anything knowingly, but I have hurted you guys, in many ways that I could ever think of and I am sorry. I still want you all in my life, as it was you guys, who were my life. And I am really sorry.”

Today, when I look back, I see my mistakes and I have definitely learned a lot. I am very close with all my friends, all of them. Leaving alone my best friend, Anu. Guilt got the best of her. Even though I am not a great person, but I really try hard to be a good friend. Friendship means a lot to me and I value it. Lying, cheating, backstabbing does not only break the wonderfully built relation but also destroys the essence of it. I realised, “It is better to have enemies who slaps you than to have a friend who stabs you from behind.” It is very easy for a stranger to become your best friend just as easy for a best friend to become a stranger.

I hope this valentine’s day everyone could/should cherish, celebrate and keep the love and friendship of their lives. Keep them all close to your hearts, for eternity. HAPPY VALENTINE’s DAY.

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I FELL IN LOVE!

I, being a mother of a three year old, and a crazy lover of animated movies, have been watching quite a lot of them recently. One day, we we’re watching a movie named, “The Christmas Carol”. There was a scene in that movie, where the main character, Mr. Scrooge, and his nephew, we’re shown having an argument. They both didn’t seem to agree with each other. None of their views or thoughts matched. There Mr. Scrooge asked, ” Why did you get married?”. His nephew answered, ” because I fell in love”. Then, Mr. Scrooge repeated it, but in a different way saying, “Because, you, FELL, in love!” . It really got me thinking. Love is such a beautiful thing to feel and behold. Then why, do we say we fell in love?

Looking back into the Indian history, we really have a rich culture where every kind of feelings and sentiments were celebrated. Poetry, prose pieces and stories have all expressed love, in many different ways. So, why is that now, in this 21st century, has love become a taboo? Love jihads, arresting couples on Valentine’s day, burning or breaking love related items in shops on Valentine’s day, being murdered for loving someone, etc. This is, what is going on in this present era. Why? Why does love needs justification? Why does love needs to be restricted? Why does love need boundaries? It’s an awesome, subtle and a warm feeling. It might be over-rated at times, but is the most innocent feeling ever.

Being human, we all have Love, deeply embedded in us. It just comes out when we meet someone, who according to us, is perfect for us, to love and be with. Talking about it basically, teenagers or the persons who come across the feeling of love for the first time, often mistake infatuation for love. Well, that’s where the trouble begins. Even I, have been through similar situations in my life. My infatuation did lead me into a lot of trouble, little shame and starting a new life all together. I had a very strong infatuation towards my best friend, after he declared his love for me. Been from different backgrounds in regards to our beliefs, I told him not to push this feelings further, as it would be difficult for both our families to accept it. But he insisted.

Years went by, I told people very close to me about him, as I felt I was getting serious about him. But, I remember hiding my feelings, in front of my elder relatives, seniors, teachers, warden. The reason was, they would think me to be bad, and of low character. Now, that’s is how rigid this society has been. Because I loved someone of the opposite gender in “that” way, I have a bad moral. Society plays a good role in here. They spread rumors, shame the girl and not the guy, bring her to a point where she let’s go of him, settling for something she doesn’t even want. Something, she would have to like first and then love.
Not my story though. My parents, were worried about my friendship and love, but they had kept that situation in their prayers. Later I found out he was cheating on me, and we broke off. Eventually, to love again and got married to the one I fell in love with (of course to a different guy). 😉

My immediate family is all about love. My parents had a love marriage. At my in laws, everybody, starting from my grandparents in law to us, have have a love marriage. Hence, when I see the hatred over this beautiful feeling called love, it pains me. Love being treated as a taboo, is the most outrageous thing, which this world is entertaining. I do pray, that people should see, feel and practice love as it is meant to be and not treat it as a bad thing or stupid thing or not to be entertained thing. Love is not disgraceful. Let us not see and practice it that way. Let’s not question a pure feeling and reason it with cruelty. We should always deal with love as we would deal with our other feelings. This would only make our world a better place to live in.

REGRETS HAVE NO VALUE – VII 

Rapidly moving lights and darkness seemed to take control of Nina, before she fell into a deep sleep. When she regained her consciousness, she saw her father sitting beside her, holding her hand. The doctors were able to save Nina, but had put her under observation for 72 hours.

Nina felt unwanted, but most of the little attention that she had got, was from her father. He always chose to work longer, than to come home and fight. He had promised Nina a birthday cake, which he forgot to get, as usual. Nina knew it was for this reason that he wanted to come home late. He tried to avoid fights, which wasn’t always possible. There were many reasons as such, which made Nina respect her father a bit more than her mother.

Nina’s doctors came quickly to see how she was doing. They gave her a thorough examination and later that day, they released her from the hospital. At that time, she wondered if the doctors knew how did it happen. On their way back home, everyone was silent. Nina though, from her hind side, could see her mother staring at her, with lack of courage to either face her or love her. She could hear her mother sniffing and see her wiping away her tears.

“Are they of any value, mother?” Nina thought, “Those feelings of regret?”, “All you did, in your rage, was to hit us. And it could have killed me. Huh!”. They reached home and with a heart full of hatred towards her mother, Nina entered their house.

Nina’s mother was guilty. She wanted her husband and kids to forgive her, for her recent actions. Her bad temper had now landed her in trouble. Nina prayed secretly, when she saw her father comforting her mother, that, “God please make father punish mother. Please make him hurt her. God make her go to Jail.” An angry kid’s prayer is so dangerous.

(Image Source: Google Inc.)

Later that evening, Nina’s mother asked her husband to forgive her. Nina thought, “Daddy, be it whatever, don’t forgive her”. But he, somehow forgave her. Nina was astonished and wondered angrily- “That man, who fought so mercilessly with that woman, is now all forgiving? He forgave her for almost killing me?”. Seeing her parents understanding towards each other, rather than fighting for her made her feel all the more lost, lonely, unloved, neglected and undervalued. This action of her father affected her young mind so adversely that she lost the respect she had for her father. There was nothing left in her, for her parents.

Nina woke up with a jolt. She had fallen asleep on the couch, in her hotel room. “Mother!”, she felt. “How does she look like now? Will she even recognize me? Why didn’t I ask Diana, what issues are there with her health? Should I go and see her? It’s been so many years since father’s death, is she still fighting like that with Diana? Is she a better grandmother?”, she thought.

Shivers went down her spine by the mere thought of meeting her mother. She still had time. Two more days, a little bit of emerging emotion for her mother, wish to see her and lots of anger within. She secretly wanted to meet Ankit as well. She wanted to see him, talk to him and wanted to find out if there was still place for her in his life. “But, would it be a fruitful and not a painful experience, to go and meet her mother, or to look for Ankit.” She struggled thinking all that and was in a lot of dilemma. She wanted to finish her remaining work too and then think about all this. She decided to go to sleep and give these heart wrenching thoughts a rest. She struggled a bit, but eventually pushed them away and fell asleep. Continue reading “REGRETS HAVE NO VALUE – VII “

ARE THEY, BETTER THAN ME???

Growing up with this question in mind wasn’t too easy for me. I was so absorbed in inferiority complex then, that I used to assess myself in every other situation. The most promising problem for me, that still stands, is comparison. I absolutely hate being compared by others and comparing my ownself to others. Even though, at times, I do the later. If I had to cope with the comparison, then it would have been a little easy. But, with comparison came pressure. Pressure of living up to the expectations of your family, relatives, society as well as friends. I would love to elaborate a little and would make my deepest feelings known to all.

Comparison of health: in this judgemental, small world, I grew up to be a fat girl. I was constantly bullied by peers and elders of our society because of my health and looks. I was constantly reminded that I was never born to eat my favorite food to my hearts content, drink my favorite drinks, as they would make me more fat, dance as it would break the floor, run as it might start an earthquake, wear jeans as all fats would be visible to the world. I was told to hide my body under big loose clothes, eat less food, drink lukewarm water, never to dance or play. Elders of the society (middle aged) named me baby elephant, hippo, big fat hen and some would cutely call me panda. At times, I felt my parents were secretly ashamed of me. Even for them, it was heart wrenching to hear such things. Moreover, comparison of my health to the thinnest one in the family, made me more uncomfortable. it also affected our relationship. Stress and pressure of being presentable and acceptable to the society took my happiness and it still manages to scare me.

Comparing grades: I am a proud member of an intelligent family, but somehow the genes have spared me. They were too busy making me fat that they forgot to code some intelligence. My 10th and 12th grades were horrifying as I was asked to follow my cousins who were more brainy than I. Even in my dreams I would see myself being ridiculed for not getting good grades. My cousins weren’t the ones comparing but the elders were. They did not understand the burden of it. They didn’t understand that I have particular set of qualities which might not match the skill set of my cousins. Anxiety, fear of exams, fear of being pointed out as stupid, fear of failing engulfed me and I drowned in its waves.

Comparing friendship: Are you a good friend? If you have ever been with a group of friends with strong personalities you will understand this. Everyday is a struggle to prove your friendship is true to all of them. At times you might do something that might please one, but not others or vice versa. in such situations, I lost many friends. There were times they would ask me, “I wouldn’t have done that, why did you?”. Many times I was held responsible for things I never did. But one thing that I learnt is that, no matter what, a true friend who knows you in and out will always be with you. They might not agree or support you, but they will remain in your life always. Maybe other are better friends than me, but I still try to be a good one.

Comparing the looks: I am not beautiful, neither am I ugly. It is how God has created me and it is what will be. Looks are so over-rated, well I feel so. Just because, people always favor the beautiful. No matter how good you are at your work, or how precise and perfect you were when you finished the work, or you were the only one who worked for the entire thing, but the name that comes first would be theirs. Its a natural tendency to bend towards the more beautiful ones. I have seen people ignore the ones who love them with all they have, for a good looking person, not so beautiful at heart. Not every good looking person ha a bad heart. Not every average person, is a good human. Still looks take the upper hand. People do not trust people who look average or below. For me, because of my looks, people said, “my!! who will marry you?” For them, my marriage was a shocker.

Comparison of being a type of human: As you have read in one of the article, we have our own way of thinking how the other person should be and how he should love his life. Any deviation makes that person, a matter of discussion in our household. I have been that person, who was discussed for showing some of her reactions and feelings. As it is said, life is not a bed of roses…. it might be the tinniest of thing, but one wrong makes you a bad person for your entire life. For me, not being diplomatic and not thinking before I speak, landed me into a lot of trouble. But, God has helped me through all that situation and now I am a happy person.

Surviving comparisons, its pressure and demands was never an easy game play. But God did help me through. I guess, in this present scenario, many go through this kind of situations and emotional points in life. Assurance is that, if we really believe in our-self and make our own way through this, we will definitely reach our haven, may be tired but free. There will not be despair, but only hope, for a much brighter future, we can behold.

FEARS AND CHOICES

Fear is very unpleasant to all who experience it. It makes oneself very vulnerable to the world, and no one likes the same. This week, we are discussing the different kinds of Fears and Phobias, and today I am going to share one of them. I would like to talk about a fear called “Claustrophobia”, which is an extreme and irrational fear of confined spaces. The person experiencing this, when stuck in a confined space, experiences dizziness, blackouts and severe panic.

I, myself have never experienced the phobia but I am going to share the experience of my husband. Recently, we were going to a friends place for a visit. While going to the elevator, the watchman came running and told us that, at times the elevator does get stuck in the middle and you have to push some button to make it move again. We stood there for some time thinking if we could just climb the stairs. But to the top floor!!! It wasn’t really a good idea as we had our baby with us. We took the lift, and I was subconsciously asking God to take us directly to the top floor. And just then the lights went off! And we stood there. We weren’t even halfway through. I told my husband to call our friend and I just looked at him. He was in shock! All frozen, sweaty and he couldn’t even pull his phone out of his pocket. Before I could tell him anything, the current came back and the lift started moving. Only after we reached, did he take his sigh of relief. 

It’s not only lifts that makes these people feel so uneasy. It can be a simple bedsheet covering the head or getting locked inside your very own room feeling stuck. Even the mosquitoes nets, a long tight hug, no windows in a room, or an MRI machine, etc. Its all in his head and he loves to keep it. Well, it is his fear! Similarly, for me, I am scared of accidents and it is called “Dystychiphobia”. I am in a panic every time the vehicle touches a speed of 60 and above. I do try to control this fear but many a time I surrender to the panic.

I personally feel that sometimes surrendering to the panic and going with the flow always soothes us, and later it calms us as well. If we do not do anything about it, it might haunt us that we could have fought back. It is in a way, we fighting with our own self to be less vulnerable to others in keeping the sane mind intact. It is when we try too much and fail to control those emotions, that we expose the most intricate and raw self of ours.

Many people are strong enough to control their emotions and fears, and give life a chance. Many aren’t that strong. But God always helps us find our peace of mind and also help us find ways to avoid situations. Facing fears and running from it are the choices life gives us. But only God can help us choose what is good for that situation. It is what the great leader Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears.”

WISEST OF ALL!!!

Let me tell you a story. It is about a boy called Peter, who happened to come across the wisest of all. One day, Peter thought of going down to the jungle near his village to look for berries and some wild fruits to make a pie. He told his mother that he might also spend the night there. The jungle was not inhabited by any wild animals, and so his mother allowed him to go and packed him some food and essentials for the journey. He set out for the jungle and in some hours reached a place full of berries and tasty fruit trees and bushes. He found an area suitable for camping and put his tent there. As it was getting a bit dark, he decided to pluck some berries for the dessert. Before he could start, he felt as if something was walking on him. Small, tiny and could be any harmful insects. He bent down to see. Lo and behold!! He found “ants” everywhere, struggling to climb on to him. He saw them climbing in one straight line and then dividing into more lines. Then he got rid of them all, cleaned himself and started towards the bush. In the bush, all the branches, leaves and fruits had these tiny ants on them. They were literally everywhere. They were collecting leaves and portions of berries and taking them somewhere. He then followed them. To his amusement, he found out that the ants took them inside a soil building, which was very hard to break. Through a small portion and some light he could see colonies and compartments. He was very impressed to see such amazing architecture. When he went back to his tent, he saw there were ants all over his food and bed. He had no other option than to return. And so he did! He narrated everything to his mother after reaching his place. He was so motivated by these small creatures that, he himself started keeping his room clean and organised and acted wisely then after.

This story might be a bit boring or repetitive. But the focus of it is on the wisdom of the ants. In the Bible it is written, “Go to the ants…… consider its ways and be wise.” Further on, “Four things on earth are small yet they are extremely wise: Ants are the creatures of little strength, yet they store up their food in the summer.” There are a lot of important things, these small creatures teach us. Ants are the most hard working and determined class of insects. They never give up on their determination. It might be a zip-lock bag or an airtight jar, if determined they will get what they want from it. Even, we should be determined in life. Without letting go of things soon, we must always find ways to succeed.

Ants care for each other. In this time of lost humanity, when we see ants running to save their fellows when stuck with a small stick, it is quite inspiring. They are all heroic and they try to fool you, doing the “not her/him, but me” stunt and sacrificing themselves for others. They do not forget anyone and might also leave a trail mark of identification for the lost ones. They are good in investing for their future by storing food. They are good managers also as they not only arrange but also count their eggs according to their age. They are good team players, they play together and safe. They are good builders and engineers as well. When you break an ant hill, you will find cities kind of structures, with farming, storing, sleeping and every facilities. They live in unity and are very good neighbors. They also are excellent navigators, as after a day’s search for food they return to their hill in the same way, as if they had left trails. They will give their lives in order to protect their queen.

It is really amazing as how great values are installed in such humble creations. Where we tend to spray them away from our houses, they wonder about conquering the house and becoming its owner. We do overlook such qualities because there are more of visible matters available, that are big and are good at catching our attention soon. We do have a lot to learn from each and every thing in this world and if we can instill in ourselves the good values and let go of the toxic ones, we can become better humans. Maybe, at some point in life, we can all ask ourselves, “Are we as wise as the Ants?”

WIN HEART INSTEAD OF WINNING ARGUMENTS

Marriage is a constitution where two people from different backgrounds, having different personalities come together to build a family. They start it with a lot of expectations in their hearts. But then life happens. The daily chores, tensions, pressure from boss and family members, past life and some finances, when intermingles with the others, stirs up heat and causes chaos and conflicts. Conflicts doesn’t only happen due to the difference in opinion or disagreement but it can also happen over time when stubbornness, pride, anger, bitterness, ego mix together to form issues between couples. It is present in all types of marriages and at times, manages to destroy the the beauty of the bond. A conflict between a couple can turn bitter in a matter of seconds or it can end in a very positive way. The only key is to handle it the right way.

There are many factors that can lead to disagreements and conflicts. To mention some :

1. Control and Power – It is not everyday in this modern world, that a person submits easily. Being in charge, having the power to control may affect the relationship if not handled with care.
2. Kids – The amount of discipline, love and attention to be given varies in each parent. One may try to be stern while the other lenient. One may think swimming is good for them, even at night and the other might oppose it.
3. Work – Consuming an ample amount of time in the 24 hrs. It kills couple time, makes them tired and much vulnerable to fights.
4. In laws – A touchy matter for both the persons involved. Due to a very different mindset and background, either they find us intolerable or vice versa. This creates stir in the family. At times over expectations from them also lead to conflicts.
5. Sex – A sensitive subject. Many couples are shy enough to discuss their fears, hopes and wants. This paves path for added frustrations.
6. Ex-es – Trust is all it takes. It is better to sit and talk about it and be strong not to fall into a past thing again.
7. Misunderstandings – When she says, ” I don’t want to go there” might be she really does not want to be there. Why assume and deduce something which is not true. It is always better to ask if not sure.

These are some of the factors, but there are a lot more. But only if one can handle these and try to resolve them in a positive way, then only can the bond of love be harmonious and pleasant. We must always remember that words have a great amount of power. They can break or make a person. It is we, who can determine how our words are going to affect the person at the receiving end. Our attitude towards our partner should be loving and respectful. We shouldn’t tell them that we do not care about them or how they feel just because we are angry on them. WE must also be careful of our surroundings before getting into conflicts. We should be ready to listen to their feelings and be able handle criticism. Each should get a chance to speak and being partners we should understand what our spouse is going through. A conflict between couples should never extend beyond bed time. Conflicts is not about who won in the end but how it ended. It’s always the person who is more important.

I would like to narrate a small incident. It is about a newly wedded couple. Theirs was a love marriage and everything about them was magical. The only bad thing was they fought a lot. Every now and then they would fight and then make up also. The only problem was that, they ruined the time and mood of their friends. Slowly, people started avoiding them. They had various tiny events that caused small conflicts, which in turn gave rise to big fights. Later, both understood that no matter how many arguments did they win against each other, they have lost it as a couple and have failed to win the heart of their spouse. Learning to limit our fights to the center of the conflict and forgetting about past events is necessary. Past things should be left as such because they are already forgiven.

As said by Matt Chandler :

“In too many marriage conflicts, we work too hard at winning the argument and too little at winning the heart!!”