For an assignment, we were supposed to write our thoughts on Friendship. I thought I would make it a blog post instead! So here it goes… 🙂
I am only going to delve on the later part of my life when I really started making sense of things and analysing them even. So the story begins in grade 5. I had just shifted to a new school and making friends is always difficult at a new place. I gradually got accustomed to the place and made really good friends in grade 6. We had what you would call a gang. Time flew, the year passed by and in grade 7 I met people who encouraged me to study, to be a good student. While the earlier gang was a mixture of fun and sincerity, this one was all about being serious for the future. Then there was the 8th grade, this was the phase of my life when I met SS and we began this relationship built over books. The year flew by, reading and exchanging books, pouring over book reviews and drooling over our favourite characters whose books got made into movies. Oh and I forgot to mention, all these friends were girls, always girls!
Then the crucial years of High School started and I wasn’t aware but I met a friend whose friendship was probably going to last for a lifetime – NM. She was the kind of person you could just be yourself with, no formalities, no judgements, no complaints and no expectations besides the basic ones of course. The two years we spent, bonded us forever and even after eight and a half years we are going strong. So that, is my longest relationship, so far. I call it a relationship because limiting the term relationship to a heterosexual one is just one of those patriarchal norms that the society has imposed upon you to follow. For me, being friends with, I mean being in a relationship with women has been the best and most enriching experience of life. I have learnt so much about myself, thanks to her. She has been the much needed self-reflection in my life and without her I would have been a little more arrogant maybe and a little delusional. I won’t delve into our memories and experiences because in the long run what matters is the love and hate that you have showered upon me. Hate is really important, believe me. For me, they go hand in hand. And I love that she doesn’t even think twice before saying anything to me. Thanks for being the initial building block in my life. You were there with me during the first step, which helped me climb up to where I am now.
Then there was the time before college, even more important years and there was IS. I would have loved to talk about this relationship, but we unfortunately broke up. She lived too far, we talked really less and never met. Notwithstanding the bad memories of all that, she was from an all-girls school and her way of seeing the world was so much different than mine. She prepared me for the big bad world of college that was looming in the future. She was the one who turned me from a shy, meek girl to someone who could go ask the shopkeeper for different shades of lead pencils. Yeah, it is not a joke, I was too shy to do even that earlier. Keeping the break-up aside, thanks for teaching me to stand for myself and to be independent and to fight off guys who wrong me and to just be a better version of myself.
Then there were three years of an all-girls college and what an experience it was. Just the mind-boggling conversations with my hostel mates, that gave you a perspective on things that you could never have imagined on your own. There was RS, who I met again after college and totally fell in love with, all over again. Never before have I seen such a selfless, loving and caring person. Even when she’s in trouble, she will make sure first that you are okay. She is a little childish and a little shy but she possesses the knowledge bank of a monster (like Hulk, Go Bruce Banner! :)). She will make you fall in love with her unconditional love for you. There is no give and take with her, its just take, taking away truckloads of love and a lesson. The lesson that teaches you to be a better person, someone who can do whatever it takes to be a good friend!
Then there is the love of my life, SK. She is the one who has been with me during all my highs and lows, who bears with my tantrums and bitching and what not. With an immense knowledge about everything in the world, she teaches me something new everyday and inspires me. She has been the source of my exposure to arts, culture, music, food and so much more. Everything that I had missed on until now, she has taught me how to compensate for it. Being with her is like being with a new season everyday, she has her gloomy rainy days and cheerful spring days but she manages to keep everyone around and near herself like a magnet at the core of the earth which keeps us grounded through gravity. She makes me happy and at the same time is the best teacher I have ever had.
I know the post was meant to be about feminism, but when I look back, I realise that my life decisions and experiences are affected deeply by my relationship with the women I have been with. I can easily share my thoughts and problems with them, and they would understand me the best. They won’t patronise me when I am stuck somewhere, but will reason with me and encourage me to go forward, and even if I fall they will be standing behind me to help me get up. The thing with friendships is that they are fragile. You can walk out of it whenever you want. In a situation like this if a friendship lasts really long, you know you have found the one!
When people say that their marriage and their family is more important to them, I tell them that my friends are equally important, definitely more than my relationship (the other one). People might say that being friends with men is more fun and all that. Quite frankly, I believed that at some point in life but then the realisation dawned upon me, some of these men had women as their best friends. If they stayed together, it meant that they shared the same temperament, so they must definitely be as fun to stay with as their male counterpart. Stereotypes like these need to be put to an end.The way media portrays this also has a lot to do with it and I am just waiting for more movies like Queen and even Dor to make their foray into mainstream cinema so that we could have a “Dil Chahta Hai” with women this time around. That’s all folks!