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F for Foxtrot, F for Friends

I can’t remember dates! It’s true, I’m terrible at remembering days and events. My family and friends know this and thankfully they are forgiving when I miss birthdays or don’t remember when something happened. With my terrible date memory there are birthday’s galore I miss wishing friends on. I don’t do it on purpose, I do try to remember but dates just slip my mind; I forget my own birthday and wedding anniversary almost every other year. The positive in all of this is I guess that I don’t hold people to dates. Che of course benefits the most coz there is no way he’ll get called up for forgetting a date (the first time we met, the day he proposed, our wedding date,…); after all I’ve forgotten it already. 😀

Friends are a gift, they make you feel better on a bad day, they listen to you rant when you’re not making sense at all, they rejoice with you even though they secretly think you are overdoing it, they lend a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong and don’t say ‘I told you so’, … the list would goes on and I’d run out of words before I’d finish listing out all friends do.

I didn’t have close friends through most of school. I had friends yes, but they were more acquaintances. I was quite a loner through school; I preferred books and their characters. Until about 3rd standard my school was a co-ed and I hung out with the boys, well, they were more fun. Then after, when it become all girls, I had a bad experience that just left me scarred. I didn’t know if I could trust people when they said they wanted to be friends, I was scared of letting fellow students get too close and hurting me again, it was simpler to just stay away and stay alone. I did find my first best friend in school though, years later in 9th standard. 🙂

But it was after leaving school that I started to understand and value friendship. Pre-university brought new people and new friends into my life, and I learned to trust people again (corny I know 😀 ). What it also taught me was that friends come and go and their coming and going is not to be held against them. That’s life, that’s how it plays out and we don’t always have control over these things. I learned that, what is more valuable than the person even, is the time friends spent together, that is what remains as beautiful memories, forever.

University saw me being a riot, the girl who was quiet through most of school was now progressively becoming boisterous; trying to make up for all those years of solitude and I haven’t stopped yet. 😀 Our gang in college was loud and always up to something. If we didn’t have something happening on the timetable, we were out and about doing other things. A lot of times we didn’t care for the timetable, the world outside the classroom was more fun. We barely scraped though with required attendance and even begged and pleaded when we fell short. But boy, did we have fun!

Those years were something else. Thinking back to all we did, makes me smile now, though back then some of it made my hair stand on end. My friends saw me though some of my best and worst days and not once did they judge. Oh well, some didn’t and we’re still friends today. 😀 We left college promising to stay in touch, to meet regularly, to continue to bring the roof down, and all that stuff but our lives took different paths and the big group became sub-groups. We still keep updated on each other though, in our own weird convoluted ways.

My first job was my last corporate job. I worked with the same company for 5 years before saying goodbye to the corporate world. But after 5 years when I left I had made friends for life. We’re still close today and it’s amazing how we all still connect. These girls are my only girly group, where I can be the tom-boy I am and be loved for it [I think ;)].

It was a friend from work who got me started on biking and with those two wheels a whole new world opened up. Those two wheels also brought along with them a host of new friends, from all across the country this time. And what amazing people they are. It’s a matter of pride for me today that there are very few cities in India where I don’t know someone. These are friends who not only accept me as I am, but when I suggest something weird or fantastical, they will either give me an encouraging nod or say, ‘Sounds good, let’s go’.

It was a friend from this group of friends that brought Che into my life and he in turn brought in the dogs. The dogs not to be left behind, brought in more two-legged friends who have been such a comfort and solace in the last few years. They are the ones who have helped me keep my sanity, both in marriage and with five dogs! 😀

Then of course last but not the least is my blog. I started it years ago as a place to vent, I wanted space to talk and rant. And rant I did, (if you haven’t seen some of my early posts, you should 😛 ) along with sharing stories from my life and travels. But I made friends here too inspite of my ranting. 🙂

I’m awestruck by the number of people in my life who I can call friends. They enrich my life in so many ways that, I lost count years ago. They encourage, chide, scold, hug, embarrass, listen, care, nurture, … and above all love me (I hope). 😀 It fills me with amazement and wonder that someone who spent her first 13 odd years fairly friendless is now overflowing with friends.

Someone who forever is forgetting dates still gets inundated with birthday messages and calls. It’s true, it took me two days and many tears of joy to reply to each message and call I received. I’m smiling wide right now coz I’m still amazed.

I haven’t named anyone here, but you know who you are, and all I’d like to say is – Friend, Thank You for being a part of my life, you make my life so much more beautiful. 🙂

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