Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Book launch invite

I'm thrilled to receive an invite from the author (well, wife of the author, who dons many hats and juggles all of them very well) for his book launch : Amerikka Desi by Arunn Narasimhan.

If you can read Tamil, the preamble is here: http://www.ommachi.net/archives/5085
All chennai vaasis and those who are planning to be in Chennai on this date, do plan to attend the function. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Art of making friends

My memories of how I made friends in nursery or primary school are very vague. In middle school, sometimes the girl sitting next to me and I became buddies, at one point, the girl who used to come in  the van became a buddy, after we got a landline telephone connection at home, the classmate with whom I kept talking over the phone almost everyday became a best friend. As I preached high school, the girls who  wished  good marks/rank for me became my besties. (In hindsight, to think that there were groups in the 10th and 12th std which comprised of one rank holder and a couple of supporters for that rank holder in each group appears very silly now. :-). At the same time, to know that I ,of all people, had a small group of classmates who realised,enjoyed when I scored good marks/rank makes me feel grateful.)
Fast forward to college,  4 years whiz zed past with many brief episodes with a handful of people which promised life long friendship but as we passed out from college and years passed by, only very few stood the test of  time.

Next , once I joined the corporate bandwagon, to be honest, I didn't make any extra effort to make/maintain friendships. Sometimes, whom I thought friends started talking ill on my back, sometimes, some of them whom I trusted did things which made me no longer trust them. So, I came to believe that it's very hard to find/make good friendships in the working atmosphere.
But, to break this idea, I was blessed with a friend when I switched jobs. Initially we started off as peers/competitors, who were trying to establish ourselves in the same team. But gradually somewhere the ice broke and we became the best of friends. The gender here did not matter. At that point, I was newly married and seeing us together many times raised eyebrows too. But I made this friendship known to my parents, husband and in-laws and felt very comfortable and happy in the friendship. This lasted only for about two years and when this friend left the company and moved cities/states, I cried not buckets, but so much that could fill a pond. At this point, we were 4 of us who used to lunch together, and slowly everyone left the company and I was left alone. When my friend was with me, I didn't make any effort to make any other friendships and so once he left and the rest of the lunch group left, I was left alone. By this time, a bigger lunch group was formed and I was too chicken to ask them if I would join them. And the desire to make any friendships also left me gradually and started mingling with everyone in the acquaintance mode. During the same time, my bestie from college was also getting married and moving countries, and by this time, I was too exhausted after bidding good-byes and was left with no energy to make new relationships. The husband and I were getting to know each other in our arranged marriage and with the extended family and work and the weight of having to let go of few people whom I was close with left me with no interest to make any new friendship.

Years passed, besties seemed to move forward with life with marriage and parenthood and here,I was suffering miscarriages and didn't know what was happening in my life and how to go about. Some of the besties frankly said they couldn't do anything about my situation but could lend their ears and shoulder, while some of them couldn't understand what was happening , nevertheless started spreading this deep personal loss and sympathising and in spite of knowing what was happening, kept repeatedly asking if there was a good news. Me being me, yes, the smartless idiot that I am became more of a  coward and rather than facing questions bravely, started becoming an introvert. The friendships fizzled. I was too chicken to face any questions of "how long have you been married" "kids??" , so tried to avoid situations/people who generally make this their first question when they meet anyone. All in all, I became an introvert and kept to myself and had a brief acquaintance kind of relationship in professional world and friends of all these years fizzled out too.

I switched jobs and now, I should say friends, just a couple of the, just happened. In fact, probably they were also in the same boat as me, wanting some company and we just hit it off. Among the two, one of them voluntarily made efforts to spend time, get to know me and most of all now judge me or pass any judgements. And how the other friendship with the second person turned out is a fodder for another post. 2 was a good enough number and 3 years flew. Now, I have mo clue how to make friends. Seriously, many times, I'm mostly the listener in the lunch group and have lost the art of making small talk or initiating conversation.

I do realise that making and maintaining friendships is a special art which I need to cultivate on.