Friendship ^_^ -2

It was a busy Wednesday noon, packed with work… I was conducting the final round of interview for the post of accounting professionals in my office… As I went through the bundle of 5  resume`s, I was shocked to read the resume` of one person who had been shortlisted for the final round… I knew the person very well…. Tears welled up my eyes as I read her name….

I was reminded of the incident that took place 3 years ago….
Hyderabad –

*Toss the feathers by the Corrs*
Hey Sri, Good morning…. Whats up, you called up this early… You know right, I don’t wake up before 10 am on weekends… Whaaat re! I am cutting the call…Will call up in an hour..bye”
“Aaryaaa… Good morning… Listen I have something to tell you… Wake up and wash your face first”
“Done, *Yaaaaaaawnnnn* tell me re”
“Hey, can you accompany me to the book store at Abids, be there at the bus stand by 12:00”
“Yeah….Sure…I need to buy some books too….I am sleeping now…bye”
*Morning morning to ask this, she called up! I am sleeping peh!*

It was 11:30 am and Sri gave me another wake up call….I took the call, got an ear full for being lazy and rushed to the bathroom to bathe and get ready…. That day, I had to prepare lunch for myself coz my parents and sis had gone for some function…. I cooked a simple lunch, ate and hurried to the bus stop before Sri gave me another call….
We walked all the way to the bus stop and from there, we took a bus to Abids, bought Sri’s books and from there took another bus to Koti, bought some books and stationery for myself and from there, we took a bus to our place… Sri insisted we’d take the 45K bus… I agreed to it… I was a person who was bad at topography of roads and was very bad at the bus routes… I had confused Sri for the bus stop… Sri, being an expert in bus routes and topography pointed out to a  bus telling “Here it comes , 45K bus… Aarya, you are such a dumbo re”  😡

We got into the bus and as and when the bus moved a little further, there was a heavy downpour of rain…. The bus journey was refreshing but at the same time it became messy coz rains made Hyderabad roads Pukable.. Literally…. The old-city to Secunderabad road was highly under developed and this made the bus move slowly through the traffic…. It became messier when the rain water made me half wet as I was sitting by the window…. Sri laughed looking at me being messed up…. Seeing her laugh, I filled my hand with some rain water and splashed it on her face and laughed wickedly… The co-passengers laughed at our childishness and asked if the both of us were sisters or cousins… We nodded our heads in sync telling them a Yes…
We were more like cousins than best friends…. Sri was the Gem among the handful of pearls I had… Among all my friends, Sri ranked No.1 always… My dearest best friend she was…. In order not to have any fights in future, we even made a deal that we would call each other “manni” and “vadina” , where, my husband would be her brother and her husband would be my brother…. This was one of the uniquest deals any friends would have… We felt this would keep our friendship strong, all through life…
We reached our respective homes and late at night, we had a small chat on WhatsApp regarding some random indoor games… The talk came about Chess…
Sri: I am sure you can’t play Chess
Me: Hey, how could you say that?
Sri: I know that you cant…. Knowing basics of the game is the first step and I am sure you don’t even know that fully
Me: Chess is just a game, not any rocket science…. It is not restricted to a person with a high IQ
Sri: You don’t know to play it… I know that…
Me: Anyway, I need not prove myself to you… Let me be a duffer, I am happy like this…
I felt very under-estimated and showed her the picture of Vishy.Anand along with his autograph, which I received from him during school, for playing a small match in his presence when he had come to my school for some event…
*Once you feel under-estimated by a person dear to you, everything they speak would sound negative and irritating*
I did not respond to any message and went to sleep..
It was the time when I was unemployed… I had just completed my MBA and was struggling to get a job…. The previous week I faced rejection by all the companies I had attended interviews for…. This hurt me a lot… Above that, my father had vented all his frustrations on me, when I told him about the rejections I faced by the companies… I heard several taunts from several people of my own family for not performing well at the interviews…. The feeling of being fit for nothing pierced me a lot from inside…
The next day, in the night, after dinner, I was chatting with Sri again…. I told her about the taunts and poured my heart out…. She was the only person who knew me so well…. She motivated me and cheered me up…. Sri was pursuing her CA article-ship then, she had office the next day, even though she was sleepy, she spoke to me and while I gave her a message requesting her also not to under-estimate me anymore, she told good night and slept… Bloody internet was very slow, that it got delivered 10 min late…
The next morning, Sri got enraged with my message and thinking that I pointed her out for what I felt bad, she told she would stop talking to me….
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Yes, I equated my friend to my mother at times, when I discussed all my very personal matters with her… She was someone who cared for me like a mother… She stood by me always, when I was ill, she was the only person to call up and ask about my health from time-to-time and would scold me affectionately when I missed a dosage of medicine…
Such was our friendship… With just a few words of mine, that day, everything got shattered… We stopped speaking to each other….
I felt very guilt tripped for letting out my frustrations on her…. I sent her several messages and wrote several notes asking her for apology…. I knew it hurt her a lot…. I did not know if she accepted my apology or not, but she pretended to talk normally on WhatsApp groups…though she spoke to our other friends and not to me specifically, I did feel bad…She never responded to my messages or jokes on the personal chat… It pierced through me and at certain point, ego took over my mind and I slowly started to feel that *I had to tell her not to under estimate me coz her words hurt me a lot*
This one feeling dominated and I stopped messaging to any group where she was present…. I actually gave her some time to calm down and thought she would call me up one day and talk. I expected her phone call everyday. At times, I felt guilt tripped and at times, Ego crept in my mind…. I no longer ate Vada-pav anywhere coz if it was for vada-pav, Sri was the first person to accompany me.. I no longer shared any of my personal matters to anyone coz I had trusted just a very few people and above all, I stopped being too close to anyone coz I felt none is worth my friendship…I still kept hopes that my buddy would call me some day and I would cry like a child over the phone…. I hoped and my hopes became, days became months and months turned into years… I got a job , my sister got married and in a year of completion of her studies, she got married…. A year later, I too got married and moved to Pune

Pune- 3 years later:

Aarya, the candidate is here, shall I send her in?
*Does she require any permission to see me, I am eagerly awaiting to meet her after 3 long years* I wanted to say…
Send her in Anu, you and varun manage 3 other candidates, I will interview this Hyderabad candidate and lets finish it off today… Kal se we need to start the appraisal work as such…
Yeah Aarya, we’ll take care of the other 3… I know you would be happy meeting a fellow Hyderabadi… Go ahead buddy!
Haha Anu..
I heard my door open with a mild screech…. The Hyderabadi candidate had come in… I pretended to be engrossed in reading her resume` ..
Come In… Take your seat… I hope you are feeling comfortable here…
I saw Sri’s face shell shocked to hear my voice… She did not show it off and just like any other person attending interview, she behaved very formal…
Thank you Madam…
Well, Mrs. Sri, I heard you did very well in the previous rounds, take me through your profile, brief me about your academics and your previous work experience…
*I pitied myself like any other person would, My heart cried while asking my dear friend to take me through her profile… Don’t I know about my friend? Do I need to know about the academics and talents of that person who made me what I am today? She was my mentor, my accounts teacher… Not any person should see such a day in their life*
The interview was very formal and my own friend became a stranger to me…. Both our hearts weeped…. We retained our calm and continued it….

The HR team was very impressed with Sri’s performance in all the rounds of interview (I knew my friend well, who was immensely talented and was perfect in her work field)… Before anyone spoke, I told that Sri would be in my department  and the panel agreed instantly…
A week later, Sri joined for work…. I formally introduced myself (It was an irony to introduce myself to my best friend, who once helped me out of my suicide bid and motivated me to live) and my team to Sri…. She assured she would take charge of the finance planning department of my team and make my team the best… I knew it, for, she was some one who did what she said…
We worked together for months and still did not even speak anything more than matters related to work…. One of the days, our department organised a team lunch to celebrate the success of our 6-month old project… We decided to encourage our team’s best performers by giving them the letters of promotion to the next level… I took an envelope and handed it over to Sri… Sri was surprised to receive it coz she already was in a senior post and needed no promotion…
After lunch, all my colleagues and team mates left… Sri and I were the only ones left… I waited for my husband to pick me up while Sri waited for her husband to pick her up…
I walked to the other side of the restaurant to make a call to my husband…
Aarya, hey! 3 long years, how have you been?
I am good Sri, how about you?
I am good too…
*
Sri’s  husband and my husband arrived at the same time, just as we started talking*
Aarya, meet my husband Shyam and that is my son, Karthik… He recently turned a year old…
Nice to meet you Shyam, and Karthik, he looks just like you Sri…
Meet my husband, Hari and I am carrying, 4 months now…
Ohfoh! Aarya…congrats…
Thanks Sri… I think I need to rush now, I have to go for my monthly check up… Hari has taken an appointment and I have to be there at the hospital in 1 hour… We’ll meet in the cafeteria on Monday… Bye Sri and Shyam…

Aarya, I thought all that you told was fake, now I believe you… I don’t understand how you women end up silent, not talking to each other for years together for a very silly reason…. Come on, she is your friend after all.. As per your deal, she is my sister also… So, one of the days, invite Sri and her family for lunch at our place… forget all that happened and start afresh…. Don’t carry the pain anymore…
We are just used not talking to each other Hari…. The reason was silly…but I don’t find the need to talk to her about anything, anymore… I shall surely call her and her family for lunch at our place…. You can call her your sister as per your wish… I don’t know if she would accept me as her manni any more….
Ok ok, don’t cry now…I understand…
Hmm….

It was Monday, as usual, I was late to work coz I found it very difficult to wake up early in the morning and go to work… Pune’s climate made me more lazier than ever…
The day became hectic and work load increased…. It was noon and hunger pangs struck me..My child inside demanded some food and I could feel it…. My colleagues had left for lunch and I was the only one struck up with some work which needed my attention immediately…. I broke my head for this… Once it got over, I rushed to the cafeteria as fast as I could…. As I walked to heat my food in the oven, I saw Sri also heating her food… Once she finished, she signalled me to come to table no.2 …
Aarya, why do you take so much time to finish work? More than you, your child growing inside you needs nutrition on time, why are you neglecting?
No Sri, nothing like that… I was stuck on a call with the Chennai clients… You know them na, perfection and all…
Yeah yeah..I do… But from next time don’t do this…eat something atleast… your child needs it..
Yeah Sri… Why are you eating now, your team already ate and left an hour ago right?
Aah! I wasn’t hungry…. I had a glass of juice some time ago….
Ohh… Anyway, I got to eat and leave soon… I Have another set of reports to make and leave home soon… It is Hari’s birthday today….
Okk… Here, take this envelope….It is of no use now Aarya….

After all the talk, I was shocked when she handed over the envelope to me…
I anyway ignored it and went back to my cabin… I finished preparing the reports and it was finally time to leave…. I awaited Hari to come and pick me up… It rained cats and dogs and I found it very difficult to walk a step on the slippery floor of the entrance steps of my office…. While I needed help, there was none..The security guard was busy arguing with some courier serviceman… I had to walk till the gate as Hari waited outside coz it would take an hour filling up all the formalities to enter into my office campus…. It was also raining… I called up Hari to ask him to wait till the rain stopped and suddenly, Sri helped me carry my backpack and accompanied me till the gate…
Happy Birthday Hari….Have a great day!
Thank you sis… 🙂

As I sat in the Car, I hugged Hari and wished him coz I couldn’t wish him in the morning… He left for work early….
What is that envelope in your hand Aarya?
Don’t know pa, Sri gave it to me… Let me see what is there inside…
I opened the envelope and found a letter in it, which read,
“Aarya,
I would like to inform to you that, I have accepted the 3 year old vacant post of a best friend you had… I too haven’t had a best friend from the past 3 years and I know you have already filled it in…. There is one condition for this, you have to remain the same person that you have been from the past 3 years… The same independent-bold Aarya… This is all I had to tell…

Sri.”

I read this aloud to Hari, who laughed out loudly at our childishness…. You girls, you will never change…. Aarya, invite Sri and Shyam for lunch  this weekend yaar…
Yeah Hari… I will…

As per Hari’s wishes, I invited Sri and family for lunch… Hari and I prepared lunch and Sri arrived on time (as usual) with her family..Sri’s son Karthik came running to me addressing me as “Aarya Attha”….Though I was happy to re-connect with my bestie, I felt a little discomfort talking to her openly… I still had some guilt… Sri was on form… I was happy that she forgot all that happened… We behaved like matured individuals and did not dig about anything old… We spoke like new best friends… We then saw my wedding CD and Sri had her wish fulfilled seeing me blush…yet, she did not speak a word or pulled my leg… I missed the old Sri who pulled my leg at everything…
Sri, you changed so much re, you are not the same… you did not pull my leg, atleast once…Why re?
Nothing like that… I am the same… I just don’t want to hurt you with my words…
Hmm…Ok!

A week passed…
Hari and I had a bad fight that morning on the way to work… I did not speak to him the whole day….though he messaged me, I never bothered to reply… this behaviour of mine angered him and he stopped speaking to me…. I did not have lunch that day….
Sri came into my cabin for some work…
Oye, Aarya, what happened? I did not see you at the cafeteria today? You had food in the cabin itself?
No Sri…some personal problem… Hari and I had a fight and I cant even tell this to anyone… I need your help…..
Look Aarya, I told you already, it is not the same anymore… I cannot interfere in your family matters, you need to solve it by yourself… I am sorry but I know you managed to live without my advice or anything for the past 3 years… How come all of a sudden you became dependent on my solutions now? I don’t want to hear anything or talk anything that will hurt you… I am sorry Aarya… All I can tell is, eat soon and take your medicines…. I need to go now, bye!
Ok Sri, I am sorry …

I felt like a million bullets being shot into me… A handful of salt rubbed roughly on my wound, listening to Sri’s words….

45 min later, Hari called me up to apologise and asked me to eat…. I ate and continued to work…
During the Coffee break, I took out my phone to check out for some messages…
Sri messaged
“You have never changed a bit re Jaffa… You don’t even know to speak to your husband, see how bad he felt coz you dint eat… He too did not eat till you did… I had to console my brother so much… Hari loves you dearer than anything else, don’t fight with him.. Jaffa”
I knew it, I knew that my buddy has never changed too… I eagerly awaited for my work to finish…. With my eyes moist, I went and hugged my bestie, whom I have never ever hugged all my life…
Sri, you stupid, I know you re… I know you very well… had you given me a call that day itself after the fight, so much pain we wouldn’t have borne re…
Aarya, I felt guilty for letting my words on you too… I thought you would call me, and the phone call took three years to come… I bore the same pain too Aarya… I know you are still having a tender heart…
Hari is here, come home re, for some tea and yes, I have never eaten Vada-pav all these years, so let us pack some home…
Sure thing… I will inform Shyam to bring Karthik to your place… We will have some fun…
I had no words to explain how happy I felt…

Sri and family left after tea….
Aarya, promise to me that you will never fight with Sri again… this has been a good lesson for you…
Yes Hari,it indeed is… Had I not let my ego creep over my mind that day itself, I needn’t have to face so much… But now I have learnt my lesson… I won’t repeat it again…. It is a promise..

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P.S.
Dear friends,

This story is based on a real life story that happened few days ago…. Friendship ranks on the top among all the other relations… Friends are the most essential ones in our lives… And for me, getting a friend like Sri, is indeed a blessing that God has given… both of us had some mis-understanding last week and it has been luckily sorted out… that incident made me write this story with a bit of imagination, I added some masala to it… Well, Sri isn’t yet married, so am I, but the deal we made is true… Her husband being my brother and mine being her brother…
Come what may, dear friends, please never let your ego creep into your mind… That ruins all the relations like nothing else… Leave everything aside, small fights and opinion differences keep coming between friends, but it is us who need to shed out ego and just go and hug our friend and apologise to them….

Love,

Meenu Iyer, a.k.a Aarya ❤ 🙂

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Melodramatic South Indian Parents

Hello, Namaskaram, Vanakkam to all my dear readers…. Me blogging after two months.. I took a summer vacation from blogging….Was preparing for some entrance exams and was alanjufying from one company to another for job interviews…literally like a pichakari begging for alms in a neatly dressed way, speaking good English with jargons and phrases mentioned in the Holy MBA texts 😛  😆

My personal stuff apart, all these days at home, I had been living a filmy life… Let me tell you what, I realized something, Our dear Ammas and Appas have the talent of acting, delivering dialogues on time by birth…. Literally you know…. Wait, don’t get confused, I’ll explain 😛

These parents who are in their 50’s get this disease called “50+ Acting mania” which, when reaches to peaks turns your parents into super duper full fledged Serial/Cinema actor who display all the emotions, expressions and all with some untimely comedy most of the time…. Literally you start feeling like “Am I in a film shooting set or something 😕 ”  😆

Scene 1 – Amma turns into Serial Mother in Law :
This usually happens with deciding the menu….
One day Amma asked what to cook for lunch and I said something… Amma said she planned something else…
Why did you ask me then? you could have cooked it long ago… I will eat avakkai and rice.. you and appa eat it…  I just told this…
My Amma stormed out of the kitchen, sat in the hall and it was then that my chitti had come home ( Oh yes, I live in a joint family 😛 ) … All of a sudden my amma started complaining to my chitti about me…
“See Usha, this girl, she is talking to me like this, she is not at all respecting me… I am her mother…Am I not concerned about her health…instead of eating that puli thanni (rasam) and fat aloo, she can eat this healthy aviyal that I make… It was all my fault..That day itself I should have force-fed her this dish… tomorrow in mamiyars house if her husband  and in-law like only aviyal what will she do? for thousand people she will be cooking thousand items ah every time? you only tell Usha? 

Me : “Amma…what ma…for this silly reason ah! I just suggested you to make rasam and aloo and for that you are talking like a mamiyar…”

Chitti: :” Ey Meenu, pesama eat what your amma cooks… See Chitra, even my daughters are the same…they back answer me like this only… they never obeyed me… I set them right…today in mamiyars house they are getting me good name…you also give her two on the mouth…all will be set right”

Me : “Adi Paavi ammagala… Nalla velai ungalukku laam ponnu pasangal daan.. ungaluku mattum oru maatu ponnu irunda, kalyanam aana maru naale veetu vittu poirkum torture thaangame..”

Scene 2: Appa’s acting skills unleashes:

Appa sometimes shows nava rasas in like 24 hours time… You just can’t expect when he plays which role and why…
One day, I was in a serious thought process about my career and stuff like that and suddenly appa came… Like any film-influenced Appa would, my appa also said “Tell me kondhei, what is your problem…why are you sitting like this, in deep thoughts? Anything wrong? I am like your best friend, tell it to me… Its ok”
Believing my Appa’s words, I thought I could have a serious talk regarding my career…. I just started about something like further studies… Suddenly Appa turned out to be a serial paati pestering her daughter to pause her studies, take up a temporary job , get married and settle down… And then when I agreed I would take up a job, Appa became a cinema appa who always compared his kids with some random kid who bagged a job in some XYZ company…though the JD suggests that he/she is a toilet cleaner in the company, the brand name of that organization is given high value…its like “Even if it is a toilet cleaning job, it is ‘THE XYZ’ comapny’s toilet and it has great worth to earn you some good other fortune 500 companies’ toilets cleaning contracts, apply there I say..do it...”  :/

Scene 3 : Lady Sivaji Ganeshan and Male K.R.Vijaya:

It was when some alliance for my akka got rejected…While my akka herself faced the rejection so boldly and was as cool as ice, my appa suddenly came into the scene… My akka and I were laughing at the fate of the guyz who would marry us… Appa : ” Aiyo, idhennada Rama, en ponna vendaam nu sollitale, naan enna pannuven… Ivala oru vazhiya karai ethina daane innoruthi ayum karai etha mudiyum… Naalu peruta naan enna badil solluveno…Ivalaa eppo kalyanam panni vidardu, naanga eppo settle aagardhu…relaxation nu en janmathulaye illiye…enna da Rama idhu cha! ”
Akka : “Appa enna pa idhu, cinema la vara K.R. Vijaya madri laam ukandu feel pannindrukei? Andha paiyanoda moonji pathiya pa, kolathaangarai la inji thinna korangu madri…appa so what if he said no… Matrimony profile daane paa paathu he rejected, nerla laam onnum pakaliye pa…Leave it… Evano oruthan indha aathula maplai nu vandhu sikka daan poran.. till then be positive pa”
Me : ” Akka, vidri…Appa silappo ipdi daan drama poduvar…vidu vidu”
Amma comes in all of a sudden….
” Meenu, enna di idhu, naangala drama podarom? Do you even know how many hardships we faced in raising you both? Ungala maarlayum thol layum potu valartha appa va ya di nee drama queen nu sollarai…”
Me: “But amma, appa was always on touring work, he hardly saw us grow up till some years 😮 ”
Amma: “That is why he left his job and started business, just to take care of his daughters…but all his hopes and expectations went in vain…Was I born to see all this? Haiyo! ”

I slowly whispered into Akka’s ear “ See akka, Lady Sivaji has got onto the field…no one can stop the Male K.R.Vijaya and Lady Sivaji now…sit and watch the drama….what if there is a powercut and you cant watch TV, watch this live show now”

Akka : ‘Now I know who is the villain in all the films happening in this house… Mavale maatnei di nee iniki…”

These kind of melodramas keep happening in our household every day…oops every minute… you just cant predict your parents’ mood and can never ever win over them in an argument… Sometimes it gets too much in front of some relatives, some times things get worser when our parents scold us publicly in front of our friends or younger cousins… Above all, they say that they treat you as their best friends, they say they have given you freedom for everything but at the same time they curb it all with over possessiveness… And worst is when you are in your 23rd age, where you are expected to be independent, smart but you are very much dependent and absolutely indecisive about life… It is this phase of life where parents, though are melodramatic, they stand by us and help us out of our mental and financial crisis…. after all, all these dramas and serials are just an identity of how much our parents love us…

Kudos to our parents 😀

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