You are SPAMMED!

Yes, folks. SPAM is no longer a cuss word. It stands for all things wacky, hopeless, absurd, and a bunch of bloggers who’re doing selfless service AND making sure you get entertained each month and forget what it is like to live life adult-size!! SPAM, now stands for (……..*drumroll*……..)

Society for the Preservation of Absurdity and Madness

Please wipe off that quizzical expression of yours – THIS is what I’m talking about!!

S*P*A*M has hit the blogosphere this August, it’s an e-zine written by some very funny people, and our first edition is out online – for free!  Catch all the action at http://spamazine.com.

Yeah, yeah, I know. We’re hot. We’re good , wholesome , rollicking fun. The adulation is pouring in 😉 but we’re always happy to see more of you tell us how awesome we are. So please come over to S*P*A*M, comment liberally, and bookmark us, because you’re going to want to be SPAMMED in September too!

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Beautiful Blogger!

An award comes with a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it?

Well several ages ago, Lazy Pineapple demonstrated her kindness of heart by giving me …*gasps*, …the

and weighed by her kindness, I thought I’d wait till I was able to do justice to the award – and finally, I’m able to do this NOW.

LP, I’m touched. Thank you very much! 🙂

Now, the best thing about this award is that it comes with a tag. And as you know, tags are just my favorite things :), so here goes. Rules:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award.
2) Paste the award on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for the award.
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or more

Okay, so I’ve done 1, 2, 3. Now, for 4:

  • Rain. Fresh, brilliant, pure drops of ecstasy. The rain experience is particularly exquisite in the balmy monsoons of Kerala (*sigh*..let me try not to remind myself that I’m missing that just now!).  Standing in the rain, absorbing the sensation on every pore of your body, letting it consume you…

  • Nostalgia. For the last one month, I’ve added scores of 80s and 90s songs in my iPod. Searched high and low, and thought back to all those days when I studied with the radio or the walkman on and listened to songs playing in my dad’s car. Gone back to every composer I could think of, and searched wikipedia extensively for the songs that I couldn’t remember anymore. And then, once I had them all on the pod, every day, as I travel to and from office, I listen to them. Can anything beat nostalgia? 😉

  • Paris. What’s more beautiful than rain? Champs Elysees in the rain, that’s what! Paris, is the one city that I would want to go to again and again and again. There’s just something about the place… romantic, sensuous and mysterious. Three years ago, I had my experience of Paris in the rain and it is something I cannot forget. It drizzled lightly as I walked on Champs Elysees in the evening, and the breathtaking beauty was something I wish I could have captured in my camera, as well as the picture below. I remember, as I stood admiring the Notre Dame Cathedral from the outside, heavy sheets of rain came down abruptly, and I ran and took refuge next to a shop, only to realize I was standing next to a guy making french crepes. A little conversation in broken English later, I had him happily hand over warm, flaky, deliciously sweet crepes to me – and eat them, even as the warmth from his stove gave me comfort in the cold — talk about paradise!

  • Reunions. A few days ago, I met friends from college. After 10 years! It was a spot reunion, blessed by the hand of the Facebook God, which has ensured that people like me who’re generally terrible at keeping in touch, can still get to see picture, hear and connect with the people who mattered in life. My friends and I – we’d last met as 20 year olds, confused about our future career choices, carping about exams, and remembering 3 years of graduation that zipped past us even as we, a gang of 6, had stayed by each other’s sides throughout. Over the years, most of us have married, a few have had kids, and we’re in the thick of our (high profile ;)) careers, careening past 30. But you know what? When we met, we just zoomed back in time to being the same 20 year olds. Nothing had changed. Not even the jokes, or the bitching about teachers :D. It was an hour of catching up and watching the way our faces had grown older but our hearts had stayed the same – and we all remembered how we’d fantasized 10 years ago about such a meeting. Hopefully, we don’t wait for 10 more years to meet :D. And meanwhile, this is something I’ll highly recommend to everyone!

  • Companionship. Having someone in life, to share your silences with. To march alongside you, holding your hands, and just letting you feel one with the world. To sit beside you, watching a movie, and munching on biscuits late in the night. To wake up beside you and give you a cuddle. To offer a shoulder where you can wipe your face and the tears running on it. Companionship is one of the wonderful gifts of life and needn’t come with having that special person in your life. If you know that you can spend hours being yourself with someone (or something ;)) – then, well, let out a whoop of joy! You’ve got yourself a companion :).

(P.S. The credit and copyright for the work of art above goes to the brilliantly talented Abhilash Menon. Find him and his work on India’s first portal that brings together Indian artists and showcases their incredible potential to the world – Dhonuk)

  • Dance. The way two feet can break into a rhythm, and the hands then follow, moving about the body, getting it to sway in tune with the music. Waves created in the air, sparkling about the dancer’s body. Re-telling stories, transcending languages and cultures, dance has the power to bring time to a standstill and transport viewers into sheer bliss. And to tell you how, here’s a picture of one of my favorite dancers and one of the most beautiful women in India – Shobhana:

  • Mothers. Today is my Mother’s birthday  – and she’s the first most beautiful thing I ever set my sights on. I love you mummy and Happy Birthday :).

Alright, now for the last bit. It should have been 7 but I decided on 5  – tagging 5 beaaaautiful women 🙂 – Judy, Andy, Dhanya, Sawani, and Anjali – I bestow this award to you!

Yay! I’m done!

40 Questions!

I love doing tags, and so I voluntarily pick this one up from Preeti (and very “pretty” too :)) Shenoy’s blog. Voluntarily picking up a tag that has 40 questions in it, (esp. when I’ve done a 30 questions tag sometime ago) should tell you how much I like doing tags! Without further ado…here I go…

1. What is your current obsession?

Getting my blog back into what it was a couple of years ago. I’ve been quite pathetic over the last couple of years and am nursing immense guilt over not paying enough attention to my own need to write. So I’m back with a vengeance!

2. What are you wearing today?

A pink kurta from FabIndia, and a white chudi bottom. Hair tied up into a ponytail. (Hmmm, if I was wearing spectacles, I could have also said that I had the (pseudo) superior-intellectual look)

3. What’s for dinner?

We had a sizeable lunch at Dhaba today – so skipping dinner!

4. What’s the last thing you bought?

A Hidesign handbag for my mum … after enormous amount of coaxing and listening to her sigh, and say that her current handbag was serving its purpose well, and that she didn’t need one more, and that it may look too “hep” and therefore inappropriate on her … till I almost completely got mad. I finally gave her the option of dumping it on me in case she ever felt it was not good for her. And what happened? She left Bangalore with the handbag on her arm, and with a big grin on her face, even as I reminded her how much she’d driven me crazy. *Affectionate smile*…mums will be mums.

5. What are you listening to right now?

The mum again – she’s carping about some really *annoying* relatives, over the phone. Trust me, it’s HUGELY entertaining :D.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?

As I said earlier, wasn’t tagged personally – I picked it up from PS. As for what I think of her – she’s one of those creative, exhuberant personalities who we need more of in this world. She’s an adorable pixie :).

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

Now, you’re talking! Ummm.. would that be Mauritius, or the Bahamas, or Califormia… or …

Oh! I know, Paris! I adore Paris. And I even know that I want a house with a view of the Seine. *Sigh*. It’s just the most romantic city I’ve ever seen.

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?

Shades. Some drink close to my reach. Loads and loads of tissue paper. Really airy flats for my feet – I have an amazingly comfy Timberland actually. Non-sticky sunscreen.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

Must you ask me to mention Paris so many times? Okay, I’ll change that. I will want to spend it on an island in Maldives. Spent my honeymoon there, and that would be one of my other picks for a phenomenal place to visit.

10. Which language do you want to learn?

Ahem. I just spent the last TWO quarters in my MBA program learning languages. The first one, I learnt Japanese. The second, Spanish. Someone was asking me to pick Chinese for the next, but if I do that, IIMB will probably end up giving me a certification for “Diploma in International Languages” instead of the MBA itself. So for now, No, I’ll pass.

11. What’s your favourite quote?

All my favorite quotes are in Malayalam. Simply because most of them are sarcastic and extremely appropriate for many moments *wink*. One such would be “Patti-de vaalu panthiraandu kollam kozhalil ittalum valanje irikku”. Don’t ask me the meaning! Or who I’m using it on! (For the mallu ppl reading this blog….Shush!)

12. Who do you want to meet right now?

Even if it is farfetched, and probably not gonna happen ever? Deepak Chopra.

13. What is your favourite colour?

Peacock Blue. And Silver.

Okay, I know I am not supposed to pick two colors, but seriously, I love a lot of colors. So don’t ask me to pick just one. I can rattle off many shades like the ones Asian Paints have – Baked Biscuit, Mocha, Truffle Pink etc… I love really deep *feeling* kind of colors… something that you would use to express joy, and vivaciousness,… and passion.

(Oh, if only I had a carton of paints with me that I could throw onto a canvas. *Wishful thinking*)

14. Give us 3 styling tips that work for you.

=> Smokey eyes, for that touch of mystery.

=> Lip gloss for that well-turned out look.

=> Nicely brushed hair that bobs around , and strands of which caress your face in the wind. (Okay, that may not really be a styling tip – but yes, nice hair is important).

15. What is your dream job?

Getting paid to explore various channels of creativity (write, read, dance, sing, organize events, interact with people, paint…) –  while being able to work my mind and heart. Infact, that’s almost close to what I do now!!!

16. What’s your favorite magazine?

Nothing really. I don’t have too much of patience to read the kind of crap that most magazines churn out. If you have come across something worthwhile, please suggest.

17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?

Buying lots of fiction books. Not for me though. I and hubby are doing our bit in spreading education by volunteering to teach (economically-backward) kids on the weekend – as part of an initiative run by an NGO called Prerana.

There’s a lot to talk about the experience itself, but I’ll reserve that for a future post. Meanwhile, my latest resolve is to supplement our spoken-english-language support for the kids – by giving them something extra – books to read and enjoy! (Hopefully I’m able to recreate atleast partially for them, the magical experience that I had a youngster waltzing through the pages of many of treasured troves… and at the same time, break their language barrier, because I believe that unless you read enough, you’ll not get around to appreciating and understanding the language constructs). I’ve already started buying books for the kids to read and circulate, but there’s no such thing as more than enough, so any extra money of mine will go into adding to this :). $100 will come in handy ;-).

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

A short western top and a stoal. Somehow it doesn’t go down well with me.

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?

I think almost every 2nd bollywood star is over-rated but I’ll not pick them because they get picked often enough. Therefore – Shobhaa De.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?

On me? Layered, and short – somewhere around my shoulders. I’ve been wanting to do something dramatically different too, but still haven’t found what it would be. Waiting for the perfect haircut therefore.

21. What are you going to do after this?

Work. Sleep. Dream :).

22. What are your favorite movies?

Many malayalam classics. Many hindi movies. Many english movies. I mean, asking a movie buff like me to name movies is not exactly easy. I think I’ve written a post about it already, so pass.

23. What inspires you?

A lot of things – humans, and their resilience, inner strength. Compassion when it was least expected. God’s Love.

24. What do your friends call you most commonly?

These days, my MBA classmates have christened me with a few new names – Shiks, Muppet. One of my close friends used to call me by my initials GP. Nothing more interesting though. Sadly, my persona probably lends itself well to Shikha. And besides, a 2 syllable name is easy to say, right?

25. Would you prefer coffee or tea?

Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea… x infinity. I could have as many glasses of tea as there existed on the planet and I still wouldn’t get tired of it. Try it. Ask me if I want a cup of tea sometime. Chances are you’ll get a beaming, resounding “YES” in response.

26. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?

Talk to God.

27. What makes you go wild?

If wild as in “really irritated” – Incompetent people trying to lord over others. It makes me want to clobber the hell out of them.

If wild as in “letting hair loose down” types – being at the beach.

28. Which other blogs do you love visiting?

Many. Pls. see my recommended readings section, and the friends section on the right.

29. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?

Cheesecake. (after a divine experience recently :)).

Raspberry and Yoghurt Gelato. Yum.

30. How many tabs are turned on in ur browser right now?

Seven.

31. Favorite Season?

Spring.

32. If I come to your house now, what would u cook for me?

Pancakes. Nice, warm, sweet, pancakes and slurpy jam to go with it.

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposefully hurt you?

Truthfully – I am not one to carry grudges around and judge a person just because something they did hurt me, and I do believe that people have reasons for whatever they do. So I wouldn’t purposefully avoid them if they cross my path. The only kind of people I actually avoid are those who try too much to be nice and yet your intuition tells you, that they are not as much. Better to stay away :).

34. What are you afraid of the most?

I have a lot of paranoias. Spiders. Worms. Fungus. Drowning. Things that move and go boo in the dark…. hehe, okay, the last one was just added for an effect.

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

“Gosh. Open your eyes completely, woman. You’re going to knock something down, walking around, half-awake, looking like a female version of frankenstein!”

36. What brings a smile on your face instantly?

Friends. Cute kids. My hubby when he’s in one of his cute moments :). My mother when she’s sleeping, curled up like a ball on the couch, because she’s too lazy to get up and go and sleep on the bed. My dad, when he wears a pair of absolutely non-matching pants with one of his good shirts and appears completely unaware of the ridiculousness of it 🙂

37. A word that you say a lot?

“Terrible”. I don’t know, I use that to describe even extra doses of nice things…although why I do that, I have no clue. Have been trying to rid myself of it for sometime now.

38. When was the last time you did something nice?

Today afternoon. Went to see a friend who I hadn’t visited in over a year. Being with her and her one and half yr old kid, was amazing :). *Soup for the heart*

39. What would you do if you were made President of India for one day?

Being the President of India for a day is no big shakes. You can’t do anything constructive, that someone else cannot undo. However, I think there is a Right To Education issue that’s currently in the pipeline. I’ll see if I can add some presidential weight to that, and recommend the bill.

40. Do you Know who Master SHIFU is?

Yeah.  *Hiiiiiyyyyeeeeeeaaaaah*.

————————————————–

Yes, I’ve finally done it.

*Solemn breath*. And I now tag…YOU (if you’re not mentioned after this) and @nikhilnarayanan, @shruti_007, Vinoshini, Lazy Pineapple, Emmanuel, Sonali 🙂 – hopefully none of you’ve done the tag yet, and because I would love to know what your answers are, yes!!

Update:

Follow up posts from the victims above 😉

Shruti’s version @ Lost In Translation

Lazy Pineapple

Emmanuel writes @ Reticent Expressions

Sonali’s take

Three Point Someone

(The tagline of this post goes “What not to do at IIM”) 

Yes, folks. It’s been over a year at IIMB;  my temporary *marriage* to PGSEM continuing quite successfully. *Wiping sweat off brow*. 

(Encore.) 

I can declare that I have not just been initiated to the world of management, but effectively tainted. I have  graduated to the stage where I can dole out valuable tips on: 

  • How to achieve a zen-like state of calm, when you have
    • 4 term projects (20 pages each) to write, 2 cases (30 pages each) to read, 1 mid-term exam to write for B-school AND
    • 1 proposal (40 slides) to submit, two teams to manage AND 1 cultural event to handle in office AND
    • Several other non-trivial issues to resolve at home (such as your maid doing a disappearing act for a whole week)

all in the span of 1 week (which effectively translates to a max of 10 potential hours that may be used – moral of the story being that no amount of worrying is gonna help you with your f%$#ing backlog) 

  • Which are the best TV shows that enable you to stay awake till 1.30 PM at night, so that you can simultaneously (attempt to) devote your attention to the cases/reading material/exercises/projects. (God bless the creators of Sex and the City, Friends and all T&L shows). 
  • How YouTube is such an incentivizing tool
    • Smart professors who know exactly what your weak points are, have liberal doses of youtube in the classroom sessions, so much so that you are running to attend class at 8 AM on a Saturday, because you get to see all those wonderful videos … *contented sigh*
    • You can devise unique You-Tube rewards to incentivize study hours … say every half hour of study entitles you to 15 minutes of youtube (or for that matter, twitter, google reader, facebook.. you name it ;)) 
  • How you can justify to yourself the phenomenal increase in weight, since it is directly proportional to the amount of MBA jargon that adds weight to your *persona* (take a load of this: “competitive advantage”, “strategic positioning”, “moving up the value chain”, “sustainable ecosystem”, “cost arbitrage”, “network/multiplier effect”… oh boy oh boy oh boy)
  • How time-travel is not a miracle anymore. The moment we 30-somethings step into the IIM campus, we zoom back in time, and are reduced to a babbling set of 16 year olds – yanking our book loads around the campus, furtively eyeing anyone who remotely resembles a prof, bunking classes and hanging around corridors whilst drinking tea and munching on puffs, whispering and passing stuff around in class, sms-ing each other making pointed jokes about… well, our state of stupor… I guess you get the picture :P.
  • How you can become experts at reading a 30 page case in half hour… the secret being that you never read line by line, you see. Train your eyes to pick up only the most striking of words per paragraph, concoct a story inside your brain that *somehow* links all these up, and then elaborately garnish and transfer onto paper. The likelihood of you matching up to what you would have done after an hour and half of intensive study of the case – is 100%. (Cardinal Rule: If you haven’t got it in you, no amount of breaking your brains is going to help!) 
  • How back-to-back classes are extremely useful opportunities – NEVER let them pass by. The second lecture is the most opportune time to
    • Decide on your dinner plans [you could actually spend some productive time romanticizing about how you could potentially go for a candle-lit gourmet dinner accompanied by soft music, with your hubby (no matter if the two of you land up munching on idlis in the nearby Darshini, despite all the day-dreaming) – the time is still well spent!]
    • Make your grocery list
    • Doodle on your/your neighbour’s notebook and draw a) pretty girls b) flower art c) ghastly ghosts d) amoeba
    • Write down the list of songs that you *must* download and save in your ipod
    • Let your mind walk free… and conjure up sufficient gossip or humorous (or humorous-gossip) situations that can be subject for the next tea and biscuits break
    • Feel hungry and grimace (or make going-to-die-of-hunger gestures) at your friends sitting nearby – indicating the tipping of a cup with your hands, as they return understanding nods.
    • (hmmm, … there are so many other productive pursuits…maybe I should make this the subject of yet another blog)
  • How Finance, Marketing, Operations, Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Organizational Behaviour, People Management, Cost Accounting, Economics and Quantitative Methods sounds interesting, only prior to your doing the MBA. Two years of going over the vast repertoire of these subjects , and you’re most likely to do an about-turn and run at the mere mention.
  • How the vast perks of being in an institute like IIMB is that you get to see Entrepreneurial masterminds, Ivy League stars, Political greats  and yes, Aamir Khan 😉

And oh, my list is not yet over, but you sort of get the point. I’m now truly feeling IIM coursing through my veins. 

But what are the real BIG lessons I’ve learnt in this one year (and a quarter that is ongoing…)? Well, that would be these three: 

  • Chetan Bhagat was right. Cooperate to Dominate or C2D as he puts it, does work. Although I haven’t implemented it exactly as described in the book 🙂 but today it inspires me like nothing else. Of the few thousand eureka moments I have had during the one-year stint, the most useful one was realizing that learning Macroeconomics and Operations Management on your own is like pulling a Vampire to your neck and asking him to suck blood. It was somewhere during the middle of quarter 2, when I realized that Macroeconomics was just not a subject you could cram in a day before the exam, while two-timing it with a movie. On the day of the mid-term, considering the (excellent) shape we both were in, one of my newfound non-chaddi buddy and me, decided to bunk a lecture hour and study together. That one and half hour duration may have been my most productive study session ever, because suddenly everything… GDP, GNP, Consumption, Fiscal deficits,  Investments fell into their place in a jigsaw puzzle in my mind, and I was beginning to feel like I had almost authored that book. Over time, the sessions became our most potent weapon. There were 4 of us most of the time, and we spent a bunked class or two or a couple of Sunday hours, to have an intensive study-workout. And the result? I graduated from being a 2 something pointer to a 3 something pointer [4.0 being the max btw :)] and an interesting sprinkling of A’s in my grade sheet. Now do you believe me when I say C2D works?!
  • Professors are precious gifts of humankind (No, I don’t know if any of my profs are reading this right now, and NO, I have not been paid to write this). If you ask me what makes IIMs stand apart, I would say it is the professors. Some of them are this unique combination of excellence, unparalleled dedication and pedigree, and yet totally grounded in their values – honesty, ethics and integrity. A few of our lectures are nothing short of near-theatrical performances that evoke thrills up your spine and leave you mouth-wide-open. No jargon, no bombastic speeches – just pure wisdom and insight. And the humanity aspect at the end of it all is what bowls me over at the end of the day.

I have a story to narrate here: One of my friends was finding it really difficult to manage studies, esp. for one of the conceptual subjects, since she was going through a very rough phase at work. When she got one of her papers evaluated, with the lowest marks she had ever got, and a note to “please call me” from the professor – it was like the worst thing to have ever happened. With considerable amount of trepidation, she called him up, fully expecting to be humiliated. The first thing he said to her is “What happened? Where have I gone wrong? And what can I do for you?”… the voice at the other end a mixture of compassion, sympathy, and deep humane understanding. He said to her – “The marks that you have got are not a reflection of your capability. I know you, I have seen you and I know you have it in you. These marks are a reflection of the fact that I haven’t been able to reach you through my teachings, and is just an indication that I need to try harder. So don’t for a moment take it as failure on your part. We will work through your problem areas, and see what we need to do …. Together”. 

That for me (ladies and gentlemen) was power. The capability of being able to pick someone up from their lowest point and give them a means to reach the top.. something only an educationist-par-excellence can do. 

  • And the final aspect. When I decided to do my MBA, I thought it would help me understand “business”… I remember reading the economic/profit/business sections of newspapers and wanting to know more – and MBA seemed the best way. But now that I have done a year of it all, I don’t think an MBA teaches only business anymore. The course has turned out to be “life education”. Every day of class, there is atleast one moment I wonder why my eyes and ears weren’t open earlier, for the kind of knowledge that I had just come across. I wistfully think of the countless years I spent not knowing so much … the way human beings thought and behaved, the way people survived in different parts of the world, the environment, the ethos of different countries, social responsibility, inspiring leadership, wars, movements, economic ups and downs. I can only say that I have a long way to go to make up for lost ground, but I’m glad I have started.

And I’m looking forward to a year and a half of this enormously exciting journey. It has been great :). Adios Amigos!

 

Adieu, my friend.

Friendship 

Today, my best friend of the last 2 and 1/2 years, said adieu to my office. And in the midst of loads of work, crazy running around, directions flung left right and center, and mails flying to and from my Outlook, there is this silence in me that’s been weighing me down since the past 2 months, when she’d told me first that she’d finally found the offer she’d been looking for, and was going to put down her papers.

Today evening, as she sat in the chair next to me, as she’s been doing for almost every day in these past 2+ years, I just didn’t know what to say. The clock was ticking, time was running out, and I knew that soon, she’d be gone, never to sit in that chair again, never to be there for me when I come to office. And I filled the time with some inane talk, about some blogs I’d read, some carps about work and co-workers, and some general advice on what to do in her new company. All the time, I was worrying about my eyes betraying the truth: the vortex of emotions that I was actually going through inside.

I didn’t want to say it to her directly, because I knew she understood. Because that was the way she felt too. And saying it would be stating the obvious, and to me, an unnecessary way of expressing that which we knew in our hearts to be true. 

But I want to say those unspoken words here, in my blog; to tell her how much she means to me, and to relive some of the moments which made our friendship special:

I still remember the first time I saw you – I was one week old in the company, had made some quick friends in my team and was settled just enough – you were this pretty girl that had just joined the team – wearing a blue and pink, horizontally striped top, full sleeved with all her hair bunched up in a black clip – I looked at you and thought – “must be an anglo” – cos you didn’t look South/North Indian. We met, and you said you were from Goa. And there it all began.

We were two people, from different cultures, different backgrounds, but almost identical in most of our thoughts. I would start to say something and before I’d even said half of it, I’d see your eyes telling me you understood, and your voice telling me how you knew. We’d sit on different floors, and think of calling/meeting each other at the same time. I’d call your phone and you would say “Lunch?” without even asking who it was on the other end. And many times we’d end up saying the same thing, at the same time – we were in sync 🙂

I remember the long walks after lunch, sometimes as an excuse to lose weight, and mostly to un-burden our minds on each other – we were after all, each others conscience-keepers. People would ask us – what is it that you people have so much to speak about – you’re always walking/sitting together, standing in the corridor, or sitting in the fire-exit talking. And we’d say: “and we still feel we don’t get enough time to talk :)”.

What haven’t we spoken about – our romantic fantasies, our dreams, crazy ideas, our families, work, co-workers, friends, our loneliness, helplessness, anger, fears, frustration, worries and the death of our dreams. Being each other’s psychological counsellor; sharing those tears that are privy to no one else.

People would tell us things and say “Don’t tell her about it okay”. The next time we’d meet, we’d laugh and say “you know..”. And joke about how anyone could think that we’d keep secrets from each other.

I remember the times we’ve been in each other’s homes, and the times we’ve gone out together and had fun. The impromptu trips to Domino’s Pizza from office (just when we felt like having a blast on our own), the parties, going to learn car-driving in Koramangala, hanging around Forum and of course, going to Hoganekkal. That was btw, the first time I really enjoyed travel. Sitting next to each other in the bus and enjoying the wind blowing on our face, sitting in the basket boats near the waterfalls, standing right under the waterfall, and getting choked and out of breath :), and lying, neck deep in the water around the crocodile bank. Two souls with not a care in the world… floating, wanting to be in the water forever…

I remember coming to your marriage in Goa this May, and having tears in my eyes, as I saw you in your perfect white dress, looking beautiful, standing at the altar, saying your vows. It was so romantic :), and I prayed that you’d live happily ever after.

Yes, I really wish for you to live happily ever after… and hope that even when you’re faced with the problems of the world, you find it in yourself to be strong, and come out of it.

Today, as your husband came to pick you up from office, I gave you a pat on your arm and said “When will we meet next? … I’ll come to your place next weekend”. You smiled and turned, and I went to catch the bus. You didn’t see the tears that I wiped from my cheeks, the tremble of my lips. I’m glad you didn’t, cos I always told you that we wouldn’t get emotional on the last day, as everyone was expecting us to get :). I put up a brave face and thought of writing all this, while I was coming home in the bus.

Of course, our friendship doesn’t end here. We’ll still be meeting, talking. And I’ll be there for you, whenever you need me, just like I know you will be there for me.

But, life won’t be the same ever again… We’ve shared some of the best times of our lives with each other, and all I can say is thank you. For being my friend. And for being there.