Monday, August 08, 2005

Cosa Nostrum

Met up with a Aparna and Divya today over lunch and came back all smiles and beaming!

Coming from a girls only high school, strangely, I was not blessed with the knack of getting along with others of the same sex. Instead I ended up rubbing most the wrong way. But that changed when I had to share a house with 5 other girls!! (yes, I am not exaggerating... we stayed 6 to a house once!) And that taught me to appreciate the company of other women. Today I can deal with all types and yet maintain a fairly favorable relationship with the worst types as well... those who judge you based on how you talk, what you wear and how often you bat your eyelashes and those who profess an undying friendship to you but can't wait till you turn your back to stick that lovely knife in it.

And what is more, I crave for the company of other kindred women... women bound to me not by blood but by that rare and amazing tie of female friendship! It IS the best thing that can happen to one... to hook up with other like-minded women. You meet them over long lunches, short rushed coffee breaks, crazy shopping sprees or catch a movie together and you come back... with an extra spring in your step, a brighter twinkle in the eye and a wider smile. You have just spend the last few hours talking all at the same time, nodding vigorously while stuffing your mouth with pizza (or salad if you are on a diet, which most likely is the case) and at the same time managing to get your shopping done or watching the movie or whatever it is you set out to accomplish together. There is something therapeutic about it. You talk of cabbages and ships and earwax, you share whispered conversations which are so private you would blush if you were telling it elsewhere, you gossip loudly, bitch about the whole world and his wife, you laugh over inane jokes (and some very good ones which nobody else would get), you giggle (age is not a bar when it comes to this art), you rave over Orlando Bloom or Amitabh Bachchan or whoever is the latest, you review your latest book or movie, you finish each other's sentences, you catch up on each other's lives, glance at your watches a dozen times each time realising that you are late (so, so damn late) for whatever you were supposed to do next and even when you get up to leave you spend another hour just getting over with your goodbyes.

Many a times have I met up with or rung up a girlfriend because I was particulary down that day or too happy for words over something so silly only another girl would relate. I have heard countless tales and instances and quotes on how women are so catty and not to be trusted, how they can't keep a secret and how they betray their best pals... but not once have I encountered this in real life. I turn to them for strength and advice, I share my laughter with them and they happily share my tears with me. They are there at a single call, at the unholiest of hours to sit around and talk the bluest blues out of me and make me laugh, fill me with the assurance that the world still wraps itself around my little finger!

My set of girlfriends have stood by me through all times in my life, some I have grown up with, some I met later on at work or through common friends. The oldest among my circle is Thelsa, someone I have known since we were 10. We shared a bench in school, ate lunch together, had countless sleepovers, wore high heels for the 1st time together, learnt to wear makeup, had crushes on the same guys, bunked classes, learnt to dance, learnt tricks like yawning and looking around quickly to see which guy is yawning to spot the guys that were staring at us (creative huh?), told innumerable 'cross-your-heart-and-hope-to-die' secrets to each other... She is such an integral part of my childhood and then my teenage years. When we pursued different career options (she went to medical school while I dabbled in engineering) for many days I was lost without the one permanent fixture in my whole experience of schooling. I remember how I sobbed and told my mom that now that we are not in the same school we will end up drifting apart. And though we didn't meet as regulary after that and now though we live on opposite ends of the globe, she still remains my best friend!