Bitching about erstwhile friends

“So he called you too I suppose.”, sipping on my coffee.
“No, he took the FB route with me.”, he chuckled with sarcasm.

5.01 pm

We both usually convene at this time of the day mostly to exchange what we’ve come to call as “scoops”, a hall-pass we had issued ourselves to rant and condescend about friends, family and acquaintances with lesser guilt and greater fun. So today’s top item on the agenda involved the frivolous attempts of a common friend…errr scratch that, acquaintance at mobilizing crowds to make his rather pointless wedding a crowded affair. Suffocate with quantity for a lack of quality seemed to be his maxim.

“Saw the girl? She looks like my clean shaven version from long hair days when I was malnourished”
“That’s shallow…” pauses for a brief moment, “Have you seen him?”
“Yeah. Yeah. He’s got a face his mother can only like and all, but he could’ve done better with due respect to the woman in question. More power to feminism.”
“I beg to differ. We’ve taken him with us several times to only look better, remember!”
“Fine, they’re made for each other. Don’t rub it in my face.”

“Anyways the repelling physical chemistry apart, wasn’t he coming out of another case of unrequited romance, how could he jump boats so soon?”

“When you’ve been doing nothing but mooning over a girl for over twenty months from the Teflon coated friend zone she’d put you in, from where the only action you got involved innocent finger touches while passing sugar at coffee shops, it’s relatively easy to move on.”
“Not to mention the several suggestive SMSes that were too riddled with typos and questionable grammar to make any sense of. God how many emojis does he use, like some school kid high on candy.”

“But I’m sure the girl knew at some point knew that he was trying to be more than just a friend.”
“Probably mixing bad English with worser metaphors was not such a good idea after all.”

“Yeah if those painfully lengthy abstract conversations didn’t give away, the dogged effort he put into buying those expensive run of the mills gifts sure should’ve, unless she was emotionally dyslexic.”

“Ya, who gets a stuffed teddy bear inches taller than you to only be your friend, Santa Fucking Claus?”

“I know. It’s almost rude to see a guy trip, fall and falter from one grand effort to another from your balcony, without throwing him the ropes or asking him to stop trying,”

“Some people probably enjoy watching others taking efforts for them, it validates them.”
“Or our friend was the clumsiest man at proposing to women..” gasping for breath “He could easily drive a forthcoming woman to trauma, arranged marriage or celibacy by just hitting on her.”

“That’s heavily judgmental dude.”
“Right. You’re the one to talk”

“Btw, Jessica Pearson is the most celestial looking person I’ve come across.”
“How about commas, full stops or fucking context while waltzing into random topics!”

“Fuck you.”

“Anyways, you’re going right?”
“120 dishes, 50 starters, several desserts, open bar and….”
“…And the chance of getting immortalized in a picture with the gaudily dressed couple.”
“No thanks.”

“We used to be like brothers once, sharing everything than our boxers. What happened?”
“Maturity happened. We grew up and he grew apart.”

“Agreed we’re not in the same city anymore. But couldn’t he at least invite you over phone. What happened to the good ‘old  pre-Zuckerbergian social relic called courtesy?”

“I suppose you stop expecting such niceties from a guy who majored in finance to only conduct a wedding, the price of a beach villa with a girl he knew for lesser time than the pimple on his forehead, while continuing to service the mortgage on his existing residential property.”


” You’re in talking terms with him?”
“No. But I wished him over phone.”
“Why? You could’ve sent an offline message.”
“Its okay. It’s not like am a bigger person and all, but he’s still a part of our lives.”
“If not as a friend, as a running joke during coffee breaks like now.”

“So are we getting front row seats to the shindig or do we wait for the highlights to come on FB to condescend further.”


“You’re Satan.”

“Don’t get patronizing. Later.”




Families that stay together

As a loner, I’ve always reveled in the tranquility between the four walls of my bedroom- the smell of the convertible on the right corner that has almost been spiritual, Simba(the stuffed tiger) that has come to sort of become a muse and the creaking door that has shielded me from world outside. These are the insignificant scaffolding that’ve held my world together, for no matter how a day panned out, they’ve often than not tuned me back to equilibrium. To me this room had more memories than bricks behind it and I was dog territorial about this space. For this was the same room I used to sleep during the last days of my grandma. This is where I made love the first time. This was where I always came looking for solace, introspection; every time I burnt a bridge, felt lost or just needed perspective. In short, this dark of the house was the mirror to my soul.

My parents would occasionally ask to me sleep in their room along with them and like most grown men I would dole out these self righteous excuses involving “the want of privacy” or “I’m old to sleep with my parents” every time to just stay back at my room. It wasn’t just that I had outgrown the charm of snuggling in the mini-bed under my parent’s bed once in a while, with time I had somehow outgrown the experience of spending time with them.
I didn’t realize that every time I turned them down, I was taking their love for granted because it was available in such abundance at free of cost for me to overlook.

There was a time in my life, after a showdowns everytime,  dad would suggest that I got out of the house in a not so calm fashion. Truth be told, it took an asshole of my magnitude to bring that out of an otherwise peace loving man. I was never quite the model offspring and had dedicated a good amount of my post teen years to reminding my parents about the flip side to procreation. He obviously didn’t mean it— I hoped every time I was told to leave the house —for these were everyday occurrences under a roof housing an aging father, a son at the brink of his manhood and their combined egos, the size of a meteor. It’s not till when the frequency of these outbursts increased, that I began looking at these as more than just domestic outbursts. When the same words kept repeating, I could get a sense of where they were coming from. It was never a question of whether he loved me or not, he obviously did. But the fatigue of resigning to the fact that he couldn’t get me to do things differently was starting to show, along with his anxiety for my ability to take care of myself. The very everydayness that was supposed to cement most  families together, was forming fissures in between.

Our cat and mouse dynamic was fast turning into an uglier beast of indifference. We needed some sort of an intervention. Probably, separation. Some objective distance to stop taking each other for granted and cultivate some respect back. Obviously, the proximity wasn’t helping.

It was around this time that I was on my notice period and look out for my next job, when an exciting profile came my way from Bangalore. And it didn’t take me long to decide. And before my parents could come to terms, I had already relocated. And like that, I was in a new city for the first time away from home. And my parents were away from me for the first time . This was the reality check I needed. Privacy and “me time” were scattered at every step, every nook and every corner. It was like life decided to make a dear wish into a bad joke by giving it in abundance, till a point it almost became a curse. I learnt that charm of being alone was a thing of relative appeal. My “me time” worked only with togetherness, not in isolation. Without the togetherness, it just felt like a king in a marooned kingdom .

A few hours of shopping for home appliances did what a lifetime of delicious home made meals, ironed clothes, a comfortable home and selfless parenting couldn’t. It made me realize the value of my parents for the very first time in life. I knew what I had had. The cushions around me that had always protected me, were suddenly not there. There was no one to take for granted. Every phone call from home became important. Dad seemed to miss me and I could feel his respect. It was strange that my conversations with my mom over phone were longer now than the ones we had at home. My sister and I were the closest that we had been in a long time.

Maybe  every family is only a hiccup of a circumstance away from closeness.

This time when I was home, mom and dad’s faces lit up. It was late in the night when my bus had come. They were well past their bed time, but they were so overwhelmed.We spoke for a while before the two of them hit the bed. It’s not like I had energy to pull an all nighter either. I went to my room by instinct. I was in my sanctuary after a month. But it didn’t feel the same. On second thought, I went to my parent’s, pulled out the mini-bed from under theirs and assumed the “run over frog on a highway” pose to sleep. It felt peaceful. Being with them was positively better than “me time”.Those few minutes before sleep that day were among the most precious ones in my life. That moment life had come a full circle.I can’t make blanket statement on behalf of other families, but it looks like some some good old distance brought mine together, closer than before.