My apologies, once again, for being AWOL for a bit. I’ve been busy with the arrival of my best friend from my teen years in Dubai. We’ve never been in the same country, let alone in the same city, for a good 6/7 years of our 11 year friendship. So I didn’t want to cut into my time for her, whatever little we could spend together!
Through the past few days, I have come to realise that I’d forgotten so much of what made me the person I was, and the person I am today. I’ve had nostalgic trips down memory lane, when I found some of my old poems while rummaging through a drawer. They reminded me how much I loved rhyming when I was younger, as silly as my rhymes were. They were the reason I began discovering more about putting my feelings to paper, the reason I decided to explore my connection with writing further. A friend (and, I am happy and proud to say, a follower of my work) has asked me to put them up, and I will – soon enough!
Some not-very-pretty memories have come up in the past few days as well – things that made me realise I never wanted to go back to some points in my life. They were dark, they were depressing, and I wouldn’t wish those times on even my worst enemy, if I had one. But, what mattered was that I’d made it through it all – stronger, happier, and surprisingly, much less scarred than I’d imagined. And of course, I discovered and rediscovered my writing. And for that, I’m thankful for the memories.
Note: I’ve had a lot of trouble dealing with my extended family in general. Each one increasingly gave me reasons not to like them. Whether it’s their constant interference in my life (or that of my immediate family’s), or it’s their irreversible need to show off about how and why they perceive their families to be better…it was all unnecessary growing up. And it made me loathe them, for a while in my life. Then I realised it wasn’t worth my time and energy. So, I just focused on the select few that brought happiness to me. This is for them.
Dear relatives/family I’m fond of,
When I started this letter, I actually realised that there were not many people I’d write this to.
To start with, my grandmom. Probably the MOST amazing lady I’ve been blessed with. She’s been such a wonderful light in my life, shining happiness whenever I am around her. She has stuff to talk to me about that are about world happenings, local news and gossip, or just plain family stuff. But at the same time, if I wanted to ramble on about something, I know she’ll always be willing to listen to me. She is probably one of the most forward thinking of a lot of people in her age group from our culture, and for that I will forever be grateful. For the little quirks that come with it all, I love you!
Next, some of my wonderful family (though distant) in the US. Each one of you – N, K, Shu and Chi – and your parents have just been absolutely amazing people, for whatever time we have gotten to spend with each other. I cherish the fact that I have such inspirational people in my life to look up to, and to stand together with. Thank you, and I love you, for being such delightful people!
Next up, S. We’ve weathered a lot of storms (so to speak) with our respective families. And with those that inevitably connect us. I know I probably haven’t done you the justice of being your cousin sis in the past couple of years, but every time I see you, I realise that I don’t need to worry. Any number of years from now if and when I see you, it’ll be like barely any time has passed.
And finally, saving the best for last. My almost namesake, NK. I cannot believe we haven’t bonded before this. I feel like we were meant to be sisters forever, not just cousins. You’ve been my most shining exception of ‘I don’t hang out with my family much’, because you brought out a side in me I hadn’t had before – for any family member. You taught me to laugh at silly things, to joke about the trivial and mundane stuff that could get us down, and to smile more. Discovering and rediscovering random TV series’ with you is one of the most fun things EVER. You, missy, were also the reason I could get the parents to get on board about the tattoos, so I will be forever thankful for that! I love how you have seamlessly become a part of my friends’ circle too. You should know it is completely because you have a stellar personality, and there is barely any reason for people not to delight in your company. If they do, they’re not worth it in the first place! I want you to know that you mean the world to me, and I’d go to the moon and back for you if you asked me to :)
I end this here with a parting thought. There are people I’m related to in my life that I love, and there are people I tolerate. I don’t hate or despise anyone, because no one has given me a reason to. I may not like some of them from time to time, but then again, you can”t always like everyone, right? I’m just glad I’m allowed to interact with who I want, when I want. And I’m glad that I choose to be happy, irrespective of which of these people chooses to be part of my life (or doesn’t).
Note: I have some friends who have become like family. Thanks in major part to the fact that Mum is a teacher, and these are mostly men who were her students at some point. And one who wasn’t. All, truly wonderful men.Dear friends that are like family,Where do I even begin this letter? Each of you has played such a wonderful role in my life; I don’t think my story would ever be complete if you hadn’t.
To start with, RD. You were there for me at a time when I felt there was no where to turn. Facing what I did with my family, and sometimes friends, in those high school years…You were someone who gave me the advice, the push to carry on. You showed me that no matter what life threw at me, I was strong enough to deal with it. And if I wasn’t, you were always there, waiting till I got back on my feet…letting me know in your own way that life was going to be okay. And you probably made the most difference in my life by stepping in, during those years when I was missing the comfort, guidance and solace of a brother. By being the brother I couldn’t have at that time. Only because the one I had and I couldn’t figure out that bond for the longest time. You’ve changed my life for the better, and even if we barely talk as much as we used to, if ever, know that the place you hold in my heart is very special, and always will be.
Coming to the six wonderful people who became a part of my life thanks to Mum – Sha, Sho, Re, Ka, Wa and Vi (Sorry men, it was easier this way :P ). All of you have been absolutely wonderful for my mum. Being there when she needed someone to pour her heart out too – because we all know she did. I was still finding my way in life till I became that person for her as well. But, I think each of you gave her heart an incredible amount of solace through the pain she felt. Perspective to all the problems and situations she put forward. And a warm hug when there was nothing left to say. For that, I’m forever thankful to each of you. If not for you all, I may not have had the strength to the bond that I share with her today.
Sha, you’ve always been the one to make Mum feel at ease. And with me, you have been the one to give me straight up what you think. You’ve been rather open about all that goes through your mind. I wish we’d talk more, I wish we’d lived more memories together. But, for all that we have, and all that we will, know I’ll always love you habibi :)
Sho and Re…You guys became a major part of my life in the past couple of years, more than ever. You were always there in our lives, but I felt your presence when we connected over time. Having you both in the same country as me gave me a sense of peace. To know that if I wanted to hear a friendly voice or feel love and warmth without judgement or reason, I could just come see you guys. Even though we don’t have that now, I’ve made some stellar memories with you both. Sho, in particular, you have always made me realise what joy I bring into your life. You don’t know what an amazing feeling it is, to be able to feel that. And some of the things you say, have always made my heart glow. Thank you, for being a sounding board for Mum and me, and for all the wonderful things you say and do for us. Re, you have been one of those people that has brought a lot of sunshine in my life. We don’t talk much – more your fault than mine :P – but when we do, I’ve made awesome memories :) All I ask is you keep in touch more. But even if you don’t, I won’t hold it against you! I love both of you very much, to the moon and back even!
Ka, you’re pretty much in the same boat as Re with the keeping in touch part. But as I said, I won’t hold it against you. Well, maybe a little bit, but only because I could have seen so much more of you when we were in the same city. You have always been someone I could have a conversation with endlessly, and it didn’t have to be about something in particular. It just gave me pure joy. I love you to bits mister, and always will.
Wa. You bring that happy energy to us at home. You have been wonderful with my friends circle, and to Mum, and to anyone who knows you in general. Take care of your heart, and know that I’ll always be there to look out for you. Much love!
Last, but not the least, Vi. You may not have been around much, but when I talk to you, I feel like a little child all over again. Not in the sense that you belittle me, but that you encourage me to see the joy that life has to offer! You’ve lost that in your life a bit recently I feel, and I honestly hope you get it back. Love you beby ;)
All of you are deserving of my love and there is not one moment I would take back that we have shared. I’d not change anything either, except maybe that I hear more from most of you.
Know I am here when you need me. It is a promise I intend to keep. And know, that promise is not an empty one.
Note: I have a few friends that are incredibly close to my heart. With a couple of of them, we may not call each other best friends, but that’s what we are. And with a few others, we are just kindred spirits that found each other. And presumably, hopefully, will never let each other go. I cannot imagine what it’d be like, without them. These are people who, if and when they read this, will know who they are!
P.S. Sorry for the length, this was a lengthy one to write :P
Dear closest friends,
You lot are a wonderful lot. After all my years of putting up walls, I’ve realised you all are the ones that will constantly break through them. And even on days I’m not feeling up to letting you in, I know you will be waiting patiently on the other side. Just because you care.
Firstly, ladies. When I sat to write this, I realised that there were only three women that I could consider as my closest after A. And I am okay with that. I’d go to the moon and back if I could just have you in my life! Each of you has been a part of different parts of my life, and continue to be in it. And make it a happier place.
To start with, the lovely R. You’ve been there through my growing years in high school. You taught me about many things – life, relationships and friendships too. If it wasn’t for you, break would have been rather lame in school :) The fact that we can have grown up conversations today is testament to our friendship!
Next, my PYT – yep, my very own Pretty Young Thing. You, my little ball of energy, have been showering my life with all things happy, ever since undergrad. Or, even more so, since we met the ‘Cold Man’ :) You’ve taught me what it meant to laugh through my tears. To live life my own way. To say whatever is on my mind, and maybe in my heart. And to forgive or forget, whichever comes first. For everything, I thank you. Know I will always be there for you, no matter where I am in this world. You are an inseparable part of my soul. And I hope you know the important place you hold in my life. Always and Forever.
Coming about to my gorgeous S. Oh, you have no idea what it means to me to have a strong friendship going between us. Who knew, we’d come this far, after growing up together in diapers? It’s not something either of us had foreseen, but our time together in Australia has made me realise that if there was a friendship I would regret not holding on to, or working on, it would have been this one. I’m so glad we didn’t let each other go. You have helped me grow into the person I am today, and you’ve seen me change through the past year. You’ve told me how proud you are of the woman I have become, and that is a symbol of why I cherish you so much. You voice your opinions, and you’ve stood up to be true to yourself. I truly admire you, and I’m going to hope against all hopes to keep you close (geographically and otherwise).
Secondly, the men. Oh, I am blessed to know some wonderful, delightful men in my life. But there are some who hold a preciously close place to my heart. This is for you.
To kick things off, R and S. From the times we started hanging out midway through undergrad, until now. You boys – or rather, men – have only brought a whole bunch of smiles into my life. R, your jokes have always taken the cake for me! And S, gossiping with you is so much more fun than with anyone else! And today, when I talk to you both about our futures, our dreams and our ambitions, I realise how we’ve grown through time. And how, no matter what, we will find a way to laugh at situations. Because, if you can’t laugh in life, is it really worth the trouble? :)
To R (the other one) and L, the two wonderful men I’ve come across in my short time in Australia. I cannot stress how thankful I am for having you all in my life. R, you have completely turned around the way I think. And in the best way possible. You’ve taught me to think different, and challenged me to push myself further. I’ve been striving for more, because I believe I can. That belief has been born because of our endless conversations. And the fact that we can still have those conversations, whenever we each have the time, is a huge thing I’m grateful for every day. Thank you for being you, and for being in my life! Turning to you, L, I simply CANNOT get over the fact that I’ve known you for just 5 months (as of yesterday), and it feels like I’ve known you all my life. I can talk about anything under the sun with you, from the real, hard to get through stuff of life, to the silly things (that possibly make you question your conversations with me sometimes, hey!). I can be a total child with you, and I know you won’t judge me. Because as you say, we are both awesome, and we are both weird. So, we shall be awesomely weird in life together! Thank you for accepting me through my strangest moods and ramblings. I cannot imagine what it’d have been like, not having you in my life :)
I’d generally have stopped there, but there are some men who I could not afford to lose, and hence deserve a special mention. We may not talk often, or about too much, but when we do, it brings a happiness into my life that I cannot ignore.
To my Squishy ^_^ Our Skype, text/Whatsapp, phone and Facebook conversations have been some of the best things about some of my days in Brissy :) The randomness, the irrelevant arguments, and how we are married on Facebook are all a source of such delight for me! Thank you ‘hubby’, for being so amazing :) No matter what, you will always be my Squishy!!!
To Monsieur SF. I almost called you what I always do, but realised it’d be a no-brainer for people to figure out who you are :) Thank you for delighting me with some intriguing conversations. Thank you for being some of the best company I’ve had, for roaming through the streets or sitting on a bench, eating sushi and talking coffee ;) And your knowledge about my country is an absolute joy! Always be in my life, okay? And also, always give awesome hugs!
To B. You have made me learn to love myself a little more You have opened my mind (and my heart, a bit too) about the possibilities of life and all it has to offer. You have helped me be more appreciative, and for this, I will forever be thankful. Thank you for being such an amazing friend, and someone I can talk to about random things :)
Lastly, to the man who calls me his muse. F, it has been you who has made me smile – nay, blush – often times, with your random text messages, scribbles and the way you look at me. I adore you, and you cannot believe it I’m sure, but you’re are one of the most amazing people I know. And with the wonderful words you always have for me, I worry at times I may disappoint you. You have me on a pedestal; but if I fall, I’m pretty sure you’ll catch me. I absolutely cherish you mister!
Well folks who read to the end, thank you for your patience. And you people I mentioned, know you are the best people in the world. And know that you are, and always will be, cherished parts of someone’s life – mine.