Long distance Friendship…

Let me start by saying that this is NOT a review of ‘Firefly Lane’, the latest drama series from Netflix, but rather about my experience while watching it- the many flashbacks, the many reflections and contemplations…in short this post is about my personal experience with the series.. however there might be some spoilers so if you haven’t seen it and want to see it, then perhaps you should come back after watching and that way I am sure you will be able to relate to it much more.

So this is a story about a chance encounter between 2 teenaged girls. Two people Who couldn’t be more different. While one is the school hottie, the other is a total nerd (loved her oversized glasses πŸ€“) and how gradually they become best friends for life. The series unfolds in 3 timeframes starting from their teenage years, to their 20s all the way upto their 40s..giving us a peak into their lives and personalities and how they grow and evolve with time.

Note: To all of you who are 70’s and 80’s kids…man I envy you….that was such a cool time to be a young adult… rebellious and free and ready to take on the world 😎😎

The story delves into several sensitive issues such as homosexuality and the social stigma around it which is still prevalent today, drug abuse, difficult pregnancies, infidelity,mid life crisis, office politics, exploitation at workplace, sibling rivalry, generation gap between parents and children especially teenagers, loss of a loved one, grief and how different people cope with it differently. All of these issues are woven seamlessly into the story and dealt with maturely and sensitively. Yet at the heart of it, it’s a story about friendship and how truly important it is in our lives.

The series made me reflect on my friendship with my best friend. Just like the 2 protagonists, we couldn’t be more different. She is fiercely independent and ambitious, determined to achieve great things, while I am more easy going, laid-back. My talent for procastrination is legendary. She can vouch for that πŸ˜‚. Watching the series took me back in time, remembering the first time I met my bestie in 6th grade. Never thought we would be friends, let alone be best friends even after all these years. It reminded me of all the crazy things we would do like bunking classes and secretly chilling at the bottom of the stairs. Oblivious to the world and the teacher’s wrath. It reminded me of the dire need to discuss each and every miniscule thing with her. Praying for her to approve and get along with the boyfriend in college. Discussing and dissecting every fight, every heart break, every family gossip. Just pouring my heart out to her. Coz, as different as we were and still are, she gets me. She understands me like no other.

However, as I binge watched the whole series over the weekend, there was one thing I envied about their friendship. One thing they didn’t have and we do. Distance. Coz we have spent majority of the 2 decades of friendship living in different countries. Although that hasn’t stopped us from being there for each other during the good times and the bad. No. Never. We have always been an integral part of each others’ lives. Breakups, college, marriage, sickness, jobs..we have been with each other during all such milestone moments. But it’s the little things that we miss out on. Like if one of us had a shitty day at work, we can’t meet up, vent and then forget the blues while watching a chick flick together. If I am feeling low, I can pick up the phone and talk to her but I won’t get to hug her and feel the world is not so bad after all. If she had a bad day, I can only say ‘it will be okay’, but I can’t give her a surprise visit with her favourite food to cheer her up….I realized that we indeed do miss out on these little, precious moments ☹️☹️

Firefly lane may have its flaws but one thing it does get right..is the portrayal of friendship…it will make your heart crave for a friendship as strong as theirs. And if you are fortunate enough to have such a friend, it will make you love and value them even more. And if they are far away, it will make you reach out for your phone to call them and talk to them and tell them how much you love them. πŸ’•πŸ’•

Here’s one of my favourite quotes on friendship from the film Bride wars…which I also quoted on her wedding day 😊

The first bloom πŸŒ·πŸŒ·

To say that the last few days have been hectic is truly an understatement. Work has been all consuming, draining off every morsel of energy out of me. So much so, that I have been unable to blog as I just didn’t know what to write. I thought of writing about my hell of a work life. But then I realized it would be more of a ramble and would probably end up cursing my manager and using all kinds of profanities. But then who doesn’t have a boss to hate and bitch about. I guess many of you will have the same experience and wouldn’t want to be reminded of the same here. I mean this is our happy space and I didn’t want to give her an entry here (but I guess I already kind of have, haven’t I?). And what’s really the point. it’s not like she will read it and decide to stop her rampage of my mental peace.

So thats me most days, angry, frustrated, irritated (ask my husbandπŸ˜›), just pissed off for having to put up with a menace of a manager.

These days it’s become somewhat of a habit. As soon as I wake up, I run to the balcony. To see my beautiful plant babies. Basking in sunlight. Enjoying the chill in the morning breeze. Just watching them alive and thriving just gives a me a certain sense of peace and tranquility. So normally, I just stand in the balcony for a few minutes. starting the day with them. Watering them. Sometimes even talking to them. Sitting and soaking in the sun together. However today morning, I was in for a pleasant surprise.

My beautiful plant baby had this gift for me….the first bloom..and that too…a double whammy…

The unadulterated joy I felt , I possibly cannot put in words. To see all the hard work and care and nurturing..finally come to fruition..it was a joy, a Victory and a celebration for me alone to enjoy and savour. I sipped my morning tea watching the beautiful bloom. Determined to shower more care and nurture them so that they continue to bloom and bear more flowers. It energised me. And prepared me for another grueling day at work.

Christmas..A Season Of Celebration and Gratitude.

Whether we like it or not, we are running a rat race with super busy and hectic lives. Thankfully, Christmas is that time of the year to connect and reconnect with friends and family. This gives us an opportunity to catch up with those who we may not get an opportunity to talk to as frequently as we would like. And trust me, it’s really wonderful, reminiscing the good ol’ days or just making all kinds of plans to meet soon. Whether or not that materialises is a different matter altogether. But no harm in planning exotic vacations or a much needed reunion. And sometimes during such conversations, some things come up that really force you to think long and hard about things.

One such thing happened when last night I had a long chat with my cousin sister. She lives in San Jose, California. During the hour long call she gave me updates about how their skiing trip was cancelled due to the lockdown enforced in light of the second wave of the pandemic. How for the first time in a really long time, they are celebrating Christmas at home all by themselves. How my niece who was so excited about experiencing college life is now forced to do online classes and is so bored at home that she is picking up new hobbies everyday. How my little nephew is inventing new games to play all by himself. She also mentioned that every year they raise money and buy all kinds of supplies like groceries and blankets and take them personally to the nearby shelters for the poor and less fortunate ones. Over the years, it’s become like a Christmas tradition for them and they make sure their kids help out and in the process know and appreciate how blessed they are. But this year, she mentioned how things were so different.

This year there were far more people queueing up outside the shelter…some had walked for miles to reach the venue, some had been living on the streets for days as they couldn’t find beds in any of the nearby shelters. This time she saw far more homeless families than usual. And upon talking to them, they came to know that most of them were in such dire straits due to loss of employment as many shops/factories/businesses had shut down due to the pandemic and the lockdowns imposed thereafter. Their limited savings were spent, now they were unable to pay their bills, house rent, school fees and were thus on the streets. Homeless. At their wit’s end trying to figure out their next meal. The plight of these families was so overwhelming for my sister that she decided to cut down on their own Christmas budget and extend some more help to these families. Even while narrating the incident, I could hear her choke up.

As for me, well for one, I couldn’t be more proud of her, as her little act of generosity surely would have gone a long way in helping someone in need. But it also got me thinking, if things are as bad as this in the world’s largest economy, then the situation is bound to be much much worse elsewhere. I just couldn’t get the thought out of my mind, of all these families who are jobless, homeless, penniless, with nowhere to go, nobody to turn to. How helpless they must feel. How hopeless the world must seem.

It really made my problems seem silly and inconspicuous in comparison. Made me realize how, so very often, we take things for granted. How ungrateful we are for the things we have. How much we complain and crib about not getting things that we don’t even need.

Yes, this year has been different. It’s been a year like no other. Life has been hectic, chaotic. Life has been mundane, unpleasant. The world out there is unsafe. We are in the grips of an unknown, invisible enemy. We are all living in fear, uncertainty, anxiety. In short, in the past year, life has been difficult and not much has happened to be thankful for.

But we must remind ourselves, that if we have a roof over our head, food on our plate, a warm bed to sleep in, enough money to pay our bills and the love of our near and dear ones, then that’s enough and more reason to be grateful and thankful this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all πŸŽ…β˜ƒοΈπŸŽπŸŽ„β€οΈπŸ˜€

Christmas is forever,
Not for just one day.
For loving, sharing, giving,
Are not to put away.
Like bells and lights and tinsel,
in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others,
Is good you do yourself.

Norman W. Brooks