April 10, 2012

A girlfriends weekend getaway

We hatched the plan over a long phone call. The need to meet was insatiable. After all, we hadn’t met in a good seven years. I took over the challenge of finding a good resort. Luckily, one met my expectations the very next day. A deluge of emails later, we finalized the dates. It was decided. The three of us based in three different US states planned to meet from 30th March to 1st April.
It was ironic that the three of us hadn’t met in India. We were good friends since Engineering college. We had hopes, dreams, and ambitions just like any teenager. After we graduated in 2002 with a teary farewell, we had vowed to keep in touch. Little did we know that time, career, marriage, and other commitments wouldn’t let us meet for so long. We did not attend each other’s weddings. Of the three of us, only Deepa saw to it that she kept in touch with a lot of college buddies. I had met her in September 2010 when she had come down to India for a short vacation. But I hadn’t met Meeta after 2005.
Anyway, fast forward to ten years after graduation. We were so excited about our forthcoming trip that we announced it to anyone who cared to listen. We jinxed it big time. A week before the trip, Deepa suddenly got very ill. Luckily, she recovered two days later. Then it was my turn to fall sick. I had fever, cold, throat infection – the works. By the third day of my sickness, I seriously doubted if I would have any energy to haul myself to Virginia – yes, that’s where we had decided to meet. As fate would have it, my husband fell ill the same day that I recovered. I was still hovering between my decision about making the trip, when my husband, the good soul that he is, sternly told me to go ahead with the trip. Meanwhile, Deepa had already started her adventurous journey. I bet she’s going to blog about it.
During my flight to Virginia, I had a lot of questions on my mind. How would it be to meet after so long? Would the three of us connect or would there be awkwardness between us? I had a pretty uneventful journey. As I waited outside Roanoke airport for my two girlfriends, I couldn’t contain my excitement.
Then finally, I saw them. I was astonished to see Meeta. She looked like a model in her lovely dress, glares, and heels. Deepa seemed the same, chirpy self. We enjoyed a lovely lunch in an Indian restaurant and proceeded to our destination – The Inn at Riverbend.
                                                         (View from our room)
We reached there in less than two hours. As soon as we checked in, the owners, Jim and Janet, gave us a lovely tour of the resort. The view was breathtakingly beautiful with the river forging right in front of us. The mountains and the lush greenery added to its beauty. If you happen to be near Virginia and are looking out for a relaxed weekend with your spouse, this is the place to be.
The next two days went in a blur of non-stop chatting, watching some chick flicks, taking loads of pictures, pulling each other’s leg, and enjoying some good food. Seconds ticked to minutes and minutes to hours as we spoke, and spoke some more. The first evening we just took some lovely pictures outside the resort. The second day we half-visited a waterfall. We couldn’t go the whole way as my shoes hurt like crazy and the walk seemed never ending. But the highlight of the trip was the second evening. Meeta, at her usual filmy self had big plans. She donned an Indian salwar kameez and ran across the lush fields with her duppatta swaying behind her. She wanted to enact the scene from Mohabbatein. I and Deepa doubled over in laughter seeing her running across the grass. She looked so funny and cute at the same time.
We girls had definitely changed with a few extra pounds, some grey hairs, a slightly improved sense of dressing, and become a bit wiser. Still, we had the same core values that bonded us together in college. We missed the other friends from our group and recalled all the lovely times we had spent in college.
The three days with my girlfriends were mesmerizing. They got over too soon. In those three days, we momentarily forgot that we were students, wives, and mothers. We forgot our hectic schedules, our daily chores, our responsibilities. We were just three best friends, thankful to God for giving us the opportunity to reconnect after a long time.
The week following the trip was one of the most refreshing ones that I remember. I only wish that we get to meet at least once every year. If you are a wife, mother, career woman, student, think about taking a break with your girlfriends. It rejuvenates you like nothing else. Believe me; I still have a glow on my face!

April 5, 2012

If wishes were horses…

This time it was Bhagyashri’s turn to choose a topic for the group blogging activity and she asked us to let our imagination loose and disclose what power/sixth sense we would like to possess.
Hmm, it sounds like a really compelling idea at first. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool to possess a sixth sense about anything? Imagine what one could do by knowing when the bank’s security system would fail, or when the gold prices would hit an all time lowJ
But the more I think about it, I realize I would have to be extremely careful in what I wish for. I mean, I don’t want my head to be a tangled mass of thoughts by possessing the power to read someone’s mind like Mel Gibson did in What Women Want? Nor would I like to carry the burden of knowing how and whom death would follow as shown in the Final Destination series.
There are certain human characteristics that confuse me a lot. And there are some that I just cannot deal with. So my sixth sense would really be broken down into things that bother me most when interacting with others. Given a chance, there are two powers that I would like to possess.
The first would be the power to know the real intention of someone’s derogatory remarks at me. When someone makes a comment at me that hurts me, the first thing that I would like to know is did they make the comment to purposely hurt me? Or did they just pass a casual remark and I got offended by it? Were they upset because of their personal stuff and that caused the sudden outburst of sarcasm?
A comment like “Oh, you have taught your husband to feed your child so you can sit peacefully and enjoy your lunch” makes me wonder if I have done a good or bad thing.  Or a comment like “Is your dress tight or have you put on weight?” makes me wonder if people have nothing better to do than pass comments on others.
Some people are very calm about handling such things. I, on the other hand, carry the burden for several days. It goes on and on in my head. It changes my view of people and causes awkwardness the next time I have to interact with them.
The second power that would be really good to possess would be to know is if someone does pass a derogatory remark at me, how do I give it back to them without being extremely rude and sarcastic? How do I smirk and give off the impression that your remark was so stupid and nonsensical, I will never ever think about it? Hey, be careful about what you say to me. I might not like it. If you want to be friends with me, watch your tongue and say only nice things to meJ
I suffer from a classic problem of not being able to give it back to someone on their face and then wishing I would have said something to let them know their place. I play a mind game wishing I would have said this or that. So, I would really like to know what is the best thing to say without damaging the relation. You said something that hurt me, here’s what I have for you. Bang! The matter is over then and there, unless, the person carries the revenge against me and insults me the next time. I realize that we may get into a loop. But nonetheless, I would have some peace of mind knowing that I learnt how to deal with such a situation.
A few years back, we had hosted a party for my husband’s birthday. While the guys were having some fun by passing around a champagne bottle, someone commented that my husband should get the last sip so that he would get a good wife in his next birth. I was stunned with insult. How I wish I would have said something and either made a joke out of it, or subtly told the person that he didn’t have a funny sense of humor.
My wish for sixth sense may sound really stupid to someone else. But to me, it would make a huge difference if I learn to handle people and those awkward situations.
Life would be so much easier if you get what you ask for. The trick lies in knowing what to ask for and then using it to your benefit.