Yesterday I met some of my close friends from Post Grad. We’d come together to celebrate a friend’s birthday. A pleasant surprise for him, it also was a wonderful evening for us.

We’d all met after nearly one and a half years. So it was, but natural, that we had a lot to talk about! From our jobs, long commutes, extended working hours and sometimes stressful lifestyle, to how much fun we had during our university days: the classes, the professors, the events, some of our classmates; every topic was covered! Some old memories were revived. Some new titbits were shared.

And then one of them commented, “Tu baryach divsat kahi navin lihila nahis…” (It’s been a while since you last wrote a new post).

I have to agree. It has been quite some time. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to. I often sieved through various topics in my head. Sometimes, the topic didn’t feel that alluring. Sometimes laziness got the better of me. Five days of sitting in front of a laptop made me not want to do so on the remaining two. And then, there was a hidden fear too: the fear of maybe not managing to write as well as I’d like to, as the people who read my posts (supposedly) expect me to.

I procrastinated…

So while we were talking and laughing together yesterday, I was running through ideas for a new post in my mind. And then it struck me that my topic was sitting right in front of me – friends!

I have friends from different spheres of my life. Some from school, some from college, some from university, some from work, some from extra-curricular and social activities I participated in, my friends’ siblings, my friends’ friends…

There are friends with whom the friendship has stayed the same over the years. The only change is the topics we talk about. We’ve progressed from discussing toys and cartoons, to where and what we’d like to study in college, then assignments, submissions and crushes, girlfriends/boyfriends, and now career and matrimonial aspirations. We’ve been through each other’s good and bad moments, given each other good and bad advice, covered up for each other, taken the blame for each other, ticked each other off, decided to not talk or contact each other ever again, and then phoned and messaged each other within a short time.

There are friends with whom I have only one aspect in common. Some enjoy reading, so we discuss books, articles and blog posts. Some are fans of Indian classical music and dance, so that’s what we talk about every time we meet. Another is a movie buff, so we nearly always go to movies together and then review them. There are friends who are good developers and have extensive knowledge of everything that’s going on in the tech world, so we discuss technology and code. There are a few gourmets who introduce me to new restaurants and cuisines. Some like to go on long walks. And some of them like to write, so we share our posts with each other.

There are some friends who inspire me. One comes from a humble background, and is one of the most brilliant yet down-to-earth people I’ve met. Through sheer hard work and determination she now holds a good position in a reputed company. It’s always a pleasure to see her climb up the ladder of success, for she truly deserves it! Another friend is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. She continues to pursue her hobby alongside her job, making sure to carve out time each week to do so. I find this commendable; considering how easily we let go of our passions when we get stuck in the rat-race called career growth. Yet another friend is a fitness enthusiast. He participates in various marathons. In today’s hectic world, we are hard-put to find even five minutes to exercise. So showing the dedication and consistency needed to even train for marathons, let alone actually participating in them, is indeed an admirable trait!

There are people who’ve become much better friends than I’d ever anticipated! My colleagues fall under this category. Work doesn’t feel like work when you have good company! The eight-nine hours we spend together are always both fun and productive. There’s a lot we’ve learned from each other; career-wise as well as life-wise. And with each shared experience in the job-sphere, we’ve gelled together even more. New challenges and new projects feel less scary because I know they’ve got my back.

There are friends who’ve distanced out. They changed, so did I. Circumstances changed, and so did the dynamics of our friendship. Daily messages slowly became a weekly ritual, then monthly, then occasionally and now not all. In some cases they walked away, in some I did. Sometimes it felt painful, sometimes an absolute necessity. But eventually they’ve all become important lessons in life.

And finally, there’s a friend I never gave up on, and who, in turn, never gave up on me. When life throws curveballs at us, it’s the ones we are closest to that we end up hurting the most. How relieving and comforting it is, then, to know that they see the real you, and don’t judge you for being the imperfect person you are. Sure, they’re tough on you, and would not hesitate to tell you what you might not want to hear, but should. But they never, ever, stop caring about you, and you about them.

My friends are my lifeline. Each of them is a piece of the kaleidoscope of my life, forming beautiful different patterns of shared moments and memories. Each rotation reveals a different me, but always a happy me!

I hope that the coming years make the patterns even more intricate and colourful, as even more pieces get added to the mix!