I’m not going to make the mistake of calling them my friends. They are so much more than that cringe-worthy word we have begun using so freely. Beyond the timings of a watch, and beyond boundaries. Be it those of countries, time zones or lack of texts and phone calls.
They are the people who have my house keys, incase I inadvertently set it on fire.
The people who have been to the ER with me.
My life coaches, fashion consultants, agony aunts, sounding boards, binge partners.
The people who are at the receiving end of my volatile anger, and my unconditional love and loyalty. And yet have somehow become such a big part of me that they have shaped me. They stayed.
We have all been through enough of life to understand its sorting process. People come and go, you grow apart, you grow up. Situations and people both keep evolving, often not at the same pace as one another.
And yet, we find ourselves surrounded by a core group of people, the people we keep going back to: our tribe.
They are sometimes harsh, mostly very forgiving, but we have grown into such a comfortable place with them that we wouldn’t trade them for anyone else.
Often, I’ve been accused of being anti-social and unfriendly. Ok, it’s partly true. But most of it has to do with the fact that I’m at such a good place with the people in my life that I don’t want to do anyone new a disservice by making them a part of the process. I’m an all in or all out kind of person. No apologies on that.
Now, lets understand this tribe a little.
It’s made up of several sub-tribes, sometimes they come together and the neighbours complain and glasses get broken. Sloppy kisses are exchanged and undying loyalty and love is professed.
(And I would love to write back to my younger self and let her know that I was wrong. Women are the anchors of my life, not the ‘chilled out, no hang-ups’ men I had initially thought. Sorry guys.)
The Mommies: The ones who NEVER have times for a girls night, even though the whatsapp group in named just that. We are too consumed with antibiotics, school stories and fear that our little ones aren’t so little anymore. Yeah, we were young, and wild, and free once. Now we are domesticated park-dwellers who discuss how fat we all are.
The Party Makers: These guys don’t know the meaning of an early night, even though every damn time we meet, we discuss how there is work the next day and we all can’t handle a late night. Nope. Make the mistake repeatedly and call each other the next day to discuss why the hell we did what we did and how this was the last time. Right guys?
The Luncheon Ladies: Not a Kitty Party. OK? It’s a ‘catch-up’ between a few close friends to discuss what’s been annoying the life out of us. While eating unholy quantities of pasta, then saying, “dessert just for today ok?”, after having ordered a diet coke. What double standards I tell you. Agony Aunts as well.
The Besties: These are the brutal ones. No room for error here. Mini parents. Soul mates. Sounding boards. And the general voice of reason in life. Basically an extension of me.
The Out-Of-Towners: Some people who travel too much are also included. These guys get the phone calls at odd time cause I really don’t know your time zones ok? Come into town and suddenly you drop everything cause they will chew your brains up if you don’t meet them.
The Neighbours: Yes, the people I trust with my keys. The people who are the reason I never want to move out of this ageing condominium. The people who belong to all age groups and still hang out together because we just have to walk to each others homes. Ha! In your face Delhi. In yo face.
Then all the family constantly complains about how we have a hectic social life. (Really? I go to bed earlier than most of my family, on a weekday.)
Yes, I’m surrounded by the most insane, tolerant, progressive, conversation-worthy, trust-worthy people. I’ve taken a long, long time, and way too many failures. But now I finally have a bunch I call my extended family. My brothers, sisters, 2-AM friends. Everything I worked hard for. And people who accepted every eccentricity I had to offer.
I’m sure they will read this and know who each one is. I’m sure you each have your own tribe you call your very own by now. Give them all a shout-out.
If not, keep looking! The world is filled with weird and wonderful people to call your own.