Anupama writes a letter to her 18-year old daughter. Read what she has to say.
For women in their 30s, their teenage girl friends are indispensable – picking you up when you are down and low, and being with you through thick and thin.
It is almost like you have grown up together, even if not in the same house. For those of us in our 30s, telephones became available at a fairly young age. Sure, they were not meant for our active perusal as each telephone call cost our parents their hard-earned money.
But, we had them. And, we used them to stay in touch with our teenage friends when we were not sitting together and picking each other’s brains. This, however, did not restrict us friends from meeting and spending time together.
Unlike today’s kids, we actually had the time to spend with each other. We had television sets but were not mostly glued to them all the time. Okay, yes, I did not have a cable connection at my place, but so did many of my friends. It was not necessarily because it was not affordable, but our middle class parents did not want us to waste our time on them and anyway screen obsession was not yet a thing.
On lazy summer afternoons, we would lie casually together in the bed, in front of the now almost obsolete desert coolers. The drawn curtains, shut lights and the earthy scent from the cooler actually created quite an interesting atmosphere.
With some light still filtering in from the curtains, we took out books for which we could be reprimanded in broad daylight. At other times, we would just lie and talk about dreams, about what we wanted to do and how badly we wanted to be together all our life. We were friends who joined the same coaching classes so we could share notes and also have study stay-ins at each other’s place.
Those were still the days when we could easily walk a kilometer or more to the coaching or just for a casual walk. Days when we still went to parks in the morning or evening. Days when we could sit under a tree and talk about cute guys we had a crush on. Oh, more importantly, days when there were still so many trees!
We experienced the petrichor after the first showers of the season and we also soaked ourselves to the skin as we did so. There would be trips to nearby places of worship with parents and there were trips to restaurants on extremely chilly nights. Sitting together in a McDonald’s savoring our first ‘McD’ burgers and supporting each other morally for the tough career paths ahead.
Sure, professional studies and consequent careers might have taken us to different shores but it never changed the relationship that we built – a pearl necklace, a pearl at a time. Every little experience – a tiny pearl for eternity.
When our first boyfriends broke our hearts, we knew where to turn for the much needed support. When we were faced with adversities at our jobs, we knew who we had to spend that weekend chatting over the phone with.
The girl friends of our teenage are no longer just our friends. They are our soul-sisters. They know us to our core. They are the ones we know we can share everything with without thinking twice.
We may be married or we may be not be, just yet, but we know that we have a partner for life. Not a boyfriend, not a husband. Our girlfriends who know us like the back of our hands and who always have our back whenever we are down and out.
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Header image is a screen grab from the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
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Neha Srivastava is an ex-strategic planner in advertising (a very short-lived career). She
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