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Are diamonds super personified, probably due to their exorbitant, astonishing value with an ever luminescent sparkle and being a source of pleasure alongside being equally resilient for enduring pressure?
Dear William Shakespeare Sir,
Sincere apologies for merely mugging up your work — “Blow, blow, thou winter wind” for exams without understanding what you meant to say.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Wondering how after so many years I suddenly remembered the lines and had a Eureka moment, when I could decipher the connotation of each word. The hullabaloo around the arrival of friendship day stirred my comatose memory after good twenty-two years.
That also somehow stimulated the echoing of a sentence probably read somewhere years back that ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friends.’
The upbringing in a middle class household never led to giving too much of thought process to these un-relatable quotes.
However this sudden flashing left me gasping at the works and wonders of memory to bring out associations and connections so lucidly and aptly just when I was wondering how to celebrate friendship day.
Suddenly these words left me wondering how the tagline is justified in the stereotypical characterization of a friend.
Is this also defining the lens that we use to introspect and weigh friendships with? Is it that we are burdening the women to be preferring materialism over human form of friendship?
Critically feministic if one wants to get down to a core analysis. But on a lighter note for all of us who are not making trips to tiffany, rejoice! We have the most precious one safely harbored in our hearts — the human forms whom we call as friends.
Deliberating this friendship day on what does friendship symbolize for us? Hearty laughter, fun, feel good factor, emotional let outs and the perfect company for any occasion.
Oops! Well no… watch any Hindi film and they will shatter this simplistic conceptualization while putting you on a pedestal for demeaning their idealistic and superhumanly version of friendship.
They proclaim friendship means sacrifice and burden it with ‘I can die for you my friend.’ The sacrificial hero does die to drive this epitome version of friendship across.
Haven’t though in comparison come across many movies where the heroine is also burdened to carry the flagship of overly exaggerating ‘what you mean to me my dear friend.’
On a blatant gender based comparative note — female protagonist and likewise in movies as compared to male counterparts are not dying or going overboard with sacrifices.
Reason is simple, remember diamonds are their best friends? Phew and there we come back to feministic introspection.
Admit it, none of us in sane spaces with our rationality intact are dying for a friend. These kind of portrayals of relationships are toxic and rob it off its essence.
Seriously, I wouldn’t die for you my friend. Literally translating that to saying ‘I won’t just go too out of the way for you in the name of friendship.’ It is suffocating to be in relationship which put excessive demands on you and where you need to prove yourself each time.
We all have friends and surely agree that friendships are based on mutual benefits and also subject to risks. Jealousy, competition, gossip, anger, confrontations and suffocation, all are there in a friendship.
Appears quite derogatory and deprecating to put these negative words and emotions in the web of friendship. Movie makers may take a serious offense.
These are not negative defining’s but rather the attributes of a normal progression in any relationship. Something all of us experience even in friendship but fail to openly acknowledge.
So there we are today, introspecting friendship but from a colored perspective which goes beyond the rainbow impression to also include shades of grey.
Friendship means I am there with you by default in all your good times and surface in your bad times when you call for me. However I do expect you to be there by default in all my bad times without me summoning for you.
Yes, I may also try to be there for you when needed but conditions apply.
I am human after all. It means when I want to go out and have fun , and you come unconditionally with me. If you don’t, I secretly would harbor a grudge and will use it next time when you want me to be there. Remember in friendship we do believe in equality and use it to get even.
Dear friend, I continuously critically judge you for everything you say or do secretly but on face make statements ‘It’s okay you can tell me…I won’t judge you’.
Don’t frown, you judge me in the same ways. Reminds me of a scene from movie from 3 idiots which for probably the first time in Hindi cinema history said ‘You feel worst when your friends gets the top rank.’
Admit it we all laughed on this scene because somewhere it touched a chord and finally some offering of relief from the burden of idealism in friendship that we had carried so far.
The dialogue was actually so true and made us feel and realize we are not the only ones to have experienced this thought in friendship.
‘Teri jeet meri jeet…teri haar meri haar.’
‘Your win is my win and your loss my loss!’ Is little too idealistic.
Should be teri jeet and also meri jeet alongside calls for celebration. And teri haar is not meri haar but yes meri haar can be yours too.
Celebrate this friendship day differently by being honest.
The list goes on! But on friendship day we acknowledge all these types in the list. It is a day that is supposed to overwhelm you with the number of people who send you wishes proclaiming you mean the world to them!
I bet most of us before forwarding these messages do not even read them well and connect them to the kind of bond we share with the person to whom we send.
Reciprocal response is that this person randomly selects one forward and sends it back to us. Friendship message account balance sheet okayed, account closed and reopens next year again on friendship day.
A reality check, therefore, is needed to analyze what does friendship means to us and who are the real friends.
No denying that the top on the list always happens to be someone from school usually. It is so easy to strike conversation with people from school and how often those whom we did not interact much in school later become the besties.
Reason — there is no much pretense even if you want to, as they have seen you in your ugly duckling phase and still cannot accept your transformation into the beautiful swan.
That is so comforting you largely remain etched into their memories as the same simple, naive, stupid, dumb etc and that really puts you at ease. The way this relationship is meant to be.
This also brings us to the common friend that all of us have but never acknowledged and completely faded in negligence. Yup that means my biggest friend is me to myself as that’s someone who knows me 100 percent.
As a women my best friend is also my education which has empowered me enough to contemplate the world from my own perspective.
This friendship day, filter out from the many people you send these forwards too.
Many of us would then be actually able to count on fingers who are really the ones to be getting these messages. Instead to randomly spamming each other with messages written by someone else, pen a simple line and send it those who really fall in your definition of friends.
Rest all are contacts and acquaintances who hold meanings and significance yet should not be promoted or rather pressurized to accommodate in our friendship zone.
Relax as there is no prize ever for forwarding same messages to all in contact list. It’s no shame either if you truly feel like sending it to only a few. Nothing to worry if you feel like there is no one you want to wish.
There is always this one person who is always a friend and that is YOU.
On this friendship day, hug yourself and vow to remain friends with yourself through thick and thin.
On a lighter note, keep forwarding the friendship messages randomly to each and every one you know since you may have time. It’s a Sunday after all. If nothing else, these messages may acknowledge the creativity of the one who penned them.
Image Source: Still from Veere Di Wedding, via Canva Pro
I am a post doctorate in social sciences, specializing in education and a professor at Somaiya Vidyavihar University. My areas of expertise are Research , Life skills and Management of Education. I am a voracious reader read more...
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I recommend reading Manjiri Indurkar's Origami Aai alongside her memoir to have a fulfilling and enriching experience of telling one's story with grace.
It’s All In Your Head, M famed author Manjiri Indurkar’s debut poetry collection, Origami Aai, is independent and yet an extension of her memoir in which she speaks with utmost grace about all forms of abuses that she has survived. In this book of intriguing and evocative poems, the poet weaves words to form images of the everyday life of her middle-class family, love found and lost, trauma, and healing.
The collection is divided into four segments, beginning with the family, slowly moving towards the world, and finally colliding them together.
We aren’t in mourning, but we are creatures of habit.
So we talk of each one who died of drowning,
and I listen to her stories with the patience
of a chronicler.
– Funereal Stories
Homemakers or as we often call them, 'housewives' are IMO the most underestimated and disrespected of women. Time this changed.
I am so glad to write about this as homemakers were and till are the most undervalued and underestimated.
Having grown up in Indian society, I have witnessed people disrespecting homemakers by delivering various comments like, “saara din ghar par to hoti ho karti kya ho” (being at home what do you do full day), “housewives ke pass to bahut time hota hai” (housewives have a lot of time), “subah kaam hota hai fir to free hi free saara din” (you have work in the morning and then you are free the whole day).
I am a working woman and I confess that I can go to work because earlier my mother and now my mother-in-law share responsibilities with me. People feel the work of a homemaker is easy but honestly, it’s not. I see my mother-in-law waking up at 6 am and working non-stop till night. In fact, I would say the life of some working individuals are much more sorted and simple than that of a homemaker.
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