Sunday, July 23, 2006

Friendship and all that jazz

It's been a while since I last blogged and it makes me feel guilty, like I've been putting off a chore. I could make up some excuse to feel better about it, but really, who's to care? Fact is, some days I just live without thinking that oh, this may be blogworthy.

Recently, my closest friend from India came to visit me, along with her spouse and two-year-old girl. They stayed for over two weeks. It was hard at first, just getting used to having people in the house with so many differing wants and needs. And they were needy--they could hardly help it. They were totally dependent on me to get them from Place A to Place B. The problem for Indian visitors to the U.S.--and I am sure this is hardly unique to desis--is always the problem of transportation. Unless one lives in New York or some other East Coast city, visitors are housebound until you set aside time from your no doubt full schedule to play tourist with them. Or, as was in my friend's case, to play shopper.

My friend's an indefatigable shopper, one who has to browse every single item in a store, before narrowing her search to one item over which she would further spend several minutes perusing from every angle. Until, another item catches her eye. I almost heard time passing by. Felt the earth complete another rotation. Friendship, sometimes, can try your patience too far.

Once, I snapped. But, thankfully, friendship can also be stretched really thin without breaking. By the time she and her family left my home, we parted as great friends as ever, maybe even greater.

During that time, I found myself wondering what I shared in common with her anymore. True, we were confidantes in college; now we were wives and mothers of toddlers. But we now live in different countries, have completely disparate lifestyles and points of view and habits. In fact, we are as different as two human beings can possibly be.

Getting to the bottom of our friendship could probably lead to a thesis on what makes a friendship--and who wants to go into all that anyway. I just know that the incongruity of our bond adds a colorful skein to the texture and richness of the fabric of my life. It's something else to wonder at.