Category Archives: friendship

the three peddlers

Every once in a while around 3pm exactly, we would get an urge to randomly go say ‘hello.’ And so, the three of us would start pedaling from Raj Nagar towards Kavi Nagar. I remember the very first time. Our dear friend had bunked an entire day of school and we wanted to catch him red-handed. The three of us at 12, 13, and 14, having absolutely nothing to do, decided to pay him a surprise visit. We had his address and used our clever ways to maneuver through the random streets. We finally arrived but couldn’t bring ourselves to ring the bell. We were basically scared of his father – what if he is a grouchy old man and chases us away with a stick? We even spent a good 5 minutes squinting our eyes towards the other two in hopes of finding a brave volunteer. The thought of ringing the bell and then pedaling at the speed at which only Lance would give us competition also crossed our minds. We were full of mischief but had never compromised our safety before.

With a brave heart and naughty eyes, we looked at each other, smirked & giggled, and rang that bell. His mom greeted us with a sparkle in her eyes and a smirk on her face. It was a total embarrassment for each party involved. Once we confirmed that he was indeed sick, we decided to repeat the experience and refine our art. We pedaled some more, this time towards Shastri Nagar to visit another friend. We again looked at each other, smirked & giggled, and rang that bell, only this time with confidence. His sister greeted us at the gate and yelled out his name. He came out, shook his head sideways in total disbelief, and filled up his next few sentences with a lot of silent cuss words. “Oh my holy Lord, why are these three here? These psychos are going to get me killed. What the @#$%!” – just one glance and we could tell the category of thoughts pacing through his mind. We sat on the sofa in the living room and just giggled.


Our mission to embarrass our friend was yet again, a success. With eyebrows raised in accomplishment and pride in our bravery, we rode back to our respective homes. What seemed like a lifetime of cycling, apparently was just a round trip of 12 kilometers. Next week, again at 3pm exactly, we got an urge to randomly go and say ‘hello.’


makkhan maar ke


Out of 7.125 billion, there are only a handful of humans who are dependable. I happen to know one such man and he is family. His first influence on me started with timeless discussions on astrology. Here’s a confession – I suffer from short term as well as long term memory loss but to this day, I can never forget the author Linda Goodman. I was probably only 9 or 10 years old and had other problems in life but the background of starry arguments stayed with me – arguments over how you can easily divide the world population exactly in 12 and expect everyone in that sector to share the same qualities, and how it’s the aftermath of movement and relative positioning of celestial bodies. I don’t have the answer to that question and I can’t force myself to believe the division-by-12 rule, but somehow the description of Aries defines me down to a tee. Anyways, after hours spent in this fruitless discussion, we would all be tired, forget about the stars, and start singing – ‘neele-neele ambar par’.

From those night-outs to this day, it has been a memorable journey – a journey full of ice cream sundaes, serious discussions about the purpose of life, senseless laughter, forgetting & forgiving, frosty trips to Manali, and countless aloo-gobhi-paneer parathas – makkhan maar ke! I have been welcomed, I have been loved, and I have been spoilt. But my favorite part about him, and what I admire the most is him just being there – in the bad times, at the toughest hours, without hesitation.

What you do creates a ripple effect and spreads across. What you give is priceless and with all your heart. So thank you for being there in good times and bad, in joy and tears, in sickness and health. Thank you from the bottom of my heart – you can always count on me.

I have a coconut

cracked coconut with big splash
Coconut is a life force and so is a friend.

It could be either or all – a fruit, nut, or seed. A total darling, silly to the core, or one who lightens up the path.

Coconut contains sugar, dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and provides an electrolytic balance. A friend for an uplift, energy overdose, and a Julia-Roberts smile – sugar. A friend for a reality check and a reminder for duties necessary – dietary fiber. One to inject strength – protein. Basic instincts, basic protective instincts – antioxidants. Someone to regulate motion, to balance emotion – vitamins. One to show you your beginning and force you down to earth – minerals. By letting you cry and laugh, bitch and moan, someone to bring equilibrium – electrolytic balance.

It can have many complex layers, hairs that are irritating to your hands, and stubborn in their ways and shell that is hard to crack and rigid on the surface. It is at all times, dark and light. It is in every way as hard as as it is soft. It is purely complicated and complicatedly pure. In each distinct form, it covers all states of matter – solid, liquid, and gas.

Under the unbreakable, it is brittle. Camouflaged in strength is its weak spot. Hidden in the dark is the bright light.

Coconut is a life force and so is a friend. I have a coconut, do you?

atithi devo bhav

In my culture, guests are considered equivalent to God. If you are a guest, you are not allowed to clean, contribute, or even comment. We will welcome you, cook delicious food, chalk your itinerary, and give you gifts as well. It’s your moral duty to just relax and be taken care of. This is what had allowed the sages, the enlightened ones, and Buddha himself to survive. They practiced their beliefs, contributed to the scriptures, and meditated under a tree while someone else bought groceries and cooked in the kitchen; no pun intended!

My next set of guests are on the move. Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

• Trips to Fillmore to bring back a carton each of oranges and grapefruit,
• Healthy delicious food every single day,
• Adding to my succulents collection,
• Dinner parties & overflowing red wine,
• Spontaneous weekend getaways,
• Trips to the Malibu farmer’s market,
• Joint motivation for entering the gym,
• A mini vacation to someplace unvisited,
• Regular multivitamins, calcium, fish oil, and flossing,
• Lots of heated discussions and arguments,

and last but the very best,

• Someone to come home to.



eat pray love

I am to write a bulleted list of my accomplishments. Yes, the boss is expecting percentages, numbers, and factual data. Here it is.

  • Designed the overall life vision and the roadmap to implement happiness, satisfaction, and continual improvement.
  • Led a cross-functional team of all five senses to develop and implement a robust and self-sustaining Life Management System.
  • Integrated Buddhist methodologies and Hinduism philosophy across the entire thought process to improve Friend Quality, Family Quality, and Self Quality resulting in a substantial increase in the overall soul satisfaction.
  • Brought a change in the organizational culture and influenced each human to eat, pray, and love.
  • Brought a change in the organizational culture and influenced a few to move from stained coffee mugs to fragrant tea tumblers.
  • Automated daily smiles and centralized laughter database at various levels.
  • Led a team to get the new Thousand Oaks life certified with Laughter 9001:2008 within 90 days. The certification was awarded with minimal frowns and zero PIP’s.
  • Developed friendships and enforced controls resulting in the following improvements:

~ 54% reduction in the global unhealthy food habits from Q4’11 to Q4’12.
~ 93% reduction in ‘Quality department sucks’/’Quality only creates problems’ related issues from Q4’11 to Q4’12.
~ 31% reduction in # Nexsan human pounds from Q3’12 to Q4’12.
~ 88% reduction in feeling lonely and hopeless from Q3’12 to Q4’12.
~ 2.3% improvement in smiling and making others smile from 2011 to 2012.
~ 7.0% improvement in self-confidence, self-sustenance, and self-preservation from 2011 to 2012.

love actually

While I was fixing some of the material handling issues, F1 was on amazon ordering me a book. She couldn’t wait for me to be surprised and so she ordered the next day delivery. I drove 351 miles north only to see a frown. F2 was mad at me because half hour just wasn’t enough. It was his birthday the very next day and he wanted no cupcake. He wanted more of Roohi. While I was trying to cover it up with makeup, F3 was in line for something sweet. I got a call from F4 while she missed her boyfriend and wanted to instantly fly to Bern just to be with him. I also got a call while she was super buzzed and wanted me to listen to her irrepressible laughter. F5 sat through the fall, through the vulnerability.

I was buying tea for F6 while she was out choosing a 100% cotton nighty for me. She spent several minutes wondering if I’d like the color or if it’ll even fit me. F7 watched from a distance, observed me quietly, gave me time and followed up the next day. F8 stared and learned through a hesitant smile. He later sneaked in sideways and scared the shit out of me.

I was mad at F9 and gave him an earful. Now he cares enough and behaves. F10 was mad at me and gave me an earful. She was worried and concerned, and I deserved a full round of yelling. F11 expresses through anger, like sweetness wrapped in a 70% cocoa bittersweet dark chocolate.

The lit up eyes, the honest smiles, and those bone-crunching hugs say a lot. However, the wounded heart, the frowning face, the rolling tears, anger, and angst may also say the same. It’s a myth that love, friendship, care, and concern can only be shown in positive forms. Someone crying, someone mad, and someone scared of you could be a form as well. Someone spending even 5 minutes of their busy day thinking about you is a form of love, unless they are planning to kill you, of course.

There is love in jealousy.
A wee bit in anger.
Love is there in strength.
And more so in weakness.
It’s in everything irrational.
And yet, it’s only rational.
There is love in fear.
A little hidden in a tear.




  • 1 create when sorry
  • 7 seemed like we ate this for hours
  • 10 enjoyed a chilled beer and wanted to go again
  • 11 at the gates of and in
  • 13 where the moonlight hits the waves
  • 14 the elevated spiral walk; grocery bags; dominos pizza
  • 15 dessert in a martini glass
  • 17 can never say no to…
  • 20 saved on a shared drive
  • 21 all religions are welcome to pray together in silence
  • 22 ___ mata di


  • 2 boy with an innocent crush
  • 3 nickname for oh! my love
  • 4 $20 wasted here two times
  • 5 taught Hinduism with patience & enthusiasm
  • 6 festival of the beginning
  • 8 disease who never responded
  • 9 diyas; lantern; rangoli
  • 12 BB did what?
  • 14 song from the movie on the last night
  • 15 leave a gift at her doorstep
  • 16 the lounge connected to subway
  • 18 ____wala love
  • 19 stones imported from Persia
  • 21 the 30th ride