I am often asked these days if I have made any friends after moving to the new city. New friends, that is. I already have my buddy from college and some good friends from my previous job who are here too. The life in a bigger city is obviously quite different though, and I don’t get to meet them as often I’d like to. Anyway, I usually smile and wave off the question, act non committal about it. The truth however is that the question always pinched me. The fact that I haven’t met anyone whom I could befriend in a city known for its friendly crowd and happening places. Of course there is my building’s cultural secretary who talks to me once in a while, invites me to music programs, appreciates my performance of the karaoke night:), I’m not sure she thinks of me as a friend though. Far from it:)
There might be so many like me, who work from home, and whose trips outside the house (apart from weekends with hubby) are restricted to grocery and vegetable shopping, ATM, bank and other household stuff. But I’m sure they all have friends, a few at least. And here I am, 5 months in the new city, indulging in self pity over my lack of friends-making abilities. It’s not all bad though. I’m writing about this because I realised I do have a friend, two actually. My neighbour, who is a grand mom, and her grandson Vihaan. They’re most definitely my new friends. What makes it even more exciting is how different they are from all my other friends.
Firstly, there is the age difference. But, somehow, it never matters when I’m talking to this lovely lady. She told me all about the best pubs around. She loves to discuss the latest movies I’ve seen. (I might even catch one with her one of these days.) She’s caring and very cool, just like my own mum. She calls me up even when she’s not in town when I mention on the building’s whatsapp group that I’m looking for a good physician. Just to check on me. She literally drags me over to her place when the electricity goes off so I don’t stay alone in the dark, in one of my pre-inverter days. After spending a long time chatting at my neighbour’s, I return home with her emergency light which she refuses to take back until I show her that I have one of my own. We used to go for our yoga class together, before the teacher quit. She likes to discuss the work I do. Most importantly, we laugh and smile a lot together. I don’t know she does it, but she completely aligns herself with stuff that I’d like to talk about or do, and she makes it seem completely effortless. After having a neighbour like Mona aunty in Baroda, I never thought anyone could come close to what she meant to me. But looks like my luck hasn’t run out yet.
Then there’s the kiddo I’m in love with. The one with a halo of curly unruly hair on his head, the sweetest voice and smile, who loves to run in to my place and jump on the bed. Who beckons me to his place or comes over to my own so uninhibitedly, it tugs at my heart every time. The way kids accept us into their lives is out of this world. They have their own brand of friendship, they really do.
Perhaps someday I will change my mind and opt for a full time job. Go back to the days of drudgery. And I will make new friends there. Till then, I’m not unhappy with what I have in terms of companionship. There are days when I’m low, but they pass. Cheers to new friendships!