Nobody died.

Nobody died.

I was away from the internet for 10 days. I went away leaving behind some unfinished assignments and projects. My job hunt was paused midway. The emails I had composed to various people still lay in my Drafts folder, waiting for final touches. I needed to get back to some old clients who had written to me.

But, I dropped everything and went away.

The familiar sensation of dread – the feeling of having bitten down on a piece of metal – left me after a few hours. I had not packed my laptop and I do not have internet on my phone. (Here’s why) I locked the door behind me and walked away, blocking all thoughts of ‘pending work’ – fighting my obsessive need for closure.

All through these 10 days, my phone lay somewhere in the entrails of my rucksack, silent and forgotten. Except for a couple of twinges of memory, uneasy thoughts did not haunt me.

I walked for miles up and down hills, into forests and inside caves. I traveled by plane, train, bus, car, jeep, ferry, motorbike and even an elephant. I saw the sun set over the Brahmaputra, like golden honey spread over water. I saw the full moon rise at 5.30pm over the largest river island in the world. I watched the clouds float over brilliant blue skies over a sleepy hillside town. I took a languorous afternoon bus ride through narrow roads flanked by paddy fields and tea gardens. I sat watching cows and pigs graze on yellow-green meadows and rode through a countryside where the twittering of birds could be heard over the dull roar of the bike…

It was another world. Another life.

Even as the plane landed, I found myself wondering about what was awaiting me at home. Emails, to-do lists, chores… I snapped at SR, made sarcastic remarks, lost my temper with airline attendants who were too slow and felt that the taxi driver was fleecing me of hard-earned money.

I was back.

Ready to tackle the demons waiting for me hungrily.

But the funny thing was that nobody had died.

Nothing had broken down because I was away. People had not collapsed all over the country because I had not written back to them soon enough. On the whole, it seemed that except for various banking institutions and online shopping websites, nobody else had missed me terribly.

In the larger scheme of things, the frenetic flapping of my wings did not matter. I did not have to throw myself against the windows, thrash about to get out and get things moving. I did not have to launch myself again and again into the flames.

It is a good realization.

I am going to sit back in my armchair and think about that world. That other world of magic and contentment. Having lived and breathed there once, for however short a period of time, I can perhaps go back to it again.

Or perhaps, I can re-create it – right here, in my head…

“Seeking Franship with Girls!”

No one would peg me as a socially awkward person. I wouldn’t have either except for this new problem that has cropped up.

I don’t have a female BFF*.

I could count on one hand the number of female friends I have. I am fond of them and they of me, but our relationship doesn’t go beyond calling up once every few months or chatting occasionally on Facebook.

When I look back on my school days, I realize that I had a different female best friend every year because somehow, ever year, I would be shuffled from one section to another. In college, I did make a couple of good friends and we are still in touch. But as I said, our relationship doesn’t go beyond catching up or hanging out once in a while.

This has never bothered me until recently.

In the last 2 weeks, I have read 4 women-centric books (umm, yes: I do read 2-3 books a week) and all the protagonists had at least one female BFF. A soul sister.  And when I browse Facebook, I see many of my friends and juniors hanging out with their girl friends, apparently having a great time.

And I am suddenly a little wistful.

I wish I had a girl friend I was closer to. Someone with whom I can hang out every now and then without being bored. Someone with whom I can go shopping or to the salon and who can tell me when I am wearing the wrong things or making a perfect fool of myself. Someone to whom I can crib about life and about SR (right now, I crib about SR to SR, and he listens to it sportingly; but a change would be nice!)

How do you go about making a new girl friend when you are in your mid-twenties, married and working? Most people already have their friends in place by this time.

Say you know a couple of girls – online friends, old school and college mates or colleagues – who you like and want to know more about: how the hell are you supposed to ‘express interest” and take the relationship “to the next level”? (Yikes, how tacky that sounds!)

Do you just ping someone out of the blue and ask if they’d like to meet for coffee. Suppose they don’t want to, it might be rather embarrassing; And suppose you do meet up, but the situation becomes rather awkward, wouldn’t that be worse?

The more I think about this, the surer I am that this is more complicated than dating.

So I toy with the idea of going on a women-only trip or a girls’ night out – so many of these happen in Bangalore. Then again, these are temporary, fun things, and that is really not what I am looking for.

For an absurd instant, I wonder how people will react if I put up a post on Put Me in Touch or one of those FB groups “Seeking franship with women.”


Here’s my conclusion: in this day and age, you have plenty of dating options and avenues whatever age you are. But if you are in your twenties and are trying to make new friends – especially of the same sex – well, good luck!

(a) The likelihood of actually making a new friend at this stage in life is bleak, and (b) anything you do would make you come across as rather pathetic if not downright weird.


A question to my readers: Have any of you been in a similar rut? Did you get out of it?

I’d love to know!

*BFF = Best Friend Forever