Sunday, March 28, 2010

Withdrawal symptoms of a "special" kind!!

A few days ago we celebrated the 25th wedding anniversary of a wonderful couple. It was a great party and I got to meet a lot of friends I hadn't seen in a while. Well, now the party is over and I'm going through a withdrawal. And along with me and my wife, are 5 other couples going through the same thing.

Let me explain. The six couples in question performed a little dance sequence at the party (which actually turned out pretty good!). The reason it turned out the way it did was that all of us got together to practice, starting about fifteen days before the event. Now let me rephrase that to tell you the truth. To practice was just an excuse to get together. So for about 5 or 6 times before the big occasion, we had so called "practice sessions", which we all knew were actually mini-parties. The dance practice would generally last a grand total of 15 minutes, and the other 3 hrs and 45 minutes would be......(you guessed it)....partying!!!! So that's the withdrawal I am going through. From a get-together almost every third day to just one party a week!! So these days when we meet, we all are looking for excuses for others to throw a party!

So why is it that we don't get tired of seeing the same people over and over again? I guess that could be a definition of friendship. No matter how often or frequently friends meet, the laughter that invariably envelops every person is fresh and genuine. Friendship is never defined by one big thing, its about thousands of those "little" things.

"We make friends not for who they are, but for how they make us feel."


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sometimes a "No" means a "Yes"!

I think its a cultural thing. A 'no' doesn't always mean that. I'm from India and back there, when you are invited somewhere, you never accept food the first time its offered to you. If you do say 'yes' the first time, its sometimes considered impolite. The host is persistent if you say 'no' and then you relent. That's how I grew up. And then I came to the United States!

The first few weeks in America, whenever I visited somebody's home, and I was offered food, I would politely say 'no'. And then wait for the host to offer me food again. And sometimes that never happened. I do remember, on occasion, I would return home....hungry! Then a dilemma crept up. Whenever I was at an Indian-American gathering, what was I supposed to do? "Yes" at the first instance..or a polite "No" at first and then take my chances?!! Well, over the next few years I could judge the "Americanization" of people fairly well and didn't return home hungry!

So that set me thinking, why do we sometimes say "no" in a situation like that. Is it being polite? Good manners? I don't think so. But that's my opinion. You could argue either way. I think the initial 'no' is ingrained in us during our formative years. Its the culture we grow up in. Living in the United States, we are exposed to different cultures. Every culture, every tradition and custom has its own character, its own weakness and strength. A lot of traditions in different cultures defy logic. But they do have a history behind them. Traditions and customs are windows through which we can look back and relive a little bit of the history of our culture.

So never forget the traditions that have been handed down to us by generations, because they are links to our past. Some customs might not always make sense, but they do give us a glimpse of history. They do give us an insight to our roots.

"It takes an endless amount of history to create the tiniest of traditions."