Ten Things of Thankful (#5)
The Friends I Hadn’t Met Yet
“There are no strangers here, only friends we haven’t met yet” – William Butler Yeats
It is with much happiness that I say that is but true. The first thing I’m thankful for this week is books. I know that I have said it before too, but books are something that most people relate to, and books have brought me a group of friends who can talk about, and without hesitation, about books. From quoting from the books they are reading, something which has struck a chord with them, to sharing shock at the way some people treat the books, the group has brought me closer to books, and brought them closer through books.
The second thing I’m thankful for is that group. This weekend, I met about a dozen of them for the first time, and it made the quote by Yeats feel true. From greeting each other even without introductions to just falling into tune with the discussions at the meet, the fun was evident. It never for a moment felt like a group of people meeting for the first time.
As the group met, the heavens opened outside and the rain fell without a break. Rain is the third thing I’m thankful for this week. In the middle of May, when temperatures are usually soaring toward the mid-thirties, the rain cooled the city nicely. And, as I mentioned to a friend, it was like the rain was telling, “You don’t meet each other often. So take your time. I’m not letting you leave for a while.”
After books, the one thing that sort of binds the group together is the talk of, sometimes with pictures, food. The place where we met was a bit too crowded, but the food was fabulous. From appetizers to main course, everything was absolutely yummy. I could hear my friends talk of trying out some of the dishes at their homes. The fourth thing I’m thankful for this week, thus, is food.
The fifth thing I’m thankful for is friendship. I got a copy of Catchers in the Rye as a gift from a friend, with a lovely inscription and poem inside. Another friend gave me a cake that she had baked. And others shared the books they had brought along with too. One of them, Shoes of the Dead, was a book I had been hunting for just a day prior to the meet. And one friend dropped me almost all the way home.
One of them mentioned that my smile made him feel like he has known me forever. Well, that was how it felt for me too. Perhaps that’s why it was so easy to talk with him and others too. I could be who I usually am, talkative and jovial and friendly without wondering what to talk about. I’m thankful that I could gel easily with the group when we met, as much as I have in threads and book exchanges and comments.
I also met two other friends for the first time over the last couple of weeks. Every time I meet a friend I’ve only interacted with by blogging, it feels wonderful to know that they are as real as they feel through their word voices. So my seventh thing of thankful, and seventh heaven, is blogging. If I had not been blogging, I am pretty sure I might have missed out on such wonderful friendships.
Every year, I take a resolution that I have to keep my weight in check. And up till 2014, that’s a resolution that has failed miserably. Last week, a friend asked me if I’m planning to resume my walk routine again. (I had skipped the morning walk for nearly 3 months before that.) Turns out, she wanted to start morning walk too. So I restarted the routine, and walking 6 to 9 kms every day. Feels very satisfying, that. I’m thankful for the company, and the re-found joy of walking every morning.
I’m thankful to have completed the April A to Z challenge for the fourth time in six attempts. I managed to write stories for the challenge and also most of the book reviews I had attempted as well. I do not think that I would have completed it but for the push from many friends and the company of my best friend Bhavya, who wrote stories each day on the same word. It feels fantastic to write at a stretch, though the tiredness has made me take 17 days off on this space. Two posts, not including this, will be backdated.
And I’m thankful for God, who continues to bless my life, even though it has been a while since I went to my favorite temple to say thanks to Him for doing so. I guess He knows that I am thankful, even though I don’t say it, but I do miss the ambience and calmness that I feel in that temple, so I hope to return there soon.
(© 18th May 2015)