Friends who are Family

Last year, I was on a flight to Auckland. It was hard for the seat belt to restrain the excitement that I was bursting with. I was on my way to meet our Auckland Family. Unannounced and yes, definitely for a cup of tea with my best friend.

19th May – It was a wet, wild and wintery saturday morning when I knocked on their door. Aunty, answered the door. She is the oldest amongst all my friends. She was surprised, speechless and stunned to find us at her door step. We were there with all our bags & suitcases. She welcomed us as if we were neighbours with a hot bowl of porridge that was cooking on the stove.

Jia, Jia came running down the steps when she heard my voice and embraced me with a hug. The next second we were in each others arms and happiness oozed out in the form of tears. neither of us could understand that our daydream had just turned into reality.

Introducing Jia

She was the first one to see me. I was in my backyard and she was in her living room. She sent here dad to investigate if we had a child that she could come and play with. She was a rolly-polly cheeky-chubby 6 year old when I met her. She asked for a playmate and she got me, we have stuck on to each other since then. she is the youngest friend that I have.

I have sat thruʼ many of her Hannah-Montanna shows encouraging, hoping and wishing that I would nominate her for the reality show – NZ has talent. And that young girl has got a lot of talents.
We have spent many weekends eating ice-cream and daydreaming together. When she introduced me to face painting, I introduced her to a hair straightener. while she busy filling her journal with stories of her first crush and boy friend, I busy building friendships that last a life time. While she was filling up my phone with her selfies, I was busy filling boxes to relocate to Bangalore. When I moved to Bangalore in Oct 2015, she was a few days short of turning 16. She had blossomed into a beauty, with brains and a spark of brilliance. At that time, she had her nose in the books, head in the clouds and was chasing a dream.

She called me on 16th april 2018, to share with me the happiness of one of her dreams coming true. she was selected as a Robertson scholar on a full scholarship to Duke. She in the midst of her excitement didnʼt forget to daydream with me as always. She was telling me how her mom missed not having me around and how she always wished that that I could join her for a cup a tea. It was a 40 mins phone call filled with delights of joy, daydreams to fulfill and destinations to reach. It ended with us day-dreaming What If I knocked on her door unannounced for a cup of tea. I said – “Jia, thatʼll be themost expensive cup of tea” and she said “ well, good things donʼt come cheap in life”.

Thatʼs exactly what were experiencing in that embrace when happiness was oozing out as tears. We were at their door, with our bags, not for a cup of tea, not for dinner that night but for a month, till we found a place to move to. Friends, day dreams do come true, just make sure you share it with friends who also day dream with you.

Just as we had enjoyed the warm bowl of porridge and were zonked after the , my best friend Deepika made her entry. She is my real life wonder-woman. Deepika, is the one who successfully converted me from a the tea-totaler that I was to the tea addict that I am. we have been partners-in crimes in many shopping adventures. She is my sounding board when I need sane advise. She is my punching bag when i need to whine. She has her shoulders for me and arms around me when I need a good cry. She couldnʼt believe what she was seeing. We were in her living room after 31 months.

We have all heard that Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are and enjoy your company as much as you enjoy theirsʼ. They ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what. This is my Auckland family. I have introduced you to just the women in this family today and will save the men for another day.

We are very fortunate to have these friends and friendships that make life what it is today. This we call our fortune.
Friends, where we can knock on their door with our suitcases and plan to stay not just for tea and dinner but for weeks. Friends, when we walk into their living room make us feel like we never left and hand you a warm a cup of porridge. Friends, who give us the key code to their house and lend us their car for a month.

These are the people who donʼt share blood with us but are willing to share their lives with us.

aah, did i mention that in the 8 weeks that I spent in Auckland, I cooked 3 meals – yes, just 3 meals in 8 weeks. who needs to cook when you have Punjabis who treat you as family. We didnʼt feel that Auckland faced the coldest temperature in 50 years on the 29th June due to the warmth of the people we were surrounded by.

How many of you agree with me that We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason .
Be fortunate for the friends and friendships you have and you make.
Day dream and make sure you day dream with friends.

If you have friends like I have, they even make day dreams come true.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust

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