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People in your life.

Most of us who live abroad,have no relatives or family living around us.We are all alone ,the ultimate nuclear family.Its just us and the friends we make over the years.In my life,I haven't lived in joint family.Only when I visited India once in 4 or 5 years,I would spend almost a month with nanima or dadima's home and as usual ,we lived liked guests.The entire month went attending dinners and luncheons and brunches with every known relative.Either we were treating or were being treated to.But as kids,it was the change in atmosphere and environment that held our fascination,not the relatives itself.

Out here,before the first gulf war,my parents would have a lunch parties every Friday.Elaborate meals were cooked,"Rummy" was played,new movies were watched and every gossip was discussed.It would range from movies,to people getting engaged or expecting children and other weekend parties.Even though the cost of living and stuff wasn't expensive,money was one issue nobody considered when entertaining friends.My dad's dialogue," Money comes and goes,money is meant to be spent.Of course,save but don't be a miser when it comes to friends.They are our family out here." The ideology behind it being,one cannot be happy all by our self.No matter what and how much we earn,we need friends or family to be a part our life.They ground us and keep the bonds alive.

Come Gulf war,when we realised who are true friends were,it was one very important lesson to remember.Not everyone will be there for you in times of need and some of the very few wont stop chanting about how they helped you out.I realised,people will take advantage of you whenever opportunity presents and very few people wont.But when people are being offered help,there will be people who instead of getting out of the rut ,will continue to survive on your help as long as they can.That's sad people.Don't do that.

People now, are more concerned about the money and expenses.I know of people who don't have people over coz they fret over the expenses before inviting someone.Its a sad sad world,but I think in the end,its also in the upbringing.What you have learnt over the years on your own and from your family.To be frank,in this economy,money is a concern for me as well.But it can never match up to the happiness I feel when people visit me,laugh and talk and love to be at my home.I feel blessed.Boredom is under check.That's what my husband has taught me over the years.He says,if someone doesn't want to invite us,doesn't matter matter sweety.When people come to our home,it means they love our food,love our company and love us enough to visit us.Its respect and love.Its all about having joy,a kind of stimuli to our otherwise mundane life.

Attithi Devo bhava....many religions and cultures uphold this belief,that people visiting you are in fact God's blessings.Try it ! Have people over.It could be as simple as a tea party.Make fabulous tea,bring a delicious mouthwatering cake or bake one.Make snacks at home if you can or buy some.Doesn't have to be something very elaborate.Its the idea behind it all,having fun with the people in your life.

Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.

(Samuel Pepys, 1633-1703, in his Diary)

The hostess must be like the duck calm and unruffled on the surface, and paddling like hell underneath.  (Anonymous)

I have been taken for granted at times,some at the hands of my own.But I always tell myself,one day,it will dawn on them how they used someone and they will hate themselves for it.Anyways,things like these are reflective of the kind of person one is.After all,one can try and hide things from others but not from yourself.

I have had people who just love the fact for the initiative taken to gather all friends and have had people who bicker from the taste to the ingredients,to the way it was cooked and ruin the whole affair.It has made me cynical to some extent and I've learnt how to keep such people in check.But family is something you cant avoid.

Anyways,now that I have been married for 10 years( Yikes! every time I say 10,I feel old and check my age),looking at some of my friends and relatives and family,I have learnt a few life lessons.

1) When you do something for someone,don't wait for a "thank you" or a return of favour.Just do it.

2) Whats goes around,comes around.Be it 10 fold of good or 10 fold of hell.

3) Keep in touch with your family,no matter what.They may not want you in their life 24/7,but be the better person,call and ask about them.

5) Don't let someone treat you like crap.Don't go and kill them either.But seat the other person down,and tell it all frankly and politely.Trust me,it works.No point in back stabbing and gossiping and rotting your mind to hell over it.Speak it out and walk away.Even if they will hate your guts,they will appreciate your frankness ,of course in time that is.

6) Be forgiving.People can do mean things to you at work or home .Don't keep an eternal grudge.Its not good for your heart.When forgiveness is sought,be a darling and forgive.It depends on the deed as well.But forgive in your heart even if you ain't interested in keeping friends with the other.

7) Organise a get together with friends and family,when you have the chance.More than anything,it brings happiness to your heart and mind.Of course,you wont save as much as you usually do but imagine the fun you're gonna have.Its after all,not an everyday thing.

8) Entertaining friends is not about showing off.Be gracious,be respectful.I don't like friends who show that having friends over is such a nuisance,so much work.I do admit that entertaining guests is not an easy involves lots of time,work,cleaning and running around after guests.But only a person who does the same at their own home for others can understand the trouble it all entails.I once stopped talking to a friend coz after all the eating,her complaint was (she insulted me indirectly) that she didn't like the party coz I didn't sit by her side and talk to her and give her time.I was upset over it,I slog my ass off and have so much to do and you complain while I'm trying to divide my time between serving,filling and cleaning.A good guest should also know how to behave at a party.


  1. this was a very nice read Suzaan.

    read long back itself when u posted it. but it touched such a raw never that i had a long comment to write n didn't have time. so thought will come later.

    very relevant.

    all sathya's friends prefer coming over to our house & even though its a lot of work in terms of cooking/cleaning/serving, we both love it when they all come which is very very often. sometimes i used to wonder & ask him ki how come they dont invite us over after all they are all stinking rich with big palatial houses at least some of them have but some of them have not invited even once. but i read what your husband told you and maybe yes, lets just do it if it makes us happy. even if they dont reciprocate its ok

  2. I have realised over the years,the more money one tends to have,the more stingy they tend to get.But I hate those who say,you are welcome in our home anytime but the day you think of visiting them,they make 100 excuses.Thats insulting,isnt it ! Fake invitations.I have been treated like this on a few occasions and by people I love,but then I just eventually get over it.I think its ok,doesnt matter.At least I know in my heart,that Im not an ass like them.

  3. exactly!!! the fake invitations! oh how i hate it! just for the sake of being polite they say it. it is sick! you know the woman i said i hate a lot in my post - the sathya's friend's wife? oh she is such a char. just to show everybody what a great host/person she is,she will do this natak and say,"oh you must come to our house u r welcome anytime, any moment, any second blah blah blah" and next breath she will add, "but before you come let me know one day before so i can prepare" and when she comes & eats in our house, she will not get up without pointing out faults with everything

  4. Oh Sujatha,readin your comment makes me wonder if eeryone has a nutcase of a friend like that.Then when you show up,they begin with,oh Im so tired,Im waiting to get into bed,we work okay,you should called up nah before comong over.Im just sick of such people.I have a freind who just waits for me to slip out an invite but when its her turn,i get to hear," I sick of cooking 24/7 and these kids are driving me crazy,If only I had a break." and I think,What am I doing? Sitting on my ass 24/7 eating free meals with a maid on call.


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