Isla and me decided to meet at Pebble beach. She always loved the beach. Probably because her name itself meant an island in Spanish – Isla. I faintly remembered our beach getaways during college days. It had been 10 years since our last rendezous at the beach. Since the Californian winds blew quietly that day, we decided to directly head down to the beach.
For the longest time we just sat quietly on the sand, staring at the deep blue ocean in front of us. The sound of the crashing waves being the only sound amidst the awkward silence. I suddenly remembered, this place was called “Pebble beach” and I saw all these pebbles lying around. I grabbed some pebbles from around and started stacking them one above the other. Isla joined in too. We both got engrossed in placing the pebbles on top of each other, trying to maintain their balance. While we were at it, I said, “You know, people stack these stones to make a..”. “Wish! I know”, she said and smiled. I smiled as well, amused at how she remembered this random thing I once told her.
Just like that, here we were, 10 years later, skeptical if we had lost our connection and wondering if our friendship could ever make sense again. Yet, we were back to being those same two kids who used to run off to the beach, where we would stack some pebbles together, wishing for future adventures together.
I didn’t wish for anything that day and I know she didn’t as well. Maybe, one of our wishes from the past did come true. Because here we were, reunited as the best friends we always thought we were.
“Friends forever” were the words we sketched under our desks
For we never even thought our lives will ever be a mess
My partner in crime and my friend in need,
Me for you and you for me, that was our world indeed
We didn’t live for tomorrow, coz our present itself felt like a beautiful dream
We laughed our hearts out and celebrated each other’s wins
Holding hands, we ran with the wild winds, stuck with each other like glue
Look at us now, jumping into the phases of life without any clue
They say heartbreaks are tough but what about friendships that were lost
None of us can put a value on the pain they cost
For love may come and go, but true friendship is one of its kind
Which comes with an unsaid promise, to be together through space and time
To my dear friend, even though we may have drifted apart
You and our friendship had a happy place in my heart
And if I ever come across a picture of us, your hand on my shoulder and us smiling together
I’ll cherish the memories and pray that you don’t lose that smile, it’s all that matters!
We are close to completing a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started. How it has affected all our lives is yet to be fully measured. But I can’t seem to ignore the simple things that we usually forget to be grateful for. Most importantly, it helped us to recognize the value of love that already exists amongst us. Looking back, I couldn’t help but think about the people who reached out to me throughout the crazy phase and helped me stay sane.
There was a time when you couldn’t hug a friend but the 6 feet distance didn’t matter anyway. To see long forgotten acquaintances reach out to you to ensure you’re safe and healthy. The people who constantly checked up not only on your physical health but mental health as well. The long video calls that called for a happy hour or birthday celebrations and let’s not forget the Zoom weddings! For those staying away from family and friends, living a solitary life, how the anxious phone calls strangely seemed to calm down your nerves, being thankful to hear the voice of your loved ones. You didn’t feel the need to teleport through the laptop screen because the love that already exists was enough to endure through it all. It took us a pandemic to realize that the ones that care do find a way to show their love despite perilous circumstances.
Love could never be a weakness when all it has done is given us strength. To endure, through it all, together. These strange times reinstate that there exists a love that transcends space and time. There’s you and there are your people. The ones who cared and the ones who dared to love in the time of Corona. ❣️
P.S: I’m never gonna forget about the time when I was too scared to eat a slice of pizza!
‘Tis the holiday season here in the US! There used to be a time when friends and families gathered together filling their homes with laughter and bellies with food. But this year’s Thanksgiving has definitely been different for everyone. With the changing restrictions and lockdowns in place, people are stranded thousands of miles away from their families in their tiny apartments. None of us asked for this change in tradition. But what we can do is try to carry on the spirit of Thanksgiving wherever we are and in our own ways!
It’s really easy to let your thoughts spiral into a frenzy when you begin to think about all your problems. But rather, let’s be thankful for having a roof over our heads, being able to eat good food and being surrounded with people who will uplift you no matter how far they are. In the first half of the year, I was really sulking about all my canceled travel plans. However, when I look back, I’m still thankful for the short road trips I was able to make while keeping myself safe out there.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the things that are still carrying on their traditions! The days with clear skies and sometimes even the cloudy ones. The sunlight that enters your room in the morning and the beautiful sunsets. Those star-studded skies at night and the campfires that kept you warm. The home cooked feasts and the ice-cream sundaes you had for dinner. Being able to sit and talk with your roommates and being able to hear you loved ones’ voice. And last but not the least, each breath that reminds you how alive you are!
What you are experiencing right now may seem crazy and out of control. And it’s okay to feel a little lost. But don’t forget to count your blessings and be thankful for everything that you do have.
Happy holidays! Love and light. 💖
PS: This picture was taken on my last flight, when I was flying back to New York from Texas in Feb, 2020. How I miss flying! But safety over everything.