Like many parents doting over their kids, I, too have bitten the soft toy bug. In retrospect, I’m thankful that UNLIKE many indian parents I didn’t keep him away from the real furry ones. Now that those happy-go-lucky inanimate ones that ruled over his days and nights are merely serving as pillows around his bed, I thought I’d write an ode to all of them and one in particular.

About eight years ago I bought a soft toy for my son. A plump grey elephant, with some pink on the ears and laughing eyes. I christened it, Ellie – a girl elephant. Not sure whether the idea was to make my son grow to be sort of gender neutral, or just that I liked the cute heart a lot. There were others too and Ellie found her friend in a tiger, a huge bunny, Noddy and a polar bear. And like all the bigger ones, looked down upon the smaller dolphin, panther and the dinosaur. Like all pachyderms, she loved a swirl in the water, coming out of it quite the perfect being, unlike the others trying to hide their limp tails. Being the only girl among the boys, she immediately found a protective friend in the tiger. Oh yea, she was one of the few allowed to ride him. But that was only until I had my way with the kiddo. Somehow my son lost all interest in Ellie soon enough. All my efforts to make him like that girl, failed and the only time my son held her was to hold her trunk and put her aside. That was one of the first lessons my son taught me about his choice on material things. And how he would absolutely resist me forcing mine on him. However, being possessive, he refused to share her with any one else too.

He stopped playing with his softs about a year ago, but doesn’t let me remove anyIMG_20160621_205403638. So, all of them sit there, aging. Unlike us, not worse off without use.

Ellie, the ever-smiling happy protagonist in this note, sits proud with her trunk perfectly poised, with the only regret of not having made any memories with her favorite people.


Friends forever

Definition of “friends” is interesting. Its also probably the least looked for. Everyone is so damn sure of what it means.

And here lies the beauty of the relationship. Everyone has their own personal definition of it, which most likely matches with at least one more’s. And that one is enough to give each of us the confidence to say that we know exactly what friends are all about.

The simple definition of “a person who you like and enjoy being with” is generic enough to include even the one you love to be part of it. And love being the complicated thing it is, has seeped into our definition of friendship to make sure that not many things overlap.

After all, how many friends do you ask “Do you love talking to me?” even if it is with the most platonic of intentions. And how many will simply smile back and say “I do”, turn and walk away.

In good times, friends are the ones who are compromised. Take the street dogs, you met everyday for the last year for example, before shifting to a new town/new job/new girl.

“one that is not hostile” – now here’s a definition that even a passer-by can associate with. Surprised that “one who wishes you well” is not included in it.

Friendship has to be related to luck. More the definitions that you accumulate, luckier you are.

I’ve had fewer friends than relationships. Friends are hard to come by. There is no good friend, because there never is a bad one.




“Look at us!”
“Did I ever tell you you’re annoying?”
“Many times. Who else will you tell this to?”
“Oh, like you’re the only one I know”
“Well..no..but I’m the only one you have”
“I should have dropped a bark on you when you were a baby”
“You shed leaves to make sure I got sunshine, you gentle giant!”
“Shut up”