Just a Thought – Friends

Grab them tight and they vanish…chase and they’ll run…try hard and harder it is to hold them. So do not try, let it be! Like miracles, true friends will happen in the course of life. Such friendship lasts without any reason… effortlessly…smoothly…based on a secret understanding of souls. 🙏🏻

Image courtesy Google

Warmth After the Storm

Yesterday, the Twin Cities had largest single day snowfall recorded since 2010. About 12.4 inches of snow covered the grounds and the authorities sought help of the National Guards for rescue purposes. But our family experienced unexpected warmth despite the savage, stormy blizzard.

We have moved to a single family home, which means fun but little more hard work. I usually find shoveling the driveway a happy task but yesterday after the storm, it seemed Gargantuan. My husband, who was working from home, wore his winter gear (no less than a space suit) to begin. But when he went outside, a warm surprise awaited him. Our American neighbor was already at it. He was already blowing away the snow. And had almost cleaned our driveway. My husband thanked him profusely.

After a while the continuous snowfall filled our driveway again. My husband once again got ready to go outside. But this time, our Russian neighbors were blowing away the snow off our driveway.

So, an American and a Russian helped an Indian on a stormy day! The beauty of this democratic country!

Also yesterday, I realized why residents here are called Minnesota Nice. The weather here may be bitterly cold but people are extraordinarily warm! Such unexpected gestures of warmth keep the spirit up. No wonder, the Sun is shining brightly today.

The Family’s Tree

As I leaned towards the ground before my final fall, her anxious face peeped through the glass. I knew I would miss her smile.

The kids were there too – noses pressed against the patio glass, anxious to see their tall friend being killed slowly. “Mumma, look they are pulling our tree!”

Yes, I was ‘their’ tree. Their only friend, after the family had migrated to this new land. Since the first day, they warmed up to me as I stood guard in front of their apartment. 

I entertained the kids by hosting squirrels, birds and insects on my barks. When spring came, I bore berries and flowers, cheering mom and dad. I adored them all.

Every morning, I waited for the lady to draw curtains. She would give me the sweetest smile before starting daily chores.

Today, she was not smiling rather frantically calling up someone in an attempt to save me – her dying companion! But it was too late now…

( Written in memory of a lovely tree that stood in front of our house when we moved to the US in 2013. It had to be cut last year due to maintenance reasons but we had spent some deeply touching moments with it. It had a beautiful soul.)

This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Please CLICK HERE for more.

My Grandmother’s Sakhi!

Generally, vanity and jealousy are two strongest negative emotions in women. But when two women, surpass such base feelings, and form a sublime spiritual bonding, then great friendship happens.

Such was the case of my maternal grandmother and her Sakhi (friend) – a lovely, charming woman who always stood by her. Also, making of their friendship had its roots in the noble Sakhi Tradition – an ancient ritual of female bonding, practiced primarily by North Indian ladies.

Now, a little about this interesting tradition which unfortunately no longer exists – According to ‘Women’s Lives Women’s Rituals in the Hindu Tradition’, “The sakhi relationship represents a female-female union that imitates the marital bond, but may surpass blood or marital kinship bonds in terms of its professed meaningfulness in women’s lives.” 

The ritual would be initiated by tying a sacred thread or sending over some food or goodies to a lady with request to be friends. When the other party accepted, the ladies in question would take an oath to be a part of each other lives, stand by each other and actively participate in each other’s functions etc. 

They would promise each other – “Everyone including parents, spouse or kids may leave you but I will never leave you.” When such ritual friendships were formed, the bonding took on spiritual fervour. It was considered a great sin to bad mouth, cheat or betray a Sakhi.


It is said that this ritual had its roots in mythology – the relationship among Radha and her sakhis were very strong and they could feel each other’s emotions.

Something akin to this happened between my grandmother and Sakhi Nani (as we fondly called her). I don’t know who took the first step but they formed this sacred friendship. At that time they were young, beautiful brides in a village that observed strict purdah. They had to be meek and respectful… sort of stifled always. I guess, this relationship allowed them to be themselves – to talk and laugh freely. 

My grandma would cook special dishes for her Sakhi and send over to her house. Her sakhi responded with equal enthusiasm. My grandfather died when my mother was very young, Sakhi Nani and her family did their best to support my grandma during the worst phase of her life.

My grandmother later moved with us but she always missed her Sakhi. I never heard her mentioning one negative word about her throughout my life. She would keep aside little things to gift her special Sakhi. And it was fun whenever we went over to the village –  Sakhi Nani and her huge family always welcomed us with open arms. 

Sadly, both the Sakhis are no more but till date, even the little kids in our homes know the story of their great friendship.

This was a rare tradition of women-only participants in a male dominated society. We ladies have a private little world, filled with feelings, nostalgia and things that only a woman can understand. Wouldn’t it be great to share this with a lifelong Sakhi, who would not be judgemental!

These days when sacredness has left almost every relationship, I wish the beautiful tradition of Sakhi had lived on…

Images courtesy Google