Skip to main content

A Friend in Need

Whenever I do a NaBloPoMo month, I usually steer clear of the theme. This month's theme is 'Friends', so I'm trying to post some 'friend' stories this month. There's quite a few.

Nisha is a young friend of mine. She's recently graduated from college in some discipline of engineering. Unfortunately, there are very few job opportunities in Lucknow for someone with her qualifications and her family are not in favour of her leaving home. Their community is quite conservative and a girl's reputation before marriage is very important to ensure a respectable match so she sits at home killing time nowadays.

She often stops by to say hello and raid my book collection. I have amassed quite a collection of books over the years. She enjoys reading light fiction and I have some such books with me, though not too many. She has become such a familiar face in our house that on the rare occasion that I'm not around, my family just tend to let her go through and raid my bookshelf. She always returns my books, although she keeps them for quite a while.

Yesterday, she dropped in again. She has no books to lend me but I'm not bothered about that. I let her loose on my books but some recently acquired unread books of mine were also there. I pointed out that "these are new, I haven't read them yet." It was just a polite way of saying "don't ask to borrow these because I don't want to have to say no to you."

Would you believe it? The book she picked out to borrow was a brand new one that I bought for myself especially to enjoy when the kids return to school.

"Sorry, I'm not lending that. Haven't read it yet!" I said. Like I said, I hate saying no, but I'd warned her that "these are new," I don't know why she didn't get the hint.

So she picked something else and went away. I'm going to hide my TBR (to be read) pile from now on!

Intense Debate Comment System is installed on this blog. If you wish to leave a comment, please click on the post heading and wait for it to load. Thanks.

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …