The thing about celebrating idiotic days like Friendship Day is that you send a series of forwarded messages to a bunch of people, many of whom don’t even qualify as friends. Yet somewhere in the “contacts list” there will be some person, long forgotten, who was a friend. Perhaps that person responds, maybe with another forwarded message (God knows there are plenty of those doing the rounds on Whatsapp!) but somehow a conversation starts. And the friend you had lost long ago, is once again in your life, even if virtually so.
What is it that you remember vividly about that person? Is it the marks on her face or the size of her/his girth or the texture of the hair? Unless any of these were a serious, medical concern with that person, the chances are that neither one of you will remember anything remotely like this about each other. Yes you may recall spending hours agonising over these concerns but whether the “concerns” themselves were/are so important would be debatable. Isn’t it more likely that what you will recall and laugh about are the good and the bad that you went through, the times long gone, the memories since faded?
Well that is pretty much what happened with a friend I happened to catch up with after a long time yesterday. As all conversations between women often veer towards beauty and all that jazz, even ours went towards exchanging beauty notes. I grumbled about the dark spots on my face, she grumbled about the acne on hers and, as expected, neither of us remembered this “problem” on the other’s face. What both of us however did remember is bunking classes, gossiping over endless cups of coffee and being a support to each other during our tin pot tragedies.
My point here is not to make an excuse for inanities like “Friendship day” or “Mother’s/ Father’s Day” but to get a grip on ourselves and not harp on things that are secondary. Does this mean you let go of yourself and gather fat on your backside as dust on your hair and face? Not quite. All that it means is you take care of yourself- body, hair, face etc- but do not let your life revolve around these external parameters.
Self-image can be quite a dicey proposition. The chances of having either a bloated self-image, quite like this cat looking in the mirror, or a totally negative one, like this other picture, are quite high. Without getting into the philosophical realm here, suffice it to say, that either way, neither of these images have any relation to reality whatsoever. And so it is with us. Neither are our weaknesses as fatal nor our strengths as overpowering, as we would like to believe. We are, at the end of the day, human- fatally flawed yet gloriously blessed.
The next time you find yourself agonising over an untimely acne or hair that won’t listen to you or an extra pizza slice on your plate, try and see yourself as your near and dear ones do. Believe me, the world will look and feel like a much brighter, better place!