The ties that bind

January 11, 2011

Today I am welcoming newlyweds to their home. It’s an honor and quite a responsibility given that this is a ritual reserved for a family member. And I am just their friend.

Somehow … somewhere we transcended that line — the one that separates kinship and comradeship.

I grew up with that same sense of community in India where my parents’ siblings were in different cities leading to limited interaction with them and my cousins.

They’d mostly hang out with their friends … and their friends’ kids became my friends.

Festivals, birthdays, housewarmings – we always had one constant … our friends.

Although no one was related, the relationships my parents forged with these folks felt, somehow, more real.

There was a refreshing frankness in the relationship.

A sense of responsibility without obligations.

They shared a lot with those friends that they didn’t with family members. There was a “close-knitness” about them that just didn’t exist with extended family members.

And there was mutual respect.

Being an only child I could never understand the deep bond that runs between brothers and sisters. But having witnessed the friendships my parents had – and continue to nurture – I knew this was something I wanted.

And halfway across the world it’s amazing that I have that same “something” they did.

It feels good to know you can lean on someone when you need to. That you can take digs at each other and have unbridled fun. That you can lounge together for hours. That you get each other.

And it’s even more wonderful when four people — two couples — can have that same chemistry … you know the kind where everything clicks.

I choose my friends with much deliberation as regular readers of this blog know. But once the pact is signed, the deal is sealed for a lifetime.

More than anything else, what I have come to realize is that while blood runs thicker than water, friends are the family we choose to have.

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F The ties that bind

dp seal trans 16x16 The ties that bindCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mansi Bhatia

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One Response to The ties that bind

  1. Ronnie ChrisieNo Gravatar on January 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    You didn’t get there until the last line, but that’s exactly what I’ve come to realize as well. The difference between family and friends is that you choose your friends. And that makes all the difference. While there are members of my family I would choose to be my friends (actually they are my friends as well as my family), there are some I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole if I didn’t have to. Oh well. They are family.


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