Tag Archives: Friends

Shun that competition with your own buddies, you TOXIC FRIENDS!!

THE ONLY COMPETITION WORTHY OF A WISE MAN IS WITH HIMSELF – WASHINGTON ALLSTON QUOTES.
How does it feel when one of your best friends cries when the exam results of both of you are out? It hurts if he ( instead of writing he/she again again, I am using only the pronoun ‘he’ for convenience ) has scored low. The meaning of this word ‘low’ is subject to variation in context to different people and situations as well as depend on the kind of scale-mark used for measuring the achievements one has so laboriously made. But , it literally ‘SUCKS’ when your dear pal has scored fairly good marks , as measured from a general scale-mark of scores and…. is still sulking like hell just because damn you, his own sukh-dukh ka saathi has scored two or five marks more than him.

competition-with-friendsCompeting with your own Buddies

Now, this piece of writing doesn’t refer to you , poor soul!! It contains nothing to console you guys. I promise I shall do that in my successive article. This is my big helping hand that I lend out today to restore peace in the lives of all those TOXIC FRIENDS on earth (Baat ko samjho na yaar!! I am starting with solving the root cause of your problem).
So, this write-up calls out to all those who often commit the ethical offence of creating stress in others lives (Ha! Don’t you know competition is one of the top ten stress- causing things. Moreover, you drag your friend into the race without asking his willingness and he suffers involuntarily ). The ultimate jealous friends of some genuine people! Read on what follows, it’s specially written for you who fit more as a rival than a friend in your buddy’s life.

Give yourself some time to grasp the wisdom words written below and do apply the ‘gyaaan’ drawn out from it in ‘unmiserablising ‘(so what?? who said you cannot invent a term of your own??) lives- both of your own as well as of your friends)-

1. Behave like a mature adult– Stop sulking, you idiot. Behave sensibly next time such an occasion greets you. You are friends and not rival runner-ups of a million-dollar reality show. If your buddy gets good scores, its good na! Remember he is your friend. How you react really matters to him- your smile and even your tears. Don’t spoil his happiness , your own and the moment in comparisons.
2.Value the bond of friendship– Understand what value friends hold in life. Place yourself in their shoes and think for once, how it feels. It may sound rude but such an insensitive behavior may cost you your friendship. Of course, you are being insensitive to his hard-work and success if you are sulking due to his achievements. Make sure you don’t lose a loved friend in your race to win. Else, be ready to be the biggest loser.
3.Promote Healthy Competition in every aspect of your life– Healthy competition not only means that you analyse your weaknesses and try to improve them, but also that you respect and appreciate other party’s efforts irrespective of who comes out more successful.
4. Its just marks- Stop re-reading the title again again. Yes, you read it right. Yes, it does contain the word ‘just’ just before ‘marks’. As every other thing on this diverse planet, marks are just a part, not the whole, not everything. Trust me, you will despise your own such actions, ten or twenty years henceforth. And, more so if such habits would have affected your million-dollar friendship.
5. Avoid Die-hard competition– Puhleeeez, DO NOT spoil your calmness in comparing exam scores, number of girlfriends/dresses/shoes owned, job salary, etc with your friend’s. It provides amusement to none. There is much more to life and if you indeed need to compare , go ahead compare with yourself only. Compete with yourself and you will definitely be amused.
6. Convince your family-If your parents or family be the reason behind your such competitive attitude and jealousy, and you actually do not want to repeat those offenses , make them understand that you are happy with your position in life and convince them that you do not want to compete with anyone but yourself. Else, the next time they vex you by starting a comparison between you and your friend, hand them the paper and make them read this write-up.
Believe me, earth would be a calmer place to live in if you go by above five rules to let go your impulsive competitive attitude. For all those who are still not ready to believe that competition is NOT ‘an inevitable human nature’, let’s hold a ‘SLAP-YOURSELF COMPETITION’ for all of you.

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A Calmer You: kyunki koi koi friend kanjoos hota hai

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Do you have a friend who goes to the loo just when it’s time to pay the bill? Bas, enough is enough. I’m sick and tired of paying for everything, every time. My ‘best’ friend conveniently forgets his wallet each time we eat out. And then, of course, equally conveniently forgets to pay me back even later. I feel like such a damn fool,’ cried out Akshay, in a recent, and excruciatingly long, mail to me.

Oho Akshay, idhar aao. Lemme give you an understanding hug from someone who went through similar helplessness during the growing-up phases. A lot of us have. In every group of friends, there are moochers. People who will either — dodge paying their share of the meal by saying they are not carrying enough cash, or — will try and make an issue out of how they only ate only one piece of the Paneer tikka while someone else ordered a fresh lime too, or — if nothing else, won’t calculate the tax or the waiter’s tip in the amount to be divided among everyone so that this falls as a burden on someone else who’ll either be nice enough to stay quiet or would have failed in math in school.

A Calmer You - kyunki koi koi friend kanjoos hota hai

So how many times have you lent money to a friend, either at the movies or in a group outing, never to see it again? If you are one of those genuinely generous people who loves treating others, it’s a great thing and I would like you to mail me your mobile number for my secure future.

But if you’re being nice and would silently stress later when you’ll notice the same friend splurge on something personal, you gotta a problem.
Let’s try and resolve that, because you see, tumhaari lottery toh nikli nahi hai that you’ll happily assume the burden of paying at group outings all your life.
When a group of friends decides to eat out, one of the two things must happen. Either each person should contribute a fair and equal share of the bill. But hang on,  if you are going to make a comedy scene by collecting Rs. 57.675 from nine friends and giving all that chillar to the amused waiter, please avoid, for the sake of sanity and manners.

The other way is for each friend to pick the tab every time, on rotation. Vaise usmey bhi panga hai. Because some outings may happen at Mc Donalds while some at Gurpreet Singh Wang ka roadside chowmein stall.

So what the hell do you do? Here’s what…
1. Set the rules, beforehand: Trust me, nothing cements a friendship more than setting some straight rules of behaviour upfront. Especially when it comes to money. Because money also has the potential to kill a friendship almost as quickly as the class hottie you and your friend may have a collective crush on. Decide, to mutual consent, a pattern of payment before you start going out. If there is a friend in the group who is a known moocher and will try and wriggle out of paying, it’s best to casually mention on your way out that you only brought enough money to pay for yourself. Or say when you’re planning the outing that everyone will be paying for themselves. Make sure you stick to this when the bill comes! May sound blunt but better than cribbing and fretting about it later.

2. Make the moocher responsible: You know in colleges or offices when collective treats are planned, the person who deserves the most sympathy is the one who has the task to do the ‘collection’. It’s anyway not a very pleasant task to go upto everyone and ask to pay up for something that they did, or will enjoy. And then this person faces the additional trauma of listening to cribs who’ll question how their share came upto what it did. And more often than not, this poor soul also ends up paying for many others who say they’ll pay later, knowing that ‘later’ never comes. A suggestion, make such a person the collection in-charge. Pay your fair share, turn around and get vigorously busy in a fake phone call. Let him or her also get a taste of ‘I’ll pay later’ looks.

3. Technology to the rescue: In earlier days, everyone would carry cash and it was difficult to wriggle out of a payment situation when it was time to pay the bill. But now with credit cards replacing cash in our wallets, the easiest victim becomes the one whose credit card gets swapped, as he has to depend on the hope that others will pay him later. Tension not. There are mobile apps now which help you solve this problem. I’m yet to try them out here but saw some friends in the US use these extensively.
One such app is Venmo, which not only allows your friends to e-pay you back there and then, but also sends them polite reminders of payment later if they haven’t. Another called Square turns your phone into a mini credit card machine and you can accept debit or credit card payments from your friends for free. Bahana hi nahi bacha ji ab toh. Try them.

Ancient wisdom says that lend only that much money to a friend which you can afford to lose. But I would say that if spending on friends stresses you out like it does to Akshay, then losing the friend is a bigger potential problem than losing the money. Either change your mindset, or change your friends. And a piece of advice to habitual moochers. Dekho yaar, you may be genuinely short of money and not doing this out of fun, in which case it’s way better to honestly decline a treat saying ‘I can’t afford it right now’, than suffer the tension of making excuses.

If, after knowing that, a friend decides to happily pay for you, at least you would know that your company is valued. Achha lagega. Don’t forget to do the same for someone else, someday.

Sonal Kalra only preaches, but is an expert in timing her loo visit perfectly with the arrival of the bill. It’s a fine art she can teach you at a restaurant, if you’ll agree to foot the bill..

Dost kise kehte hain….?

 ‘Define friendship’. Google this phrase and I’m sure you’ll get n number of friendship quotes. We all have our friends and our own ways of expressing this amazing relationship that we have the liberty to chose for ourselves, in words. The number of friends we have in our lives depends not so much on whether we are extroverts or introverts, but more on the qualities we look for in a friend. The more specific you get on what you look for in a friend, fewer the friends you have in your life.

best-friend

[stextbox id=”info”]Here’s my take on what a true friend is all about[/stextbox]

Dost wo hai, jisse kuch kehne se pehle sochna na pare: Can you share anything and everything in your heart and life with the one you call your friend, without fear of being misunderstood or being judged

Friends don’t judge you: A real friend will never try to judge you by what you say or do. And if they judge, they are critics not friends because for a real friend, you can never be wrong

Acceptance: A true friend will accept you with all your imperfections, Good, bad or ugly, a true friend accepts you just the way you are. No one is perfect but for a friend you are the best just the way you are.

Stand by me: A true friend literally stands by you even when the world is against you

Understanding: A friend can sing the song in your heart when you have forgotten the lyrics. They understand every word you say even when you don’t really say it.

Nache bhi wo teri khushi mein: Your joys should be sufficient reason to make a friend smile.

Do you have the time: Don’t tell me you are busy. You can always find a few precious minutes for a friend no matter how busy you get.

And, Once a friend always a friend: Not that friends don’t argue or fight. Even Tom and jerry do. But tom never gulped jerry. Because no matter what,  ‘Ek baar hamne commitment kar di uske baad to hum apni bhi nahi sunte’. So tell me, ‘Are you friends for life?

Well, I guess this shortens your friend list to just one or two wonderful people in your life. But that’s okay because ‘Making a million friends is not a miracle, the miracle is to make one friend who is worth a million

The Real Face of Facebook

We all love facebook , don’t we. Atleast 90% of the world does And its not just limited to teenagers now. Facebook is in fashion now. Orkut ka toh ab naam bhi bhul gaye log, its all thanks to facebook. It is the most important thing in the world for the young generation. I am a lecturer and I ‘ve seen my students busy with their status updates and pic uploads even in the classroom. And they have their own ways to do that and escape my view. Their eyes under the table, as many students as possible on the last bench trying to adjust, just to manage their company with their mobile phones on facebook. Though they do get caught but that’s not the point. The point is Kya jaadu kar diya hai iss facebook ne. It is the only thing in the world on which every young chap is very much focussed.

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Here are a few wonderful things about facebook which makes it even more amazing. Do appreciate my keen observation

facebook-friends

Friends, friends and more friends: Yes, if you don’t believe me check out your friends list and honestly tell me, how many of them are really your friends. I saw a facebook account recently with 1000 + friends on facebook. How on earth is it possible that you know those 1000 even casually forget about being  friends.  In real life, even if you call any one you know a friend, I bet you don’t really have even half as many as on your friend list. And students love to be teachers friends on facebook. All students and teachers are actually friends even though in real life a student would hate a particular teacher like anything but on facebook they are friends, Amazing!!

Likes: This can be a parameter for your popularity. The number of likes on your pics and status updates and even what you share from others walls make you so happy as if you got a Nobel Prize. But there is a horrible aspect to this. Post that you are down with fever and I promise you’ll get a few likes there too. As if people are too happy that you are down with fever. Is’nt that fantastic??

Mr/Ms. Photogenic: And then you get crazy about your pic uploads in different styles and poses, uploaded by dozens. Even you won’t see them all again yourself. Recently someone had a fracture and then uploaded that pic with plaster on, as if it was the most fantastic thing that happened to you and you just cant afford to miss sharing.  And you know what, it even got a mind boggling number of likes.

Unfriend / block: I sometimes wonder why facebook  guy gave this option. Probably he was sure that with the provision of having so many friends, likes on even unpleasant posts  and ofcourse comments, kuch  na kuch panga zarur hoga 🙂

And mind you, don’t you dare think that I am backward enough not to have a facebook account  ….:) 🙂

The So Called “Facebook” or “Fakebook” Friends

Once my brother told me that everyone whom I talk to is not necessarily my friend. That time I was quite young and probably didn’t understand what he was trying to convey, but now things have got much clearer in my view. One of the reasons why I have been able to understand what he said is my indulgence in social media or particularly facebook.

fake-friends

[stextbox id=”info”]Who are The So-Called-(Fake)-Friends?[/stextbox]

Facebook got me more in touch of the people whom I call “so called friends”. Yeah!! indeed they are so called friends which are just like a mirage, fascinating from a distance but turns quickly into nothingness. Here are a few reasons:

1. The poke friends: These kinds can be easily found on facebook. They simply have nothing to do apart from poking others and guess what it hardly matter even if they know the person or not. In real life a tight slap would be a good answer to this virtual feature.

2. The likers: Well these kinds just keep sticking to your posts like glue. Be it anything and even if you post that you had an accident they would like the post. Disgusting.

3. The lovers: Just for the sake of time pass they would propose any random girl or in case of girls they would flirt with any damn boy. Theses kinds can appreciate a person to such a extent which the person certainly not deserves. This leads to a build up of nonsense attitude in such people.

4. The party lovers: Be it any incident in your life, they would always be ready to force you to throw a small treat for them. And when you try to escape they would land up at your home. Gosh!!

5. The nostalgic: It is really hard to handle these kind of friends. Whenever you talk to them, they would be drowned in their sorrows of life probably because some girl or guy left them alone and worst of all they would be repeating the same stories of their happy relationship times over and over again .

6. The optimists: This category is different. They seem to give advice to others as if they are living our lives. For every problem you encounter they will have a non sense positive answer. But they hardly realize that no man can step in other man’s shoes.

[stextbox id=”alert”]Do also check out Sonal’s calmness tips on all friends or “so called friends” related issues.[/stextbox]

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5 sure ways to lose friends

Stop rolling your eyes, okay. Kisi din upar hi reh jayengi. There’s no mistake in the headline. There are hundreds of columns that’ll tell you how to win them, but I’m indeed giving tips on losing friends. Because some of us need those, too. The ones who hear parents or a spouse crib all the time about how they don’t think beyond friends who exist by the dozens in their lives. Of course, those who, in this Facebook age, are looking for tips on how to make friends could also benefit if they draw the reverse insight. Ab thoda dimaag khud bhi laga lo.

friendship-tips

So, here’s what you do to see friends drop out of your life:

1 Get hitched: Yeah, you heard me right. Marriage is a certified friendship killer that works in all countries, all cultures, with equal effectiveness. You’re the life of your friends’ circle one day. All your free time goes chatting with them, your weekends have no end when it comes to partying or just chilling out. And then suddenly you get engaged or get into a relationship. Chilling turns to chills. Your other half, who seems to be trained by the CIA, starts to track your movements and interrogate you on every minute spent with the friends. Special devices like the nose are deployed to check the levels of alcohol consumption after every innocent beer- outing. The friends, of course, notice the change, realise that the legal rights to your time have been sold elsewhere and start to withdraw. To counter the grief, you start making statements like ‘my wife/husband is my best friend’, which, of course, remain as useless as Rakhi Sawant’s library card in school. In a nutshell, one masterstroke of getting engaged or married is enough to shoo friends — classmates or glassmates — away forever.

2 Become a whiner: Wanna lose friends? Start complaining about everything – the food at the restaurant, the pollution in your city, the state of corruption, the ugly carpet at the airport (I do!), and your miserable, good-for-nothing life, in general. Normal people can’t stand cry-babies who are always cribbing about something. Unless your friends are abnormal, which is also quite possible, considering they hang around with someone like you who’s actually spending time reading a column on how to lose them. Anyway, so here’s an idiotic rhyme – ‘whine while you dine, whine even when you’re fine, and very soon your friends will be mine’, because they’ll start making excuses to not be around you. And, by the way, if they try to argue with you and start to put their viewpoint, stop them right away and tell them you are not open to even thinking that you could be wrong. Because you are always right, and you know it. Arrogance is like cement on the wall that this attitude erects between friends. Ekdum in the style of Amitabh Bachchan from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham…say, ‘Maine keh diya, toh keh diya’. That’s it. He/she would not want to look at your pig-headed self again. Mission accomplished.

3 Bring in the Father: Of the nation, I mean. In other words, bring currency or money into your friendship and see it fizzle out faster than an open cola bottle loses the bubbles. This is my firm belief in life, and I know a lot of you would disagree. But somehow I feel bringing money into friendship – whether by borrowing/lending or getting into a financial partnership, slowly kills it. We start by declaring that friendship is way more important than money, when most of the time, it’s money or the lack of it, that dictates our thoughts and behaviour. Sad isn’t it? But true. If you wish to spoil a good friendship for whatever reason, involve money matters into it. The deed will be done.

4 Gossip: Not with them, but about them. Now gossiping with friends, I know, is a great recreational activity. But a sure way to lose friends is to talk about them behind their back. Rest assured they’ll quickly move out of your life. Some of them would do so after beating you into a pulp but then any sacrifice is good for fulfilling your mission. And guess what, this ouster would, in all likelihood, be permanent because no one wants to get back with a ‘friend’ who breaks their trust and mocks them in their absence. They only want to get back at them. Pakka kaam ho jayega.

5 Hit on their partner: The most effective and permanent cure, if friendship seems like an ailment to you, is to flirt with the friend’s girlfriend. I would have said wife but then who wants to woo someone else’s wife. Apni toh sambhaali jaati nahi. Anyway, jokes apart, hitting on the partner (and this includes boyfriends and husbands too) of a friend is the ultimate way to kill and bury friendship. Forever. The seed of suspicion and jealousy is the toughest to weed out of a human mind… and this could effectively get you rid of unwanted friends. And your conscience. Idiot. Sonal Kalra has personally tried and tested all these tips. She is left with no friends in life.
Mujhse dosti karoge?

So how many fake friends do you have?

‘I would take 100 real enemies over one fake friend anyday. At least the enemies let you know where they stand, and don’t pretend to care’ – Anonymous Firstly, all those who sent me mails after last week’s column addressing me as Maa Sonal, please stand up and do 10 push-ups.

Hadd hai. Mazaak udaate ho? After such a well-meaning but highly unspiritual advice of turning selfish, this is the tag I get at such a …umm… young age? Don’t you dare laugh now. Chalo, answer this week’s question.

Calmness Tips – Identify Fake Friends &  Forever Friends

Are you one of those who feel that the ‘friends’ in your life are actually around only till – and because – it suits them? A 21-year old college student wrote me a very emotional letter recently where she shared the pain of having her ‘best friend’ cheat on her by having a fling with her boyfriend. A 37-year-old colleague vented at being back-stabbed by a ‘friend’ at work who spilled the secrets he’d shared in confidence, in front of the boss just to score brownie points. And a 46-year-old bureaucrat friend told me about how his so-called ‘close friends’ withered away ever since he got transferred from a position of power to a not-so-enviable department.

And please note, these are friends in flesh and blood, I’m not even touching upon the rather sensitive topic of 5,000 virtual ‘friends’ that platforms like Fakebook, I mean Facebook, allow you, where half of the people on the list are those you may even have trouble recalling.

Why do we sometimes get a feeling that the people close to us are actually putting up an act when they don’t really care? Similarly, someone else might just be thinking of us as fake friends in their lives. Allow me to share my analysis of how this one word ‘friend’ may just be the most ill-defined and abused word in the history of err…words.

I think the problem of mis-definition starts from childhood itself. You meet a relative’s cute, little child. You have no real conversation points when it comes to chatting with a 5-year-old. So you ask ‘beta, which school/class do you study in?’ The child mumbles a rata-rataya answer, knowing that otherwise in 3 nano seconds, mom or dad would say ‘c’mon answer auntie’s question’. Your next question then is ‘And what’s the name of your best friend?’ Considering it’s highly improbable that a 5-year-old has had the opportunity to judge or analyse friends over qualities such as sincerity, the child invariably names the classmate who sits next to her or the one with whom he plays the most. In that child’s mind then, the term ‘best friend’ gets firmly associated with someone you spend the maximum time with. And that’s where the distinction between ‘acquaintance’ or ‘classmate’ or ‘colleague’ —and ‘friend’ starts to get blurred. By the team we become adults, the distinction is totally gone…and we start defining most people of our age that we hang out with, as friends. And when any of these people behaves badly, we start lamenting the lack of trust in friendship, without realising that most of them were not friends to begin with. Anyway, kaafi deep gyan ho gaya yeh toh. I just re-read it and didn’t understand much. Hope-fully you are more intelligent. Coming back to ‘fake friends’, here’s how you can identify them.

[stextbox id=”info”]Calmness Tips – Identify Fake Friends &  Forever Friends[/stextbox]

* They and their talk, is more about themselves than about you. Yeah yeah, I know that friends are bound to share their problems with you, but is that opportunity also given to you or is it always a one-way road?

* They mostly come up with some excuse when you really need them. Think of your friend, close your eyes and ask yourself a question: ‘If you were in an emergency, could you depend on that person to leave everything and be by your side?’ The answer would give you the answer.

* They say things that they don’t mean. I know someone who always ends a telephonic discussion by vaguely saying ‘let’s meet someday. Kabhi is side aana ho toh chakkar lagana (whatever that means!). I also dutifully reply, ‘sure’. I know she doesn’t mean it. Nor do I.

* They make fun of you, behind your back. In fact, if they gossip about most people when they are with you, you should wonder if they are capable of doing the same to you in your absence.

* The frequency of their calls increases or decreases proportionately when you are having it good in life, or otherwise. Who knows this better than filmstars, politicians or people in powerful positions. Everyone’s a friend when you are on the top, everyone’s suddenly busy when you start sliding down.

Now that we know how to tell a FF (fake friend) from an FF (friend forever) (I should get an award for being this cheesy. Yuck.), here are calmness tips:

1 Revisit and revise the definition of a friend. Do not try to merge the entire world into this one category, maintain its sanctity.
2 Do not burden your friends with undue expectations. Galti thoda kar li unhone tumhaara friend ban ke. Don’t always be in a devdaas mode and use them as bouncing boards. Have a balanced equation..expect only that from your friends what you are ready and willing to do for them.
3 Slowly withdraw from fake friends: Remove the clutter from your life, so that there’s room for meaningful, positive relationships. Don’t suddenly snap all ties, but slowly withdraw from those people you are certain are not your true well-wishers
4 Try and be the kind of friend you would like to have. Show your care to people that you care for, and do not take them for granted. Also, stick by them through their bad times more than their happy moments.
5 And finally, befriend yourself. I’ve realised that the biggest high in life comes from being good to your own self. The world is quick to respect those who have a high degree of self esteem. You’ll never have to chase friends if you are a friend to yourself and live in your own happy little universe.

Kuchh zyada hi ho gaya. Sorry.
Sonal Kalra started this column by punishing those who called her Maa Sonal. After all this preaching, it’s time she did those push-ups.