Well, we live in the 21st century and we have so many different new days coming up in our calendars, World Book Day, Hug Day, Poetry Day etc. Honestly, I don’t have a point to make in this blog post at all. However, I do have a happy story to share.
I am a person who has grown up in a very lovely home. We laugh and hug a lot. There are good morning hugs, there is goodbye to work hugs, there are random hugs in the middle of the day, there are hugs when either of us is tired and we need the energy to carry on with the work and there are just absolute random hugs whenever we make each other happy. So if my mother made a delicious meal, I’ll just hug her and if my dad something which made me laugh like a retarded seal for a while, I’ll just go and hug him. And whenever either of us is leaving town, we have more than 5 minute long hugs, we don’t just let the other person leave unless they say “Bas, ab late ho rha hai” and during that hug we’ll have an entire conversation too. And there are days when I have had a bad headache and mood in college or office and I would come home and just hug my mother or father for a good number of minutes, we talk, we laugh and suddenly all is well. We laugh about the bad day and mood and deal with our issues head-on.
So honestly international hug day is celebrated in full swing 24*7 at my home. Then why am I writing about it today?
Because I want to appreciate the hugs outside of my home.
I don’t remember being comfortable with physical contact with people outside of the family back in 2013 when I was just out of school. Be it a girl or a guy, I would never go beyond a handshake. And if anyone tried to give a hug or even a side hug, I’ll make it awkward. Then I came to be in a girls college and I changed. I began to love the hugs. My first hug person was Shivani Satija, she is one woman I have spent all three years of my graduation life. She was one friend who stood by me from semester one to semester six. Many people came and went during three years of college as friends but she was one woman who was with me throughout and whenever she would meet, she would give the best overenthusiastic hugs, I would often lose my balance if I was caught unaware. And she had so much energy, her energy is like that of Ranveer Singh. Always up and about for anything and everything. She always talked a lot and used to get tensed and hyper a lot and whenever I felt that she is losing it, I would just hug her in the middle of the conversation and she would suddenly calm down. She was my first person who taught me the meaning of Jadoo Ki Jhappi. Now she is in Australia pursuing her dream, I haven’t met her in a long long while but she is one human being I have so many happy memories with. I don’t recall a single negative episode with her, yeah we would fight a lot but we always got back to normal in a day or so. And we also shared a different Punjabi connection. She was my Punjabi kudi and together we created so many happy memories. And I know for sure that today we all are busy in our lives and living in different countries and continents but there will be a time we will meet again and share the best of our stories and hugs all over again.
And over the years, I have developed friendships where hugs have strengthened the friendships and love I have for my friends. Having strong platonic friendships is so much more important than having romantic ones because the hugs shared in a platonic friendship are simply full of love, they do not have the awkwardness of physical intimacy.
The hugs I have shared with my women in college during graduation are so much special to me. With the process of growing up and moving in different directions of life, I may have lost touch with a lot of people but thanks to technology and social media, I can always reach them and tell them I miss them and just direct some of the love in their direction and it might just bring a smile to their faces on a Monday morning.
Satkriti is one friend of mine whom I meet once a year and we hug long, we hug for several minutes and don’t just start talking. We begin with our talk once we have had our hug and it is so calming and beautiful, the conversations just flow, love just flows and we create a world of our own. That world is a bubble for a few hours and then in that bubble, nothing matters. We open our hearts, we laugh, we cry too, we live and we leave each other with so much love and memories to fall back upon our bad days. We understand what the other person does not even say and we help each other become better in that one meet up once a year. Our cities are different, our careers are different but our hearts beat the same when we hug.
In my post-graduation years, days were tough and I would often have a nervous breakdown and there was one person whom I would go to whenever I would have such a day. Our classrooms were opposite to each other and we would hardly have a 5-minute break in between lectures, I would text my friend to come out of the class in the break. We would just hug and go back to the class. This friend of mine is Sarthak. He is two years younger to me and on most of the days, I would be his guide for all the assignments, research papers, and presentations but on my bad days, he would be there standing by me and giving me the strength to carry on whenever I would feel burned out and tired. While I would support him in mental capacities, he would support me in emotional capacities and I remember the last day of college, I cried. I cried tears of gratitude sitting beside him with my head on his shoulder and shared one of the best hugs ever.
And when office life started, I felt the dearth of love and hugs around me. I was losing friends, everyone was going to different places and directions. And I would wait to go home for my mother’s hug. But there was a time when things were a bit off at home, I was being a rebel and losing the right track of life and I would not want to go home because I felt lost in my head, in my heart and universe sent me a friend and guardian in the form of Shiv. He became my friend when I was in a complete mess and was creating so much more mess in my life knowingly and unknowingly. He was this one person who called me out for my shit. He was the first friend who would scold me and I would actually listen, which is a rare thing given my temperament. I am not too good at taking criticism, to be honest. I get defensive and close myself. And I remember having a bad day and I really needed to vent that day, I needed a hug and he gave me one of the best hugs that day. Over a period of time, this human has helped me come back to who I was, the laughing bubbly motivated happy kid instead of a pessimist negative rebel I was when he found me, he helped me get back to my home by creating a feeling of home.
So this International Hugs Day, I want to thank all my rock solid platonic friendships that help me get ahead in life. There are other people too with whom I have had great memories of hugs- Paridhi, Sonal, Tauseef bhaiya, and Prapti. Prapti is one woman who helped me run a Happiness booth in our college. It was the final year of college and everyone around us looked so stressed, so we decided to run a happiness booth for 2 days. We set up a booth, a large placard and after our morning lectures, we would just sit in the sun holding a placard saying- Stressed? Stop by for Free Hugs. You will make it. And we remember giving out hugs to so many students and teachers those two days. Those two days hold a very special memory. Dear Prapti, if you happen to read this blog, just know that I miss you and I wish you the best wherever you are and in whatever you do.
So, all in all, my dearest readers, Hugs are important. If you haven’t hugged anyone in a long time, do it today. Be it your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your friend, your colleague. Just go and hug someone today. You might make their day. And the hug is something you don’t just give, you cannot give a hug without getting one back. Someone out there might need it and they might also make a memory out of that hug and write about it later like me and bring a smile to your face when you read the memory again.