Sunday, July 25, 2010

Men, women and bonding

My friend Raju posted a link to an article from the Wall Street Journal about how men and women have different types of friendships: Friendship for Guys (No Tears!).

Women, according to that article, bond by talking. They share personal information, ups-and-downs and relationship difficulties, bonding over long conversations with their female friends.

Men, according to the same article, prefer to "do" rather than talk; playing sports together, or going on adventure treks and so on.

The article primarily refers to an American population. But I'm wondering if it applies to Indian men and women as well.

My husband doesn't have a all-male buddy gang that takes off for the hills once a year in macho style, but he definitely likes "doing". His idea of a fun day with a friend is "Let's go to the club and play tennis." Or scuba-dive. Or try para-gliding. Or some such thing. We went to Greece on holiday; and all he wanted to do was the 17-kilometer Samaria Gorge trek. Thankfully, he's blessed with a sporty daughter; so the two of them went for a whole day's grueling trek, while I spent the day snorkeling and taking a boat cruise around the island.

We often holiday together with my sister's family. Somehow in these holidays we're always "doing" things. Whether it's Borneo, or Africa or Ranthambhore, we always seem to be up and on the go. This suits the men quite well, although they'd really like to do less wimpy things than shepherd us around in "safe" activities.

Rafting in Borneo. Example of low-challenge wimpy stuff :)

But in spite of all the sporty stuff, my husband isn't averse to "talking" either. He certainly is loads better at talking than I am. I don't really talk to anyone about my personal relationships, or any problems / difficulties that I might have. When I have trouble at work, or want to vent, I call my husband :) But mostly I just think about how to fix the problem, or - if I think it can't be fixed - how to cope with it. If I'm exceptionally hassled, I go to sleep and hope the next day will be better. Or I go off and shed a few private tears in the bathroom. I usually don't call up other women and talk about it.

Maybe I just haven't had a bad enough crisis in life, eh? Or maybe my regular weekly Sunday sessions with mom and sis are already quite enough of a release valve :) This morning the three of us sat around and did the usual laments about maids, traffic, and the lack of civic sense in the city. We discussed exams, children, new recipes and upcoming family weddings. Dad wandered in and out of the room; half chatting, half supervising some masonry work.

None of us did any soul-baring, but this sort of idle morning chat is enough to recharge batteries and let you get on with the week ahead. Quite therapeutic! Can women bond over trivia, then? It would seem so, at least with family.

- Deepa

P.S. My cousin Satish wrote this piece today called Male Bonding (curious co-incidence, both of us writing about the same stuff!!)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Want to come on a bazaar walk this Saturday?

I was looking through my photos of Bhuleshwar, and I remembered this basket in the Flower Market which I photographed three years ago.

I couldn't identify several things in it, so I asked the lady and she told me. The long maize-like thing is actually kewra. Who knew?

Anyway, I'm inspired by this kewra photo to go see more new things in Bhuleshwar, so I'm organising a walk this Saturday.

Does anyone want to come?

The Invite for the walk is here: Mumbai Magic on Facebook

Let me know if you want to come. I was originally going to do it this Saturday (24th), but given that it's pouring rain this week, maybe we'll do it next Saturday instead. Please email me at deepa at mumbaimagic dot com to check.