"You can tell me your sins," she says to the other girl, "and I'll absolve you if I think they are sins in the first place." Having said this, she smiles a reassuring smile and leads her friend out of the bedroom and down to the seaside. There they sneak a cigarette and discuss the 'sinner's' recent loss of her virginity to a boyfriend with a reputation of being quite the Casanova. The girl is not sure what to feel.
He hadn't used protection for one, but she knows she can take a pill to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. She is most concerned about her emotional safety. Has she done the right thing by giving up her virginity to HIM? Was the experience worth it? More importantly was he worth it?
When she finally calms down, both girls delve into the delicious details - his 'size', his prowess in bed (difficult to tell as there's no benchmark for comparison) and if she indeed experienced the big 'O'. In this conversation, apprehensions melt away into the safety net created by friendship, a non-judgmental and unconditional space between two people. It doesn't matter if you have just lost your virginity, smoked your first cigarette or failed in your exam. Anything that can't be shared at home or elsewhere for fear of admonishment can be discussed between friends. A solution to any problem can be found together, aided by six packs of Maggi Masala noodles. There can be an answer to world peace, there can be the discovery that cheese and chocolate don't cause weight gain but bitter gourd (karela) does.
Sometimes sisters are also great friends, but blood ties are not necessary for two women to be sisters-in-arms. You may share a similar vein of naughty humour and your shared joys and sorrows unite and bond you even stronger than family. All the shopping, coffees, ice creams, good times, walking in the rain, crying over heartbreaks, getting ready for your first nightclub outing (in the tiniest, tightest butt-hugging micro-minis of course), school graduation, scrambling to get into college and winning a scholarship to go abroad for a higher education or even landing the first plum modelling assignment bind you inextricably.
I really wish there was no time out ever for such a friendship but sometimes that happens. It's heartbreaking and you feel the world just closed in on you and a part of you just died. But as you start pushing the walls out, you discover that even though the friendship is gone for the moment, it made you a SUPERWOMAN and helped you to deal with everything including losing a friend. Your friend made you a Superwoman and I'm sure you made her one too.
"A solution to any problem can be found together, aided by six packs of Maggi Masala noodles.
Then just when you think that she's gone forever, you bump into each other accidentally at your favourite coffee shop, where even she had drifted for the same reason as you -- to relive the happy moments of your shared bonding. The memories come flooding back and before you know it you are berating yourself for the stupidity of fighting with each other.
As you kiss and make up, vowing never to fight again, you embark on the next chapter of your friendship. You may fight again, who knows, but in your heart you realise that you can never fight forever.
After all one SUPERWOMAN deserves another.
To all the Superwomen in my life... some who stayed temporarily and some who will perhaps stay permanently.
Vandana Shah is an award winning author of the bestseller Ex Files. She has also won the award for best lawyer in India. Share your thoughts with her on www.vandanashah.com.