Friday 1 May 2015

An all girls retreat!

A dear friend and colleague retired last month and we planned for an overnight stay at a resort. The inevitable questions followed – will it be safe, will it be too far from the city, will there be drunken people creating problems and so on. We finally zeroed in on an Ethnic resort. We had taken three rooms which shared a beautiful courtyard with a small traditional 'thinnai.' As we walked into our cottage, the enormity of our effort struck me. After reading ‘Why Loiter’ I have frequently wondered and kept noticing how several spaces are closed for ‘women only’ groups. And here we were, all 9 of us, who had displayed independence and resourcefulness to organize this get-together. The fact that two of us were driving our own cars added to the sense of independence.

As soon as we settled down, it was like a dam was broken and each one had so much to share. It was not just happy stories all the way – there were rantings and heartbreaking stuff too. Time flew and we decided to walk to the beach. Seamlessly we continued our talking and laughing and it is almost a blur now about what exactly we were laughing about. After dinner sitting in the spacious lawn we were utterly relaxed. A group of men were standing at a distance talking softly among themselves. We were so much used to snide comments and leery looks that a group of men behaving like human beings was a refreshing experience.

Talking till 3a.m, waking up at 6a.m for coffee at ‘thinnai,’ playing in the swimming pool for hours and sharing personal stories, our stay soon came to an end and we went back refreshed. I have many friends with whom I share a lot of things – friends across different ages, friends spread over many states and countries and so on. But this was special – it was all women with whom I have been working for many many years, women who are all young at heart and women who look for a way to stay happy and cheerful - bonding with these women was gratifying. Of course, we do not share the same ideals – I am a staunch atheist, a friend agnostic and the others are staunch believers. Yet the bond forged over years of working together and sharing lunch hours has been strong and sweet. We have always been supportive of each other and we motivate each other. We observed that in the many hours we spent together that day there was absolutely no gossip and we did not talk ill of a single person. Bonding and being there for each other and creating happy memories – now we know what Girl power means!

a story by Geetha TG