Wednesday, 4 September 2019

My new love - Podcasting

I've always been on the lookout for new opportunities to stay connected with life and people ... and in a lighter vein,  finding new things to do to make my retirement days fun and a continuous journey of learning, I hit upon my new love - podcasting. 

A fairly new concept in our country, podcasting previously known as audio blogging, dates back to the 1980s but with the coming of age of the broadband access it caught on big time in the late 2004s. Wikipedia says that MTV video jockey Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer are credited with this innovation. Adam Curry wrote a program and thereon developers improved upon his idea and podcasting was officially born. US is currently the most advanced podcast market  and though podcasting in India is at a very nascent stage  at present, it is catching up.

Connecting with people especially those achieving new boundaries has always fascinated me and besides I really do love to talk. So when friend, Hemang Sharma, spoke to me about his podcast, I was fascinated.  I ate his head thereafter till he taught me the ropes (thank you Hemang). I googled and read a lot of articles and tips and so on about podcasting (very important to do so)  and when I  felt confident that I could, took it a step forward, started my podcast: crossleggedwithhiramehta. Icing on the cake, I get encouraged to record my podcasts at a dear friend's studio (thank you Darrpan and Kiran). Not wanting to record unprepared and with no proper script and clear thoughts, I wrote out 10 episodes and was on my way with, "Hi, I am Hira Mehta and welcome to an intro to my podcast crossleggedwithhiramehta, where I  will be talking to you about anything and everything that life throws at us.... There is nothing in life like second innings, second chances or second childhood..  It's just this one life... Live this one life in the 'now' with me..." ending with a "Namaste" ....and why not!!! Let everyone know that there is a chatterbox out there from India too !!!

It is another thing that I would really love to edit the episodes to add more thoughts/ insights and that always happens. You always feel you can better your work in the hind sight, so I will live with these 10 episodes and better them from the 11th onward.  My podcasts touch upon life topics such as .....friendships and whatever does the word friendship even mean...... saying no without the guilt...... death and having anxious thoughts about it..... tolerance vs intolerance..... internet woes and mobile addiction... health and exercise, my way... decoding laughter.... why fairy tales no more.... and so on.  The podcasts share my thoughts on the subjects and a few tips on tackling it too. Each episode is a maximum of 10 minutes each... and that is not too long, right? I definitely don't want  the listener to have to listen to me droning endlessly in their ears. Podcasting for me is sharing gyaan in a positive, inspirational  and with a touch of humour, my way!!!  Even if one listener get inspired listening to me then I am happy sharing for sure. Besides it has connected me to a wonderful group of podcasters on the facebook page and I am learning so much more from them. It offers me an opportunity to connect to more people all over the world in the podcasting scenario, just like social media, and hopefully to more listeners in the near future.  

Things are not the same anymore, right from the way we interact with each other on social media, treat the environment, even polluting the air we breathe. As individuals there is just that much that we can do to make huge differences in society and surroundings so let us start perhaps with ourselves first. Often we think,  this seems to only happen to me or why me? so let's talk about these little troublesome things through my podcasts. I do believe that if we can together make our own lives better and breathe easy,  it will be enough to take on the bigger issues.  

So tune in every Monday after 2 pm to crossleggedwithhiramehta on,,,,,  where I will continue to talk about you, me and anything and everything life throws at us.....

There is always a scope for improvement and I do hope that people will listen in and comment too to help me better myself...if you have a topic you want discussed, do write in to me  .... and yes, till we meet again - Namaste !!!

Saturday, 11 May 2019


Every year Mother's day comes and goes like all other days, but I never stopped to wonder about its origin.  I did not need to ... Mom was no more and for me that day meant missing her terribly and remembering...  I do not know what prompted me to look for facts about this today. Perhaps I was missing Mom more than usual .... Unbelievable but true, I read that history says Mother’s Day started as an anti-war movement in the 1850s by Ann Reeves Jarvis. Ann Reeves Jarvis had initiated clubs to improve sanitary conditions, lower infant mortality and tend to wounded soldiers during the US Civil War.…. but it was her daughter Anna Jarvis was responsible for what we call Mother's Day in 1908. For Anna it wasn't a day to celebrate all mothers but a day to celebrate the best mother you have ever known and sadly it is said that she spent most of her later life fighting what it had become - a commercial event.

No matter what history says I do believe that Mother's Day means celebrating the one person God created to take care of things when he could not... you know that saying "God created God cannot be everywhere so he created a "MOTHER "......

"The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become
a mother, you are no longer the center of your own universe.
You relinquish that position to your children"~  Jessica Lange

How true is that ...let me quote a few lines from my book YOUNG AND SIXTY (Page 95).....
"My neighbour's words still ring in my ears saying "your Mom used to pray, take me instead".... I truly believe that God listened, because my brother-in-law did live many years thereafter, perhaps the number of years my Mom would have....... Mom was true to the word and meaning of "Mom", a selfless, loving human who sacrificed her wants and needs for her daughter..... "         

........and then there are those filmy mothers that make "mother's day" seem like  mothers are meant to be sacrificing lambs to the slaughter and never ending drama queens ....that torn white saree, that frame in the hand and "Mere bete aayenge, mere Karan Arjun aayenge..zameen ki chaati phad ke aayenge, aasman ka seena cheer ke aayenge," really??? ........or  then that never ending coughing mother on a sewing machine.... but then it could also be that sophisticated mom who turns and opens the door that exact moment the son is standing at the door "aaaa aa aa ..kabhi khushi kabhi gam" types......or it would be Reema Lagoo, the most favourite doting mother.... Way back in my times, all mothers were the suffering sacrificing types....and  there used to be that one eternal mother in every second film, namely Nirupa Roy, with the most popular dialogue ‘Mere paas Maa hai!’ today to her credit..... then there was that ever messed up hair and unhappy faced Leela Chitnis.... that ray of hope the "aaye meri zohra jabeen" Achala Sachdev ...the dimpled Durga Khote.. and Mother India Nargis who stands out as perhaps one in very few as strong willed mother who sacrifices her son...... and then there was that mother that probably no one would ever want to celebrate mother's day with,  Lalita Pawar, the wicked and scheming mother+mother-in-law....

.....but mother's are mothers.... in English we say Mom, Mummy, Mommy, Mother Hindi we say Maa .... in Marathi we say Aai....and believe it or not in Japanese the word is Okaasan or Haha (Haha? now that's a good one indeed).....and so on... No matter how we address them,  they make us who we are and it is a day to thank them for being there for us every step of the way...

So you decide what's the best way to celebrate Mother's day with your Mom... Whether it’s a handmade card, flowers, chocolates or a gift... or taking her out to lunch.......There are a million ways to celebrate but end of the day, just add that little spice... words that all that mothers need is to hear like "Thank you for all you've done for me” ...“I am glad you are MY Mom” .... and don't forget to ask her “What can I do for you?” though I guarantee she will say "I am fine and I don't need anything"....    This Mother's Day think simple love..... remember its cool to be seen with her because her unconditional love won’t stop no matter where you are matter how hard you try ....or how old you ....or how far away you are living .... a simple phone call if you are too far away or tight hug and a "I love you, Mom".... that's what we are waiting for.... that's all that I am waiting for !

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Cooking.... The LAZY way out!

After a long long time, I got into a local train and memories came rushing back as I stood there looking at the harrowed and tired face of women rushing back from work.  A sudden feeling of déjà vu and I went back thirty five years ago to those days when I jumped into the local at Churchgate to get a seat. Life is not easy when you are working and I know this because for years I too rushed home to manage the kitchen and bring up my two devils. It was a whirlwind life and believe me when I say that even then we were crushed like sardines in a tin in the locals. 

Planning the menu in the head whilst travelling and grabbing on to the handle in a jam packed fast train to deciding the stuff to buy as soon as I get off the train. Did that help? or was I just too jealous of those women sitting in the train peeling green peas and breaking the beans into smaller pieces. That was indeed the way to go but then I needed a seat in the train for that, right!!!  That most awful time of running home to make a load full of dough for the rotis for my in-laws family of eight.  Just forty odd ones too.... Oh yes, I would be the one to reach home first most times so always got started with the help of my mom-in-law. That phase lasted for many years till we decided to hire a cook... and when I moved to my place it was the saviour - the bread.. and why not, after all I was a parsi and parsis ate bread and always had the eggs handy. Eggs, my utmost favorite comfort food till date, so easy to cook up.  I remember a friend at work asking me one day why do we put eggs on everything from bheenda par edu, to tomato par edu, to saali par edu and he got a rap on his knuckles for being cheeky enough to ask whether we put egg on our dal and curry too !!!  Oh yes, I love those instant products available today.  The non-veg and veg instant mixes available in easy packs. The delicious chicken/mutton masala mixes - chettinad, malai, butter, moghalai, tandoori - .name it and its available and the same masala works beautifully for vegetables too... After all it is just a marketing strategy to say non-veg and veg because it becomes non-veg only when the non-veg is added...ha ha ha.... Love it even today ! Just 10 minutes of defrosting and mixed up with my meat and popped into the cooker.

It wasn't that easy when I was a kid though... I still remember all those Sundays when Mom slaved in the kitchen making those masalas, storing garlic and ginger paste, storing the curry masala and even fried onions. Those many weekend masala grinding childhood days when Mom would sit us down to peel the garlic and slice onions in what seemed like kilos and never-ending.  That going to the bazaar to get the stuff for the week and then washing it all to make smaller packs of the meats and freezing it.  Then there were those days when I stared at those crabs trying to crawl out of the vessel and I actually volunteered to wash fish. Many still do that till date but it is all about to each her own. 

And then there is nothing wrong with innovating with leftovers by just adding tomato puree and making it a gravy dish with rice or making your own jhatpat “bhajias” out of left over vegetables and plonking them into tomato/onion puree or even kneading them up in the dough. That worked for me… these shortcuts did.  Rice was meant to be left over to turn into delicious pakodas with tea the next day. Till today I deliberately ensure that rice is left over to be dunked into loads of curd and made into pakodas!

Do I love to cook you may ask and do I? Well, as a kid I did go to baking classes and my younger sister still remembers the aroma of breads and cheese straws baking in the oven.  I love baking and do that off and on, but not much of cooking because when your daughter takes over the kitchen and feeds you with "FOOD" the way it is meant to be, then there is no need for shortcuts, is there??

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Follow the leader !!! Yes or No?

I have been a part of The Indian Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals for a decade now. IASAP encourages continuous learning and development of secretaries and professionals through monthly meetings, networking and educational trips.  Recently, IASAP offered its members to participate in an essay contest on the topic "Supporting Leadership Responsibly" and I participated. Even though I did not win the contest, here is what I submitted on the topic and now that there is no constraint of word count... Well, I am adding a few words more here and there too!!

The word leadership to me reads as two words 'leader' and 'ship' which means to get a 'ship' to sail safely to the shore there has to be some to 'lead" it there. Can a ship float on its own without directions from the captain and support of the crew?  Most definitely not and that got me thinking back to my days of working at the bank. My portfolio of handling annual reports (for over 12 years) was no mean task. It required me to co-ordinate between content providers, agency, manage the flow of corrections between the content providers and the agency with deadlines and standardisation thrown in with a lot of stress. Even though I had my superior to support me and it was my project, I wonder whether I could make a claim to fame and whether it could have been effective by my efforts alone. Not at all, because it meant leaving the "me" behind and working alongside each and everyone, at every level of the bank to get the work done. I always believe that good leadership and team work can far outweigh what an individual can achieve.

Uncanny but just before this contest form dropped into my mailbox I had been surfing facebook. I love listening to Steve Harvey, Ellen De Generes (who I prefer to call Ellen the Generous) and Jay Shetty  so when a video by Richard Pimentel in a on The Daily Goalpost face book page dropped it caught my attention.  Richard Pimentel says, "I learnt leadership by being a good follower. I had a leader who asked me to risk my life in Vietnam. We were up this hill and trapped and Sergeant said it is our responsibility to stay there. I said responsibility? He said 'do you know what responsibility is Richard? It is a word make up of two words - the word 'responsible' and the word 'ability'. Responsibility is not what one puts on you. It isn't your job description or your job responsibility or a paper you sign. We all find ourselves looking at situations and we all find ourselves with abilities and what we have to ask is, given the situation what t to those abilities", and at the end he added these poignant words "Leaders do not get people to believe in them. Leaders find ways to get people believe in themselves".

Author Alan Zimmerman says, "Employees were expected to park their brains, shut their mouths and work their 40 hours a week. In the new world, employees are expected to take responsibility to use all their talents and to perform with excellence". So then how does a professional like you and me do that, I ask? Is it just about responsibility, performance or consistently trying to stand out for what you can bring to the table or is it more? I firmly believe that it is not just about the willingness, commitment, completing tasks on time, motivation or even the positive attitude. To me, most importantly, it is about being happy with the work you do. It is a little more than that too. If you cannot align yourself to the company's vision and mission and if you do not respect or believe in your leader and in his leadership, then the bigger picture is going to be missed altogether. Appreciate the fact that good leaders know when to lead and when to step back because that is why they are leaders! ... and on your part be the support who believe that leader is also concerned about them. After all as a saying goes "a perfect employee is the one who inspires his boss as much as his boss inspires him".

Saturday, 30 March 2019

My mind has a mind of its own!!!

My mind has a mind of its own!  It most certainly does.. It never stops talking and that second track that mostly sings.. But what do you do when your mind doesn't stop singing and playing antakshri.. when you try hard to make it stop and tell it to allow you to sleep but it won't... Forget it, I've told 'stop' to myself often  enough and after all what  worst can happen. Well nothing I can think of for sure... And what is the best that can happen. Hey, I can win an Antakshri competition for sure. The last thoughts in your mind before you sleep turn into dreams and often return to you in the morning when you wake. Thoughts during the day build up into a chatter in your mind and it's all that anxiety, fear, unanswered questions, confusion,  judgment, etc. they say.... In my case it's just not any of this because there is no one to judge, no fears, no confusion. I am retired and free to do as I please so then what??

So how do I stop talking to myself or singing that song over and over and over again..... should I tell my mind to wander elsewhere, perhaps start solving word puzzles (which I do) or meditate or turn to spirituality to calm my racing over active mind. Did I say meditate? Did I say turn to spirituality? Let me quote something I wrote in my book YOUNG AND SIXTY (do pick a copy!!) and it's just about me with due respect to others. 

"My friends often suggest I consider yoga, art of living, meditation and I would like to think that it is my spiritual growth they are talking about. I definitely make it a point to strike them off my friends list, if they just mean to say, "you are old now and so you should". Some of us see it as a spiritual journey that should begin, while some prefer to journey into the past and reflect about what is still to come. As the years pass, a fear of the unknown grows stronger by the day and we begin to lean on God.  If it were really possible to talk to God today, what would you say to Him and would He even bother to listen? I do not know what you feel about this but I am a firm believer in talking to God. I fight with him too on a regular basis and I firmly believe that he listens to me. Yet for someone like me who believes in the power of prayer, I still can't see myself meditating or sitting in silence."

Then when I am singing or talking to God, is it because of stress. Let me quote my thoughts from my book yet again...

"The only way to handling stress is perhaps to control that wandering and over imaginative mind. It is not at all easy, because mine never stops talking to me even when I lay my head on my pillow at night. I keep running over conversations in my head and in the morning I find myself remembering all the conversations that I have had and with whom. I can be a little nuts at times, but that’s fine by me as it is not impacting how I feel or behave. Talking to myself is actually my way of clearing my cobwebs. I love talking to myself and in fact it helps me write my stories and scripts better too."

Google search says that psychologists believe they have figured out exactly why certain songs tend to stick in our heads more than others. The phenomenon according to them is called 'involuntary musical imagery' more commonly known as “earworms.” .... Earworms????? Oh yes, I do most certainly have loads of those keedas in my head, but they are mostly about getting out there, having fun and making new friends and memories. Then it is also said that singing and talking to yourself isn't just normal but it is good for your mental health too... That's good the hear. So I guess I am okay looking at things differently, making up weird questions and think up even weirder answers to that in my head. Again quoting from my book... Well, I have written one so why not?..  and it has all these thoughts on living life in the now, so yeah, why not? Have you ever tried having mental fights with people who make you miserable. I advise you to do that. I do that all the time, especially when I don't want to argue standing there and then with that irrational person. I just simply go home, have these big mental fights in my head with that person in my mind at night. I know that if I did that face to face, it might make it worst, so it's just me and my mind arguing it out with that person in my head till I am spent.... and soon I find myself letting go and then it just does not matter anymore.

I love to meet people, make friends, love to touch hearts and keep on wandering to seize more opportunities on the way. So what's up with me and what's my mind up to? Should I be worried? I thinknot for I think I've got it. We are just happy talking and singing together to release this too much energy I have these days after retirement.... With a mix of singing and talking....arguments and decisions... I think we are doing just fine. There is nothing wrong with my mind having a mind of its own.... AND ofcourse my heart has a heart of its own too, but that is another story....
.................and so it's time for that dramatic moment overused phrase in movies I'd like to say to you, "If anyone has any objections, speak now or forever hold your peace".

Sunday, 6 January 2019

A perfect start for 2019 - a Health and Wellness Meet-Up

As the year draws to a close each one of us every year make promises and resolutions to ourselves, some which we keep and some which we never get down to. So do I.  Mine being to start exercising. My one and only resolution that I lost somewhere along the line when my knees started troubling me. So when my friends, Dr. Bhavi Mody and Moushumi Pal, invited me to attend their first knowledge sharing and fun event of the year, "Your Health In Your Hands presents Wellness Meet-Up", I was happy to do so. A joint venture by Dr. Bhavi, Vrudhi and Moushumi Pal, Woodpecker Media was not just a meet and greet, but a well curated event organised to talk about something that's most important to each one of  us - our own health.  Topics that were presented by a number of eminent ladies were surprisingly all those that I have covered in my latest published book "Young and Sixty", that talks about my failings, sharing and life experiences to help inspire people to look within again, move forward and play a winning game on your own terms by taking control and living life in the Now!  The event organised on January 5th at Workbay, Bandra was hosted by Niddhi Puranik, the Fitness Ambassador, was indeed a perfect start for 2019. 

Learnings are always to be shared so here are some of the nuggets that I picked up from the speakers and am sure you will like me learn a lot from it too.

Dr.Bhavi Mody, Homeopath, Health Evangelist, Holistic Health Blogger, Speaker
§   When you talk about wellness, you as a centre,  need to feel good about yourself first. Lifestyle changes means go back to the basics. Move, sleep, workout and hydrate. Happiness is state of mind"

Dr Dimple Bhankharia, Dermatologist, Divine Skin Clinic on the secret to timeless beauty
§       Causes of ageing are smoking, prolonged exposure to the sun, stress, pollution, excess sugar and excess smoking.   Ageing happens 10 years earlier to a smoker.
§       As we age our skin begins to dry, get thinner, bruise easily, gets dull and loses its elasticity. 
§          Vitamins A,C, E are good for skin
§          Think darker colour of fruits.. the lighter your skin will be..
§          Daily skin care routine important
§         Use a sunscreen every 3 hours with SPF >30 and definitely before moving out
§         Eye cream once you cross 35.
§         Exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating scrub once a week
§         Not just fruits, vegetables and nuts, add oil, green tea, flax seeds and dark chocolate to  your diet.

Dr Rashi Gupta, Dentist
§     Butterfly effect is an optical phenomenon seen in some sections of tooth roots but it is not only about mouth teeth and guns but  proper alignment of jaws also.  Jaws are important to be aligned properly for breathing and therefore attention must be paid to this even in children.  Yawning is important it supplies extra oxygen to the brain. Avoid free dental check-ups and take a proper check up occasionally.

Wellness talk by Dr Naavnidhi Wadhwa, Celebrity Life, Health and Business Coach
§     You need to be aware of your five senses for example we never use our senses especially when eating.. You need to be with food which is the source of our energy.  Mind learns only when you involve 5 senses. There is no stress when you use the five senses properly with mindfulness.  She conducted a unique meditation exercise unlike others where you are asked to blank out your mind first.  She explained that creating thought is work of the mind so we can't ask it to become blank (love this) .

Ms. Marrgalit on Bach Flower Remedies
§   Bach therapy focuses on outlook and personality of person to eradicate seven negative emotions using 38 flower essences that corresponds to a particular negative emotion. For example: White chestnut for persistent unwanted thoughts, Vine for my way or the highway, Beech helps develop tolerance
§      Bach Rescue Remedy combination of 5 flower essence brings you awareness and calms you down was recommended by her
§     These remedies however, cannot be bought off the shelf as the practitioner takes history of person and creates the essence suitably.
§       Up to 7 flowers can be combined to solve two or more specific emotions and situations.

Doodles and health session by Shambhavi Tarotforu, Award Winning Celebrity, Tarot Reader, Life Coach,Vaastu, Colour Therapist
§        An engaging activity and an ice breaker was conducted with the ladies which was fun. From the absent mind random designing on paper is doodles. Each one of us were given a piece of paper and pencil to doodle.  The paper colour and the pencil colour that we actually picked up also spoke volumes about us as per her.  Green being progression, Yellow  being positivity and healing, Orange being spiritually and so on.  On explaining the significance of doodling squares, rounds, etc. she explained when too many doodles are Squares or Circles close eyes and see what you see first. Be aware of what you draw or speaks volumes about you...example when we write names on paper, the way the alphabets are written shows how much attention you seek.

Neha Suradhkar talked about Self Love, Positive Body Image and Loving Yourself Unconditionally.
§        Looking good and feeling good both are important.
§       Do what you can do best with what you have.
§       Dressing up by understanding colours, styles and what works for you and your skin focusing on features that you can highlight
§        If you are on heavier side make sure your negatives are downplayed.
§       Don't put any conditions on yourself but accept yourself the way you are

Dr. Nikhil Shah, WinSoles on the benefits of the soles they create to align the body as per each individual requirement. Some facts he shared were walking for just routine work like market runs does not  count as walking. 15 minutes of concentrated walking is important. Checking right posture, foot alignment, whether flat footed or not, are you standing climbing and running in a proper surface are important for  walking correctly and foot balance.

Rashmi Bagri, Corporate Trainer, conducted an exercise to appreciate, experience and get to know the person sitting next to you. Each one was asked to draw the person and then list features that attracted you or those that you liked. A feel good exercise for participants.

Trupti Sawant  (Trups S Sawant) on Science of Forgiveness - Is it a Choice or a Compulsion today?
§       There are  11 major chakras or energy centre that starts from the sub conscious mind.
§       When a person does not troubled you anymore in thought dream or physically then it is true forgiveness.
§       Write Letter S on unruled paper in script style and say  that you forgive..

Riddhi Doshi Patel, Performance Skills Trainer, Behavioral Coach, Psychologist, Integrated Art Therapy Practitioner on accepting yourself.
§     Made all the ladies get up and loosen up with a bit of stretching exercises and an exercise using modality of dance moves. As she explained, nothing works if there is no connect between mind and body. She conducted an exercise to thank every part of the body by asking us to close our eyes and touch each part of your body in appreciation and thanks.

My take away was simple, that being, to l
ook after my health, exercise and sleep well.  As for eating healthy, I am not the one who can lecture anyone on it for sure, but I do believe in eating in moderation and with a thought that at the end of the day, that I  do not want to be at the mercy of others on account of any ill health.

You too can learn more so join Dr. Bhavi Mody and Moushomi Pal in their endeavour to take you on the path of good health. Like their FB page:

And do pick up a copy of  my book that talks of this too ..........

India Links : Flipkart,,  Infibeam,
International :

GUILT? …….    STRESS!!


Sunday, 21 October 2018

Friendship " QUOTE- UNQUOTE" line up

My mom had a fascination of  reading and then writing down in a note book all the quotes that she loved. That book  in her own handwriting is now a fond memory with us three sisters. I guess that is where I got my passion for writing quotes which I write an upload on my social media almost every day.... and you what I realised?  That there were so many quotes out there by people from around the globe, that I could actually write a whole blog just using those quotes in a proper sequence and by just adding a few words (those you see in italics)  to string  it together... so  this is what my love for quotes inspired me to do... Here goes one on "Friendship"...

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one."(~C.S, Lewis).   ... "No friendship is an accident." (~ O.Henry). but 'Making a friend and maintaining a friendship are two different things. Be picky about who you keep around you. Personalities, words and traits do rub of naturally' (~Sonya Teclai, the  'It is important to make friendships that are deeper than gossiping, drinking and going out.  Make friends who can you can go out with, make friends you can cry with, make friends who support your life goals and believe in you' (~Word Porn).. 'Anyone that encourages intellectual, emotional, artistic or spiritual growth is worth keeping. Don't let them go' (~Dau-CosmicExtensions). So it is simple, “Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.” (~Thomas J. Watson). After all it is said that, 'Friends are the siblings God never gave us. (~Mencius). and that "Friends are born, not made' (~Henry Adams) ... Think about it. "God gives us relatives; thank God, we can choose our friends". (~Addison Mizner).  'Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to is letting a person be what he/she really is' (~Jim Morrison).... because  "A friend is someone who can see the truth and pain in you even when you are fooling everyone else "(~ Unknown).

"Friends should be like books, few, but hand-selected." (~C.J. Langenhoven)... More importantly it is true that,  “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.” (~ Zig Ziglar). Even then,  "I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.”(~Plutarch). ). It is therefore better to remember that  “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” (~Martin Luther King, Jr.)  So, "If you wanna find out who's a true friend, screw up or go through a challenging time.. then see who sticks around." (~Karen Salmonsohn)

Let me end with one of my own thoughts about friendship.

"Friendship is not something you learn in school.
But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship,
you really haven't learned anything. There comes a
moment in life when one must acknowledge
that some friends will hurt you, intentionally and
sometimes unintentionally too...It is then best to
either keep quiet and forget about it....or move on !!"