Sep 21, 2011

When Women Bond

I recently heard from someone, the idea that you can never be friends with a person unless you have shared a joke with them. For instance, this person said, she could not share a laugh with her mother-in-law and hence, no matter how much 'seva' she undertook, they could never really be friends.

So this got me thinking about my relationship with my mother-in-law. I don't remember if we ever laughed together. Maybe we did, I'm really not sure about that. However, we have certainly shared something else. Something, perhaps more profound. Something, I believe, that women have shared the world over, from time immemorial.

And that my friends, is gossip.

The 'upstairs lady' - how badly she raises her kids, the 'opposite-house-lady' - how she drinks gallons of Pepsi while she's pregnant, the 'cockroach-infested-house-lady' who lives in the next block, there's never really a dearth of gossip to chatter about. Any newly gathered information by either of us will be promptly shared and discussed to shreds by the end of the evening. Sometimes, a truly earth-shattering, jaw-dropping piece of information would evoke a reaction from my otherwise silent father-in-law and he would invariably join in the conversation.

When I was a kid, I read somewhere that you should live in such a way that you would not hesitate to sell the family parrot at the town square. Well, as a grown-up(??) I can now confidently say that in most families, no great bond can be fostered between the ladies if this rule is adhered to.

To come to think of it, almost all the best girl friends I have had in my life, I have gossiped with. About other girls. About our other girl friends. Every girl in our gang gossiped about every other girl, and yet we remained good friends. Looking back, I only have fond memories of my girl friends.

So, isn't gossiping a vice, you ask? Of course it is! But so is the consumption of alcohol, and don't men bond excellently over a few bottles of beer? Fortunately or unfortunately, most human beings seem to come together over their vices, barring a saintly few.

A little gossip never hurt anyone. The trick is not to over do, or before you realize it, gossip becomes a way of life. So feel free to indulge in a little 'girl-talk' the next time you meet your mother-in-law and watch your relationship flourish!


  1. "So, isn't gossiping a vice, you ask? Of course it is! But so is the consumption of alcohol, and don't men bond excellently over a few bottles of beer?"

    So true!! And who said men never gossip? What they call 'bonding' over beer is in fact just plain old gossiping about that chick who seems interested in him and that guy who got his girl pregnant and vanished. I have myself known men who gossip more than women!! And actually, their gossipping is worse. If two women are talking about a girl who went on a date with a guy, the male version of it will have her sleeping with that guy. :/

  2. @Spiff: Yes, but men will rarely admit that they gossip too!