Romantic relationships may or may not last forever, but your friends will always be there by your side. Dedicated to celebrating such eternal friendships, Galentine’s Day is a reminder of all things good, of special bonds between female friends.
For the uninitiated, the idea behind the day is based on an episode from Parks and Recreation, 2010 called Galentine’s Day. The episode shows Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, gathering her girlfriends for a brunch – which is all about waffles and love. “Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style,” Leslie, who is a government bureaucrat, says in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.” And thus, 13th February was unofficially added to pop culture’s calendar.
Hailing the idea of celebrating a day with one’s girlfriends, director Alankrita Shrivastava of Lipstick Under My Burkha fame stresses why female friendship is very important for one’s well-being. “My girlfriends have always played an important role in my life. I studied in an all-girls school and college, which is why my friendship with my girl pals is deep-rooted. However, I think it’s not just friends; as I belong to a family of strong women I was always by them. I had a very calming relation with my mother, sister, grandmother so they are like my friends and I enjoy spending time with them a lot”.
On being asked what her idea of spending a good time with her girlfriends is, Shrivastava said a long endless conversation over food is her idea of relaxation.
Likewise, food nerd and writer-turned-restaurateur Kainaz Contractor who treats Rustom’s as her family home, says female friendship, especially on the professional front, is one that she feels is essential for one’s mental stability at work.
“Whether it’s your colleagues or someone in the industry as a mentor or peer, just having someone to exchange experiences and form a bond with, helps in knowing that you’re not alone. The set of challenges that women face at workplace are very different than the ones men face, so having someone who can relate to your experiences and offer a safe place to discuss new approaches to problem-solving can really help in pushing you to perform better. As a restaurateur, it’s always reassuring to talk to other women entrepreneurs who can inspire you through their journey and help you grow into the best version of yourself”, she adds.
So how would she like to celebrate Galentine’s Day? A mini vacation with her best girls that comes with “exploring, eating and drinking our way through new places and dabbling in a bit of adventure sport” is what she would opt for.
Jewellery designer Prakshi Sharma, whose creations have been modelled by actors like Kareena Kapoor Khan and Kangana Ranaut at the India Couture Fashion Week, says female friendship is very important to her to grow in today’s society. “We woman need to believe in each other and our dreams, defend each other’s honour and help one another achieve our best”, she adds.
Costume designer and wardrobe consultant Leepakshi Ellawadi, whose phone number is on the speed dial list of many celebrities like Shraddha Kapoor, Preity Zinta and Ayushman Khurrana says, “There are so many things you can share on an emotional and physical level with friends of the same sex. I’m not saying that guys do not make for good friends, but I believe there’s definitely merit in having close girlfriends”.