The One with the Reunion

17 years after the show ended, the cast and the makers of F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunited for an evening down memory lane.

Like countless people around the globe, I am a huge fan of the show too. I was looking forward to watching the Reunion and now I feel I could use a group hug!!

As the show makers; Bright, Kauffman and Crane put it: It is about that time of your life when your friends are your family. Each one goes through this phase, which is what makes this series relatable to every generation. The styles and locations may be a 90’s time capsule but the essence of the show “friendship” is timeless.

The episode opens with each FRIEND walking into the recreated set; which brought back all their memories. Matt revealed how Courtney used to write her dialogues on the apples on the dining table!!

The cast recreated their famous trivia game night and reacted to their bloopers.

It went all from laughing out loud one moment to sad tears when Courtney said this could be the last time they might get to do this together as a group.

My favorite part of the episode was the table read sessions for “The One Where Everybody Finds Out”

Phoebe’s “My eyes!! My eyes!!” is still bang on

and the first kiss between Ross and Rachel 😍

David and Jennifer admitted that they did indeed have a crush on each other back in Season 1, but their ships were always sailing away from each other, so they channeled all the adoration that they felt for each other into Ross and Rachel.

Chandler and Monica were supposed to be a one-time fling but seeing the way the audience reacted, the creators had to take notice.

The show makers also shared stories about how the FRIENDS were cast – from coaxing David out of early TV retirement to making a cross over to get Lisa on the show. Jennifer shared how she was a part of another show at the time and how they had told her that F.R.I.E.N.D.S would never make her a star. Could that be more ironic?

Many guests made an appearance , I liked the part where Lisa Kudrow and Lady Gaga sang “Smelly Cat.”

It was good to see Mr & Mrs Geller and Gunther again. And “Oh my Gawd” Janice!!

She revealed that her high-pitched laugh was a spur of the moment reaction to stop herself from bursting in peals in front of Matthew – who incidentally added a lot of spontaneous jokes to the original scenes.

Sure, we would all like to know where the FRIENDS would be now in their lives. But as Lisa rightly said, in order to do that they would have to unravel all the good. Sometimes, it’s best to leave something at a beautiful point in time.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S has changed the lives of not only the people who were a part of the show but also all those who have watched it. It certainly brings a smile to my face every time!! 🙃

Unfinished – Book by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

I am a huge admirer of Priyanka Chopra. I was eagerly awaiting the chance to read her memoir, Unfinished, and now that I did, I am more in awe of her.

The book starts with her childhood memories and what it was like growing up with parents who treated her as an individual who has an equal say. Priyanka recounts a story when she asked her father, why her name was not on the house name plate. Any other adult would have dismissed it as a child’s zid, but her father thought on it and said, “You are right. You live in this house too. Your name should be on it.”

She credits her career to her parents, who shuttled between their hospital commitments and moved around the world with her so that she could flourish. And her brother who kick-started the whole thing by sending her nomination to Miss India without even informing her.

Miss India World 2000

Priyanka says that she is an amalgamation of the East and the West. She grew up and lived in different cities in India, moved to the US for high school, came back and became a Bollywood star and eventually transitioned into Hollywood.

She believes that we shouldn’t strive to fit into a mold of society-approved-standards. That infact, our difference is our strength. It is what makes us stand out & more importantly, it is what makes us , “us”

She also believes that we should have a go at every opportunity that comes our way. And not just try it for fun, but invest our 100% in it. If it works, it will pay off dividends. If not, then what’s the worst that will happen? Whatever might be the failure, it will not be for lack of effort.

This has been her strategy for her entire career. She entered the Miss India contest, while studying for her XIIth boards. She took up film offers and prepped herself for every role that came along her way. Sometimes, some opportunities tanked, like her music career which didn’t really take off – but as she says, it wasn’t for lack of effort.

Priyanka also showcases how important it is to swallow the pride pill & not shy away from starting at the bottom; which is what she did when she established her career in the US.

Quantico billboard in the US

I enjoyed reading about how Nick “slided” into her DMs to their big fat Chopra Jonas wedding festivities and the infinite trains.

At Met Gala 2017
At their wedding 😍

I loved all the anecdotes about her parents – especially the one when her father painstakingly wrote and re-wrote the words for her tattoo even when he was unable to hold a pen in his hands.

The stories about her parents’ days in the Army & her own experiences as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador were heartening.

Priyanka being awarded the Padma Shri in 2016

Priyanka Chopra has always been an inspiration for me, and will continue to be, because, she’s not quite “finished” yet!!