Archive for the ‘Friend’ Category
When Zoe first kissed Shrey, he wrinkled his nose and immediately wiped it off. Looking at his expressions Zoe giggled and went to kiss him again. But this time Shrey was ready, he crawled away as fast as he could. Zoe followed him steadfastly. Looking at Shrey’s plight both the kids’ mothers burst out laughing. The innocent chase of turtle and rabbit, as they were known as, went on for years.
They weaved a cocoon around them and nobody was allowed to penetrate it. Once, Shrey picked up a fight for Zoe when one of their classmates made a pass at Zoe. Shrey beat the light out of him. But when Zoe went up to him with a smile, he gruffly told her to behave properly. And his tone was such that Zoe’s eyes brimmed with tears instantly. Looking at her crestfallen face, Shrey sighed and hugged her. She just shrugged his hands off and walked down to their school bus. She did not talk to him for the entire time till they reached home, but by evening all was well again. Tiff forgotten, Zoe and Shrey’s were playing tennis by evening. This was not an isolated incidence, but eventually Zoe would forget her anguish and they would be together again, as always. Zoe and Shrey became inseparable, two sides of one coin, always together but never seeing eye to eye.
However, as they grew up it was evident that how much ever they loved each other or cared for each other they were not cut out to be together. Zoe was bubbly and effervescent while Shrey was a thinker and loved to read. Zoe would go on chattering away her thoughts while Shrey would just nod or give monosyllabic answers. It was difficult to know what went on in Shrey’s mind whereas Zoe was an open book. Shrey would like to keep to himself while Zoe constantly sought his company. So much so that she would expect him to shop with her too! Their adolescence being at peak, things started changing, or say, Zoe started realizing how much she was imposing on Shrey. She realized he needed space. His gruff behavior started hurting her more; she started reading more into his monosyllabic answers and felt left out. There was a time when she would drag him out of his bed just to go on a long drive or go window shopping. Now, she felt embarrassed or sometimes insulted when he would just refuse to be with her. Shrey’s behavior was probably the same, but Zoe was growing up and her natural vanity wanted to be pampered.
All her grievances went up like a smoke in the air the day she came to know that he was going to US of A for higher studies. It was just for a few days that they were together and the thought of being alone filled her with dread. She could not think of her life without him. She went to see Shrey and could not hold herself back when she saw him packing. All the wonderful years of their childhood came to her like a flash. She just stood in the door way looking at her best friend. Shrey sensed someone in the room and turned around to see Zoe’s crestfallen face. She saw the same turmoil in his eyes and the hell broke loose. She just threw herself in his arms and he held her tight, as tight as he could. Both were crying openly now. They never had any friend other than each other all their lives and now the thought of being without each other was killing them. They sat on the edge of his bed, holding each other’s hands, caressing softly. Words failed them but they were not needed today.
“You be good, rabbit! Don’t go on hopping here and there.” Shrey said softly.
“And you pick up some speed, turtle. Else you won’t be able to find any girl for yourself.” Zoe tried to make their mood light.
“I am not going there to chase after some stupid girls. I am going there to study, got it!”
With that the spell was broken and they laughed together. There were no promises made, none were needed!
Time flew by and life went on at both the ends. Whoever said, “Distance made hearts grow fonder” was proving to be wrong in this case. The good natured sparring turned to tiffs and finally heated flare ups. Increasingly the feeling of not belonging to each other started creeping in. The joy of being together was turning into a dread. Zoe was getting possessive about him, while Shrey was feeling suffocated with all the love and devotion. He hated to be answerable. Zoe tried to keep tab on his online life, Shrey hated it to core. The final blow to their friendship came on the New Year eve when Zoe called up Shrey to wish, and made a passing remark about some hot young man in the party. A heated and hurtful argument followed, and how much ever they regret it later, the damage was done.
That was a decade ago.
Fate brought them face to face again. Their eyes met and the world around them ceased to exist. They did not know how long they stood there, in that crowded room lost in their own world. After what felt like an eternity, Zoe noticed someone tug at her pallu, she looked down and Shrey’s eyes followed her gaze. A little girl looked up at her and Zoe smiled at her daughter. Little Zoe clung to her and shyly looking at the man getting all her mother’s attention. Just then a little boy came bouncing and jumped into Shrey’s arms. The boy looked at Little Zoe and asked his father,
“Dad, doesn’t she look like a rabbit!”
A happy, contended smile spread over their faces and the lost years fell by!
Kumud was excited about Achinta’s engagement. She and Achinta were friends ever since she could remember. She was a single child and so was Achinta. But they never missed having a sibling. They were like soul mates. “Bestest” friends, as Kumud likes to put it! Everyone was surprised when Kumud got married to Aunurag. It was assumed, even by their families, that Kumud and Achinta would marry. They rolled their eyes in unison on this assumption. Kumud easily moulded herself in her role as a wife. But Achinta always remained her best friend. Aunurag too accepted Achinta as a part of their family. So when Kumud called him about Achinta’s impending engagement Aunurag too smiled ear to ear. Kumud’s excitement was contagious.
As much as Kumud wanted to meet “the girl” before Achinta was officially fastened to her, she could not meet her till the day of engagement. When Kumud saw Achinta on the day of engagement clad in the traditional Bengali dress, standing tall and looking handsome than ever; her heart swell with love for her dearest friend. She almost ran to him and gave a bear hug. Both their families laughed at this childish display of affection. In all the merriment nobody noticed the shadow coming down on “the girl’s” face. Achinta introduced the two most important ladies of his life to each other. Kumud hugged Kakoli with equal enthusiasm and kept on chattering. In all her felicity, she did not notice that Kakoli was not sharing her exuberance.
“Oye, what time are you coming for barbecue this Sunday?” enquired Kumud, as usual.
“Can’t, yaar. Kakoli is coming down for her shopping this weekend.”
“Aha… Dating-wating ‘n’ all, hun?” teased Kumud good-naturedly and both burst out laughing.
“Hey, why don’t you both come down once you are done shopping? I don’t think we will wind up party before 12. What say?”
“Let me see. I think we will be able to make it. Catch you on Sunday.”
“Oye, sun yaar, I think we won’t be able to make it after all. Kakoli is having severe headache and she wants to turn in early since tomorrow early morning she has to go back to her place. Sorry buddy.”
“No problem… hopes she gets well soon. Hug her on my behalf”Kumud replied understandingly.
This was two months back. In these two months Achinta’s visits to Kumud’s place reduced drastically. Their phone conversations, too, dipped. She complained about this to Aunurag, to which he just smiled and told her that it’s natural. She smiled a wistful smile. She hated Achinta’s absence, actual and virtual!
Kumud had expected to become friends with Kakoli too but Kakoli kept her at arm’s distance. There was this nagging feeling of unease when all four of them were together. The usual chatter and coziness were gone. Polite conversation took place of teasing. Achinta was the same when he was alone but the change was evident when the pair was together. He was not at home when he now came to their place.
As Achinta’s marriage date was neared a feeling of dread fell upon Kumud. She feared losing her best friend. She kept this feeling to herself but she knew in heart of her heart that it was inevitable. It was decided earlier that Kumud will be Achinta’s “best-woman” at his wedding. But that was before Kakoli came into picture. Now she was not so sure. Also Achinta had not mentioned it recently.
The duo came to invite Kumud and Aunurag for the wedding. The invitation was as formal as it can get. While handing over the card, Kumud’s and Achinta’s eyes held for a few seconds; Kumud’s eyes brimming with tears of losing her “bestest” friend, Achinta’s eyes brimming with silent apology.
“Come on, yaar! I think when one is older the need of a spouse is even more. Be it a man or a woman.” Pankti remembered her own words when she had vehemently defended elderly remarriage among her group.
“What if, God forbid, your father was to do the same? What will be your reaction then? Pankti, it is one thing to talk about something and other when you actually have to follow it!” Krish had argued.
“No, I will always be at my dad’s side if he chooses to remarry after my mother!” She had replied strongly. The discussion went on and ended without a consensus. That was about two decades ago.
Pankti had never, ever thought that she would have to take such a decision in her life. The only difference was that the decision was to be taken for her mother instead of father. Why call it a decision? Her mother had given her a choice… a choice for her mother’s life!
Of course, Pankti was not averse to the idea. Or was she?
Why, then, since she has heard of it is she so upset?
Were her debates and the talks of (elderly) remarriage just empty talks? No. And, anyways, who was talking about marriage here? They just have decided to stay together, a few days at her mom’s place and a few days at “his” place.
“Then what’s your problem?” She asked herself.
Though she was still not comfortable with the whole idea, she had agreed to meet with “the man” whom her mother thought was a “very nice person” and “she would love to meet him”!
As the duo approached him, pankti was increasingly feeling nervous. She looked at her mother and could make out that she too was not in her usual chirpy mood. Pankti went into a kind of a shock when she met Mr. Shah. He was not at all what she had conjured up in her mind. He was a slight man with a pleasant personality and slowly she became comfortable in his company.
“What did you expect, idiot!!” She reprimanded herself. “He is supposed to be 65 years old, about your mother’s age.”
But his grey cells were nowhere near 65 years… he was a jovial man and well versed too. Slowly Pankti relaxed and forgot how apprehensive she was before coming here. And she looked at her mother, her smile was worth anything.
Later that night when she was thinking about Mahadeve i.e. Mr. Shah, she realized that she never had any problem with her mother being friends or more with anybody. But she was afraid of how the other person might turn out to be. It was as if she was thinking about her child’s matrimony and not her mother’s!
Today when she endorsed their friendship with a smile she truly felt she had become her mother’s mother!!
My wife called, ‘How long will you be with that newspaper? Will you come here and make your darling daughter eat her food?
I tossed the paper away and rushed to the scene. My only daughter, Sindu, looked frightened; tears were welling up in her eyes. In front of her was a bowl filled to its brim with curd rice. Sindu is a nice child, quite intelligent for her age.
I cleared my throat and picked up the bowl. ‘Sindu, darling, why don’t you take a few mouthful of this curd rice? Just for Dad’s sake, dear?’
Sindu softened a bit and wiped her tears with the back of her hands. ‘Ok, Dad. I will eat – not just a few mouthfuls, but the whole lot of this. But, you should…’ Sindu hesitated. ‘Dad, if I eat this entire curd Rice, will you give me whatever I ask for?’
‘Promise’. I covered the pink soft hand extended by my daughter with mine, and clinched the deal. Now I became a bit anxious. ‘Sindu, dear, you shouldn’t insist on getting a computer or any such expensive items. Dad does not have that kind of money right now. Ok?’
‘No, Dad. I do not want anything expensive’. Slowly and painfully, she finished eating the whole quantity. I was silently angry with my wife and my mother for forcing my child to eat something that she detested.
After the ordeal was through, Sindu came to me with her eyes wide with expectation.. All our attention was on her.
‘Dad, I want to have my head shaved off, this Sunday!’ was her demand.
‘Atrocious!’ shouted my wife, ‘A girl child having her head shaved off? Impossible!’
‘Never in our family!’ My mother rasped. ‘She has been watching too much of television. Our culture is getting totally spoiled with these TV programs!’
‘Sindu, darling, why don’t you ask for something else? We will be sad seeing you with a clean-shaven head.’
‘Please, Sindu, why don’t you try to understand our feelings?’ I tried to plead with her.
‘Dad, you saw how difficult it was for me to eat that Curd Rice’. Sindu was in tears.
‘And you promised to grant me whatever I ask for. Now, you are going back on your words. Was it not you who told me the story of King Harishchandra, and its moral that we should honor our promises no matter what?’
It was time for me to call the shots. ‘Our promise must be kept.’
‘Are you out of your mind?’ chorused my mother and wife.
‘No. If we go back on ourpromises, she will never learn to honour her own.. Sindu, your wish will be fulfilled.’
With her head clean-shaven, Sindu had a round-face, and her eyes looked big and beautiful.
On Monday morning, I dropped her at her school. It was a sight to watch my hairless Sindu walking towards her classroom. She turned around and waved. I waved back with a smile. Just then, a boy alighted from a car, and shouted, ‘Sinduja, please wait for me!’ What struck me was the hairless head of that boy.
‘May be, that is the in-stuff’, I thought.
‘Sir, your daughter Sinduja is great indeed!’ Without introducing herself, a lady got out of the car, and continued, ‘that boy who is walking along with your daughter is my son Harish. He is suffering from… leukemia’. She paused to muffle her sobs. ‘Harish could not attend the school for the whole of the last month. He lost all his hair due to the side effects of the chemotherapy. He refused to come back to school fearing the unintentional but cruel teasing of the schoolmates. Sinduja visited him last week, and promised him that she will take care of the teasing issue. But, I never imagined she would sacrifice her lovely hair for the sake of my son! Sir, you and your wife are blessed to have such a noble soul as your daughter.’
I stood transfixed and then, I wept. ‘My little Angel, you are teaching me how selfless real love is!’
P.S. This is not my creation. But sadly I don’t know who the author is, so am unable to give the credit. I loved the story and my eyes welled up while reading it! I wanted to share it with you guys, hope you like it too!
Ritu opened the drawer fifth time since morning and sighed again. A long, big sigh!! She remembered her neighbour’s comments and she backed off. Her eyes glistened. She knew she was over reacting but she couldn’t help but feel down.
She was the most beautiful girl of her batch when she was in college. And her beauty was even more endearing for she was totally oblivious to the fact that she stole a lot many hearts on the campus when she smiled and jerked her head back to keep her hair in place. Not surprisingly, she was the most sought after girl!
When she got “attached” to Kartik a lot of alcohol flowed in the boy’s hostel…
After 5 years of marriage to Kartik and a baby later now when she looked at in the mirror she couldn’t recognize herself. Well, almost!! She has put on at least 15 Kgs post delivery! She still looked charming and beautiful with that sweet smile and cherubic face. It was just that she had filled up a bit on her curves.
She had become a woman!
But every now and then somebody would comment on how she used to look in her college days and how she has changed now. Most of the time she would just smile but sometimes she felt bad, sometimes she felt enraged and sometimes she went into depression.
Kartik was always on her side. If he was around he would shoot his favourite dialogue,
“If you want a wife, your children’s mother, a best friend, a professional, a girl-friend, a cook; all wrapped into one and still expect her to be toothpick thin then probably you are asking for too much from a human being!”
But it was not always possible to make others understand how one feels when they talk without thinking.
Today was one such day. Ritu loved chocolates and she was gifted one by her best friend today. As she was about to open it, her nosy neighbour came and commented on how much weight she has put on and how it is not good for her to have chocolates and other high calorie food! She pushed the chocolate in the drawer but couldn’t push the thoughts which were rummaging through her mind!
“Was it her fault that she was genetically prone to put on weight?
Was it her fault that she was suffering from Hypothyroidism?
Was it her fault that even after taking regular treatment she was unable to shed weight?
Was it her fault that she hardly got time to exercise on a regular basis from her multiple duties of being a wife, a mother and a working professional?
Was it her fault that she could not diet as she needed those calories to keep her going?
Was it her fault that Indian females were made to be a bit voluptuous compared to their western and eastern counterparts?
Was it her fault that media was wrongly portraying toothpick thin models and showing that was the way Indian ladies are suppose to look?”
As she stood in front of her drawer, looking at her bar of chocolate longingly, warmth enveloped her from behind. Kartik had come home early with a gift for her – a beautiful skirt and a T-shirt from the “All size” store… He knew she would look beautiful, as always, in those floral clothes!
Amit awarded me with this awesome award! Thank you, thank you *bowing, bowing*
And I think i should continue with the tradition of awarding it to other bloggers whom I think who deserve it and have not received it yet from others for some reasons!!
And now to be really honest ( now that I have already got the certificate, can’t say otherwise!!), I am stuck with no plots or stories these days… Totally blank!! God Knows where my creative juices have flowed away!! :roll:
Hope to be back soon! In-fact I am desperate to write something, anything which can make sense but alas…