I can feel something amiss. Don't know what! But something, somewhere doesn't seem to fit in and to add to the agony, I simply can't figure out what it is. All I know is I am missing something or may be someone!
Isn't life strange? So many years, I dreamed to be what and where I am today. From the very beginning, I worked hard towards it and now, when I have reached that point, I realize that in the process, so many people have been left behind. The moments I spent with them are those beautiful memories that are my source of strength and motivation. Now I know! I know who am I missing... my bestest of friends... those who have been and are always with me with their unconditional love and trust.
At an age when you actually begin to understand what relationships are all about, the first person you can relate to is your classmate cum friend - someone with whom you share you school desk, books, lunch box and stories about your innumerable crushes. Sarah and I were such friends - from sharing the same plate at friends' birthday parties to stealing lunch boxes(.... and you thought I was that seedha!!!), we were partners in every good and naughty deed. But trust me, it was fun and yeah... wicked too :D. Just managing to cross that sacred border line in maths, punishments for spending too much time at the water tank, the one-rupee ice-creams sticks, Chinese treat in a stolen tiffin - we always had so many reasons to celebrate and we made sure we never ran out of them. We never boasted of a great friendship, but there is something that has always kept us close. I know I can call her up at any time of day and so can she. There is a distance between us and yet, none actually.
The college I went to happened accidentally. I was actually planning to graduate in Commerce, but the journalism bug in me (which had smitten me badly then!) made me take up Arts and so I was in this college. But you know what! You meet the most wonderful people at the most unexpected places and occasions. It was my birthday when I asked some girls from my English class to join me for a treat. Little did I know then that I was being gifted with the best gifts of my life! That was the day I met Kaneez, Samana and Yeshi. Something struck right then. Within moments, we behaved as if we have known each other for years! Yeshi had a chauffeur-driven moped (mine, of course) for commuting to and from college and Kaneez had Samana's... and these two never even made the efforts to try riding them and give us the pleasure to ride pillion!
Kaneez was my lucky charm and I ensured that she is present in all the debates and other competitions I participated in (needless to say, Samana had to stay by default:)). She also was part of our basketball team (of course, the credit goes to me! Right Kaneez?) and from being that purdah-clad girl to someone playing in shorts was a complete makeover! It was during one tournament final when one of her cousins from a local TV channel came to cover the match and it was indeed a task to keep Kaneez hidden from his view. Needless to say, we failed to do that and Kaneez had to bear the brunt back home.
We stole our share of fun while going shopping for our college books, bags and other girly things. She would literally tear at her hair whenever she went out with me, with me being one of the most difficult shoppers! Hunting for a handbag across three markets and returning home empty-handed was something she couldn't think of! But yes, she learnt her lessons well and after that, made me promise that I'll go by her choice or at least, make mine soon (yeah...you know... I never did! ;) ). And she was not 'allowed' to wrap her dupattas when she went out with me and during one of those expeditions (yeah...right....another shopping trip :D), we bumped into one of her acquaintances again... something she always dreaded and something which always happened! (I have a little secret to share here.... she is married to the same person! :))
Time flew and soon, I had to leave for Delhi. It was a sight to watch. Kaneez, Yeshi, Samana... all of them came to see me off with their families at the station (to ensure I didn't change my mind ;)). While I could see myself taking the plunge towards living my dreams, they could see me going far away. They had tears in their eyes and a heaviness in their hearts... a feeling that was alien to me in my moment of excitement. While I waved Goodbye to them, little did I realize what I was leaving behind.
Today, it's been five years. From the carefree college-going girls to mature 'women' (I hate to feel so grown up :( ), we are all busy with our lives. And once again, I look forward to those little things I always took for granted.... the once-a-week call with Sarah, online chats with Kaneez at late nights (when her little daughter is off to bed), the occasional conversations with Yeshi and that once-in-a-blue moon chit chat with Samana. No longer do we meet like we met everyday , but even now, a little low voice at the other end and the other one can sense what is wrong. These are those little moments that make my life worth living as they help me realize that the distance may have come in physically, but our hearts can never be far away.
All of you are in different places now and how much ever I may wish, time will never roll back. I want you to know that I treasure all those moments with you and I love you and miss you all a lot! Thank you for being part of my life and making it wonderful with your presence.