Something So strong

Lost...

Lost… Shot- A & R

Circa 2002 :I was teaching in a school and life had not been treating me good at personal front. The only thing good was that I had a job and my work place was 5 minutes drive away.I was managing 2 kids at home, a job and a broken sou,l after 10 years of marriage.

Amid st all the chaos that was happening in my life, one fine day a girl joined the school as my colleague. A beautiful, pretty young thing in her mid 20’s had a dimpled smile and a cheerful attitude. I liked the style she carried herself with. During initial conversations she told that she is a Hotel Management Grad and had married a doctor. And because he didn’t want her to be in hotel business anymore , she had joined this school. Ouch…that was pretty harsh. Leaving a prosperous career in Taj midway and doing something else just because your man does not fancy it. Well , it was a love marriage and I assumed that’s how they do it when in love. They respect each other’s wishes and life becomes easy.

It took several months before Payal and I would become friends.Once the ice was broken,we would go for evening walks in the nearby DDA park. I would ride my scooter to her place,pick her up and then enjoy the walk in the evenings. Sometimes we would go t the nearby cafe and treat ourselves with some lovely pastries! The friendship grew and there would be days when she would spend a night or two with me when her husband was working night shifts. Then there would be times when I would drop in at her place with my kids and she would make some lovely tea and snacks for us. Payal became a solace in my otherwise wrecked up life. No, I didn’t share any of my agonies with her during that time. She would not be able to comprehend and I would be too embarrassed to tell her my woes more so because her life was perfect and I didn’t want to cast any shadow on it.

After 2 years, Payal moved to London, it seems her husband had passed the examination to do his MD at London. She went away and gave me lots of her stuff which she could not take to London.She did visit me once in the school about 2 years later and told she had a 2 year old daughter and had conceived again. She got me some gifts  and went back to London…that’s about it. There was no contact with her thereafter.

Payal was gone and I was all by myself again. The pain and agony taking over my life again. Even though I didn’t share any of it with her, her mere presence in my life was soothing and I would forget about my problems. A couple of years later we were transferred to farthest corner of India. Life was pretty laid back there and I again managed to fulfill one of my dreams here- working for an MNC. As I immersed myself in my new found identity, I lost contact with Payal. There were no chances that I could have her number or she could have mine. Much later when we met again, she would tell me, her initial years in London were struggling.

Two years later we had shifted places again and this time it was in central India. I do not remember how much I missed her as I touched another crucial milestone of my life- working for a Telecom Giant where I would eventually work for next 7 years. Her thoughts kept coming to my mind every once in a while and I would talk about her to my current colleagues.I had kept her memories alive in my mind and heart as I knew it would be almost impossible to get in touch with her again.

Life was a struggle. I had been making up my mind these years. To be strong, without real friends and with 2 kids to take care of at home. Again, work brought in some respite.

One fine evening , on the way back from work, as I got down from my scooter and walk towards a shop to buy something, a man came in front of me and looked at me, I stopped and he said ,”Rinku ??” Oh my god, it was Payal’s husband and what on earth he was doing in this city? He was supposed to be in London! I asked him,”where is Payal….?” He pointed to the car and there she was! We hugged and were surprised at the way we had met in a new city. She told me her Parent-in-laws stayed there and she came there to visit them. That week went off like crazy. She visited me with her kids and husband and then I visited her in-laws place. It was so wonderful to have got in touch with her all over again.  We had missed so many years in between since she left for London but this chance meeting made up for it. We exchanged numbers and emails and promised not to lose contact again. We also had each other’s dad’s contact number in case we lose contact again.

Two years later, I was back in Delhi, the place where we first met 7 years before. We kept in touch via mails and if we could not then we would call each other’s dads and get back in touch.

Year 2012, I had made up my mind and had recently filed for divorce and had moved out.One evening , I got a call from Payal saying that her husband had divorced her a couple of months back and she needed my help. I pulled myself out of my struggles and told her to stay strong and that I too was going through the same. From that day , we kept in regular touch and supported each other emotionally. A year later, I had sorted out my divorce and was in US vacationing. During these 6 months in US, I could call her everyday and the bond between us got even more stronger. We both were recuperating from  divorces. We had different issues in our marriages but something seemed to be similar- the pain. Sharing each other’s pain and then trying to lift each other’s spirit in this hardest times of our lives brought us even more closer.

If I think of how we met a decade before and how we tried to stay connected to each other in different continents and how we have maintained and loved each other …..it seems amazing. When we met the first time in school staff-room , none of us thought we would become best friends forever-BFF’s….that’s what they call it right!

Ironically Payal and I share a similar life but to be each other’s rock has been a beautiful thing to happen to us!

So here’s looking forward to some more amazing times including growing old together.

Cheers to friendship!

Way back Home

Way back Home

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