Friendships have their own unique way of scripting a sinusoidal or tangential or sometimes even reverse exponential graph.
Divya and I met eight years ago (in 1999). She was my junior in the engineering college and we used to travel in the same college bus. She was of small stature, had a cute little face, boy-cut hair (which was somehow nice to play with!), a very unique, somewhat childish and unmatured voice but a huge amount of attitude and no-nonsense. She wasn’t one of those who would be ready to become friends instantly but instead take their own time.
Hence, in the first year of our acquaintanceship (I wouldn’t even prefer to refer it as friendship), there was a mutual respected distance between the two of us and the conversation remained within the realms of need-basis or the basic courtesies. We could be tagged as ‘Friends?’!
But Aries and Sagis have an inherent way of getting close and garnering a mutual respect some time or other. Somehow, without any particular incident causing the deflection, our acquaintanceship turned towards friendship from 2000 onwards.
And there, as ‘Just Friends’, we hovered for the next 2 years (till 2002), crossing the boundaries of just formal courtesies and pleasantries to more meaningful conversations, when finally it was time for me to graduate from college. Once out of college, at an era when email was still not so popular, we gradually lost touch of one another, and she joined the multitude which can be grouped under ‘Once Friends.’
My professional life soon led me to the States while in the meantime, she too graduated and joined a company in Mysore. A coincidental chat with a common friend in late 2005, just days before her birthday, almost three years since we lost touch, provided me her email ID.
With no hope of a positive response, I sent her a birthday wish via email. However, that single mail started off a new lease of friendship! We gained the lost ground quickly and mutually updated on happenings. Small stature she might yet have been, but she had become popular in her Mysore office. She wasn’t cute, boy-cut girl anymore but a strong contender in beauty pageants with full-flowing hair!
It soon came to be that she was to travel to West Coast of USA in the coming months. In those months, I gave her a dump of what to expect and what not to expect from the Great Land of Opportunities and mentally prepared her. It wasn’t long before she arrived and we started having long conversations over the phone about our respective days.
Now imagine that. From ‘Friends?’, to ‘Just Friends’ to ‘Once Friends’, we had reached a stage where we were calling each other daily to ask ‘How was your day?’ It sort of gave a nice feeling and we used to look forward to those conversations which led to a more intricate knowledge of each others’ personal lives and thoughts and wants, as well as the ups and downs that we both were currently facing. Crux of the topic, generally revolved around her relationship with her boyfriend which was being tested for marriage feasibilities by her family, and her own personal views about it.
The nearest we came to, geographically speaking, was in SFO when I went with my friends and she went with her cousins. But due to personal reasons, we could not meet up. Soon, however, somewhat abruptly, she had to travel back to India. I was due to go back too, in a couple of months’ time. While I went back to India, she got transferred from Mysore to Bangalore.
When you reach that stage in friendship where you have had long soulful talks for days together, you wont get into ‘Once Friends’ mode ever, in spite of not being in touch. You would have surpassed that stage wherein, even without talking to one another for years, you can meet up and start off where you had left behind. We were now in that ‘Friends Forever’ stage!
In the months that followed in India, we used to chat or talk on phone but due to personal constraints, it was limited. While it is a much desired activity in a foreign country and place, where one craves for nothing other than friends and more friends, it is not as much desired – although necessary - in one’s own home town and place, filled with family and more family!
But atlast, early this month, we met up, after almost five years. It was a pleasant feeling and we had our usual nice round of bonhomie talk! She invited me for her wedding with her boyfriend, which had finally succeeded the family battle, and I felt happy for her success. We even went for a nice short wedding shopping spree!
And today, as I stood there, near her, in the Kalyan Mantap, congratulating her marital status, she looked up at me and flashed a brilliant smile. The joy she had on seeing me and the joy I had in wishing her, was unparalleled. The blissful contentment and genuine happiness that sprouts up from within is something which even the face cannot stop from displaying as a beautiful smile. After all those days on phone, listening to her about her unsettling and undecided future, it was finally good to see her secured with the sacred wedding necklace (thaali) by the person of her choice!
Have a wonderful, fun-filled, happy married life, Pinky!
PS: This chronicle was written on May 27, 2007.