Friday, October 29, 2010
Friendship, just like love, is not gonna stay with us for a lifetime. This is a fact I had accepted, though with much reluctance. That morning, when I woke up and saw my luggage all packed, I felt a pang in my chest. I was finally leaving the country. I latched the main door and handed over the keys to my landlord and walked towards the gate.
As I opened the gate, I took one last glance at the house… or home? I thought, “Should I be crying?” But then again, I felt, “Why should I?” I mean, in movies and all, they do cry in such scenes, but that is because they are sad to leave something behind. I was taking all I have along with me, packed in the suitcases. For once, I felt so convenient about not having a family, coz that would have made my packing so much complicated. How on earth would I have managed to pack a pair of mom and dad and a bunch of siblings into the suitcases? It was perfect that I was alone.
Alone? Not really until before a few months back. Ashwin was there since I was sixteen. And Anjali… Anjali was there from even before. She helped me pack every single thing that belonged to me when I finally moved from Mamaji’s place into a home of my own. Though a rented one, but for the first time, I would cease to be an undue burden on grumpy relatives. And when I moved, I made it a point to bring back everything that belonged to me, I never liked the idea of moving ahead, leaving my things behind. After all, in every single thing I consider mine, there dwells a piece of me in them.
But those were past… Ashwin was gone now… for some better prospect. And Anjali… she too was gone. Who the hell ever said friendship was for a lifetime? All those moments of childhood and teenage to becoming adults… we had shared them together… and all were gone in the blink of an eyelid? All for that guy… what was his name? I just forgot, pardon me. Oh, wait… why am I even asking for a pardon? He was not worth her. I told her that, but she never believed me. She said I was speaking against her guy, coz I was frustrated about losing mine? Heck! I agree I was frustrated, but that wasn’t the reason for my being negative about her guy…
Anyways, it was three months that I was all alone, in this whole world. And that was when I got this call from Muscat, asking me to join their company there. Good package and very less things left for me to pack for leaving this country, I readily agreed.
I took the cab to the airport, and there again, I looked behind. Damned! There was nothing left for me, no one waiting for me… I better moved ahead. Suddenly, my cellphone vibrates… I get a message from an unknown number saying… “ Check your mail once, before you leave.” Now who was this? Hey wait… I knew the number! So what if I had deleted it, Anjali’s number was there in my head. Dunno what caught my whims, I moved away from the check in queue, took out my laptop, and switched it on.
I connected the internet through my cellphone, and in moments, I was into my gmail account. Among a hell lot of promotional mails, junk mails and spams, I could see Anjali’s one. I clicked it open, and there were a series of snaps in there.
God! When did she do all these? It was a collection of all the times we spent together. There was the one with us making the doll’s house… we were barely 10 years at that time; and there was the one with us preparing a batter, I suppose we were baking a cake for the first time. There were pictures of us in crew cuts, pig tails, pony tails… to long and beautiful hair… How could I forget we had grown up together, always?
I scrolled down the entire mail, reliving every memory of us together that the pictures managed to remind me of. At the end of the mail, there was a p.s., saying, “We were never ‘me’, we were always ‘us’, and we will always be ‘us’. My eyes drifted to the chat list, and I saw a shining green button beside her name. “Should I ping?”… I finally pinged.
Me: Hey, just checked your mail.
Anjali: Hmm… how was it?
Anjali: Did you cry L???
Me: Noooo… why wud I????
Anjali: Oh! Btw, when is your flight?
Me: In about an hour…
Anjali: You must check in, then?
Me: Yup, I must.
Anjali: Did you manage with packing?
I mean, I wasn’t even there to help you this time…
Me: Oh! I managed… I did.
Anjali: You packed everything?
Me: Yup… I never leave anything behind, you know that!
Anjali: You sure?
Me: What do you mean? Yes, I am.
Anjali: There’s something you’re leavin behind…
Anjali was video calling me…
I took it…
I could see her across the call window, she was crying.
Suddenly, I felt something itchy on my cheeks. I took my fingers there only to feel something moist.
Hell! When did I start crying?
“Anjali, I don’t think I can manage to pack you up in any of my suitcases.”
“In that case, what would you do?”
“Guess I would unpack my other suitcases. When I cannot pack something that’s mine along with me, I’d rather stay behind.”
“You wait there, I’m coming to pick you up…”