Sitting in Volvo bus, on my way to Mumbai from Udaipur I look outside the window. I had gone to Udaipur for my cousin’s wedding. The night has fallen and it’s completely dark outside. Everybody is sleeping inside. Once in a while I see a little flicker of light far away. I try to make myself comfortable. The AC is on and I pull my blanket to feel little warm. There is a peaceful silence around me and I drift back to a past.
We both had met at Shalini’s house for the first time. The day I met her was the luckiest day of my life. I found in her an elder sister, a best friend and love from her that would last for all my life. From there started a series of walk to school together with me always waiting for her at the gate and she always getting late for school, eating orange bar on Fatehsagar together, rides on Kinetic, sharing little secrets, having fun in the school, giggling in the corridors, sharing the tinniest bit of blue ribbon, sharing tears on school farewell and watching movies late in the night and then feeling scared to go out to lock the doors. We were always lost in our own worlds. When girls in school had loads of stories of their boyfriends we were busy dreaming crazy dreams. We thought of becoming Don. We dreamt of black limousine stopping in front of our house, we getting out of it in black leather attire and holding AK47! I smiled and saw my own reflection in the window of the bus. It was all such a long time back…but the sweet smell of these memories is still alive in my senses.
Pakhi sitting next to me stirred on her seat. Outside saw little bushes blurring into each other because of the speed of the bus. Somehow it resembled my life. Sitting at one place I was looking at my life passing by. I went back to the days of my college when we started our graduation together. We had become bolder in our dreams (the dream of becoming a Don didn’t materialize though!). We started looking at the life’s bigger picture. We were no longer silly girls from school. We noticed boys and we followed them on our Kinetic. We learned to whistle and we learned that all roads in Udaipur lead to Fatehsagar. We learned to bunk college but we learned to study in one month’s prep leaves. We celebrated birthdays, friendship days, Valentine’s Day and each day that we lived together. We learned that having fun with boys is not wrong anymore and we found some very good friends in those days. Our laughter became famous in NIIT and we were known as laughing cousins. We together looked at the Udaipur city from the top of Nimachmata and saw sun rise in the horizon. We learned that it’s not necessary to have money to have fun. From being children we grew up together to become girls. But then life had other things stored in for us…I moved to Mumbai and she stayed back in Udaipur.
I realized that I was crying. My tear in the window looked like a rain drop slipping on the window pane without a support to hold on to. The parting was very hard…on both of us. But we both knew that its best for both of us. We saw a lot of ups and down in our life when we were apart. We used to wait and count days to meet each other and when we met, we wanted to share everything in that short period of time. We gave each other shoulders to cry on and held hands while laughing. We celebrated her getting a gold medal and we partied when I got my first job. We celebrated our success and we shared our first stumbling block in our career. We always found comfort, love and support in each other.
I drew a deep breathe and calmed myself down. Went back to the day when the door bell rang of my house. There was letter for me. A white envelope with golden designs was handed over to me. I saw a very familiar writing. My happiness knew no boundary when I took the wedding invitation of my dearest sister Shalini in my hand. Another phase in her life would be starting soon. The hug when I finally met her before her wedding lasted for long and I didn’t want to leave not knowing when I will get to hug her again. When her hands were designed beautifully with mehndi, looking at her I couldn’t believe that how far the life has brought us together. Her room reminded me of the best moments of life that we shared their together. The garden in front of her house reminded me of the songs that we had sung together when the lights went off in the night. The sound of her laughter reminded me of the days when we couldn’t breather because we couldn’t stop laughing. Her nervous laugh told me that a lot of things have changed. When the music played on her ladies sangeet, I danced with all my heart. When I saw her sitting in her bridal clothes I felt like pinching myself. When Dharam and Shalini we proclaimed to be man and wife, I realized how beautiful she looked being a woman. She was no longer a girl I knew and I realized that all that is past, a part which I will cherish all my life. Life is no longer same…we have moved on…yet again. When she sat in the car to go away I couldn’t bring myself to cry in front of her and I hide myself behind everyone to see her go. I wish I could have hugged her again before she went away but then I wouldn’t have let go of her. I saw a part of me going away with her and I only wish her best in life…hoping that some day my past will meet with my present, with her in it again…