“The thought of our past years in me doth breed Perpetual benedictions.”William Wordsworth
I woke up all of a sudden few nights back feeling the chill around me and found my husband sleeping peacefully. I sensed something was out of the order and I tip toed to my daughter’s room, straightened her blanket, tucked her in and she gave me a beautiful innocent smile in sleep. I kissed on her forehead and came back to my bedroom. I opened the glass door of my bedroom which leads to my balcony, my sanctum. By now my readers know I am little obsessed and have a fetish for this small strip of balustrade adjoined to my bedroom. I love standing there watching the welkin of stars, the stratosphere of celestial beings and the ether of my ancestors.
There was a cool soothing breeze blowing and playing peek a boo with my tangled hair like someone from far away land is speaking sotto voce of my bygone years. I closed my eyes and tried to capture some lost and profound moments of happiness, grief, loss, embracing new relationships, adjusting to new roles in life. A montage of memories, an assortment of emotions and a potpourri of varied hues and colors of life formed an alluring collage in front of my eyes which were still groggy. It was as if someone was asking me to go back and enjoy those moments one more time in life and the calling was so strong that I gave in.
A girl of ten came and stood right in front of me, sobbing. She had a fight with her best friend in school over a trivial issue of seating arrangement. Her best friend refused to sit beside her because she talked too much and this little girl was devastated. She was in a state of misery no one could fathom. “Ssshhh, don’t cry sweetheart” I tried to console her. “Friends come and go and if you are not worthy to her she should be of no worth to you.” I reasoned. “But she is my best friend” she said whimpering. “Nobody can be your friend, let alone best friend, if she can’t accept the way you are” I lectured and the little girl disappeared. Her desolate forlorn face tugged at my heart and I felt her pangs of pain.
I brushed the tears from the corner of my eyes and a happy fourteen year old teenager, all vivacious and charming gave me her best smile and I totally melted. “Guess what” she chirped. “What” I asked amazed. Her happiness was contagious and I felt on top of the world too. “My first Sidney Sheldon novels. Can you beat that?” she grinned ear to ear. “Which novel it is?” I asked, curiosity rising high in me. “If Tomorrow Comes and Bloodline” She boasted of her collection. “Aha, but I have read both of them and I know everything about the heroes and their stories” I pulled her leg. “Hey I have read them too; I didn’t sleep yesterday night and hid them under my physics book. Oh I am so totally madly in love with Jeff Stevens and Reese Williams. Tracy Whitney is so damn cool” she giggled and confided. “I love them too, in fact Jeff Stevens was my first crush. I could do anything for him.” I found myself tittering away with that cute teenage girl. Her excitement touched me at that corner of my heart where I still can fall for heroes as I used to do.
As I was enjoying this rush of excitement a twenty year old young lady came and tapped on my shoulders. Startled, I looked back at her and she was wearing a confused look on her face. “What’s wrong with you?” I enquired sincerely. “Why do I have to make a choice between love and friendship?” She asked in a somber voice, I sensed she was deeply disturbed. “Who is asking you to choose anyway?” “The person I thought to be my friend is deeply in love with me and one of my girlfriends is in love with him and he won’t listen to me and she is misunderstanding me. Where is my fault? I did not ask him to love me or don’t love her” Her demeanor spoke volumes about her confused mind. “You really don’t love him? Or are you trying to sacrifice for your friend, you know the filmy type” I asked. “No I really honestly do not love him. To me love happens only once and too at the first sight and listen I have a clear vision of what kind of a man I want. He is just a very very good friend and I value what I share with him. But neither can I see my girl friend hurt and misunderstanding me because of him.” She opened her heart to me. “So stop meeting him, your girl friend will automatically get the drift and all will be good in the hood.” I suggested and suddenly my eyes fell on her sad eyes. “You value him too much as a friend, don’t you? See darling there is a very thin line between love and friendship and you are just standing on the threshold. Stop meeting him. You still will be misunderstood, but that I guess you can handle. Your girlfriend has to realize that nobody can force anybody to love someone. And if she doesn’t, trust me you are better off without her.” She faded away into the mist somewhere. I realized an innocent friendship just suffered a premature death. What could have been a life long bond of friendship, companionship and faith will now decay under silt of time and someone else’s whims and erratic demands from these two true friends.
“I got the chance of doing internship in Reliance dad” screamed a twenty three years old bursting my ear drums. “So” I thought. But then I witnessed the glory of achievement on her face illuminating her entire persona with the lights of victory. I smiled an indulgent smile. “Oh she is so young and so happy with the smallest of things in life.” But what I didn’t realize was that “SMALL” achievement was her dream which finally came true. “Best of luck young lady” I wished her and she gave me a tight hug. And beside us I saw a proud father beaming in gratification and contentment. His upbringing was finally showing results as he desired, his daughter was on the way to become independent, a dream he dreamt since the day she was born.
To be continued.