It’s been a while that i am in touch with J. She called me up to say she has reached the U.S. i don’t even know which month that was. i told her to mail me and update on everything though i knew she wouldn’t. We met a couple of times after her marriage. S likes her tea. They like each other, my husband and J and they were so prim and proper, but it was not like how it used to be. Like when i introduced my friend Meg. They got along like a house on fire. The moment she opened the door and found us standing there, she started with her naughty hi! and showed her new shoes to him see my new Addi as if they have always known each other. We walked together for a few steps and she would start on her shoes again. Meg played along and we had great fun.
i have been missing her a lot lately esp. because of the dance. My colleague R and i had icecream one Sunday after the dance practice and suddenly i remembered how J and i used to skip lunch and go dancing and then hog ice-creams at Corner House. The world was ours to conquer. We had no deadlines, no husband to go back to, no parents behind our backs, and no serious responsibilities. We followed someone who looked like a sex worker just to see how she got a client. (Of course, we failed). We sat on a bench on M.G road and had lunch packed in a tiffin box, some khitchdi cooked by myself in a hurry and bhendi fry between dance practices and watched the world go by. We talked about the whole world and everything silly in it and talked about the same things again and again like an unquenched thirst. We shopped the whole day and ordered food by looking at the menu from right to left to choose the cheapest as both were broke. The restaurant did not accept cards and, we were too tired to scout for another. We would fight over the same novel as if there are no other books to be read. Her brother was forced to take us both behind his bike and ride up and down the lane just because it was a new bike and we wanted to ride pillion. Then Kevin, J and i rode triples in the middle of the night and sang the Anda song loudly to kill the chill nip in the air. Now, i almost feel that was me in another life. How i hate people speeding away at night in front of my house and having fun!
She’d ask me from the window, “what’s cooking?” and i’d reply,”Balls, vegetable balls!” and we’d laugh ourselves silly all over again. We sat on the steps of a church one evening; looking at the sky change its copious colours and talked about our future. The memories are still so fresh and the images, all so vivid. A few crackers could be heard at a distance but we were unmindful of all that. The bench on M.G road and the trees in its vicinity are long gone because of the Metro rails happening. i looked at that place with a twinge in my heart the last time i saw it.
The seasons are changing and winter will soon proclaim itself with full vigor. It is at times like this, the in-between time; when festivals start to line themselves up that i feel quite melancholic.
The last time we met, i remember her uttering those were the loveliest days of her life. i think so too. Perhaps, we have agreed without saying much, to keep those memories tucked in some corner and not dilute it by the day-to-day updates of our mundane happy married lives.