Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dear Suja,

My dear Suja,

     I was on the top of the world when you called me and told that you were coming to Singapore and would stay with me for a couple of days. Days which seemed too long became too short after this news. I was eagerly waiting for the day of your arrival. This would be your first trip to my house after my marriage. I had to wait 14 long years for this day to come. Yes the day came. I was so excited that I called your brother and told I would come along with him to the airport to receive you. I got up at five am in the morning. My eyes had seldom seen that time of the day.  I called up your brother to ask what time he would pick me up. It was then he told me that the flight got cancelled due to some technical fault and that you were coming the next day morning. I got so disappointed and went back to sleep. I stored all my excitement for the next morning. There is an unexplainable joy in waiting for something you love. When I woke up and started my routine the day seemed tooooooo long.  I couldn't wait for the next morning to come. I wondered why should there be so many hours between one day and the next? It is usually when my friends come to stay with me I feel that the days should be toooo long so that the day to leave would not come soon.

     The whole night I was dreaming about how we would spend the days you were going to be here, What kind of food I will cook for you to show you my cooking skills, what are the places I would go with you,etc.,etc., etc. I had thousand and one plans to do with you just in two days (imagination takes you to unreachable heights). I had planned about the places I would go with you and how we could shop together. I remembered the days when we used to spend in each other's company. There was no time limit when we started chatting on the phone or in person. (thank God those days we didn't have any god damn minutes plan). Our moms were not sure in which house we would have our lunch or dinner. Now my mind seems to be a clean slate when I think about the stuff we used to talk about. Each conversation ended with a laughter mostly. The recollections about the long stroll we used to go still amuses me. Life seemed to be only filled with joy and fun.

     The next morning I woke up at 4 a.m. sharp even before my alarm could ring . My anxiety did not let me sleep longer. I got ready and was waiting for your brother Raja to call me. He called me around 5 a.m. and told he would come around 5.30a.m. to pick me up on his way to the airport. I went and stood at the entrance of the building waiting for him. He came exactly at 5.30. I got to see him after three years even though we live 45 minutes away from each other. We reached the airport half an hour before the flight landed. We shared about our Singapore life while we were waiting for you. He was also very excited because this was the first time you were visiting him in all these years. We could see all the passengers collect their baggage and come out. We were not able to spot you or your sons. Raja got little anxious. After a few minutes we spotted you coming with your three sons with a big smile on your face. I hid behind a pillar. First reason being I didn't want to come in-between brother sister meeting. Second reason was that I wanted to surprise you by jumping in front of you. I wanted to scream at the top of my voice  'SSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUJJJJJJJJJJAAAAAAAAAAAA" but I thought it wouldn't be age appropriate. Keeping that in mind I stood patiently behind the pillar till you and Raja finished your conversation. I came from behind and shouted in a low tone "SUJAAAA" . You got shocked to see me and hugged me tight. You told your elder son that you had the intuition that I would have come to the airport. That is our kind of friendship. I wanted you to come to my house and stay with me but Raja wouldn't allow. As per the deal you agreed to stay with me a few days later. You guys dropped me in my house and left. Though you left me my eyes followed you till the entrance and my heart followed you all the way.

     That evening I called you to find out how you were doing. You were out with Raja's family for sight seeing. I wanted to come and see you in that place but it got late. You said you couldn't wait because the children started troubling you. So we couldn't meet up that evening. Next day being a Sunday you came home for dinner . When you came it was almost 8p.m. and your boys were feeling too tired after a long day in the Zoo. We didn't get to sit and talk because I wanted to prove myself as a good host. We were taking care of our children. Our conversation was centered around the children only and nothing more than that. You promised to come and stay with me after two days. Next day morning when I called, you were sounding dull. You told me that Rishi, your younger son got fever. I came to see him in Raja's place. Then also we didn't have "Our Time". Again our conversation was about the children , children, children. You and Rishi came to my place on Wednesday with a plan of staying with us. After you came I was very happy. Since Rishi had just recouped from illness he was tired and wanted you to be with him. We hardly had time to sit and share our thoughts. We shared reciepes, we talked about house-keeping etc. but didnot find time to walk down the memory lane. How much ever we convinced Rishi refused to stay in my house since his two brothers were in Raja's place. I was disappointed when you had to  leave that evening without staying in my house.

     The next few days you were in Singapore passed just the same way. We hardly got time to spend with each other. Even over the phone we couldn't talk . All the things I had planned to share with you just vanished from my mind. Our mind went blank even the two or three hours we got to share with each other. It was  then that  I realized that our old memories got locked in a separate compartment in our brain. At present what dominates our thinking is only the thoughts about our family. The key for the other box is not to be found. Even if we could get ten days to talk with each other we would talk only about our family and children. Our life is centered only around them. Don't you think we also need our time. When my husband's buddies come to visit him he always prefers to take them out somewhere ,where they can spend some quality time recapturing the old memories. No "Papa Papa" BGM. They go out for dinner, enjoy each other's company and come home refreshed. On the other hand we meet our friends with our family. There is always the "Mama,Mama,Mama" BGM. We take our role as a mother very seriously and want to do justice at every given opportunity. We also need our "buddy time" to refresh our mind and soul. When are we going to realize this truth? The only time we had for ourselves was the half hour in the beach when the children went for cycling. Even then we couldn't recapture our sweet nothings. Again we shared only about our current life. Those sweet nothings are the most important in our life to give us energy but we hardly use the replay button.

     The day you had to leave came very soon. I came to the airport to see you off. Another friend of us Mumtaz came to see you too. Tears filled her eyes as soon as she saw you. You both were meeting after a very long time. In that way I felt I was fortunate because at least once in two years I get to meet you when we both visit India for summer holidays. We three sat and talked for some time. We laughed so loudly since one of us cracked a joke. All three of us admitted that after a long time we laughed heartily. It doesn't mean we don't laugh at all in our life. But this laugh had no reservation or inhibitions. That is the kind of  feeling you could share only with your close friends.. In our life after marriage we have time for parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, everyone but our  friends. We always cherish the beautiful moments we spent with our friends inside us. We hardly get time to share it in person. This is the liberty we take with friends.  The time came for you to leave . I controlled my tears but Mumtaz couldn't control herself. She broke down probably because she was not sure whether she would get another chance to meet you again in Singapore. I was confident that I could meet you next time you visited India. We waved our hands till you passed the immigration point. And wished you Bon Voyage. The next few days you filled my thoughts very often and then life started moving as usual. Later in our life when we have time to share , our memory would have gone to a state of forgetfullness about youth and the lovely moments. In old age we will only talk about our middle age. Our brain will be able to hold only those memories. We have to  make time for ourselves to share our youthful memories when our body and mind are active.  Let us rewind our old memories often to walk energetically in our present life.Only those memories carry sweetness, beauty, energy , and zest for life.  Enjoy the rest of your holdiays . Will keep in touch.Though miles apart our love will never diminish for each other. Take care.

With tons of love from your ever loving friend

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Upside Down

Clothes strewn all over,
Books lying everywhere other than the bookshelf,
Toys decorating every corner of the house,
Sofa cushions on the floor,
Crumpled paper balls on the bed,
Though so many pens around the house
Not a single one which can write could be found,
Kitchen sink full of vessels,
Overflowing laundry basket ,
To take some rest TV remotes and cordless phone
have gone into hybernation,
Utter silence occupies the air,
But thousand questions roaring in mom's head,
"where to start? where to finish?
Why does every Monday morning
reflect an earthquake struck scene?
Other than the building everything inside
All she needs is a magical wand
or the willpower to close her eyes and go to sleep.