Last week was categorically difficult for us. With our passport renewal process being initiated, it was a huge mess of documents – to be verified, attested, photocopied, arranged in order and filed neatly in separate folders for M and me. Once the appointment was through, we heaved a sigh of relief in unison as you know how exasperating these Government processes are. A little celebration was on its way in the evening when we received a call post dinner. One of M’s uncles had to be admitted to a hospital near our place owing to severe abdominal pain.
Things turned astray, anxiety crept in as uncle is above fifty years old. What’s strange was, we had met him just the weekend ago and he had seemed to be totally fine. We rushed to the hospital early in the morning and found him sedated, just okay to talk to us. Aunt-in-law was obviously distressed, and the fact that she was inexperienced in handling these corporate hospitals added to her nervousness. M and I tried to tackle the situation. It’s quite tricky, if you’ve dealt with any of the new age private hospitals in India.
“When being together is more important than what you do, you are with a friend.” – Connie McMartin
I’ve been friends with S for the last 11 years now. Now that’s a bloody long time to know someone, isn’t it? We had begun our acquaintance with peals of laughter on the University staircase, if you’d believe. Both of us are infamous for our laughters, which can easily be compared with flight take-offs. They start with a giggle in unison and end up after reaching a crescendo that has offended a mighty lot of people then and now. But we wouldn’t be us if we had actually cared about that!
After hanging out in University campus for almost three years, we had to part ways. While I flew off for academics, S continued hers in Calcutta. It’s been mostly social media and very occasional meetings for the next few years. We’d plan in advance and meet for a movie and lunch, blabbering away the happenings in our lives, mostly love lives. We had created the record of chatting hours at bus stops before heading for our homes, respectively. There seems to be a throttled river of words that comes to life and rushes along whenever we see each other.
Leaving your home, either for education, profession or marriage, is always difficult. And yet, most of us have to take the plunge and spread our wings worldwide, bearing the unbearable. Women moved away only due to marriage till quite a few years ago, but now they fly away for higher education or a lucrative and ambitious job, much before (and sometimes after) marriage. While it is still a debatable topic whether it’s any good to let your children leave home and live elsewhere, in my humble opinion, it is much necessary for every adult to experience this independence and be more responsible.
I had imagined either a job or marriage would let me break the comforts of home and lead to the struggle of living alone, but things came earlier and I had to leave the country for academics. Imagine me, a moderately pampered daughter, deciding to live away for the first time in her life! My parents were probably awe-shocked, so were my friends and relatives.