Last evening, after dinner I got a call. Hearing a familiar name, I ask again “Is that you?” She replies “yeaah” – I squeal “omg! really, omg, it’s you!” She starts laughing and giggling and I laugh and giggle with her.
It was my best friend from college. We were speaking after 6 years. We met last in ’96 when I traveled down to India and she came over to Madras to visit me. She stayed at our place a couple of years while at school since she travelded in from Trichy.
We spoke in abandon. She teased me about the blog, asked me a zillion questions on how life was, the kids, work, optometry, living in the USA. Her brother, family, the kids, languages, and accents and lifestyles. On how optometry was here to there, and the impracticality of going through a whole 4 year curriculum to do what an Optician would do back home. Refractions and contact lenses. One doesn’t need intense detailed Grey’s anatomy and biochem lab work for that?! The dreams of doing the course together, as I coaxed her into coming here. “We could do the OAT together, run away to Boston or UCLA, leaving behind kids and husbands! It will be our time, just like we imagined 15 years ago.”
..and the wistfulness of her voice as it dropped a notch to tell me “rads, once a mom’s always a mom. It’s all nice to think about in words, it isn’t going to happen”
..and how I vehemently fought her, saying “Of course not! See, we spent so much time for them, we should do something for ourselves! US IS the land of dreams. I am serious. You believe in something, you are willing to work for it, you can make it happen.”
“just like Obama spoke eh?” she asks with a hesitant laugh.
“What’s wrong with you? How can you just sit at home, and not do anything. Write! read my blog, and you’d say “crap, if rads can write and people are saying ooo, and aa, then seriously the world has to see me!” ” I scream, hoping I could try anything to convince her to see herself as how I continued to see her from 16 years ago.
The sheer briliancy of her knowledge, the quick wit, the caricatures she drew at the back of our notes, the lovely poems that she wrote, the stylish handwriting, the dreams in her large round eyes.
“The sparks’ gone rads” she says softly.
I sigh “It’s there somewhere, you just need to find it again. Look at me, what a lazy butt I was, and somehow I am managing to do something, not perfect, not what I want, but am busy and happy rt?! ”
She “No, you were never lazy. Maybe a bit, but you just needed a jump start, someone to push you a bit, and you’d go off. We’ll see about me.”
It was pure joy as we rattled on and on for so long, close to two hours. The household had wrapped dinner, cleaned up, finished homeworks, bedtime stories, and were fast asleep in bed when I finally hung up promising to call again tomorrow.
Bliss. I needed this at this point in my life. My heart deserved this laughter and warmth. The holidays will be good after all.
ps: And dear girl, if you are able to get onto the net and are reading this, I love you lots and yay! :)