It was through dusty black and white photographs, that amma had introduced her best friends from college to me. She had quoted composed yet with a little tinge of sadness that, she had lost touch over time and she wondered where her friends were married to. And it was then, I had made up my mind to keep in touch with my pals no matter what and even made promises over the infamous ‘spit hand shake’ that I wouldn’t miss their wedding wherever I was.
And when life has it otherwise, it is always combined with inconvincible guilt and pacifying counter affirmations. What comes to my mind is the little sunlit room, accommodating three girls, with their heads bent over the unfathomable ‘probability and queuing theories’. P, M and I were making last minute attempts to clear a paper, which was already termed difficult to fail, considering that scores could fall below 0. We had made the experience less intimidating, by surmising half understood work, discussing gossip and munching finger chips.
We had come a long way since then, to four wonderful years of college life. P and M were always there to listen to me crib about everything under the sun, tolerate my endless blabbering, forgive me for everything silly, organize surprise birthday parties and laugh and share. We had molded good from bad days and made silent promises to not forget, yet forgo.
And here we are two years away from, enthu movie days, beach talks, yapping over phone, lunch hours, ispahani center sojourns, night outs, group studies, (un)surprised birthday parties; all left behind to embrace new boundaries and new lives, woven over best moments and feelings permanent.
And like an answer to all those unsurprised moments of birthday cakes, here we are, as a surprise to many including ourselves, all getting married within the next eight months. In a week’s time is M’s wedding and I am 26 hours away, unable to attend it. Yet, nothing can stop me from being excited and equally happy, for this girl who had stood by me at all times and loves me for me.
On my last visit to India, the three of us had made that small talk, over the easy rounds of food. And, I was subtly intrigued how I had transformed to being ‘DD’ for those few hours I was with them. It was old times, blended in everything new. It made me wonder when we would do this, many years from now; table talking, pulling legs, scape-goating and smiling.
And somehow just like that, it was lucid. The only factor other than ‘change’ which is constant in our lives is friendship; and when you have friends who can make that change, the friendship will always be a constant one.
Post Dedicated to my best friends – Preethi and Manju. Wishing Manju the best wedding ever.
A toast to great memories.