Not all treasure is silver and gold ~ says Capt.Jack Sparrow
In sunshine and in shade."
~Caroline Sheridan Norton
I was introduced to this thinner than me boy-cut-still-cute female on a sunny Hyderabadi summer day. She was chatting to a scaringly chipkoo guy, who later became so damn famous that we all learnt the vanishing act at the very mention of the first alphabet of his name. She gave me condescending look. Forced a customary Hi from her mouth and was back to her listening mode. (He hardly used to give others a chance. Bliss in one way, you can dream of a holiday with your fantasy lover and he would go on blabbering about that girl in blue skirt).
New to Hyderabad with my kuntry mallu ways, funny Hindi and funnier English, I was looking for a fellow mallu. I ended up meeting this enigma called Nair. Farthest from that stereotyped girl, she scared me enough that it took me nearly a year to learn to talk to her without shivering on my knees. The next day onwards I have always found her either alone or with some Rashtra Bhasha speaking company. I never dared venturing into her territory.
Everyday, whenever she made her royal entry into the class, I used to stare at her with my eyes wide open trying to decipher what material on earth was she made of. She had this funny looking spectacle, that I am sure is a product of an artist crazier than she herself, with a Mickey mouse’s picture on its frame!!! (Later she disclosed that tightly kept secret – she used to buy all her stuffs from the kids section. She had to reveal it when someone wanted to buy her a birthday gift).
As time flew, we happened to stay in the same flat and scariest of all, in the same room!!!! I was very cautious in my approach. I used to make sure that I didn’t get into her way.
Two years have passed since those days and now she knows me in and out, upside down, knows the best in me and the worst in me. She has seen me laughing my guts out and seen me crying like mad. One of those rare people who have seen me cry. Even my parents haven’t seen me crying after my toddler days.
I simply admire her. The most talented and smart girl I have come across. But don’t ask her to dance. I know she just can’t. Once she managed to make some weird (and weak) gyrations supposed to be taken for a dance. We all pardoned her for that clowny act 'cos we simply adore her.
But you want her to sing? Due to some early childhood set backs she stopped singing. But still hums sometimes. I must agree, she can.
Barring those Pulitzer/Booker/Nobel laureates she is the best when it is comes to the-way-with-words. Poetry in particular. I still have a sheet from our college magazine which I keep with my precious possessions in which one of her poems are printed. Poetry had always been greek and latin to me. She is one of those rare breeds of poets who write in English, and write it well without confusing me much by using the oxford dictionay in its entirety.
We used to go for long walks round the college almost all night, rather midnight. Then we come back and sit in front of college just staring up to the sky, till the mosquitos literrally drive us off that place. There used to be this dog whom I strongly suspect was a mad admirer of her in his last birth, who might have taken his life when she haughtily rejected his marriage proposal. Though she claims to be a "pet-lover" , this pet was a bit too much to be loved in the normal sense. She knows and I know what happened. Rest is left to your imagination.
One day she would call me and scold me for wasting money and give a long long lecture on the need to start saving at the earliest age and the next day call me and say that she spent like mad that day. She has got the most innocent and cutest smile ever; that is deceptive, ofcourse.
Anytime I make a Himalayan blunder (considering that there were quite a few), she is the only one who tells me it is just human to err. But once I am emotionally settled down she would open her bag of be-a-good-girl advices followed by this dialogue - "I know I make the same mistakes, but when I advice you I should tell you the right thing". Loads of hugs and kissess for that, sweety.
Whenever it rains, she would call me twice, without fail: once to warn me to leave office early and then to make sure that I am home.
If you're alone, I'll be your shadow.
If you want to cry, I'll be your shoulder.
If you want a hug, I'll be your pillow.
If you need to be happy, I'll be your smile.
But anytime you need a friend, I'll just be me.
Tomorrow, this lovely lady is getting older by one year. I am posting it today itself so that I am the first to wish her as I know I will have a tough competetion if I am to wait for the clock to tick 12. A couple of wishes for her year ahead:
May you get over with your dread of Mumbai local trains
May you stop doing the "same" blunder the fifth time
May you stop driving me mad with your choice of clothes
May your give your mom & dad a little less reason to worry about
May your "bhuddi" boss give you good ratings
May you become a little less of a confused soul thereby giving us all peace of mind
May your phone go dead when you feel like calling me at odd times and scaring me with all your crazy views on life
May you go onsite (oops....then whom will I call and whine about my self-created problems? I take it back)
May working in an IT giant boost up your knowledge on computers a bit more and may you not need to give the user name and password of your blog to me
May all your dreams come true !!!!!
There are times I wonder what life has in store for us. Personally & professionally, we both happen to go thru similar ups & downs one after the other. Once I painfully finish consoling her, it would be her turn to be the only solace to me. We are still going through the rigamarole of we-don't-know-what-and-whys.
Let me be frank, if God ever gives me a choice, I would never want to have a kid like her, though I will insist I want her as my dearest friend all my life. Sad that it took us two decades to meet each other. I am amused at her ability to find the most complex answers to the simplest of questions. Believe me, she is her best at it.
Our dear lady-with-a-singing-heart was a marketing wonder back in college. I get to hear that in her career also she is making small time wins. I am sure you are going to make it real big one day. One day I may find your photo in the newspaper the vegetable seller wraps my potatoes in. I am sure I am gonna yell at him: Hey, thats nair, u duffer. How dare you do that with her photo?
I wonder, will you keep the same hairstyle then? Keep that "mute" giggle intact, dear.
Whichever guy is your destiny, what a lucky soul he is !!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for taking me "as I am", with all the wierdness and foolishness
Thanks for still telling I am the best
Thanks for making those STD calls and consoling me all night
Thanks for taking me in your flat when I had no place in the big Mumbai outside
Thanks for letting me use your make-up kit when I was forced to drape a sari in college
Thanks for letting me take the credit and making me feel "great" for helping you
Love you sweetie, may our friendship last till our last days on earth.
May we have a computer, internet connections and TIME even after we are married off to two "handsome & millionaire hunks” at the two extremes of the world where we are busy cleaning, washing and bathing our crazy offsprings who come in dozens. Amen..
*still wondering what material on earth is she made of. may be something specially sent from heaven(hell?) or so*