When I watched the few early episodes of Sex and the City, I was charmed by the four friends who drop everything to spend time together and let it all hang out. Why dont I have a friend I could confide in so totally, I wondered. I had friends like that in school, when I used to share everything about myself with my best friends. What happened since then? Why have I become so reclusive and clammed up. I dont trust people anymore? Or I am afraid of letting my dark side show? I wished and prayed for a friend.
A couple of years back, a common friend introduced me to a girl who worked in my office. We had met sometimes outside the loo when forced to queue up, and exchanged a polite 'hi'. With the common friend as a reference, we started talking to each other, at times stopping by each other's desk. I can be terribly reserved in person and am not very forthcoming about myself. But I am a good listener and a fundoo adviser (even I say so myself). As Vani was going through some problems she had a lot to talk about. Gradually we became hooked to each other's company and it was almost mandatory to spend some time together each day, during tea breaks. To my surprise, I spilled out practically everything about myself, and found a very non-judgemental listener in Vani.
Vani was an exceptionally chirpy person, self effacing and in love with life. She trusted one and all and made friends as easily as breathing. Her sweet voice could get quite high pitched and sometimes the entire canteen would freeze in its tracks and crane their necks as Vani trilled 'Mera boyfriend bilqul thakela hai', reducing our table to paroxysms of giggles. Vani referred to the 'chai-sessions' as our de-stressing sessions, and imperative for our mental wellbeing.
Vani was always on the go. She was learning the guitar, going to the gym, joining VLCC for an inch-loss program, handling the job, a child and a husband all in a day's time. One time she was determined to go on a cycling expedition to Leh, and surprised us all by actually going through with it, returning after 15 rigorous days, all bronzed and sunburnt. So it was unfathomable for us that she would sit still in her job. She upped and left us once more, this time a little more permanently. I hope you are happy up there in chillier weather, Vani.
Relax folks. Vani isnt dead. She has gone off to cold London to pursue MBA. She will return to Chandigarh after a year, but it is quite likely that she will work in some far away place, so I have no idea if we will ever be able to resume our chai sessions.
Here is a song dedicated to you Vani..
Tere Sang '
Ek Simple Si Coffee Bhi Kick Deti Hai
Tere Sang ;
Ye Duniyaa Alag Hi Nazar Aati Hai
Tere Sang ;
Zindagi Jeene Kaa, Lutf Aaye Hamein
O Sanam ;
O Sanam ;