“So what would it be like to be married?” my friend had asked me decades ago as we sat in our classroom, waiting for our Economics professor.
I am not sure who said this but I truly believe – Youth is wasted on the young. Little did we know that our universe will be filled with smaller worlds and stars which will change our course of life which we so strive to plan every day.
We sat in a cafeteria near Carter Road. We discussed about the past and filled each other with tales of the present. It was a tale of two cities- Bangalore and Mumbai. She asked me if it feels the same to come back to Mumbai.
“I know I’ve lived only five years in Bangalore but I have a strange fondness towards the city and I cannot forget Mumbai. I don’t know where I currently belong.”
“This place feels surreal doesn’t it?” she asked. I knew she clearly understood what I felt. Down the street there used to be a club called Big Nasty. The club does not exist anymore. We used to party there quite often – with boyfriends, after office promotions, with friends of friends.
It was a New Year’s Eve and I cannot really remember the year. My friend was madly in love with someone who never loved her back. She spent almost the entire evening sulking and I was about to lose my cool. I could not find her anywhere in the club. I went outside and looked around when I saw her talking to someone in a corner. She looked at me for a brief moment as if saying, “Can I just have a rebound?” I nodded and went back to take shots. We came back to Carter road to see the fireworks. As I stood beside my friend, she asked me, “What would it be like perusing your passion?”
A lot of New Year’s Eve have passed, with friends and some even alone but I remember that night for no particular reason. As we continued with our second drink we discussed about everything – root canal, puppies, movies, creaking bones and finally the one thing which we have been talking past few years – passion.
“You know what the problem with you is? You always take the middle road and then whine about it.”
“Well I cannot decide,” I retorted angrily.
“God then decide! It will be either a wrong one or right one but at least decide woman!”
I kept quiet for some time, feeling annoyed. I wanted to tell her that she has lived in the same place all her life and she would not know anything about decisions. I wanted to tell her things that I had achieved that she had not. But I didn’t.
“For a moment there I thought you were numb from within. Good to see that you are brash as ever. Sometimes a bit of immaturity is required,” she said breaking my train of thought.
“You remember the night when I hooked up with that guy in Big Nasty?” she asked.
I then realized why I remembered that night very well. I decided to tell my boyfriend that I wanted to pursue my career more than the relationship. I suppressed that memory because I felt I had wronged him. As we were seeing the fireworks my friend said, “You know your will be judged and you are supposed to pursue love more than anything else. It is the general notion.”
“I think I am a bad person,” I said.
“You are maybe in many ways but it’s alright, both of you will not regret this, I promise.”
Many moons have passed after that night with wonderful fireworks. I looked at my friend today and she said the same thing which she had told me years ago, “Take a decision, you will not regret it.”
There it was! A reflection of me.
“What it would be like to grow old?” I asked my friend. She smiled.
“It’s time to leave. Ill takes book a cab!”
I got into the cab and said, “I’ll see you when I see you.”
“I will be the one to age gracefully more than you, but I think it would be awesome to grow old,” she shouted.