Wednesday, February 9, 2011
And After The Bagel Shop...
So life happened yet again, on my last trip. This time I was in Mumbai for the weekend catching up with my best buddy who I hadn't met for over 3 months.You know, when one is that close (like how I am with my best bud), 3 months can seem like a lifetime. Funny how then, when people live for a healthy, long 60 years, and finally go up above, we end up saying ' poor guy, he wasn't that old after all' This brings me back to my belief of how everything in life is relative and more importantly its about HOW you live your life instead of HOW LONG you life it for!
Saturday afternoon, and we were catching up over brunch in this lovely, quaint little place - The Bagel Shop. Love how Mumbai has so many different characters and contrasts - be it from a noisy street, to taking a left turn 10 meters ahead, to enter a shop like the one above. Think about people? - well you find all kinds - from a common man, to a celebrity munching on the same thing in the same shop. So different, yet so similar, isn't it? - it surely is a place that binds people in someway or the other.
So we wrapped brunch at around half 1, when my buddy decided to go do a meeting, and I decided to catch up on this friend who I had not met in a while - yes, I was busy catching up. Little did I know, that meeting with her would result in what I am writing right now and you would read in sometime!
A little background - I have know this friend for almost a couple of years, and if any of you want to find her, do not WATCH out for her, but 'HEAR' out for her. She is all of 4'11'? ok... 5 feet and full of life. So before you can see her, you would hear her. Why? She had an energy that is infectious, confidence that is unmatched and a smile that would put an uneasy soul to rest in a second! She is someone who has the ' I don't give a FU&^' attitude and is forever happy. So yes, this was the person I was going to meet. Who I discovered that day turned out to be nothing close to this, but at the same time a lot more endearing. Yes, this is what happened, After The Bagel Shop....
This was a new house that she had moved into, and the house warming party which was originally planned, never happened. What happened instead was me getting a lot of time with her, which was brilliant. The new house was small, and had a very warm vibe to it - strange how the owners look for themselves when they look for houses! I gave in to my temptation and became a temporary smoker (eventually) over our chai and sutta sessions. Let me also share, that most of what I had seen of dinku (not the real name), was her in her workspace. So this truly was the first time we met per se..
The conversations started over the customary 'what have you been upto', what each of us thinks about bollywood, how relationships have become so transactional etc etc. So while the topics were visibly (and audibly) diverse, the GOOD constant factor was the ginger tea. Finally round 3, is when I agreed to make tea, which is when dinku and I got talking about things about us - me about me and her about her. Trying to be the chivalrous man that I want to be - I let her take over and do most of the talking. Our steps outside of the kitchen, led us to her little verandah, which opens out to a lovely tree with shades of green, red and maroon leaves. As we stood there and spoke, it was as if dinku shed her inhibited side, just like how the tree had shed all its leaves. Or maybe on second thoughts, I saw in dinku, the new colorful leaves, which she had been trying to hide for so long.
Dinku that day, spoke about her life, what she is passionate about etc. As she spoke, I gradually saw the fun side in her giving way to the thoughtful, contemplative person, which I now believe lives inside each one of us. Dinku looked into the open sky up above while talking, as if looking out for divinity to help her find some answers. This fun person who I had known all this while, suddenly, I realized was also a person who had been hurt very deep. No prizes for guessing it was a man and yes the impact it left on her was similar to how you and I would also feel - hurt, betrayed, scared to open our heart out and not feel like a 'teenager' when one is in love. What made her different (in my mind), was how she handled the last 8 years since then. She chose to be the stronger one and 'TAKE CHARGE' of her life, her career, her job, herself.
In the process - WOW! she turned out to be this person who you would take an instant liking to and want to know more. So the last 8 years (outwardly), had been happy. Inside, dinku was a classic dichotomy. She had a mind that was crowded and noisy (more than all the mumbai chawls put together), a heart that was beautiful but scared, and a soul that wanted only love, but also ran away from it, by not giving in as much.
By the end of it all, while I saw a different person in her, I also realized that she was similar to all of us. Similar in how she got hurt, how her heart was also dented and bruised like ours and how she wanted love all over again, but was scared of it at the same time. Its really strange, how what we call ' A MAJOR' heartbreak, or a relationship that makes only 10% of our overall lifespan (mathematically), impacts us so much. So much, that we overlook every other thing, person and soul around us.
Dinku today is on the crossroads of life and turning a new leaf - she quits her job to travel without a plan, and more importantly she thinks (only thinks) that she is ready to love - all over again. While its taken almost 8 years of her being in a shell, not loving and chasing the wrong people to realize this,and start living and loving her life - hopefully most of all the other people I know and some of you who are reading this wont take that long!
So dinku and to a few of you who are reading this - here's to you and you discovering life and love all over again - CHEERS!