It was a beautiful Saturday morning. I had grand plans of watching Rang De Basanti. I was savouring my elixir of life along with the Saturday newspaper when my thoughts of good-will and contentment were interrupted by the shrill ring of the telephone. It was my friend, Sud, on the other end – and she was in a state of panic! After several attempts to calm her, I managed to get the gist of the conversation – she had received a call for an interview on the very day when she had to take her pregnant sister-in-law to the doctor. Since her brother was abroad, and since she did not know anyone dependable enough, could I step into her shoes for this deed?
“I will be glad to. But when?” was my question.
“Today,” she answered in a very small voice.
“NO WAY,” was almost on my lips when something made me re-consider – and that something was my conscience.
“You are deserting your friend when she badly needs you, and that too for a film which you can watch any day. Is it fair?”
When I replied in affirmative, albeit a bit unwillingly, the relief in her voice was evident. Sheesh… how do I get myself into such situations?
I reached her home at the appointed hour only to be confronted by her anxious face. After my customary grin and hug, she introduced me to her SIL. One look at her and I said, “You never said that she was expecting twins.” Hearing this, her SIL broke into a fit of giggles. Now did I say something funny? My friend replied with a grin – “She still has to get used to your perceptively blunt ways.” Huh.....moods of pregnant women are sure very strange.
And then we set off to the hospital which was a short walk away. I had to adjust my fast pace to SIL’s slow ambling gait. "The first of a long list of adjusments," I thought morosely.
And we talked.
Here we were, two strangers having almost nothing in common – yet we connected. She told me all about herself, how she met her husband, how they fell in love and got married, how she had given up a promising career to become a mother. What came across strongly was her love for her husband and her honesty in accepting what ever life had for her – after all who would admit to a perfect stranger that she had a miscarriage before this pregnancy? And I told her, in bits and pieces, of my life – how I had evolved to be what I am now. We were surprised to find out that each agreed with some of the most difficult decision the other had to take – our reasoning was almost similar!
At the hospital, another shock awaited me – the waiting room was full of at least half-a-dozen pregnant women, all with their husbands. She sensed my discomfort and immediately put me to ease by joking, “Don’t worry. When you are this stage, I will definitely tell your hubby to accompany you.” It was so different a tangent from what I was thinking that I burst into a full-throated laughter, something which I had not done for ages :) !! Kya sense of humour hain !!
After a full four hours (three hours of waiting, during which we were gossiping like school-girls + one hour of examination), we returned home to hear that my friend had aced in her interview. Hallelujah !!
At the end of the day, there was no doubt in my mind that I had taken the right decision.
Perhaps, what clinched the matter (as the ultimate compliment) were her first few words to me – “I wanted to meet in person the author of all those wonderful blogs. It’s rare that thoughts are similar; it’s rarer that emotions underlying those thoughts are similar.”