Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The third eye

I have known her for ages; when we were still wearing pleated uniforms, tied our hair in braids on two sides, when men still hadn't made an entry into our conversations, when it was all about being naive and dreamy-eyed. I have known her since then. She always came across as a fun (and overweight, if I were to mention her statistics) girl, a girl who talked incessantly, was always up for some mischief, good at studies although she claimed she hardly ever studied which I never believed, had a great interest in drawing which was pretty evident from our Biology or Geography assignments, and who was someone whom I considered a very close friend. We both were in the same section for most part of our school lives, which was the third most important reason for our closeness, the first being our mutual hatred for our Bengali teacher and the second being our mutual love for food. After finishing school, we went our separate ways but still managed pretty much to stay in touch. We made sure to meet atleast once every six months, over fried chicken legs, icecream, gossip and those never-ending discussions on our infinite crushes! We hardly every discussed about the men in our lives, which was strange given that we were pretty good friends and talked about almost everything. 

Then one day she told me that she was dating a guy from college since the past two years. It wasn't surprising, given that she always had been very friendly and quite interactive with guys. It seemed they were very much in love, and were quite serious about each other. Once, I also met the guy. He seemed decent enough, skinny, but a super-chyangra like her! The entire time that we three were there, they pulled each others legs, fought like kids, made fun of each other and laughed and laughed. What a perfect match, I had thought! Then we both got busy with our lives, studies, future plans and met less often. However, we still managed to know what's going on in each others' lives. I was by then nursing a broken heart and trying to finish my studies, and she was preparing to go abroad for her higher studies. The guy I mentioned was also studying somewhere outside the city and was also planning to go abroad. The next time I met her, the guy had already gone abroad and she was still in the city, working. She looked sad, but full of energy, as always and we talked about heartbreaks, long distance relationship, old friends and food! Ten years, and how much our conversations had changed! She told me about the arguments and fights she was having, and I tried to offer suggestions and opinions, always realizing how much she still was in love. We started going out more often, with other friends and acquaintances. She had by then made many new friends and I too, although this was never a concern for either of us. I got to know some of her friends, a guy friend in particular, whom she was very close to and whom I was later introduced to as well. He was supposedly her FPG and someone she considered her best friend, her sink. Seldom had I seen such friendship, such compatibility, such closeness. How jealous I was!

She went abroad a few months later, and I started working in a new city. This time our conversation had one more thing in common- the pain of staying away from home. During those conversations, I got to know a lot more about her life than I did before. She was in a mess, as far as her personal life was concerned. I tried to offer suggestions, opinions, comfort, sympathy, but nothing seemed to work. I blamed her for not listening to my earlier suggestions, for not realizing the subtle changes in relationships and for keeping too high expectations. But then she always had been a head-strong girl, who believed in learning a lesson on her own than on advice. We talked on and off, her mood always fluctuating like sine waves, and my mood always stuck at being pathetic for own reasons. And then, all of a sudden, we grew up. We stopped complaining, accepted things more easily and learnt to be happy in small accomplishments. In a matter of months, I was talking about my new-found love in a new man and she was talking about her new-found love in her old man. We felt happier, calmer, lighter.

So much has changed since then; our lives, our priorities, our dreams, our conversations, everything. Through her, I have realized many emotions, shortcomings and characteristics in me I never knew existed. In teaching her small nuances of life and to let go of her fears, I have taught myself to let go of my fears. I feel happy atlast, for myself, for her, and for the biggest lesson life taught us!

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