After Thirteen Long Years

How anxious can you be about meeting someone?
Is there a measure?
And what makes the waiting furthermore unbearable – the person or the elapsed time?
Have you felt that the waiting couldn’t have gotten longer than at that moment?
Well, I have noticed that your patience is best put to trials when you are waiting for someone with breathless anticipation.
Whether that is a lover, spouse, your son or daughter, a parent, sibling
or a friend.
And its adds to your poor plight when you have already waited for years for that moment to come but the waiting never seems to end.
Very recently, I encountered a similar situation. I’ll recount it for you.

Meeting friends is blissful. Meeting old friends is just, heavenly.
Especially, those you meet just once in a blue moon, isn’t it?

Nyna and I have been friends for, I don’t know, how long.
But long enough to be termed ‘childhood friends’.
Now, Nyna is a person with a sweet charming demeanor, someone you’ll come to adore right since the first acquaintance.

We went to the same school until the seventh grade. We were a group of six girls including Khyati, Kashmira, Vinita and Bhumika. The six of us were quite inseparable and known for high academic records. We attended the same class through the same lectures studying, having fun, playing pranks, celebrating birthdays, at times; arguing over petty challenges and growing up together.

The blissful times changed when in the fall of 2000, Nyna left Mumbai and moved to Bangalore, her hometown. It was quite a depressing feeling since the two of us had sort-of grown quite close. Please do not even ask me what the following year was like. There was no class, no joke, no minute of that year or later that we didn’t miss her.

Now, we are talking about the period a decade and more ago.
Unlike now, those were not technology-driven days, unfortunately. To keep in touch, home landline phones were all we could resort to as mobile phones were not that prominent then.
Initially, we often called and shared day’s updates.
In time, the calls went from frequent to rarely, and from rarely to hardly just like the flame of an extinguishing candle diminishes into nothingness.

It surprises me to say that it was thirteen years since that fall in 2000 before the two friends could meet again. Hence, the title of the post.

2000 to 2013. Thirteen Long Years.
Of course, we planned a lot of times but busy work and life schedules rendered all plans and the accompanying hope futile.

It so happened that after much planning, finishing all the stacked and piled up work and making sure that my leaves are approved, I could escape for a three-day visit to Bangalore which is now re-named Bengaluru (and I do not like the new name much).

On the evening of 11th May this year, with breathless anticipation, I was once again back to those school days being together with Nyna. I did not really know how much I’d missed her all those years until that moment when we met again.

It was in one of the city’s famous malls(I wish I remembered the name) which is frequented by Bangloreans where we met for dinner at Firangi Paani, a famous hangout point in suburban cities. So it was four of us Me, Nyna, Dipesh(my college-mate, who also happens to stay in Bangalore) and oh yes, Nyna’s husband, Sunil (Forgot to mention, Nyna is happily married).

Imagine what it is like when old friends that too girls(one who is super-talkative and that is ME) unite over a period of years! Well, you could ask our friends who’d spent the evening with us.
There was no end to the constant chattering and trying to catchup with each others lives, filling each other with the tiniest details, from talks about the two cities to whereabouts of friends, from checking up on families to gossiping about professors, from school-life to work-life etc.
Well, what an evening it was! Delicious Punjabi cuisine over never-ending talks.

Somewhere amidst conversing, I learnt that she is the same person, warm,  cheerful and lively, I knew years ago and was glad to realize that she hadn’t changed an ounce with the amount of time that had elapsed between us.

Nyna seemed to enjoy the evening a lot more since she along-with Dipesh, kept picking up on me on my writing escapades. Apparently, they’re both going through troubled times as there is a lot of reading they have to do since the time I have started to write. God give them patience!

Three hours passed away and before any of us realized, it was well over eleven pm in the night. We captured some pictures to pin up the moments with time (the real reason being getting some of our common friends jealous).

The night got even better when it started to rain. We took leisure walks enjoying the cool breeze and light talks while the guys suited themselves to God-alone-knows-what talks!

Packed with exhilarating moments and quite content with the way the evening had unfolded itself, we braced the fact that we soon had to depart. Although my heart was heavy with the pain of farewell, the joy in my heart overtook the sadness of leaving, in no time. We renewed hopes and memories that will live even longer, the two of us bid goodbye and she left for home while I walked back to my hotel.

I wanted to recount this memory to you since I’ve heard that recounting keeps those moments fresh in your memories and doesn’t allow them fade away.

-Asha Seth