You’ve been the silent type. I could never expect a rain of roses from heaven sitting by your side.
The blue vault up there would never unfurl a rainbow on earth to thread my heart and yours before meeting the deep. You were much married, a dad and 13 years my senior. Yet, you showered my soul with the ambrosial waters of affection when I was parched with dejection and displacement. Oh yes! For me, this was the period of drudgery following a dead marriage, disloyalty and divorce. Your riveting look could launch a music album in any soul.
How did you cross my path? Happenstance! My CV had been sent to your organisation and you landed up interviewing me. You spoke less (asked a few questions) and I concluded mentally, “Okay! So here’s a guy with a stiff upper lip.” Before my second interview at your office, I got selected as an HR & Admin Manager in a Civil Society Organisation. That should have been the end of a ‘transactional brush’ with you, a corporate coronate in a metro. But your WhatsApp line “Stay in touch” made all the difference.
Dining in a restaurant with a friend, by mistake I sent you my picture. I was thrown into a tizzy but you put me at ease. I wish I could archive the screenshot of those sweet words forever in my heart, which said I was beautiful. I loved being a shutterbug because now I started sending you my snaps not by mistake but by choice.
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However busy you were in your boardroom or trips abroad, you managed to stay connected. You called me a ‘bachchi’. It was the most intriguing connection, that something that I would never be able to explain rationally. Sometimes I would get impatient with you, “Why can’t you be a little more, mean some more and say much more?” Ah! Being ‘friend-zoned’ while high on limerence (infatuated love). On the totem pole of social status, you were leagues ahead. I found in you a pivot on which hinged our beautiful friendship, proliferating as the splendour of fruitful vine. I could share anything with you, ranging from my love for animals, society shapers, Bollywood talk, Modiji’s speeches, my family, my amorous link-ups, stories from the boot camp, music videos, forwarded icky multimedia jokes and what have you. Steadily you became a tower for me to lean on. You were my sounding board.
At work, I was made in charge of communication, logistics, administration and HR. The CEO threw a spanner by declaring in a manner so sweet, “Do or leave!” It was a challenge, drafting policies, appropriating procedures and finally consolidating the work structure. With your encouragement, I could put the required muscle into it. How that one and a half year passed, though I was away from my daughter and family! My ex-husband got married to his steady and had a son through her. You made me strong. At work, my contribution was duly acknowledged.
I loved your wit though you were conventionally reserved. I always wanted to pull your bristling moustache or muss up your hair with my fingers. I smile at the memory of the video I made with your pictures, assembling them for hours matching the leitmotif of my feelings to the powerful soundtrack in the background.
Your honey shaded eyes spelt honesty. Ours remained a ‘sattvik’, very incorrupt platonic friendship. You never ‘overpromised ‘or ‘tried to lead me on.’
If I would say something naughty you’d just smile it away with a cute spoiler alert! No summer gossamer flimsy romances held appeal! Our friendship scored over all this, with our souls being in it for the long haul.
Time ticking away the chiffon dream months, I returned to my hometown for my daughter. You enabled me to be the ‘ACTUAL ME’, as somewhere I had lost myself to a sea of struggles. I dedicate the song Somewhere Over The Rainbow to you, highlighting my platonic love. Yes, I could never be entitled to that rose garden, for we had met much later in life, manifesting through different timelines.