The childhood friend’s birthday treat came as a surprise. No fancy cake, bundle of alcohol bottles or wild party. I didn’t even know that it was his birthday last Monday and getting caught into the humdrum of routine tasks in life takes away the small things away from us. We take our relationships for granted, too often.
He messaged me on Sunday asking about my plans for the next day and told about the beach outing with his wife and two-year-old munchkin. No slightest hint about the birthday. We get set on the day in his swanky BMW and reached the idyllic resort which he booked and sea facing, sitting at the hut having gorgeous food and exquisite wine. As we spoke about everything under the sun, N casually mentioned about the birthday and not without betting that I didn’t know about it. Thing is that he never told me or might have in childhood but got lost in translation. We spoke about everything under the sun, life, career and how he changed over the years. I have a knack for remembering so many small anecdotes and he feels it’s terrific to recall about mundane things or simple anecdotes. We both grew up in middle-class homes in the 90s when there was no access to computer, forget the internet and how out parents slogged to ensure we get meals or study. He was always a front-runner in academics and extremely proud to see him shining in life. He deserves all the success for I have known him as a shy guy but who was always dedicated, diligent, and hardworking. Today, he is a leading banker but who never forgot friends or people.
It touches my heart how N has been able to stay so grounded and stay true to his roots, not changing an ounce as a person. The person chooses to spend his birthday and inviting me to be part of his lovely family when he could have spent the special day in the company of his closed ones. The toddler is an enthusiastic young girl and we spoke how in our, life flitted like the sea breeze. In no time, the little one will one day travel to explore her dreams, go to university and soar. Somehow, I just let off about not being able to witness the blooming of the little monster who was having the time of her life, prancing on the beach and disappeared away from our glares. We spotted her in time. Honestly, I don’t know why death suddenly popped out of my mouth that I may not be here at that time in future. Perhaps, life is so uncertain that makes me aware of existence and having seen so many people, including friends passing away suddenly led this thought of not seeing tomorrow. As we grow old, we tend to worry about not living enough to witness each other’s joy. He asked, where I shall be? I was like watching them from the sky.
Difficult to fathom that I am surrounded by the sea and pristine beaches yet it happens once in a blue moon. It was one rare occasion of having a blast and drenching in the water, playing with the little one and for a selfie with the three of them. There was no point in going to the beach after five years and not plunging into the water. I am not a swimmer and never mastered the art. Every non-swimmer knows a trick or two as you thrust the arms inside the deep water and hold on to the sand beneath the water to float ashore, something that I have always done as a child. Did I tell you how N keeps pulling me of never inviting him at home since ages? I know and guilty of that for every time I make a planning, something or the other keeps happening. His wife jumped to my defense.
We spoke about caring which is a lost word in today’s world when I referred to mom who keeps telling me so many things in a day and he is like it’s better to be like that rather than not giving a damn. Lesson learned.
Quite an incredible week for me and it seemed that there is no place for a single boring moment. How I wish every day or week to unfold in this fashion! I remember telling the last time how a single FB update cringing about Jacqueline ek do teen reprise and A my friend in Jamshedpur called me instinctively. He made his sister read the message that resonated since Didi has a young daughter, learning Indian classical dance and how such reprise laden with double innuendos or crass dance moves is such a bane for young kids exploring dance as an art form in today’s times. A was my senior in Pune and it was quite an interesting WhatsApp conversation as I spoke to Didi and aunty for the first time. But, the line was breaking and we kept calling each other innumerable times. A bond has been forged not just with A but his entire family, from his sister and mom with whom I spoke via video call. Life and ways of friendship can be intriguing, right! How a small thing can trigger a deep relationship! I feel nurturing a strong bond with A’s immediate family whom I never met.
Something called retributive or divine justice like in Hindi films does exist in our otherwise monotonous life. It’s quirky and funny at the same time. Last week, I was chided by my yoga guru for the lack of concentration and not putting enough effort which basically means cheating on my postures as he has taught me since 2011. On Thursday, the yoga master told that I have performed well and had a good class. I nodded. It felt exhilarating and triumphant to be told of doing well. I agreed and told him how the last time, there was a lack of concentration due to the mind wandering from one place to the other.
I feel blessed for having such a good week of bonding with friends. The good ride doesn’t seem to wane and just been made a member of UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations which will go a long way in adding sheen and glory to my CV. It felt like being on top of the world but also a reminder to stay humble in life for what we get is the fruit of the efforts of so many people in our lives, from parents to close friends, the alma mater Fergusson college, teachers and plain strangers. Of course, my first mentor has played an immense role in my life and the latest I owe it to my current boss who should take the credit for this honor. No success, big or small, can be claimed by one person for there are so many who have contributed to it. We would be stupid to think it belongs only to us. Stay humble, stay beautiful always.