Saturday, June 8, 2013

At the table

      It was another weekend meet for the TQS4. Their college folks had named this gang of four -  'The Quad Squad' ( which sounded like,  some sniffer dogs squad according to Akshaya). Eventually, they got used to it, and added the suffix 4 - their TQS touch to it. And this had become their identity, even 5 years after passing out of their Degree College.


     Vishaka had called Trishna, Akshaya and Samridhi at the Queens' Mall; to give them a formal invite for her elder brother's wedding due for the next month. (they could do without the formality. this was just a reason to catch up). Held up with too much of workload, Trishna could not make it for the meet, that weekend.

      So, there they were in the food bay.. at a table, a table meant for four; in the afternoon.  Considering Aki and Sam's personal commitments, they had decided to keep this meet shorter than regular - just a lunch and a kuppa coffee.

     Thirty minutes passed by.. None had started any conversation still.  Akshaya was singing an all-time fav track of hers to herself, audible to only the other two. Vish was fiddling with her mobile, at the same time making a random sketch on a tissue with glitter pens. Sam was just watching around, and was, as usual, in her deep thoughts. Surprisingly, none gossipped about the newly wedded couple from their college. They (including Vishaka herself) were already fed up of her breakup saga (that had taken long hours of phone calls a couple of days ago). Stories of upcoming alliances for the 3 had reached a stage of boredom (Akshaya was married, and groom hunt was on for the other 3 of these 25-somethings). Whining about work-life - the same gossips, politics, bad hikes etc etc - was an absolute waste of time, they knew!

     Grass looked the same, at all the sides. All they enjoyed at that moment was - the mere presence of the other....FRIENDS!


     "My husband asked me what am I passionate about last week" - Akshaya was the first one to break the silence.

     "What question about PASSION!? Your hubby is already fed up of you, eh?!" -  shot Vishaka instantly. Spontaneity was her nature! The trio burst out laughing.

    "Then what did you tell him" - asked Samridhi, post the pause that followed their laughter. Sam sounded a bit serious. This girl was a sophisticated mind.

     "I was blank!" - replied Akshaya "but then, that made me think!" ...she continued.

    "think like...?" - probed Sam.

     " I could have it all, and I had no limits to do whatever I wanted, what would have I chosen to do!" - Akshaya would have got whacked, if this statement was made 4-5 years ago - inside their college campus, or even at the same table they were sitting right then! But at that point of time, it had made a lot of sense, it stirred them to some serious thinking...Vish got little uncomfortable with the question.


     "I just feel like quitting everything..and become a priestess or a Nun!" - grumbled Vish with a drop of tear trailing down her cheek, leaving a tinge of silence in the air. Akshaya and Sam looked at each other. They knew where it was coming from. All the more, deep down her heart, Sam too felt the same - but for a different reason. Sam was the sole bread winner for her family and the additional pressure of balancing Work   with personal life had gotten the better off her.

     In a couple of seconds, Vishaka's emotions got a soother; when she found Akshaya's hand clasping hers; and Sam patting her head gently.


     "You are right, Aki..We've got so much involved in trying to just fulfill our daily commitments, and making li'l sacrifices - that we hardly realize we are going far from ourselves" -
 the thoughtful mind - Sam - was giving a direction to the conversation.

     "I still love to think of the good ol' days, when I used to assist Neeta ma'm in her yoga training sessions. Back then, it was just the thrill of those 200 bucks. Pocket money! Had never imagined I'd miss it so bad, and come to think of it this serious!"....

     "Why don't you continue it ? Don't tell me you don't have time for it!" - Aki hit it right.

     "don't have
 time for all that now..." - irated Vish.

     "Give me a break, Vish! You have
 enough to still get onto long calls, going on and off with him, and end up hurting yourself! Why don't you spend that time on something good for yourself, instead? something that uplifts you! " - asserted Aki. Vish took a deep breath! Aki was talking the truth. It was all about priorities! Choices!

     "My thoughts, your words, Aki! Had no courage to face it. But, you just said it and things look pretty clearer now!" -
 acknowledged Sam, continuing "All this doesn't happen in  just love, Vishi. Things just creep in where people are not open enough!  People who were a constant support, go against you all of a sudden! Trusts break, true colors pop up! People ignore you, try de-motivating you, or hurting you on your face! You call it jealousy, insecurity, effect of some hormonal problems or whatever! But then, what do you choose to give your 'time'  for matters!  Aki has a point!"

     "And do you think that people who have hurt you are un-scarred? pure and absolutely unhurt people?" -
 remarked Aki, sharply.

    Truth sank into the 3 minds as if some enlightenment had happened. But there was more to it...

     "True! There's this lady , who just got too pricky with me for no reason since few days. I did get affected initially and felt hurt. But then, I got to know about a very shattered side of hers outside the office! I pity her these days. If she gets happiness in showing herself up as something else, so it be!" - adding - " I dint feel it worth my time whining or thinking about her crankiness. This is just one of the examples! It's become a routine. I ain't gonna blame anybody as well!"

     "Love and care - I relearnt those from my nieces last week, when I had spent an entire weekend with them. I'd spent an amazing mushy time with them, they cared so much for me in fact. It's amazing. How well-connected they are with themselves and their play; they don't bother the world even when they face the same things that we do at this age! True. who has not come through jealousy in childhood days! nobody...and still we behave as if its the end of our world" - Vish got a little too philosophical this time. Nevertheless, she was right!

     "Like you said, Aki. I can instead spend my time on a more productive stuff! Like my Yoga classes...Yoga classes....I have got my answer, girls!" - Sam shone with a proud smile, continuing "and so have You, Vish" .. lookin at Vishaka. 

     Sam held in front of Vish, the tissue on which she had sketched a beautiful portrait with the glitter pens, while none was talking in the beginning.

     "This is YOU - as a child! This is what you need to spend time for, Vish" - Aki exclaimed to Vish, pointing out at the sketch.

     Vishaka glowed this time. The peace that she felt looking at her own work, was totally new. She stretched out her hands and hugged Akshaya.

     The entire conversation had a deeper meaning. They had never spoken this way ever before. Somewhere in the midst of unexpected twists and turns in their individual lives, their togetherness had progressed onto a new level without their realization!

     Following the hugs, there were a trail of deep conversations with each talking about interesting books; how best to invest their time on useful stuff; GenNext and the joys of playing young Aunts to their nieces and nephews,;their next Gang outing; and of course, Trishna. 

Akshaya had opened an awesome topic, but she herself was yet to figure out what she loved to do the most! Nevertheless, she was happy, and ignored this fact; leaving this thought to be pondered on some other time.


    "Got to go, girls. Aadi's waiting for me". Vish and Sam got up too. It was time for all the 3 to make a move. They hugged each other and left towards the exit. Akshaya rushed towards Adi's bike while the other 2 were admiring the newly wedded couple.

     Aadi had just started his bike, when Akshaya's phone beeped with an incoming voice message. It was a message from Vish. She plugged on the earphones and was deeply pleased, to listen to her own voice..It was the song that Vish had secretly recorded while Aki was casually the table...

   It followed with another text message from Sam - "You were trying to figure out something, right;)"

     Aki turned back expectedly, Vish and Sam glaring at her and waving her a sweet goodbye...Each one smiled!

     It was time to give a call to Trishna, and update her of the chats they the table..