Lately, it seems like the only time I get to sit back, relax and think is when I drive to office and drive back home. Those stretched 35 miles of my day, is when Maya can lose sight of the world around and delve into dreams and the world of imagination. My best company during these hours is my Ipod and my collection of melodies.
This evening, while returning from work, my Ipod decided to pick 'Valai osai', a tamil song set to tune by Ilayaraja. The song teared me up. The familiar feeling of loneliness sprung upon me opening up the void left by my friends - Chichu, Renju and Priya. When Chichu and me shared an apartment, about ten years ago, she being a classical singer, owned a casette of Ilayaraja hits. It was then that I was introduced to Ilayaraja and his music. On "amazing" never-to-return, lazy Sundays, we would crawl out of bed when neighbours rang the lunch bell. Either a casette was played on her fancy stereo system or Rosebowl on TV, the only electronic gadget in our apartment.
There was a mattress on the floor for me, and old folding cot for her, a bamboo mat in the living room to sit and a stand for the 21inch BPL TV. This was all the furniture we owned, apart from a plastic bucket each. The gas stove was on loan from her aunt. The most meagre furniture, but those were the best days of life. Happy, carefree, do-what-you-want-to-do!!
I feel blessed that these three people walked into my life. Each one had their own timing. Renju, outside a training institute in Pulimoodu, apparently thinking the same thing, I was thinking 'Where do we stay, in this unknown place?'. The fearless, think-straight, do-the-right-thing, cant-cook-for-nuts girl. 'I am Renju Pillai, from Kozhikode, did my Engineering in Kuttipuram College', we had heard that enough, so didn't need formal introductions. Then walked in Chichu with the question 'May I join you?' ever so politely, probably for the fear of rejection. (Laughs). This round, rolly-polly, cute, looks-like-me glasses-clad girl from namma Madras. Jain Engineering College. Priya entered last, the sophisticated, pretty-pretty, rides-in-a-car-with-a-driver girl. I wonder what brought us so close, probably the no-nonsense attitude that all of us shared?
In all the time we lived together, I lived with Chichu for the longest period of time. My bum-pal!! Renju sneaked out pretty soon, to go out with her fiance, Subu. She ever so smartly moved away from the topic when we asked about their whereabouts. A referee in all my fights with others. Priya and I, grew into girl-friends with our daily lunch to Kalavara hotel, while all our other batchmates went to the not-looking-nice-from-outside hotel, Sopanam. A million memories weaved into this thread of friendship, only if we could relive those years again.
I don't think I can go up again to a complete stranger (lady) and ask 'May I share a room with you'? But for the one time I had the guts, I sure did hit upon some treasure.
Love you girls and miss you loads!!