Friday, March 14, 2008

Salutes !

I am quite a joke among my friends for being on every possible social and business network on the internet. Friends my generation are cautious of the internet and use it when they have to. I am on the other hand an internet addict, from cooking to childcare to literature to yoga, I treat the internet as if I am hanging on to it for my life. If I don't have internet for a day, I get withdrawal symptoms ! 

As is obvious I get a lot of friends requests from people I have never even met, on Facebook, Orkut, name it. I used to happily add everybody and have only recently started filtering friends requests. After many years of being an internet Hippie, I am now trying to be sober. 

I added one such 'friend' on facebook (he seemed the important Advertising sorts and who knows, may be I did know him in my past advertising avtaar !). I am glad I took a chance since I was pleasantly surprised to be 'found' in his friends list by a girl I used to work with many years ago! 

I had in fact been looking for her. She used to be this new kid on the block, came from a small town, was fresh and innocent, very pretty and something about her made everyone want to play daddy to her. 

I don't exactly remember how we became friends but I used to really like her - she was talkative, funny and had a broad smile. I was a happy person myself and we got along. As we moved jobs, we lost touch. Off and on I'd get to hear of her but in the hum drum of life that was so fast and so full of people those days, we never kept in touch except an odd bumping into each other here and there. 

I added her to my facebook and a week later she called when I was in the Loo. Ruhi answered the phone and made some awkward conversation telling her that I would call back. I remembered the call but didn't call back. In my usual way I stuck a post-it reminder in my brain and forgot about it. 

A week later she called again - just now.

We spoke for a bit and filled in each other about the decade thats gone by since we were last in touch. Turns out that the sum of it all was that I got married to the guy I was hanging around with those days, I have a job and 2 regular kids and I get bored of my car every two years. 

And turns out that she battled out alone in a hostel through a bad relationship, physical abuse, fear and chucked it all and started life all over again in another city, met a guy on the net and married him, has a 5 year old son discovered 2 years ago with a rare genetic disorder that will slowly but surely kill him before adulthood. She looks after the kid and manages her job. There is no cure yet for this disorder.

She finds strength in bringing him up one day at a time without any agenda  and she started out alone but has now formed a support group of 30 other families who have kids with the same problem and she counsels them. She plans to register the group as an NGO soon.

While she narrated all that has happened to her in the last ten years she sounded as cheerful and happy as she used to, back then. She was full of plans. She spoke openly and honestly about herself and her crazy life on her own initiative. I hadn't even asked her one question...

I broke down after hearing her story but she was unfazed. Except for a tiny tremor in her voice she told me " don't worry everything is good for now, and I need strong friends'. 

And here I am with my petty, sometimes imaginary problems, holding on to myself with all my might. Often Thankless, for what I have. 

1 comment:

~nm said...

That friend of yours sounds like such a pillar of strength. I really wonder how would I have behaved if "God forbid" something like that would happen to my child. It needs lot of courage to accept such things especially with your close and near and dear ones.