An aeroplane is a wonderful place to ponder….you have few distractions from electronic gadgets, no chores to do and food is served at regular intervels….what better circumstance to ruminate on life and its various facets?
Just over 2 weeks ago we embarked on a long plane trip to the US….After a very very long time I was going to finally catch up with my closest friends from school days.
Leading up to the trip, I had probably gotten really intolerable, regaling my kids with stories from school….probably liberally exaggerated….Ravi was sure I would promptly forget him the minute I landed in Raleigh. I dug up old fotos and letters and giggled over them and counted the days.
On the long flight to the US, I had a few butterflies……It had been 15 years since I last saw Jayashree, 18 since Bindu & I met, 20 since I met CRP & 27 since I met Meera….a very very long time……
I thought about how much had happened, how much I had changed, how things had moulded me and how many new people were now part of my life….how I had many friends since then…….And I was sure it was the same with all of them, they had moved on to different places in their lives, new people, new experiences and new relationships….added to the mix were family, husbands and children….new factors to be considered….
How would it be when we meet again- is it going to be the same magic that brought us together all those years ago?
Walking out of the terminal in Raleigh…..it took a heartbeat to realise that nothing had changed…..it was the same and different….
Talking thru the wee hours with Bindu & Jayashree, I realised one very powerful thing…..Distance is not just measured in metric, it is the intangible separation of emotions. And it is you alone that control that. From that first sight, the years melted and we took off where we left all those years ago…
It made me realise something very important- Your friends stay your friends through all the changes, challenges and trials and triumphs of your life….they “get” you and they do not expect to be pampered with routine attention- you can meet after no calls, emails or enquiries and still feel the magic. There are no expectations and no boundaries.
Your comradeship with others also rubs off on the family, My family need not have worried at all about being abandoned…..they were promptly taken in by the husbands and children and they scarcely felt strangerlike….when someone is important to you, your family gets that & does their bit….and in Raleigh and SFO, both Sriram and Srivats ensured that no one felt it was the first meet….Amazingly my reticent husband felt at home!!!!!
I did my level best to ensure that my insomnia issues are equally spread across the globe and kept Jayashree, Bindu & CRP awake until the wee hours….would love to apologise but that would be just for appearances,…..I sincerely wanted to make the most of the 3 short days I had in each city with ya’ll!
On the flight back, I was despondent…..the feeling of leaving friends behind, who knew when we would meet again? The heart-ache was tangible……
Arriving back to this beautiful city, having one friend waiting in the car to pick us up and the other had thoughtfully stocked the fridge with enough food to ensure I did not have to cook for days, with my kids favorite comfort food of olives and grainwaves and dosa maavu for Ravi…….
It took me a heartbeat to send a prayer upstairs to the ONE who sees all and thank him for the lesson taught….Friends are there all round you….looking out for each other- And to ensure that I got it, both my kids turned around from the fridge and told me:
Amma, you have just the best friends everywhere!!!!!!!