We have been probably been aware of each other’s presence for nearly a decade, I reckon. But that statement is so misleading. You see, we are two individuals who have very little in common, I feel sometimes. Neither have we ever visited each other’s native states nor are we from the same social circles or occupational fields. And yet, she is someone I trust with the inner musings of my mind and heart more than I would a hundred others who walk beside me every day.

We encountered each other years ago at a time when blogging was just a fad; she with her lyrical poetry and me with my silly rants. There would be an occasional “Nice post” comment on each other’s blog and then we would carry on, engrossed in our own lives.

I guess it was a darkness in our individual lives that helped us find each other again, seeing something in between the words each other wrote on social media posts that so many others could not recognise – a heart seeking comfort. This time when we connected, it was not as bloggers but as strangers looking to attenuate their own pain by helping each other. It was a tough time to be trusting of the world with so many wearing masks in real life and yet, in the anonymity of the blogosphere, I knew that this woman’s mask was translucent, her heart worn on her sleeve.

Over the last few years, our friendship has grown and settled into a comfort zone that is perhaps rare for both of us – we can find time for each other while boarding the crowded trains of Mumbai or walking out of operation theaters in Kerala. We know we can call the other even at 2 in the morning if there is something that needs to be discussed and the other one will not curse us (or perhaps more accurately, curse us openly to high heaven and then listen patiently to our problems before offering a solution or just a comforting shoulder to lean on.)

When she finally gave her last exams at her college and attended her first interviews last year, she fretted and frowned imagining every possible bad thing that could occur. It was now my turn to be her anchor just as she had been so many times over the last year for me. It was easy to do so honestly – she was always a shoo-in with her brilliant (nerdy!) mind. The examiners felt the same way, placing her among the top five in her batch. In between working past midnight and coaching her friends to help them get placed, she aced her own campus interview too, getting into the company she wanted.
She called me that day and was so overwhelmed, I remember. The selfless creature that she is, the joy was only partly because of her own achievements. The rest was for her friends who had made it thanks to her help. She was genuinely happy for them. And yet, in between her words, I caught a hint of melancholy.

Many had started leaving already for their new jobs, I gathered from her words. The goodbyes for friendships that had lasted throughout college were thus abrupt and sometimes even missed. I know it made her feel sad – like me, she thinks with her heart instead of her head.

I also know it because years before, I too have been in that position. Days before she was to leave her hostel, she received an innocuous little package from a delivery boy as she and her roommates were busy packing their stuff. In it was my little gift to her – a monogrammed Parker Ellipse Black GT Roller Ballpen. 

It was my little way of letting her know a few things – that she mattered, for starters.
That this new phase she was entering was not about endings but about new beginnings.

That I was so proud of her for passing through her personal storms and still finding it in her to be a topper.
That she was the queen of her destiny and could write her future any way she wanted.
That she would always be a winner in my books.
More importantly, that when she becomes the head of her own company years from now, she would have a monogrammed pen to sign her employees’ cheques!

The call I got after she had opened the package was pretty much what you would expect from a bunch of women in a ladies hostel room freaking out – lots of EEEEE’s and AAAAAAH’s liberally mixed in with her own screams of OhMyGodOhMyGodOhMyGod in between (or maybe she and her friends were being attacked by a swarm of flying cockroaches – that would have the same response, now that I think of it!)

Her Facebook post that day

Jokes aside, it felt good to make her realize that somebody cared for all that she had achieved. That was important to me. We have met twice in real life in a friendship that has spanned a decade and that is okay. We know each other better while being so far apart than most people would while staying in the same house. I don’t know when and where we will get the chance again in the days to come but either way, I know that no matter what, she is always just a phone call away from being my voice of reason and hope.
And more importantly, she knows that I am there for her too. And when you think about it - isn't that the biggest victory that a friendship can have?

One out of only two times we have met till date...

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” 

― Helen Keller






Author's note:
I am participating in the #DilKiDealOnSnapdeal activity at BlogAdda in association with SnapDeal.”


Update (7.5.2015):
This post was chosen as one of the winners for the contest.

 Click the picture for the full list of winners



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