The sky was a dark gray, bright, sunny summer had made way for gloomy, tempestuous autumn…
All of us had finished our twelfth standard and it seemed that reality had finally caught up with us! The blissful bubble in which ‘The Gang’ had always lived had burst… all hell had broken loose! One set of us couldn’t see eye to eye with the other!
It had all begun when Aakriti and I had a spat. I admit that it was one that could have been averted, wise in hindsight!
I was extremely passionate about my dance troupe and had put in a lot of effort to help set it up. Joy knew no bounds when, much later, Aakriti joined. Vrishalli and Mille had to cry themselves hoarse to get the two of us to shut up about our ‘dance’!
But one fine day, we had a showdown because Aakriti landed the meatier piece and I was left high and dry.
A good month passed and the rift between the two of us widened. Aakriti started college, pursuing journalism, and didn’t seem to have the time for any of us. Still unable to override my ego, I didn’t extend the olive branch either.
As July faded into August, the day arrived when I packed my bags and got set to leave for medical college in Mangalore.
2nd August, 2008
Zayan and Milee have exhausted their reserves of both patience and energy in their efforts to see Aakriti and me arrive at a compromise. I’m confused. I’m forty five minutes away from boarding the train.
“Heyy, but it isn’t all my fault!... Come on!”, I say . Zayan and Milee are stone faced.
“Where’s Aakriti?”, I want to know, heading towards Vrishalli. She shrugs her shoulders.
I jab Aakriti’s number, no answer.
Fifteen minutes left, and I’m on the verge of tears.
The train hoots!
“Okay, see ya then!”
We exchange hugs.
“Zoya, I’m sure that by the time you come for the Christmas break, we’ll all be back together!”, Milee says.
“Yeah man! We’ll meet up every week end… just like old times!”, Vrishalli adds.
I board the train.
Ten minutes later, I get a message.
‘Sry dude cudn make it! 4got u wer lvng 2day…was 2 l8 b4 I rmbrd… tc man…c ya den! V’ll surely meet k!’
Yeah right! That’ll happen. If she doesn’t give a damn, neither will I.
Two decades have passed since… and so has that bond between us.