I met Pooja in kindergarten. We were chadhi buddies in real sense of the word. From dolls to teenage secrets to notes in college, we shared almost everything. When she started going out with Prateek, our friendship was tested. Her mother would call me at any time of the day enquiring about her. I was an expert at making up stories. Even today, when I think of the excuses I made for Pooja, I feel extremely proud!
She moved to another city after marriage. We kept in touch through phone calls and text messages. But slowly we both got busy in our lives and spoke only on birthdays or special occasions. We always started from where we left, but it was not as good as before.
When Pooja conceived her first child, Prateek was asked to go to America by his company. It was a time when a lot of people were being laid off and so, he could not refuse. Pooja went to stay with her in-laws and that is when the real trouble began.
One day, in her eight month, she called me. I was surprised to hear her crying at the other end. She told me she was missing Prateek and was not comfortable with his parents. She wanted to go to her parents place but because of certain customs, she was not allowed to. It was a very tough time for her and she didn’t know what to do.
That’s when I decided to renew our friendship just like the old days. I gave her a video call every single day to ask how she was doing. We discussed our past stories, our school days, our college life and everything that we shared in the years gone by.
She started to feel better very soon. My calls were like a whiff of fresh air in her dull, boring routine. Her in-laws were not bad people; she was just missing her normal life and her husband. This was the time when she needed him the most but could not have him.
But #together we solved these problems. Ofcourse I could not replace her husband (thank God for that!!) but I could give her the laughter and optimism that she needed. Being in America, Prateek struggled with the time difference. That was another problem that Pooja faced. Thankfully, I was in the same time zone and she felt relieved.
Prateek came back when she was just about to deliver the baby. I am glad they could be #together at that magical time in their life. The little one, Maisha, calls me Maasi. Pooja and Prateek say that they are forever indebted to me for her mother's well-being at a crucial time. But really, the pleasure is all mine! That was indeed a memorable time for me and I am happy I could be with her and give her the strength and motivation to look up.