Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Morning Friend

I reached the bus stop to wait for my cab to arrive. One lady dressed in a green salwar suit with a big bag and wearing dark glasses was reading something. As I approached, she lifted her head and smiled. I returned the smile and wished her ‘Good Morning’.

A car approached from the side and stopped. ‘I have to go’ she said as another lady opened the door of the car from inside and she stepped in. The door closed and the car sped away.
Something about the face of the lady struck me!! The friendly smile….
In a while my own office cab came and I got in to start another day.
Next morning I came to the bus stop and found her once again, dressed in a pink sari carefully creased and a matching well fitting blouse. The gentle breeze swayed a tuft of hair across her face. She was performing ‘Surya Namaskar’ in sitting posture, to the rising sun.
She looked in my direction and wished me  ‘Good Morning’. I started a small conversation with her and realized that she was a  fervent talker.
She told me that her husband was a Captain in the Navy and was currently posted in Mumbai undergoing a training course. She had two children both studying in school. She was herself a teacher. When I told her that I too had served in the Navy and was now working in one of the telecom company, her joy seemed to know no bounds. Maybe, I had struck a common chord of her current life with my past.
It soon became a regular occurrence and I would look forward to engage in small conversations and catch up with life in Navy with her. The morning niceties took a few minutes and soon we would part our ways to work.
One week she did not show up at the stop and left me wondering as to what happened. I would tell about my exchanges with her to my wife who was now getting bored . She heaved a sigh of relief when I told her that my ‘morning friend’ was conspicuous by her absence for almost a week.
Then she showed up.... and I was excited like a teenager having met his heart throb. She was on a vacation with her family to Shillong.
‘You don’t belong there so how did you go there,’ I enquired.
‘Oh! We tried a few places but as there were no reservations available, we could get tickets only to Shillong’ she chuckled.
I got familiar with her son who would come to see her mom off sometimes, and lovingly kiss her goodbye when she left.
Last month, she told me that she is leaving her job as her home life was more demanding and it was becoming increasingly difficult to strike a balance between work and life at home. Although, she had lived in Delhi for a major part of her life, she was finding it difficult to commute due chaotic traffic now. She had lived in Delhi in the vicinity where I grew up, as she gave out some more details.
She was Shivali!! I remembered the pony tailed girl full of life living in the building opposite where I spent my childhood. The time had once again brought us together, as I bid her goodbye while she boarded the pooled car.

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