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Friday, February 6, 2015

When Time Stood Still


She stood in a pink frock with a cute pony tail her eyes sparkling and a smile that swept me off my feet. Radhika looked stunning on her 14th birthday when I went with a large parcel in my hand to wish her on her birthday! Their house was palatial located adjacent to the Mall Road in Shimla! There was a crowd of about a dozen people but she stood out! Her mother welcomed me observing me standing coyly in a dark corner to avoid coming in the direct gaze! ‘Come Rahul’ she politely held me by my hand and marched me towards, Radhika who held out her hand.

‘Happy Birthday, Radhika’ I muttered slowly feeling more shy than her, as I handed over the gift to her.

‘Thank you, Rahul, I am so happy you came’, she said as she passed on the gift to her friend Arti standing next to her.

One week later Radhika moved out of Shimla, but not before  I asked her if she would like to come to ‘India Coffee House’ with me before bidding goodbye!

Happily, she agreed and, it was a Sunday and the sun was shining bright as we entered the coffee house where the steward took the order for two filter coffees! We chatted endlessly as I took her address in a small note book that I carried with me. Next day, she left for Delhi with her parents as I continued to live with the sweet memory of her cute face and smile for many years to come.

Sometimes I exchanged letters with her but that dissipated with time! Many years passed, I got married and settled down in life. About forty years elapsed in between when one day a school friend Ashok whom I came across on the Facebook got me connected with a few more long lost friends! In one of the picture, I saw someone resembling Radhika, exactly the same features and as elegant as ever except the grey strands of hair telling the time that had elapsed. Sure enough, it was Radhika! I sent a friend’s request and prompt came the acceptance with a series of questions with some lovely family pictures. She had settled in New York, where her husband worked with New York Times and had two sons one married and other still studying. She and her husband were returning to India after a gap of almost a decade and were moving to Bangalore by a late evening flight after arriving in the afternoon. We decided to meet each other at Starbucks Coffee House at Gate 17 of the Domestic Departures at Terminal 3!

It was around 6.30 PM and the place was almost full, as a few passengers were glued to their smart devices and sipping coffee at the outlet. I and my wife were seated in a comfy corner overlooking the main entrance, when she walked in , beauty personified with a light mascara, soft tint of lip gloss, Givenchy long pleated wool skirt, copper and saffron horizontal striped top, Jimmy Choo metallic wedges, Louis Vuitton Pallas Chain handbag and an aroma of ‘JAR Bolt of Lightning’ perfume! Her husband was dressed in an Armani Suit with gold rimmed glasses, and slightly receding hairline, resembling a raw version of Steve Jobs! She recognized me from the distance; I stood up simultaneously and walked to her! We hugged and felt that he time stood still! After briefly  catching up ,we chatted for next two hours over a couple of cups of coffee about the bygone days remembering some old mutual friends and how they moved places!

The conversation broke with an announcement of departure of their flight !It was perhaps the best bond of the childhood time I had managed to relive in those two hours in the lingering aroma ,ambience and a perfect company!

38 comments:

  1. I am wondering what if I meet an old friend like this after decades. Thanks to Facebook for reconnecting lost bonds.

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    1. It's always nice to meet old froends😊

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  2. Wow! An amazing reunion. How lovely. What caught my eye is that you know your brands. ;-)

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    1. Thank you Rachna! Do I take this as a compliment Ha. Ha 😊

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  3. Wow! An amazing reunion. How lovely. What caught my eye is that you know your brands. ;-)

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  4. The bonds of childhood can be very strong! Lovely story.

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  5. Facebook has help us discover long lost friends. Amazing how our lives have taken the twists and the turns over decades. A realistic tale well narrated.

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    1. Thank you Alka' life has surely changed for better with Facebook and Google:)

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  6. That's a lovely story Rahul . Hope you have a good weekend ahead :)

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    1. Am happy you liked the story Pallavi! Thanks a lot:)

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  7. Awesome... i am sure the meeting was rejuvenating! Recently my father attended a get-together of his college mates after 40 years and i think he must went through the same feeling meeting nearly 50 mates even though he could share memories with 10 + being close then.

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    1. Thanks Jeevan! Reunion with old friends is always a memorable occasion !

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  8. That is so goooooooooooooooooooooddd rahul sir.. after os many years.. I wonder if my friends will recognise me or even remember me ..

    Heres wishing that all get to meet theire good old friends more often and share the good of life always

    Bikram's

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    1. Absolutely true Bikramjit! I too hope you get to meet old friends:)

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  9. Meeting an old friend after so many years and recognising her too is great! You recognised all the latest brands of attire in both her and her husband, in one look!!! Great!

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    1. Thanks Sandhya! In today's world brand conscious ness is taken seriously by some:)

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  10. Very impressed that you recognized all the brands she was wearing!

    But it's such a joy to reconnect with your past. Makes you feel young again.

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    1. Coming from someone like you who has been there and done that, I take it as a compliment Purba:) the joy of meeting people you like sure keeps u both mentally and physically young:)

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  11. I vicariously imagined the joy of meeting a long lost friend--but why this insistence on brands?

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    1. Thanks a lot Induji! In today's world some people flaunt the brands as a symbol of status so to know about them is good:)

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  12. Friendship is great ! A nice experience...

    Thanks for sharing with us

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  13. Did you really meet her or a story? ;-) Brands caught my attention obviously :P

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    1. A story Latha! It did pass off as real....ha ha! Only you asked this:)

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    2. I knew it was a story, Rahul sir...otherwise when you are meeting someone after such a long time, you wouldn't notice the brands. You would notice how fat or thin she became, how many gray hair she has...you would look for the happiness and wrinkles in her face :)

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  14. Amazingly beautiful and interesting post!

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  15. Time can never break old bonds if they are true. On the other hand, it strengthens it. Such a beautiful cute little story, loved reading it :)

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  16. It's been just a few years since I stepped out of school and college, but I get so excited catching up with old friends. This would've been lovely. Wonderful story sir :-)

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  17. Lovely post about this wonderful reunion after 40 years. Rahul, you do know all your brands ;)

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