Hope Guided Me Home
Hope Guided Me Home8 mins 18.2K 8 mins 18.2K
Dear life, there is difference between a pleasant surprise and a shock. Please get your definitions correct.
Today, I have a meeting with the Azure Bank officials regarding the company's policies and accounts. These are one of my biggest clients and if successful, I would be promoted to a higher level in the company, with a 40% hike in my basic salary. It was almost time for the conference. Soon a fair-skinned woman with wavy waist length hair entered the room accompanied by two more officials. The petite five-foot-three-inch frame, the kohl-lined eyes and the formal office wear, she was the epitome of beauty. Preksha Basu, a smart businesswoman had changed a big time.
Seeing Preksha after seven years was a shock to me. At first, she wasn't recognizable and when the agreement read her name under the designation of CEO, the world came to a standstill for me. It was not the Preksha Basu I had known. Miracles happen, now I believe.
"Ms. Sethi, I hope it would turn beneficial working with you." Preksha said with a grin on her face.
"Sure ma'am, we'll put our best resources into this project."
The meeting ended well with a note kept on my desk: ‘Meet me at the canteen in 5 minutes.’ Thinking of the possibilities of who it could be, I waited at the canteen.
"CS Sanaya Sethi, long time! How have you been?" questioned a voice from behind.
"Sanaya Verma" I said flashing the ring in my hand. "Forget about me. Look at you, all changed. How did this miracle happen?"
”Shall we go out for your favorite hazelnut coffee?"
"You still remember?"
The Past: Seven years ago
The secluded streets at night, the earphones not working, the ketchup getting finished at the last slice of pizza, getting Pepsi when you demanded Coke and not making a fuss about it; nothing hurts more than a betrayal from your best friend. But just when all your hopes die and you start accepting what life throws at you; Mr Fate plans to fill your life with another set of surprises. And...Not all surprises are bad. After a long tiring day at class, I had just taken a deep breath and started to think who was wrong and why did we part, a WhatsApp notification brings me back to the 'usual life' all over again.
7.45pm: TSG Preksha is added. TSG, ‘The Scribblers Group’ was a Facebook page which provided budding writers with a platform to showcase their skills.
Sanaya: Welcome to the TSG family. Being the part of the same team, I think it is necessary to know each other. I am Sanaya Sethi, a Company Secretary student from Ahmadabad.
Preksha: Hi Sanaya, I am Preksha Basu from Dehradhun. I am currently pursuing banking.
Sanaya: I am sure you'd be a great writer. We're glad to have you on the team.
Preksha: Thank you for adding me.
It had been two weeks since Preksha joined TSG. She, being a complete package of an amazing writer, a talented student and a caring daughter. She also was an understanding and trustworthy online friend. After that conversation, Preksha and I like every other commerce student, started sharing career related problems, asking questions and taking advice. Our comfort level had reached a position where she didn't even hesitate to share her boyfriend's poems with me.
Sanaya: His poetry was amazing. I was lost into those mesmerising words. And he's good too!
Preksha: Haha! Thanks. I hope it works out between us.
Sanaya: It will surely work out. Who wouldn't want to be with an amazing girl like you?
Preksha had been a blessing in my life. She made me forget about Varnika too, my best friend for eight years. She had left me with no reason and no explanation. She chose to walk of my life not understanding that I was busy. I wanted her but she was long gone. And my brain now, finally chose to move ahead, leaving her memories in past. I had stopped playing the game of whose fault it was. And whenever I wanted to talk about her, I would simply text Preksha "Not feeling good, wanna talk!" And it always took less than 5 minutes for me to be chirpy again. She had also managed ‘The Scribblers’ page well in these months, me being busy with studies, and the other members relying on her too.
Preksha: Sanaya, we are so similar. Our likes and dislikes are same too. Being far away from each other we have a great connection. You understand my mood within a few minutes of conversation.
Sanaya: Thank you Preksha, but what's the reason for this sudden love?
Preksha: How about you writing a biography? Imagine the life struggles of a girl on the bestselling charts. And you already know about my past, present and future. The vibes will flow so well.
Sanaya: You added to the list. I bet it'll be on the chats for more than 4 weeks.
Preksha: Really? I have always dreamt of publishing a book on my life journey. But am I worthy enough to be heard?
Miracles are just like good hair days, rare and unheard of. And I was hoping for one such miracle. Preksha, once a confident and positive girl, who even after being molested at a tender age, bravely lived her life, was now deprived of it. She feared failure; scared to fall in love again, always worked on the principle ‘what people will say’ and thought being fat is a bad thing. I wanted her to be the same Preksha before she broke up with her boyfriend. Days and months of making her understand to be positive and confident was of no help. Now only a miracle could get her out of the web knitted by her. And I was hoping for one desperately.
"So, still happy with your independent life dream or married by now?" I asked Preksha. We went to the nearby cafe to converse over a cup of coffee.
"Being single and independent has its own benefits. A lot has changed in the past 7 years Sanaya. I am not the same Preksha Basu who had fears and a low self-confidence." She said
"I can see all the change. But how did this miracle happen? Durga Maa came on the earth to wake you up?" I asked
"Ki bolcho! No. Hope finally guided me home. You remember the months you had spent on me, trying to make me positive and self-confident?" She said. "We remember the worth of a person when they are long gone. After we lost connection, I realised that your constant positive vibes over those text messages and audio clips kept me moving. Whenever I missed you, I re-read our conversations to boost up my confidence. It was then I made my mind that I would not let your hard work go in vain. And then one after another, I achieved all the success I had dreamt for. And step by step I reached where you saw me today."
"I am moved. I remember how you suffered from depression and anxiety, and how I tried explaining things to you. Preksha, we were equally there for each other back then. The way you also handled me during my low times…we were such kids back then. The online best friends!" I remarked with a chuckle.
“But what happened to ‘The Scribblers’?” Preksha interrogated.
“Career makes you take certain unwanted decisions, Preksha. After you left TSG suddenly, even I had quit writing. I had cleared my CS in one attempt, and was placed to a MNC in Mumbai. Life had been so hectic since then that I struggled to read books and write stories. I guess the group collapsed after that.” I said with a sigh.
“Why did you stop writing? I thought my biography was still due…”
One Year Later (Present)
“Friendship never dies; it is always buried in the deepest corners of the heart, wanting to be rejoiced again."
I shut the book close and ran my fingers across its cover "Hope Finally guided me home". A national bestseller. There was pin drop silence in the bookstore. The crowd, which was bigger than the store's capacity, stood entranced. And then the applause erupted. I looked at the crowd and smiled. In the first row sat my family, Preksha's family, who wanted to celebrate the best daughter ever and the TSG family, the publishers of the biography. The book was its first publication reviving the lost charm.
And I, a tear rolled down my cheek, but I let it flow, knowing that she would be laughing right now looking at me. She would have been so happy today. Her dream had come true. And I was privileged to be her voice, my best friend’s voice. If only she had been here...
Next, was the book signing event. I had signed almost all the books when another one was placed on my table. "Please sign this; I am a big fan of yours," said the girl. The voice was familiar. But I was too tired to guess it.
"Whom shall I sign this for?"
I popped my head up in astonishment. It was her, with the same laughing face like ever. But only this time, a wheelchair accompanied her. Last year Preksha had met with an accident and her lower part was paralysed. Much to my surprise, she was positive about getting well and was taking things bravely like a fighter this time. Miracles do happen. I was happy for her.
"What's my award for winning the bet?"
"How about hazelnut coffee?" Preksha said with a smirk.