Friends4 mins 128 4 mins 128
A Pushpak Viman (flying Chariot ) will descend from the skies and take you to heaven. The universe is at your service madam” quipped Shruti with tongue in cheek as she and her friends Sudha and Madhu burst into laughter while onlookers gave curious glances. Evening walk within the safety of their friendly neighborhood,was a daily routine for the three happy go lucky friends, as was talking while walking, The topic could be anything ranging from the day’s events, snippets from the neighbourhood, fashion, politics, news to philosophy.
This particular day Shruti was describing a News she came across that day. "The earth's magnetic field is messed up and is weakening between regions of South Africa and South America. This could lead to the satellites, Space Crafts and Phones probably not working and the loss in the extent of protection for earth from harmful radiation from the Sun. Scientists say one of the reasons for this weakening magnetic field in the region could indicate an imminent reversal where the North Pole and South pole switch. This happened earlier and happens roughly every 250,000 years. You probably wouldn't want to be around when that happens" ended Shruti and added sadly that it could mean an end to the earth.
Sudha commented that she would prefer an ending to her life along with entire humanity dramatically and very quickly. "It is better than living with constant fear and awareness that Covid-19 is round the corner waiting to catch you any time. The social distancing and anticipation is spoiling our life and killing us slowly," said Sudha. That's when Shruti joked As if you could choose your ending! if indeed one could, then I wish A Pushpak Viman (flying Chariot ) will descend from the skies and take you to heaven. The universe is at your service madam”. " I will pull you both into the Chariot and take you along with me so that I don't miss your company in the walks in Heaven too!" pat came the reply from Sudha and they laughed gleefully." I am much younger to you two and I have to see many more things and enjoy life.
I am not joining you two" said Madhu on a lighter note and ," Earth does not perish as it is part of the universe. we may perish but will come back and take life according to our choice based on our Karma." she continued in her usual calm ,soft voice. "If I have to come back, I wish I would be a highly qualified, well placed and successful woman. No, why do I want to be a woman in the next life as well and go through the same drudgery. No matter how successful,women cannot escape it. Maybe I want to be a man but different from the typical men around us,capable of treating a woman as an equal in all aspects" said Sudha and again they burst into laughter. Indeed in each others company, their long walk appeared very effortless and so much fun.The peals of laughter continued and within no time they finished their walk and headed towards their respective homes, happy and energized to complete their chores for the day.
Just two days later, while the friends were in their usual evening walk ,"I wish that the Covid-19 pandemic recedes and I will be able to be with my daughter in Chicago for her delivery. I pray to God that at least I am spared of Covid-19 infection and survive to see my grandchild.How I wish that I could travel !" Sudha said earnestly. "Well, well, well, just the other day we were planning a one way trip to Heaven with the prospects looking very attractive??!!" jokingly said Shruti. As she looked at the friend's face she was taken aback by the sadness and longing in the eyes for her child." Everything is in the hands of higher power; have faith and nothing can go wrong" Madhu's calm and consoling words cheered Sudha and soon they came back to their cheerful mood.
As she walked back home, Shruti remembered how their friendship started more than 15 years ago, as their families entered into the residential community around the same time and strengthened over time. All three of them were entering into the fifties then and their friendship started spontaneously. They enjoy doing things together and celebrating small and big successes in life together. But more importantly, they support each other in tough times. There have been challenges in each one's life,with children growing up and pursuing their destiny, care, illness or loss of parents, illness of self or other family members and so much more. Every time they are there for each other no matter what may come. This extending of helping hand and shoulder to lean on, keeps the friendship going stronger by the day. "Well tomorrow is another day and having good friends to lean on, every day is a great day and as the life's journey gets harder hopefully we will continue to be there for each other" thought Shruti.