In The Confession Box
In The Confession Box3 mins 263 3 mins 263
Five Silvers living in five cities across the globe, connected on facebook after many failed search attempts. After all, in fifty years, a lot had changed, not only in their lives, but in their size, colour, and features and name change!
Sudha with soda glasses had no more the envied hourglass figure; Nalini looked pulled down. Age had not treated her kindly. Neela the girl with two long plaits has cropped her hair pixie style. So..so different. As for Deepa, the funny funster had consumed up her fun quota and joined Hare Rama Hare Krishna movement in San Jose. And I waited to meet my 'besties' before time ran out.
After much deliberation, we concurred the best place to meet would be halfway or nearly halfway, so we chose Gengenberg in the Black Forest, a quiet place, not very popular with tourists. The purpose was to relive those childhood days of youth. We had spent twelve years from KG to Class X in the same school sharing tiffin, sharing heartbreaks, sharing the most intimate secrets, privy only to us.
We waited at Frankfurt International airport lounge, for all five to arrive by different flights. It took perhaps a minute to recognize each other and then we piled into a car and drove off to the Airbnb accommodation reserved in the home of a German lady with two huge Bulldogs for company.
She welcomed us in and showed us to our room. She had set up extra beds in the biggest bedroom which had two attached washrooms, so we all could be together. Sitting on our beds, wrapped in blankets each of us had a story to share.
Sudha was the first. "I have reconciled to living single. Marriage was not for me" she confided. A professor at Oxford, she had had her fair share of affairs, each ending up with mistrust and leaving a bitter taste in her mouth. Nalini mother of two girls added "well you are better off than me. At least you didn't have to deal with a cheating husband. I kept quiet for the sake of the kids and once they were independent, I threw in the towel and took a divorce. And now I am a free bird" she threw up her hands in relief.
Neela admitted without any remorse, she was in a permanent relationship with a Scottish lady. "We got attracted instantly and despite the hue and cry that was raised, Helen and I continue to live our lives, our way". That somehow didn't come as a surprise to any of us. Neela was always aloof with the boys when we were waiting anxiously to be noticed by them. At this point, Deepa interjected "C'mon I see nothing wrong in your lifestyle. It's so common in the US. In our Ashram, we have plenty of gay and lesbian couples, living and leading a spiritual life". The expression on Neela's face took a dramatic change from that of shame to one of acceptance.
"Now that all the skeletons are out of the cupboard, let me share a closely guarded secret, I have been hiding from all of you"..I announced. "The urgency to meet you was because I have been given six more months on this planet. Now don't get all gloomy over this. My life has been a roller coaster, so no regrets whatsoever. Hubby and the kids insisted that I meet you personally to say Goodbye, knowing our background". With that, I hugged each one of them for making it from so far.
There was dead silence in the room. And then we broke into "Cheers" for having that one day back from our childhood.