Last Saturday I met one of my college time best friends, Saba, in a mall. She was shopping for groceries. She had with her a very cute kid who was helping her. I was standing at the other side, still trying to figure out whether she was actually the one, as her appearance had changed drastically. Or maybe I was struck by mere co-incidence of events, as it was almost 8 years I had seen her. I had completely lost touch with my so called busy life. I just followed her extra ordinary blog for a while but then she stopped writing.
I was not sure whether it will be right to wave at her or talk to her. It is amazing that people who were once so close to us now matter no more and we hesitate to even say hi. Such is the enormity of the riddle called life that we get into. All of a sudden old memories of “Delhi School of Economics” flashed in front of me as if it was yesterday.
Saba was confident like a hill, her thoughts flew like a free flowing wind, her every word inspiring like a true leader, her dreams higher than sky. Anyone who would have met her for once could not forget her in life and could not go without inspiration.
She could become a great economist, a great sportsman, a great writer, a great leader or just anything she wanted. Everyone in DSE felt she is going to storm the world and be one of the most popular names ever and grace DSE for ever.
Her destination was only limited to her own imagination of herself.
As I was deep into my thoughts she suddenly saw me standing and spoke so loudly my name “Ryan” that every one in the mall turned their eyes towards me and left me to embarrassment; but then things went normal. She walked towards me with her kid.
“Hi Ryan! How are you? Such a long time!” She asked me with a very pleasant smile which I had never seen before in DSE.
“I am doing just fine. Yes almost 8 years. Nice to see you.” I replied little hesitantly.
“Meet my little son Yusuf.“ She said looking towards the kid.
Then she told Yusuf “Say hi to him!”
“Hi Uncle.” said Yusuf
Electric shock passed through my body as he called me uncle.
“Hi Yusuf, you can call me friend, bhaiyaa or Ryan.” I said defending my age.
Saba looked at me with humorous face and then we all burst into laughter and things got a bit normal.
“Yusuf is very cute and awesome.” I said
“Thanks a lot. You made my day.” Saba said
“So, what are you upto Saba?” I asked
“Well as you can see I take care of my home, my lovely kid, my caring husband and family.” She replied with pride.
“Ohh yes that’s so great. Anything on career side?” I asked and realized later that probably was not the right question.
“No yaar, I am so badly engrossed in my life that I have hardly got any time for myself. I had never imagined such paucity of time in my life but I am happy doing what I do. I love taking care of my family and is it not the family as equally important as making a career”.
“Yes of course it is equally important if not more and I am not undermining this. I apologize if I have asked the wrong question” I said with little guilt.
“No your question is right. Perhaps there is nobody including myself who asks this question these days what makes me happy and what I want to do. I have lost myself somewhere and do not know how to revive.” She said turning her eyes away.
I could see a little bit of pain on her face and sudden realization that she had lost herself in all these years and does not spend enough time on her dreams.
“ Your blogs were extraordinary & always gave me a different perspective. I can’t see any of it now” I said
“Oh.. You used to like my blogs, those crappy articles I used to pen down without much of a thought?” she said laughingly.
“I am 100 percent sure that you can give tough time to biggest of economists with your blogs” I said emphasizing
“Leave it Ryan. What are you doing in your life? How is everything?” She asked me.
I realized the sudden change of topic as I felt a submissive face which I could have never related with her in DSE.
“I am economist in HT Media. I live with my wife and 2 year old daughter.” I said keeping it short deliberately as I was still perplexed with 2 different images which were both exactly opposite.
“Great Ryan. Nice meeting you. I need to go. I will catch you later.” She said
“Sure Saba. Was nice meeting you after a long time. Please let me know if I can be of any support.” I said moving away and playing with Yusuf’s cheeks and saying bye!!
On the way back to my home while driving my car, I could not get Saba out of mind.
How come she lost that zeal and confidence that she called her blog crappy?
How come she lost the entire gamut of dreams she had in DSE?
She could achieve such greater heights, but she is fine with this life as well and very happy or am I reading too much into i..?
Do women need to lose their self and strengths to maintain right balance?
As I reached home, Ruby, my wife came out running in to see me.
Looking at her I suddenly thought of Saba. I went into comparison with Saba. Ruby is also a gold medallist in medicine but working tirelessly to support me and balance the family. Has she also lost her self and dreams..? I asked myself.