‘You could have come,’ expressed my Mumma.
‘But, I had to study; exams are around the corner and there is no one similar to my age group in this colony,’ I licked a drop of tea which was about to drop off the mug while responding.
‘I understand your apprehensions, but don’t you consider you shouldn’t postpone celebrations, to be precise snatch some time from your studies and enjoy the Navratri. Also, don’t fret about you being only there, Meera will accompany you,’ Mumma tried driving her reasons strong with full proof arguments.
I, little surprised, raised my eyebrows, peered around and counter questioned, ‘Meera! Who is Meera? I haven’t heard her name before this.’
‘Oh! Yes, she is from the neighbouring colony.’
‘Oh! I see,’ I whispered while gawking at the colour of tea and directed myself to make a tea of this colour every time.
‘So, how do you know Meera? I mean you haven’t spoken of her name before,’ I asked suddenly, yet analyzing on a tea colour.
‘I and her mummy had sat on adjacent chairs, so in no time we started talking; Meera was also present there. But you should meet Meera; She is adorable, pretty girl, plays Garba gracefully,’ after telling this Mumma moved to the kitchen.
And I drank the last sip of a tea like nectar. By this time, Meera had already established her footprints in my curious mind, so I quickly moved to the kitchen, while placing a mug into the basin I demanded, ‘so tell me more about Meera.’
‘Now you aren’t getting late for studies? Go and finish your targets, come there in the evening and explore her,’ Mumma replied while doing vegetables and left no chance to seek a single counter query as she wanted me to go out to enjoy Garba.
I passively started advancing towards my room while thinking that why mothers are always smart? They know how to cut short a conversation.
The whole day passed in the labyrinth that what would I wear in the Garba function. I ended up wearing traditional dress only. I was totally delighted to meet Meera, of her I’ve heard plenty by now. And I was elated owing to having a Garba partner.
The moment I arrived at the ground, it was the pleasant aroma around, cheerful faces and lots of illumination. I started deep breathing as I wanted to fill myself with festive tranquillity. I was looking at everything around me but my eyes were scanning for Meera and there she was wearing a yellow colour traditional costume with a blue dupatta, long black hair, fair skin, about five feet height, symmetrical body.
‘Hey! You’re looking fabulous, nice Kangan!’, I complimented when I found her.
Immediately she acknowledged and inquired if I liked her Kangan. I responded affirmatively. She was wearing traditional jewellery and every one of them was exclusive, but I admired her Kangan more. There was a spark in her voice; she wasn’t just a beautiful girl, but I could feel the purity of her soul.
Echo of the sound didn’t allow us to converse enough, and we joined Garba. My Mumma was right, I noticed she was performing Graba flawlessly and her steps were uniquely blended in her style.
I was fortunate that at least I could meet someone of my age to play Garba with, we both were playing Garba in a flow and suddenly she urged me to continue by stating that she requires some rest and would join in a moment. I continued and as promised she joined me after some time.
I was about to ask her to modify Garba steps, and she again summoned me to continue and went off to take a rest, this time I could see she was having breathlessness with profuse perspiration. I too, followed her just to make sure that she is ok.
This appeared quite strange to me. After a scant pause again we started playing Garba. But this process continued till the end, she would take a rest after every odd ten or fifteen minutes and I would feel stranded.
The next day, I chose not to go because of exams pressure had started haunting me and I didn’t want to take a chance. When everybody was playing Garba outside, I was brainstorming the anatomy of the human skull. But I couldn’t focus on studies as thoughts of Meera’s behaviour kept taking place in my mind, I certainly have had enjoyed her company last night but couldn’t understand the reason for her taking a frequent rest which was fairly unusual for the individual who is Garba freak.
Suddenly, doorbell broke the chain of my thoughts.
‘Meera has brought this for you,’ my Mumma said while handing it to me.
It amazed me to have an unexpected gift and before I could inquire anything in my Mumma had left for the Garba.
With enthuse, I instantly unwrapped it and there was a lovely pair of Kangan, absolutely analogous to her Kangan. I was overjoyed that swiftly rushed to the Garba ground just to thank her. But, there I found that today she had left early.
I was sad that I couldn’t thank her at the earliest for the magnificent gift. But I resolved, I would go next day and acknowledge her.
To my astonishment, she didn’t turn up the next day too. I guessed she might have gone to some Garba clubs as it was absolutely expected of her being a Garba lover.
Then I got busy with my exams and studies, afterwards, I changed the city for a job and I couldn’t get a chance to meet and thank her.
‘Hey! do you remember Meera? an adorable girl who gifted you a beautiful pair of Kangan; She is no more! She was suffering from blood cancer…’, my Mumma updated over the phone. I couldn’t pronounce a single word, I was stunned.
I promptly opened my jewellery box and all I could observe; teardrops slipping on a pair of Kangan…
Note: This is a true story of my friend Meera. It’s been roughly six years now she left this world. No, I don’t repent that I couldn’t get the chance to thank her because I believe her gift as blessings as she showed me how to cherish life even when counting last few gasps; She was full of life even in her last days, She was an angel. Whenever I miss her, I just pray that she should shine in all dimensions wherever she is; whatever she undertakes.
Life is unpredictable, It is remarkably certain and highly uncertain at the same time. Sometimes, it provides so many chances to meet and stay in touch with loved ones and sometimes, it doesn’t allow a single chance…!