When I was in the first year of my undergrad I got a shocking news that one of my close school-time friend was getting married. I know using the word shocking sounds strange for something as auspicious as marriage of a close friend. In the kind of environment I grew up, education and attaining a qualification that would stand by me in life was considered a mandatory requisite of life.
With thoughts like these, no matter how hard I tried to feel happy from inside I failed miserably. I was in hostel at that time and I remember well, trying to talk sense to my friend. The real issue was, her parents too wanted her to complete her graduation before she stepped in wed-lock but the proposal was too good for them to turn down. The boy in question was from a very well to do family, known to her family from many years and was way older, well-settled and the only son of a rich business family. The boy had met her on a number of occasions and had fallen in love with her beauty and charm. Hence the proposal.
Considering the various pros and cons, her family (despite her mother’s constant insistence on letting her complete her education) got her married at the tender age of nineteen. I couldn’t attend her wedding for it was during my university exams. Days moved on and I lost contact with my friend. Though I did hear about her well-being from a common friend who was in touch with her.
Around eight months later, I was home for Diwali vacations when I happened to talk to the common friend who gave me another shocking news. My friend who had married young, had a divorce. I would have collapsed that very moment had I not taken support of the nearby table. A strange grief struck me somewhere deep. Divorce was too harsh a reality to be understood by my immature mind. I still remember breaking into tears for the news had shattered me completely. When I had told my mum about it (my parents knew my friend and her family well for I had been to her place and she to mine on countless occasions) she too was shocked beyond words.
I never asked our common friend about what had happened, just wanted to speak to her once. But, since all this had happened around a month ago my (now divorced) friend and her family had moved to Mumbai for good and no one had their contact number. Days moved on but this incident stuck to my mind. When the era of social networking dawned I tried my best to find my lost friend but to no good. There were many occasions when I’d talk about my friend to my husband hoping to get back in touch with her someday. The few pictures of us together and many of our childhood memories are now lost since I had taken them along when I moved overseas.
Last year, I stumbled across her profile on Facebook via some school friends. She didn’t have internet access at home and rarely logged into her Facebook account. Though we managed to find a way to stay in touch, not much exchange of information happened (for my ill-health and sudden changes in my personal life made me stay off the Internet). Though I did learn that after moving to Mumbai she had completed her graduation and was now well-settled in a multi-national company. I didn’t have the heart to ask anything more and was glad with the knowledge that she and her family was fine.
To be very honest, I didn’t want to ask her anything of the past decade for I could only imagine how she and her family would have survived those devastating moments. The tough times I am facing today at this age and maturity were once lived by her in those naive years when she would not even have understood what exactly being a divorcee with no educational qualifications to fall back on wold have meant. Even thoughts of her hardships are enough to make me shudder.
Time moved on and after a long time I recently logged on to my neglected Facebook account to receive a good news. She got married last week and is now on her honeymoon. The wall update had some pictures of her honeymoon where I could see her happiness shine bright through her eyes. I can’t express in words how happy I was to learn that finally something good happened in her life. I couldn’t thank God enough for the good news and have been silently praying that may life’s every happiness be a part of her married life.
Her divorce has been one of the very painful memories that I could never successfully put behind me. Whenever I would talk or even think about my school friends, somehow my mind would wander wondering how and where she would be. I can’t help my stars enough for helping me get back in touch with her after a very long time and for sharing with me the good news of her re-marriage.
The song on my mind: