Monday, June 02, 2008

The Blue Sweater

I was very excited about going home the first time after I started working and moved to Bangalore. It was time to celebrate Diwali and, incidentally, my birthday. Having never missed celebrating a birthday at home, I was pleased at being able to keep up the tradition even after moving out!

My best friend was also in Nagpur then. She had moved to Pune after we graduated and had taken up a job there. So we were seeing each other after almost four months. As our habit during college days had been, we both took off to run some errands, catching some coffee and snacks on the way, run some more errands…Ultimately, we ended up in the Piramyd mall for our evening coffee. We chatted our hearts out before hitting the women’s-wear section. Since it was my birthday, she wanted to buy me something. After ambling through the aisles, we singled out a white-coloured Pepe Jeans T-shirt. But she thought it would look better with a sweater. So she bought me a blue-coloured Provogue sweater! Happy Birthday Anu…

I took good care of the sweater for most part; always got it dry-cleaned and used it only for special ocassions. Everytime I wore it, it would remind me of her and of the good times we had spent together…

Of the times when she borrowed my pyjamas when we had a girls night out at my place, times when I borrowed hers when we were sleeping over at her place, times we made cold coffee close to midnight while she constantly tickled me to annoy me (and succeeded!), times when her mom made Vanilla ice-cream for our night-out and she was excited as a child all evening about it only to end the affair with one spoonful of ice-cream before declaring, “I’m done” while I and my other best friend tried our best to finish it (now people know why she was the thinnest among the three of us), times when we had heart-to-heart chats till three in the morning and others when we made all plans of staying up all night but dozed off even before the clock struck one!

We had our differences. There were not many things we did similarly or agreed upon. We didn’t have the same hobbies. We had totally different temperaments as individuals. Yet, when she was around I just had this comfort zone to hang out in. It just felt familiar and good. And it was this feeling that made me call her my best friend.

She got married last November. She was the youngest of the three of us and we were quite surprised that she should be the first one to get married. Being at her wedding was slightly weird – I did not want to let go of her, yet I knew there really was nothing to hold on to…just warm thoughts and happy memories.

A few weeks ago the blue sweater went into the washing machine with my other clothes (I do not remember when I started washing it at home…maybe after she got married…she wasn’t ours anymore) and due to some stupid piece of garment got yellow marks all over it. I was crestfallen at first…it was my favourite sweater…it was a gift…it was a gift from her!

But this past Saturday, I came home soaked to the bone in Bangalore rain and even after I had changed into dry clothes I was feeling quite cold. So I pulled out the blue sweater, as I wouldn’t be wearing it outside or on special ocassions anymore. It felt so good to be wrapped in that sweater – warm and cosy.

In that moment I realized what a good thing it had been for that sweater to get stained! Now I could wear it all the time…whenever I was cold…whenever I was feeling lonely…whenever I missed her. As other responsibilities, marriage and work build walls between us and I hardly hear from her, I have found a way to feel her around…I have found a bridge to the good times, to the memories, to her. Maybe someday she will walk on the bridge too and we will smile about all this. Till then, I am going to make do with what I have of her…warm thoughts and happy memories…and a blue sweater.

3 Thinkers Pondered:

Satish said...

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.
~From the television show The Wonder Years

Satish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anupama Kondayya said...

The removed comment was a duplicate of the preceding comment, thats all...

Hey Satish,

Thanks for the comment :) ...I love that show The Wonder Years, leaves me choked many times, the way it underlines simple, obvious yet unappreciated truths of life.

One of these days, a post is due about that show too :) ...I have been catching up on its episodes.

I really appreciate you stopping by at every post and leaving a comment. Just wanted to tell you that it means a lot to me that someone reads and appreciates what I write :) .

Till the next post,
Take care.