My most recent memories are from the last couple of years in the US. It was a new chapter, nay, a new ‘Act’ in life’s play! It is Friday night and that brings a relief of sorts. Besides, I leave for India for a few weeks this Wednesday. It is surely something to look forward to, though I must confess that I aint overtly excited about it. Yes – politically incorrect to say that, but I think the level of excitement is a function of age and not so much about situations/people/ things. I hear you: I am getting old!
I busy myself this evening with finally starting to pack for the trip. Half way through, I want to make this experience funner. Besides, its Friday night! With available resources in the refrigerator, I dig some soy sausages from the freezer (a treat for a recent ‘Veggie Convert’ that I am), some (healthy) cheese and some “Wine Enthusiasts – 10 Best Buys” Shiraz ! I do not watch T.V. as, or therefore, I dont have one. I am used to getting a sense of committing sacrilege the way people react to my “no-TV-situation”! Its high time kids textbooks updated the basic needs to : food, clothing, shelter and TV ! So, I decide to entertain myself with a good DVD tonight amidst my “packing dilemmas” – a term women can most identify with; “This or that“, “this one is sexier, but that one makes me look thinner“, “boots or wedges?”… Phew!
Anyways, I put “Sex And The City” Season 4, episode 49: The Agony and the ‘Ex’-tacy . I had not gotten time to watch this DVD ever since it was presented to me on my birthday. I had loved watching it on TV (exception here!) when in Chicago. Aim: uninterrupted and speedier packing for the night. I pour some wine, serve some cheese, dig into the “soysage”as I watch. I remember having watched this episode before. Carrie starts her narration and that is it! Her voice pulls me into the lives of these four women and I get caught in the screen-wine-cheese-‘soysage’ loop…
Carrie Bradshaw (the protagonist) is single, as her three other friends, and is turning 35 today. She is struggling with the “35 (and still single)” concept, her friends don’t turn up on her planned birthday dinner and a whole lot of events make matters worse! But eventually she and 3 friends do get together that night. And the conversation gets into singledom, do- soulmates-exist-at-all and not-having-a man-to-care-for making the night sombre. Its a very interesting conversation and situation of these women that most women of today identify with, more or less. You don’t have to be “35-and-single” to experience I-am-not-as-young-and-my-love-life-sucks. Its then that Charlotte comes up with a great thought which culminates that episode on a wonderful note: “maybe we could be each other’s soulmates and may be we could let men these be great nice guys to have fun with! “. It was such a beautiful and comforting thought (the first part), brimming with the true essence of love and friendship amongst the foursome!
Me and my three roomies during grad school (Smrithi, Athiya and Prajna) were there for one another always! Each of us had a great equation with the other. It was nothing short of special! I loved to watch with “Sex And The City” with Smrithi, listen to her ideas about life and men and fashion and food and shoes! To me it was like listening to this little girl in ponytails talking about life and philosophy! It was rather cute! Though we were years apart in age, and she was from another generation, we bonded. Athiya and me would draw similarities in our situations, our vulnerability and our approach to life. We were the “crazy saggi two-some”with similar ways of doing random worldly-weird things! Be it going biking for hours together or having wine in the University computer lab (carried in tinted water bottles!!) or be it getting a body piercing done one random evening! We always had a connection and we loved one anothers company! Me and Prajna would have discussions on art/ poetry (mostly Gulzar) /movies /relationships. It was a mature exchange of ideas. Being a Bengali, she has a whole cultural heritage to bring into our talks! We have spent nights playing long forgotten random classics on youtube, which would light each other up as we did our own thing in our respective rooms: she working on her PhD paper, and me, if not dragging with my assignment, perennially cleaning…..something.
On cold white nights when the city streets would be buried under inches of snow, our house would be brimming with warmth and activity! Some permutation-combination within the 4 of us would keep the night going! It was so beautiful. To me they weren’t just the roomies, they were great friends! And they could have certainly qualified for soul mates at that point in my life. Other people (read men) in our lives were actually the side characters! As I finish watching this episode of Sex And The City, I burst into tears and get very emotional (hmm… more than one glass of Shiraz …understandable!!) . I only remember my friends who are now scattered around the country. But these are the classic “khushi ke aansoo” (tears of joy) – any Bollywood fan will know what the hell I am talking about! I wipe my tears, close my eyes in a smile and start writing this post feeling good about the wonderful memories we made !