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Once upon a lonely evening, I was feeling low. I was single, and I figured I needed someone, so I browsed through Tinder. I guess it was some weird glitch on the app that bought Maya and me together?
Wait…What?!! Huh. A glitch?
This could be interesting. Swipe Right.
Hi, Jasmine! I see we swiped right on each other 😉
Hi, Maya! Yeah! But I should clarify, I’m interested in men.
When it showed me you, I figured it was some sort of a glitch.
But I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if
I swiped right. 😊
I’m interested in guys too. Like you, I figured it’s a fun glitch.
Anyway, what do you do?
I have my own start-up. Feminine hygiene products.
Reusable Sanitary pads, menstrual cups.
Whoa! Brilliant yaar! 👏
What do you do?
I’m a writer. And an artist. A bit of photography.
Wow! You sure do wear a lot of hats! 😲
Hehe. What can I say, I’m super talented 😜
Anyway, I gotta go now. Will catch up with you later.
Sure! Yeah! Bye 😊
Knock! Knock! 🙋♀️
Hey! 😊 How are you?
Very confused! 🤔
See, the prince married Cinderella because
the shoe fit perfectly. Right? But if it fit
perfectly, then why did it come off in
the first place? 🤔
You know what? I have always wondered
THE EXACT SAME THING!
🤣 🤣 🤣
We’re birds of a feather then.
Want to hang out? It’s Valentines
and I don’t have a date 🤷♀️
I don’t have a date either. I’d love to meet up.
Where and when?
VT station? Near the ticket counters? 7 pm?
Done. See you then 😊
Maya. A walking, talking canvas. That’s what I thought of her when I first saw her. Between her pants, top, scarf and jewellery, she had worn every colour of the rainbow. My blue sundress looked drab in comparison. I soon discovered that she had just as colourful a personality. She was impulsive and talkative. I, reticent and thoughtful.
And yet, something clicked.
I’ve been on several dates since that Valentine’s “date” with Maya, but I’ve never had as much fun as I did that evening. We walked, we laughed, we sat at Marine Drive and ate roasted peanuts. And we talked. Late into the night.
We went our separate ways at the end of that first meeting, but I think we both knew that we had found a friend for life. We kept meeting as often as we could.
Then one day she moved in with me. Her landlord asked her to move out and I had an empty room.
And then, one Saturday morning, she kidnapped me.
“What Mayu? I’m busy,” I groaned as I punched the laptop keys.
“TV is stupid.”
“No. Not in the mood.”
“What do you want to do then?”
“I want to go out. Chal, let’s go on a drive.”
“I don’t have time, Mayu. I’ve got to get this ad campaign figured out. No ad agency is able to give me what I want. Somehow, they all have these happy-smiley women dancing around in these ads. What woman is so extra on her periods? I’ve told them repeatedly, but I keep getting this same old stuff.”
“I know what you need.”
“Come with me.”
“Just come. Where are the car keys?”
“Here. But where are we going?”
An hour later we were on the highway out of Mumbai.
“Mayu, where are we going?”
“Goa,” she grinned.
“Mayu! You fool! Why are we going to Goa? I said I had work!”
“You need a break.”
“I don’t need a break. I need to work. Turn around.”
“No way! We’re going and that’s final.”
“I don’t even have clothes. We didn’t take bags.”
“We’ll buy there. A pair of shorts and some beach tops will cost what..500 max. Chill, Jazz. Such a worrywart you are.”
“Why Goa? What is in Goa, specifically?”
“Well the Travelling Sisterhood is meeting in Goa this weekend.”
“Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants? That’s a movie no?”
“No, dumbo. The Travelling Sisterhood. It’s this group of women who travel to a pre-chosen location every weekend, and then just hang out and have fun. You’ll like it. I met them on Facebook and have been going to their meetings for the past two years.”
“They do sound fun…” I said tentatively.
“They are. Trust me. You’re going to love it.”
She was right. I loved it.
Here was this bunch of fun, accomplished women, just taking a break together. The wind, the ocean, the endless blue sky. It was perfect.
And I came back with a bunch of contacts to help me grow my business. Including Sharmila, who promised to deliver me ads that reflected what a woman really wanted during her periods.
She did. The ads were perfect.
Maya was right. The Goa trip was exactly what I needed. I just wish she hadn’t abducted me like that.
That was six years ago. And we spent these six years together.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Diwali and Christmas. My relatives and hers. Manuscript rejections. Nasty customers. Heartbreaks. House parties. Nosy neighbours. We shared everything those six years. Every joy, every sorrow, every success and every failure. We became sisters.
Till today. Today she is leaving me.
“Hello, everyone! My name is Jasmine, and as many of you know, I’m Maya’s best friend and her maid of honour. What many of you also know, is that Maya and I met on Tinder.”
Laughs and hoots across the hall.
I resume when the noise dies down a bit.
“Once upon a lonely evening, I was feeling low. I was single, and I figured I needed someone, so I browsed through Tinder. I guess it was some weird glitch on the app that bought Maya and me together. But that glitch was the best thing that could ever have happened to me. It helped me realize that what I needed was not a guy, but just a friend. I am an introvert and I find it very difficult to open up, but with Maya it was different. We clicked instantly. We started living together. We started travelling together.”
Loud hoots from members of the Travelling Sisterhood.
“We knew everything about each other. But I don’t know to date what she saw in my stupid brother,” I continued.
Loud guffaws all around.
I’m tearing up now.
“She is a sister to me, but now she is going to be my sister in law. It’s weird that she is joining my family, but I feel her moving farther away. I will miss you Mayu. The house is going to be so empty without you. But I wish you both well. May God keep you both happy and healthy!”
I’m crying openly now. So is she. And I know we will always be friends. Happily, ever after.
Editor’s note: This story had been shortlisted for the February 2018 Muse of the Month, but not among the top 5 winners.
Image source: pixabay
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Vijayalakshmi Harish is a book blogger and writer. To paraphrase her librarian, she is a
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