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They Were Best Friends, But Due to Covid They Had To Part Ways…

These best friends were called 'Jai-Veeru' from Sholay and 'Rani-Vijaylaxmi' from Queen. Now, due to Covid, one of them was moving away.

These best friends were called ‘Jai-Veeru’ from Sholay and ‘Rani-Vijaylaxmi’ from Queen. Now, due to Covid, one of them was moving away.

Siya looked up at the clock, as she had done several times that morning, and tried to get back to her writing. There was something different about the atmosphere in the house today. The only sound that could be heard was the click-click of her laptop’s keyboard. Even Siya’s son and husband had quickly gauged her mood and quietly gone about their work. They knew better than to disturb her when she was in such a mood.

The reason Siya was in a bad mood was that she had found out the day before that her best friend “Mahi” was moving to another city. With the possibility of a third wave of COVID coming, Mahi’s in-laws had asked her to come and stay with them for a few months.

Mahi and Siya used to live in the same building and would meet each other every day. The other people in the building would affectionately refer to them as ‘Jai and Veeru’ from Sholay. Mahi would disagree saying they were actually ‘Rani and Vijayalakshmi’ from the movie  ‘Queen’. This would bring a smile to both their faces. Their friendship had the same glow we often see in the eyes of cute mischievous children. One could easily spot this glow even in a crowd.

The two of them had even formed a ‘Friends Group’ on WhatsApp for the women of that tower. Gradually a lot of women from the tower joined that group. Together they would share their happiness and sorrows through WhatsApp messages. Siya always told them that along with fulfilling their respective responsibilities, it was also very important to take time out for themselves.

Once a month, everyone would leave the responsibilities of home and children to their respective families and celebrate the whole day like ‘Friendship Day’. Everything was going great. But then suddenly, COVID gripped the world and everything changed.

Over time, everyone got busy taking care of their household and family responsibilities. They rarely even wrote on the WhatsApp group. By the time the first lockdown got over, the ‘Friends Group’ had drifted apart. Not Mahi and Siya though. They had continued to support each other through this period despite not being able to meet.

Despite being extremely busy, as there was no household help available, they made it a point to keep talking to each other everyday over the telephone. Like this they got through two lockdowns. But, now Mahi was about to leave, and the grief of her friend leaving was intolerable for Siya.

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Coming out of her reverie, Siya looked at the clock again and banged her laptop shut in frustration. She had been trying, rather unsuccessfully, to write something since the morning. She was simply too preoccupied to work. It was, after all, at Mahi’s insistence and constant encouragement that Siya had started working again professionally. Mahi too, had joined her old office where she used to work several years ago. Both of them had stopped working when they became mothers.

The pressures arising from the impacts of COVID had started taking a toll on both Siya and Mahi. Where the two had once been full of joy and laughter, they were now bogged down with problems related to home, family, in-laws and the like. Now whenever they talked, the conversations were heavy with sadness and anger.

One day both of them decided that they would no longer waste their time and energy on such negativity. They would instead focus on something more productive. They decided it was time they got back to their careers. They were filled with anxieties as the road would not be easy. Getting back after such a long break is always fraught with difficulties. But, confident of each other’s support, both of them were ready to embark on this new journey.

Between the job-hunt and the responsibilities of the family and household, at times, it felt like everything was falling apart. At such times Siya and Mahi became pillars of strength for each other and ensured that they kept moving forward. That is the mark of true friends after all, they are always there when we need them the most!

Siya would often ask Mahi, “Is it a crime to take a break from work to take care of my child?” Despite having the talent, companies were not willing to consider candidates that had taken a break for parenthood. This attitude was bothering both the friends as it seemed akin to discrimination.

Then, one day, Mahi hinted that Siya should utilize her talent to do something about the situation. Siya quickly understood. She tweeted about the discriminatory mentality in the industry and tagged everyone she knew, on it. The series of tweets continued for several days. Eventually the hard work paid off. Mahi got a job in her old company and Siya got the job of a ‘content writer’ for a popular website. It was time to party for ‘Rani’ and ‘Vijaylakshmi’!

Coming back to the present, Siya paused to think. Mahi was leaving the next day. When would she be back? Would she come back at all? Circumstances had already caused most of her friends from the school-college days to drift apart. But no more! She would ensure that this relationship did not wither. This was after all a relationship she had chosen herself. Siya got up and called Mahi and made plans to meet that night in the central park of the society.

Around 10 o’clock that night Siya got a call from Mahi – “Where are you? I\’m waiting for you at the tower entrance, Hurry up!”. “Coming!”, replied Siya and started walking towards the lift. When the lift-doors opened, Mahi noticed the enchanting aroma of freshly-brewed filter-coffee was coming from the two mugs in Siya’s hands.

Mahi was filled with delight as the two friends rushed towards each other. In their eyes was the same childlike glee that was a hallmark of their relationship. With their coffee mugs in hand, they moved towards the society lawns. Forgetting the impending heartache of separation the two friends talked to their hearts’ content.

“If we get to live our relationships like this instead of feeling the burden of maintaining them, what could be better?”, said Mahi laughing. Siya laughed too and proposed that they take a selfie before going back to their respective homes. With the unspoken vow of sharing their joys and sorrows and being each other’s support systems, despite staying in different cities, the two friends decided to head home.

Mahi went back, content in the belief that she would spend many such evenings with Siya once things went back to normal. Siya too decided to get back to her story, now that meeting Mahi had lessened her anxieties and sorrow to some extent. From a window nearby, was coming the tune of Siya’s favourite song – “Kahin to ye dil kabhi mil nahi pate, kahin se nikal aaye janmon ke naate”.

Image source: Still from ‘The Married Woman’ 

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About the Author

Ashlesha Thakur

Ashlesha Thakur started her foray into the world of media at the age of 7 as a child artist on All India Radio. After finishing her education she joined a Television News channel as a read more...

6 Posts | 13,232 Views

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