It was another short trip to Madras, it was wedding reception of my friend Gayatri, who has been my inspiration when I just needed it..I was meeting her after a decade. I never met her after she left for the US. She has been an inspiration to me, from the time I knew her. I was 21 when I met her, and she was 22, we met through a common friend, who was actually my cousin. Gayatri's mother is a renowned carnatic music singer but she never depended on her family to support for her education. She completed her masters in Bombay and left for Ohio to do her MFA and then ended up doing MBA in Arts management. As a 21 year old, I was worried about getting a sanction for every action of mine from my family and only then I would be at solace. I was telling Gayatri about how my brother was influencing me to pursue science and MBA, than economics. You know Sharada. my sister tried telling me that too, do MBA, why ART management, it won't pay, but for us it is the sheer passion that is the driver of life. I was listening to her in full attention. I was seeking her help for my Ph.D apps. I remember spending long hours with her. Walking down from Wadala station to her house, talking to her and relishing food made by her mom, and chatting with her granma. Those were the lovely few days. Soon, it was time for her to bid adieu. She left for the US, with a full scholarship. Indeed, I was proud of her and I knew what I had to do to be like her. I followed my heart, and completely did what I wanted, despite many oppositions. I remembered her a lot. We lost touch...months ..years passed..sometimes I would get her emails..Sometimes her mother would tell how busy she was..
I never met her..One day, she suddenly buzzed me and I chatted with her for a few minutes. That pepped me up. We got back in touch but on and off...And one day, she told me she is coming to India and she is getting married. My joy grew no bounds, of course for the fact that she was getting married, but more for a reason that I was meeting her after a decade.
I went to the venue and my heart stopped looking at her. You look stunning, she said as I went and hugged her..Wished her, spoke to her husband and chatted a bit. Later I spent time listening to the Manganiyars, a folk music group from Rajasthan who graced the occasion. I spent time with her sister, who was a stunner. Didi was pleasant, like her.
I also got a chance to dance with the Kalbelia folk dancers on stage that day, it was fun, was doing spot the celebrity on the side. There were so many of them. :)
In between, I kept bumping into Gayatri and we must have hugged like 10 times by now. It was time to leave. Gayatri was moving to London after nine single years in NYC. I will miss it, she said. Thanks for coming dear, she said. Suddenly, she turned back and said, Sweetheart, you mean the world to me.
I gave her another parting hug. If there are inspirations in my life it is from two women friends of mine-Gayatri, and Shweta!
Gayatri, I love you!! :)