In the year 2008, during my school breaks, I used to walk to my senior’s class to strike a conversation and wished the breaks were longer.
After 14 long years, I met her at her home and still wished the days turned a bit longer.
On Jan 2nd 2021, I (virtually) met my school senior, Rahila Wafa, the one I admire for being herself. Elated to meet her after such a decade or so. Both of us decided to meet in-person to catch up on our lives.
Earlier, we planned to meet during Eid but, due to COVID, I couldn’t travel. I travelled home on various purposes but, didn’t wanted to meet her by chance. I wanted to make our meet a special one indeed. A meet after 14 years deserve to be special one, right?
On 29.Dec.2021 I traveled from Kadapa to Chittoor to meet her.
I started my day at 7 am but missed the direct bus. I hopped on various buses to reach the destination. At first a luxury bus to Raychoti, then a express bus to Pileru, and then a local bus (a palle velugu) to Chittoor. Sitting on these buses, I could retrospect my times in chittoor. Is it really that long since I met her, I doubted.
Finally, when I reached the place, I had to go interiors to reach home. Luckily, an old man helped me to reach the place. I hitchhiked from the main road to the street my senior lived. Even the old man wanted to make this meet happen fast.
Finally I reached Chittoor by 1 pm.
“Abhi, is that you?” she said in her soft voice, watching me from her corridor.
The gate was opened and I see my senior, along with her cute little daughter and their cat, Suzie. I’m living my dream, I thought and couldn’t stop smiling. Finally I’m here meeting her! I told myself.
I was welcomed home by my senior's mom. “Hope you had good journey,” she welcomed me.
How does these reunion meets happen. How do I tell my senior, I’m so happy. Do we need to express everything in words. Our smiles say it all. Grateful for this meet, I told myself.
“Abhi, so happy to see you again” my senior told me. Looking at her, I replied, “You look the same. You haven’t changed a bit!”
After being tanned for three days and traveling without a break, I did not know how I looked but, merry I was to make the meet happen.
Fathima, Wafa’s daughter played around, wanting her mom’s and granny’s attention. “Wafa,” fathima calls her mom asking for a lot of things.
Both of us wrote to each other through slam book and that was our las conversation. I was surprised to see what I wrote then. So naive, honest and full of idealism.
Without a sense of time, we went on with our conversations and wanted to share what we’ve been through. “We don’t know much about each other.” I told her. Thinking, I know there’s a lot that happened in our lives and we dont’ know much about us but, still there’s sense of intuitive feeling towards each other lives.
Over a sumptuous lunch, we discussed Wafa’s art work and our work in education. Coincidentally, three of us are into education sector.
Soon after the lunch, Wafa showed me her art work. “I don’t begin any of my work till fathima is asleep. I try to do as much as possible whenever she’s asleep.” She walked me through her workstation, a place where all the items from Rifat Arts come from- expressions that last forever.
As every hour passed, I wished we had a long day to catch up. Why is time running so fast only now?! I stared at the clock.
While my senior goes back to her work, I chat with her mom, Ayesha ji. Listening to her life experiences and watching Fathima stroll around, we spent the evening, waiting for Rafi, Rahila’s husband to walk into home.
While Wafa was engaged with the call, I chat up with her husband, discussing the business he’s into and the way he arrived at it.
My parents were bothered about how I’d arrive home late. I’m meeting my senior after a decade. It’s okay if I get home late for once, I told and decided to spend a few more hours.
After delicious dinner and a lot of chocolate tart, we had dosa for dinner. For the first time, I had home made cheese dosa. Loved it with coconut chutney.
We promised each other to catch up soon and bid a bye. Rafi dropped me right at the bus, wishing me a happy journey. When I was living in Chittoor then, the bus stand had two platforms, now it has got four!
A lot has changed but, glad to see how our relation is still the same. It’s still the same through many layers. Evolved it may be, but, still it’s the same. Still we’re the same in many ways.
Definitely, I’m ending this year on high note. A lot of ups and downs but, this meet has brought a sense of happiness, gratitude and calmness to the tumultuous life.
Rahila Wafa wrote this piece and asked me to finish it. The more I read it, the more I feel it complete.
A decade and more
We finally got to meet
Dreamy was I all the time
Still feels like a dream as I sit to write this|
I wish the moments just seized, while we
Shared thoughts and smiles
Few untold truths
Few spoken words
And lot of unexpressed emotions
But we smiles silently as a lot of emotions
Don’t need words
How like we both are, I wondered may be
You’re my lost twin