Today and Forever

Doubt thou the stars are fire;

Doubt that the sun doth move;

Doubt truth to be a liar;

But never doubt I love.

William Shakespeare

“Omg! Look
at them they were best friends once, and now they find it hard to even
communicate with each other.” Ruhi said annoyed to Soha.

“I bet we won’t be like this, I cannot even imagine this, not in my sane mind. Nope my
darling, not us!” exclaimed Soha.

Both, demure then, made the easiest promise, “We’ll always take out time for each other,
even if our days are swamped with the never-ending commitments of our lives.”

Ruhi and Soha, sat there on the swings smiling, with their hair swaying in air. Oblivious to
how life brings the most unexpected surprises when you’re busy enjoying your
mundane chores.

It was exactly 3 weeks later that Soha broke the news, “I am changing my school, you
know there is no art faculty here.”

Ruhi was left aghast. She could never picture herself sitting alone on their classroom
desk. She could not imagine any other dance partner in her duet dance
performances. She could not come to terms with the fact that Soha would finally
end up making new friends.

Soha’s assurance brought Ruhi back from her half-conscious state, “Its Ok, dude! We’re
definitely going to meet and take out
time to listen to each other’s problems.”

The next 2 years passed like breeze, and to their relief nothing seemed to change.  

One Sunday morning, Soha visited Ruhi.

“Ruhi beta, Soha has come to visit you.” called Ruhi’s mother.

“Coming Ma!” shouted Ruhi.

“Soha, what gets you here, this is so odd of you visiting without a call, Is everything alright?”

“Perfect Ruhi! More than perfect.” said Soha. Her eyes were articulating everything, her
happiness, her excitement, and her dreams.

“Omg, Don’t tell me you proposed Diggi! Wow!” Ruhi’s eyes shone with happiness.

“Calm down, Ruhi. Its…its more than that. I got admission in one of the top arts colleges.
I, I … can’t believe it yet. The letter came yesterday.”

“That’s a great news, so where are you going?” Ruhi said astonished, knowing
everything was soon going to change. There was a look of betrayal in her eyes.

“It’s in Mumbai! Can you imagine? I’ll stay there, all on my own. I can’t stop jumping.”
Soha said with a certain playfulness in her eyes.

“I am happy, but it scares me, I am going to miss you, Soha” said Ruhi with sadness in her
eyes.

“Don’t worry my love, we’ll take out time to talk on phone, and our days will be sorted.” Soha assured Ruhi.

The day finally came. Soha had to leave for her college, to fulfil her dreams, to lead
a kind of life she had always wanted.

“I’ll miss you, Soha,” said Ruhi hysterically, her eyes filled with tears. Her heart
managed to stop her from speaking the words that nobody around her could
decipher. Little did she know it was the end of an era.

Train left, the sound of whistle resonated in her ears, and Ruhi kept
standing there, waiting for the train to disappear. She felt paralyzed,
reminiscing the moments they lived together and the promises they made. With heavy heart she left for her home, the home that would only remind her more of what she had always hoped for, and how it ended.

Days passed, and in everything she did, she would long for
the company of Soha, and moreover, now, she did not even have a slight hope of
things getting any better. She could feel the walls staring at her, she could
feel that void in her life.

Soha would visit her hometown intermittently, finding it only harder each time to adjust in the society full of judging eyes. With each passing day, distance grew wider, and the communication reduced to formal phone
calls. Many a times Ruhi’s calls would go unanswered, and the conversation would end up with many new excuses. Ruhi could feel Soha going away from her, getting busy with her new life. It was time for Ruhi to move on and start
working on fulfilling her dreams of becoming a writer.

“It’s Ok,
Love. She is busy with her journalism course. You should be happy for her
progressing and moving forward in her life. Physical proximity hardly matters when the bond is so strong, as this.” Ruhi’s mother said her in convincing
tone.

“Ma, Its not about her being busy. I am wondering how many more promises we must make in life. Are they always meant to be broken?” Ruhi’s eyes were filled with tears.

“Not always beta. I am always here with you my love. Am I not your friend? You promise
you’ll always be there for your Ma?”

“I promise, Ma.” Ruhi said with a gleefulness in her tone.

Years passed on, Ruhi and Soha became oblivious to each other’s sorrows and happiness. Their
meetings would end with formal greetings. Ruhi, in her heart, was still waiting
for a friend who had assured her that she would take out time for her in the hour of need.

One fine day, pregnant Soha was sitting in her room, tears strolling down her cheeks.

“What happened Soha? Is everything all right?” asked Diggi.

Soha didn’t acknowledge his presence, she kept sitting there with a long-fixed stare at the wall. She could hear Ruhi, her laughter echoing, she felt as if she was trapped in the walls that were closing on her. She could see her in all her childhood stories, and she could not hold back her thoughts of how she betrayed her friend, who was only longing for her support.

“I bet we won’t be like this, I cannot even imagine this, not in my sane mind. Nope my darling, not us!” These words started echoing in her mind. The long-lost words, the long-lost promise, that she failed to keep.

“What happened Soha, will you tell me for god sake?” shouted her husband, Diggi.

This brought back Soha from her trance.

“Ruhi is no more! She met with an accident while coming back from her village.” Soha cried
hysterically.

Diggi wrapped his arms around her, but Soha was inconsolable. She somehow gathered
courage to attend her last rites.

After the last honours, Soha decided to pay a visit to Ruhi’s house. Upon reaching there, she could not control her tears looking at the house, where she spent maximum of her childhood. She could still see Ruhi, in every corner of her room. Still bright, full of diaries that hold so many stories of her adolescence.

She stumbled upon an old diary of Ruhi, that she would never let anyone touch. Her heart skipped a beat upon reading the title, and which pretty much explained why she never got married, and why she kept waiting for her friend, her only friend.

Soha, Today and Forever!

O my friend,
I make a promise today, you shall find me here, till my breaths betray,

We’ll meet
in the same playground, talk about life and mend our wounds,

You can find
me here in spring and autumns, in winter and summers,

Dancing to our
favourite tunes, drawing the same stars and moon,

You can find
me here anytime, drenched in the rain, covered in the mud,

With my
sagging skin and hoary hair, you would always find me here when you’re in
despair;

O my friend,
I make a promise today, I shall be there when you need me any day,

Like the
fragrance never leaves a flower, I’ll never abandon you in any difficult hour,

When you’re
here to visit our old playhouse, you’ll find some withered books and my
dollhouse,

Read the
poems that I wrote about you, see the pictures I drew for you,

Like the
flowers blossoming on the trees, I can see your face beaming and at ease,

O my friend,
I make a promise today, you shall find me here, till my breaths betray;

 

5 thoughts on “Today and Forever”

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