The phone rang and I rushed to pick it up.
“Hello” said the caller.
“Hey Sheetal, how are you? How was the reunion ? “
“Howz everyone?Radha,Sailu,Smita,Priya ,Sonali,Vijay,Rohan….?”I just spoke up as many names as I could remember of my batchmates in a breath.
Sheetal was among the few friends I was in touch with since I moved to US.She almost called me every week from India giving me all the updates she had from her so called”links”.
Sheetal had just returned from a reunion organized for my graduate class.
“Oh,everyone is doing great.
Radha still wears those old fashioned dresses.
Priya is good but you know what she has many problems with her inlaws.”
“I never knew she’s married?”
“Yup,she is. Actually her husband is wonderful.Highly qualified n all.Solid salary hogi re uski.They have a bunglow in Juhu.”
“Wow great. She was such a slow learner but she got lucky.”
“Yeah,but arey when she goes to her in-laws place na she has to wear ghunghat”
“Ok .“I didn't think much about it.Every home has a few rules.I knew Priya's mom she was quite orthodox,so I thought Priya must be ok with it.
“What ok? In this modern world who wears ghunghat."
“And Sonali got divorced.She has a 3 years old kid.Bacche ke liye adjust karna chahiye na.”
“hmm sad.”I was shocked but did not react much as I thought its not a good idea to share my feeling with Sheetal at this very moment.
And our converstion continued for a while.
Some friends got what they deserved while some didn't.
That night I was thinking about Sonali.” Bacche ke liye adjust karna chahiye na.”
Sheetal who thought wearing a ghunghat was a strict no-no ,thought Sonali should make a BIG compromise.
Sonali whom I had not meet for about 7 years ruled my mind for a couple of days.I spoke about her to my husband.
Some part of me had started hating her.
She was a mature girl. Always among brilliant students and a pretty good actress.She won the best actress award for all the dramas she acted in.I always felt the guy who will marry her will be lucky.
But maybe as days pass by things had changed.
That night mom called and thought I was sounding nervous.
I told her about Sheetal’s call.She never knew who Sonali was,so I had to explain her from start to finish and after 30 mins I hanged up.
Then the following week Sheetal called back and I said I was upset for Sonali.
She told me that she saw Sonali with another man last night.She was having dinner and seemed happy.
Maybe he’s just a friend I thought but I started hating her more.
I was then in India for a vacation.I gave a visit to mom’s place and then she took up Sonali’s topic and we had a long conversation. Mom gave me example of a few “K” and Saas bahu serials in which a few mad ladies took few silly decisions and ended their marriage .Grandma told me how my generation has changed compared to theirs and we don’t call and treat our husband pati parmeshwar.To be true my 4 hours visit to mom’s place was highly influenced by Sonali,a person no one except me had ever met.
On my way back ,I accidentally met Sonali. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a tight hug. Her touch said it all.She was sad. She told me she tried to save her marriage but could not. She was working for a MNC and had just return from a corporate dinner. I have to work hard and pretend to be happy at least for my kid.I could sense that.She told me how hard she had tried to convince her husband (even though he had an extramarital affair) not to go for divorce as she was worried what impact it would have on her little one.
She invited me at her home the very next day.She had a lovely son and she was an amazing mother.
Not for a moment did she show in front of her son that she was having a touch time.
I advised her to stay in touch and assured her that things will work out well.
She said with a smile and tears in her eyes, ”Very few people recognize my fate smile and you know I am a very good actress.”
That day passed by and I thought to myself how much I have hated her for past few days.
Just a phone call had changed my, my husband’s and my parent’s thoughts. I wondered “Do I have to make a phone to fix the matter up?”