I recognized her even after a gap of 25 years. She was the only friend I had and one day she just vanished. Frankly I also did not try to find her. I was going though my own problems and she just slipped into some remote corner of my mind.
The restroom of a swanky mall was not the kind of place to meet an old pal but what the heck I was ecstatic to see her.
I waited for her to finish. I remembered some common friend mentioning about her unsuccessful marriage but I never knew the sordid details which I was about to discover about her life.
Our eyes met in the sparkling mirrors and obviously she did not recognize me. 25 years is a long time. She felt uneasy of my stare.
” You aren’t doing a good job in concealing Sonya ” I remarked.
She turned crimson.
“Sorry? How do you know my name and what do you mean not a bad job in concealing ?”
The only other thing that had not changed in all those years apart from the mole on her chin was the spark in her eyes though it seemed to have dimmed over the time.
“There is always another rainbow my dear ” , Reminds you of someone ? ” I smiled again.
“Tikuuu , Oh my Gawd girl” and we hugged. We were filled with emotions so strong that they held us together for a long time.
“I need to go sweetheart but we will catch up this weekend .I am in Delhi these days.” There was an urgency in her voice or was it some fear I wanted to fill the gaps but held my curiosity.
We exchanged numbers and she left after giving a quick tight parting hug.
I kept looking at her slim figure scurrying past the mall mongers until it vanished from the eye.
I knew something was not right.
She didn’t call.
I was itching to dial the number she had given but couldn’t muster up the courage. I had seen her failed attempt to hide the marks on her face. Was she going through domestic violence or was it something else. The thought came like bile in my throat. Why is it that some of us go through a lot of hurt and disillusionment in life and yet can’t find the door to freedom. Is it that we search too hard and miss the opening. Maybe we look for doors and miss the window or the fire escape. We grope in darkness and feel the walls and still don’t see the faint light streaming through that one escape route.
With brimming eyes and heavy heart I made my way down the accelerator and made a brave attempt to look good in front of kids. We collected the stuff and came home. They filled with happy thoughts and I with a whirlpool of emotions and questions to which even I had no answers.
Last month , after a gap of two months, I got a courier. A diary. Sonya’s diary with a note which said –
” Hey tiku,
You were right about me not being good in concealing. Even the practice of so many years has not made a pro. I had to rush to meet a client. I am at the threshold of a life changing decision and had no time to explain it to you and I know you wouldn’t have been satisfied with short answers. So sorry buddy, hope you understand. I am sending you my diary and by the time you get it I will be gone to another town.
I know about what you are going through ;). Surprised ?
well ! I read your blog and discovered an old pal who poured out all the details about you.
To tell you the truth you yourself are no good at concealing.
😦 Be brave.
Wish I could do something for you. I think it is time for you too to look closely at your life and move on.
Maybe reading my story will help you heal. Share it if you wish. Maybe some other woman will get courage to live her dream by reading it.
I know you write about issues about women even though you were never a feminist.
I wanted so much to sit down over a drink and catch up with you but I knew it would have been a traumatic experience for both of us. Also I had no time.
Will get back to you when I find a foothold in my new life.
Lots of love sweets. You are in my heart always .Terribly missed. Keep writing .
I stared at the crisp white sheet till the blue letters became a blur. Neatly I folded the letter and ran my fingers on the smooth leather surface of the diary wondering what lay inside the hard covers.
I will be sharing some pages from Sonya’s diary with a hope that it will maybe light up some heart somewhere and maybe just maybe some woman will find courage to break the chains and fly free.
All names, places have been changed to respect the identity of people involved.
By the Way Sonya was a name she used while writing poems as a girl. ;).
I will try to bring it all to you as she shared with me. I will report incidents which I think are relevant to share.
I know she will be reading it too.
So here is to all the caterpillars and the butterflies within them.
Diary of a woman interrupted
I will name the posts with DWI page 1 – 2-3 or something like that to keep it connected.
Trust me It has been hard for me to do this. Very hard.
Looking within always is difficult and this has been a kaleidoscope of memories, dreams, hopes and much more.