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My phone rang one fine afternoon when PRs filled my thoughts and the room was of more hurrying, evening having almost approached and the reporters are on their toes, filing the last minute reports.
A new number was flashing. And I had no idea who. But I did pick- not knowing this particular phone call would begin to give my life some interesting turns.
There was another hello from the other side. A voice I couldn’t still figure even if I tried.
Am I speaking to Abigail?
Yes- still a little perplexed
Oh, Hi, it’s me Jimmy. You remember me, don’t you?
Yeah right – Now I remember I’ve left my number for him through Yahoo messengerBlessed thing! You see, half of my joys in life have a part in the virtual world. Our once-in-a-while exchange of offline messages has somehow given birth to this light moment.
‘Oh Hi! What a wonderful surprise!’ I said not quite able to contain such a nice call from a very long lost acquaintance.
How are you? He was asking
I’m fine thank you. How about you?
I’m good. He replied.
So, where are you? What have you been up to? It’s been a really long time hmm?
I know. Well, you’ll be surprised to know we’re working in the same organization.
Really? I couldn’t quite believe the coincidence. But I managed to say ‘How Wonderful!’
So that means I’ll be seeing more of you, yes?
Of course. He said.
Wow! It’s such a small world. For the record I wasn’t even sure where he was before this call.
So, is this your number?
Cool, I’ll save it.
-Formal kind of talk- we haven’t really been talking before you see. We weren’t even great friends so we had to maintain some distance but was it necessary at all?-
Surely we’ll be calling each other. At least I will. No one will perhaps beat me when it comes to keeping in touch.
‘You take care and thanks for the call’- did I tell him?
Bye – and the phone clicked and I was still smiling.
The joy of getting reconnected with an old friend always gets to me. It was so good that we’re working for the same cause. It also means we’ll be bumping into each other more often.
The only difference was we were in two different towns with almost 80 Kms stretched between us.
And then it also struck me that he was a friend I knew for about 6 years now although we didn’t quite know each other all that well before. Talking to him felt like a nice beginning of an old friendship.
The after-thought was nice I thought. But I had to save it for later. Right now there was still work to be done and I couldn’t wait to be walking home.
The usual had taken over. It’s just been a month since I got employed here and I already have the feeling of belonging here from long time since. When I joined, it was the summer of 2008. And I was back to square one. That’s what they say anyway when you come home for good.
You have your degrees in hand. And you’re home. You don’t quite know what’s in store after all the education you seemed to have garnered from the outside world for in a place like this one, jobs are among the rarest things you’ll find. But I managed to slip in somewhere- some organization where news becomes abuzz all the time.
You only hear of ministers and big shots making comments on something or the other and watch with intent, simply because you don’t have any other choice. And you’re digging up ideas all the time. There is no wrong or right but certainly, the best will take the place eventually.
And so, life’s pretty much hearing people talk-making notes of them, bumping into new people every other day, and then you see the same old familiar faces but you are still confused- and you’re trying to place where you have met the particular person.
It becomes difficult then, to decide whether you came across them on the professional front or on a more personal venture. But you still manage to convince them- you know give the ‘we’ve met before look’ and the next thing you are given a knowing smile. Doesn’t quite matter if that’s genuine but that’s how life revolves here.
But days go by. Routined. You almost know what happens next in a program. But you are still sitting there, doing your job- watching, listening, questioning, wondering, whenever the situation arises. And then you flash your digicams. Funny, you have to be taking pictures of those you don’t even care about or those whom you have never known before.
Everyday you are typing- ‘Addressing the session,____Minister said________’ you become so used to it. But the wonder of it all was that I was loving it to the hilt and I was also going home late and late which my parents, of course didn’t think is a great idea. Truth is I was out working and sometimes I couldn’t wait to come home.
I met my friends less and less. Really, there’s no time. 6 days a week you are on your toes. Sundays you’d rather be home relaxing or whatever but too precious to be wasted still. Movies, books, music- however much you love them, you don’t do them too often. Your life starts to revolve around work, work and work.
But okay, I thought, let me dial some number and check how this old found friend of mine is doing-
Hello, how are you? – That’s how one starts a conversation, isn’t it?
I’m fine. He’d answer and then divert the same question back to me.
‘Well I’ve got to be fine to call someone?’
And then the ‘phone talk’ starts- I also realize with this call that it was just about getting lengthier and lengthier.
So what’s up?
You know we talk about our job all the time. Every single day. Actually.
‘You know there’s this programme here today’
He/she will be gracing the occasion.
‘Umm that sounds interesting, I bet you’re gonna enjoy.’
What enjoy? It’s nothing special.
Aww come on, I’m sure you’ll have fun.
‘Let’s see’ would be the usual response. Oh no, sometimes he tells me ‘that remains to be seen’
Hmm…I know how to stay silent. But did someone say silence could be heard too?
And so, he brings something up.
Something real nice. I don’t know, you may think it’s ordinary but believe me, he’s appealing.
We would be talking about the weather- (remember? we’re in two different places)
Sometimes it’s raining here when we talked.
And he enjoyed the scorching heat of the sun there.
I don’t know how he does it but he seemed to love the look of the skies whichever way.
I thought I should be ashamed that I’m sort of complaining sometimes. It’s too muddy, too difficult to walk, too this, that…
And I hear him telling me, ‘it works for me anyway- doesn’t matter if it’s raining or not, cold or hot’
It amazes me. Really!
‘Good for you’ I’d say- something I’ve learnt to say because it seems like there is no better answer for the weather that seemed to perfectly work for him whichever way.
Ya, good for me – he does repeat what I just tell him and I could even hear the smile beaming across his face.
So? – I’m out of words now.
But he doesn’t turn me down.
He begins something nice.
I don’t quite know what it is for sure but I do remember he manages to keep our talks rolling.
And it goes on and on till bedtime. Sometimes way past it. Next thing we are arguing about- no I meant to say debating on whether he or me is sleepy. Truth is, even the slightest sign of sleepiness that was inside me before would fly off when our talk begins.
In the end, we decide it’s time we both sleep whatsoever.
And we say our byes. Goodnights et al.
Hard to come by till I dream some more.
My mind wanders off. Somewhere far.
And before I could figure out where it reached, I’d be in my dreams.
Hi, gud morn
Hpe u slpt wel
See, I love SMSes. Or for that matter, I love mobile phones BIG TIME!
Hey, gud morning.
And we sort of exchange texts the whole day.
Nothing important. Nothing mushy. Just plain texts. Updating each other of our day’s doings.
By then, we have been calling each other and I guess we have gotten better with our talks with the frequency.
My phone flashes
(I have no idea with which name he saved my number, so don’t ask me but I do know I’m not a quitter when I start something)
I keep calling, too much, too often, too many times.
Does he get tired? But I did tell you I’m kind of a crazy girl or did I not? Well I guess I just did anyway!
Another Hello! Echoing… it always starts that way. The formalities they say? How are you and all?
And we begin the rest-
I ask sometimes-
What’s up with you?
I was watching a movie.
What movie? (Inquisitive isn’t always good?)
I don’t know. I started watching half way.
I hope m not disturbing?
Nope you are not. You are interrupting!
Oh? I’m sooo sorry then.
I’m only kidding.
I know, you are always kidding around.
Oh you do?
Yes of course, you are always joking.
-We’d both laugh sometimes- mutual understanding or what?
So what did you do today? I enquire
Went to this place- there was this function- didn’t stay till the end-then the usual boozing.
Really? You must have loved it!
No, nothing else to do.
Oh I see, you drink because you have nothing else to do? Don’t drink too much. I’d say.
Not much. I had only one peg.
Okay good then.
Of course (Man, he has something or the other to say all the time)
So? What plans now (‘twas already almost time for sleep- I mean most people must be asleep by now)
What plans would I have other than sleep?
(And I realize, I asked a stupid question)
Doesn’t quite matter though! Our thoughts are pretty much diverted very quickly. But he leads me on. Most times I swear. He’s quite a talker- but I haven’t yet told him that.
One thing I love in men is when they can talk, really talk- if you know what I mean.
He’s got that in him. Jimmy Long- Goodness knows how much more interesting he can
Let me tell you something as well. He does know how to flatter- makes people happy for a while I guess.
‘You’ve got a really nice voice’
Oh, thank you (seriously, it might sound like m exaggerating but some people I really hold dear have told me that before)
It doesn’t hurt to smile for the same kind of compliment that you’ve received before.
And I was smiling. Maybe he doesn’t know perhaps.
-But we should call it a day- we gotta work tomorrow still!
I love to muse. And I’d do it for anybody at all. Seriously. For a stranger as well, even if it means m alien to him/her.
This talk about musing came up once during our talk.
Did he ask me to write a poem for him? Or did I allow myself to pen some?
Here it is, anyway!
Sometimes when I think of yesterday Of that golden sun in the ‘City of Joy’ And I feel recollection’s worth another tryA ‘virtual reality’ that was once born And those were the days, When passing fancies were made to live Sunshine and promises far in the distance That seemed so close at hand Here at home, destiny brings to me again A surreal meet I’d live to cherish Of that ‘virtual reality’ that was once born And I’m made to believe life’s beautiful fate And so I wish to see you again Just to relive ‘sunrise’ memoriesThose moments that felt like everything was abloom And we’re still young and alive
Next best thing I did was emailing him the poem?
Said, he loved it! Was he exaggerating? Was he trying to please me?
Whatsoever, I penned it from the heart and nothing could have mattered more than that.
We were talking again over the phone.
It was afternoon already.
I wasn’t all that busy and things seemed easy that day.
Light hearted talk- love it anytime, anywhere- particularly because he’s more interesting than most people I know.
He’s special and has come to mean something to me.
One day, we were talking about www.hi5.com
Did I tell you I’m bonkers over it? You’ll find me there at any given moment. But I really don’t know how we started talking about it.
Well apparently he did check my profile. I’m proud of the fact that I maintain it as often as I could.
That night, we were over the phone again.
He brought it up- told me he saw my page and all.
Next thing he was asking me about the ‘committed status’ I have put up on the networking site.
And so, glimpses of the love of my life had come to surface.
And I don’t intend to hide a relationship that I’ve had for almost 5 years now. Mj’s the man- someone I’ve decided to keep and cherish for a lifetime.
There! I’ve let out my love interest in the simplest way possible.
It’s also only natural that I get interested to know more about his love life.
“How about you? Do you have a girlfriend? - there goes my question.
Yes, he answers
Oh! Nice. What’s her name? What does she do? Where does she stay? Where is she from?- you see that’s part of the problem I face sometimes. I ask too many questions without being too certain if the person on the other side would be interested to answer.
But I did tell you, he never disappoints. And so he tells me all of it. Perfectly. With that, our friendship has probably grown a step higher.
We’re turning out to be good friends and nothing really beats it!
Another morning at work, I was so much taken by my best friend’s poem titled ‘Star’- that reading it made me almost wish the poem was for me. But well, it wasn’t. Loved it to bits nevertheless and I reread and reread.
I also have a problem of not being able to keep things all to myself.
And so during our next talk I tell Jimmy about how much I love the poem.
He teases me- tells me that I must have some romantic liking for my best friend.
Of course he was kidding. He was always KIDDING.
Somehow, that or something else drives us to talking about musing again.
Nice thing is that we both love to muse.
And well, I don’t quite remember if it was my insistence or his intention to write
one for me but the poem did make me feel so good about life.
He didn’t give it any title- but who cares anyway? Just the thought of it has already made my day. And I could come back for some more joys when times have long past.
My spirit rises up from its day relapse When a gentle voice rings into my senses And unannounced, my mind will revive, Though the day has worn me out; And my body craves for a dead evening. My heart has a clue how this came to pass, Though the mind confess of no inklings Well, the heart refuses to let reason slip yet' Knowing well fate would one day decide. As now, a voice will stirs up my emotions...
Took me some days to get over the poem.
And I swear I loved it while it lasted.
August 20, time was 5:00 AM I woke up- very unusual for me to be awake. But for some good plans I’d still forego my beauty sleep.
And it’s still raining and raining, result of which, the by-pass is in deep troubled waters.
Something came up.
We decided to do a story together. Actually it was the Editor’s idea.
Plan was to go to the only Juvenile Home at Perima.
First time it didn’t work but really, there was no harm trying and I was glad I did although I never got down to the place.
Next time, I started off early on a very bright morning.
We were to meet at the middle- halfway from Dimapur, halfway from Kohima.
But you remember that I mentioned about the terrible highway.
Reaching there was a disaster. The cars wouldn’t move an inch. We were stuckevery other passenger’s anguish was growing with the ticking seconds.
Lucky for me that I met a common friend- turns out to be my co-passenger. And we talked, walked, looked around, complaint some and wished more than any other day in our lives perhaps.
Jimmy calls in between. Tells me he’s already reached and waiting.
And me? I’m likely to be stuck the whole day.
Nevermind. He waited. Sweet. Real sweet. Talks to me, gives me great company, makes me feel nice.
But time was running out still and he had to go back.
My trip down was all without purpose now.
Yet, I decided to go down to Dimapur anyway and get back just as soon. After being stranded for 5 hours, it felt free. The relief of seeing the cars moving was comparable to none.
Down and further down we went.
Smiled, I did because it finally meant the waiting was over.
I was disappointed that I couldn’t meet my boyfriend that day. Hard luck? That somebody in his neighbour passed away?
Thank God for friends anyway!
Jimmy was there- the sweetest person of the moment.
He came around. We met- and then remembrance plays its part. Reminds me I’ve met him before. Once, that is. But it felt good that we’re meeting here on a very bright day like the sunshine is compensating for all the waiting at the highway.
And of course, all the talks we’ve had the past days had made it even more nicer that we’re seeing each other in real and actually talking. Again!
Many people accuse me of being absent minded. Well, for one, he always tells me that I’m too forgetful- maybe he never meant it? I don’t know but I do remember in detail the memories of that day.
We walked in the sunshine. I felt dirty from the dusty trip but what does it matter? Nothing beats good company- we did have a drive? Whatever you call it! And I remember walking into a restaurant. My poor battery was dying then. Thanks to recharging, thanks to the owner. Thanks to Jimmy.
Momos and Chowmein- Chinese food rocks big time!
Sat there at the table. Talked some. Laughed more. Smiled the most and the day’s apparently coming to a close.
Did someone say every good thing should come to an end?
And I was to get back- alone, on a taxi, late.
But it’s no trouble at all.
I didn’t get to the Juvenile home but it was worth going down after all.
I had one of the loveliest days in my life.
Journeying back was still fun-
Gave me time to think- to unwind- of knowing someone nice a little better than yesterday or so I thought.
We sink into the details of the day again and I give way to more talks about me. I call him just because. The usual follows.
Hello, how are you? What’s up and et al.
For a change he happens to be at his girlfriend’s place.
And the normalcy of the frequent talks feels like it’s a little displaced.
So I decide to make it short and sweet. But was it sweet?
Catching up later has become a phrase we picked up since the time we started talking too much, too often.
Will catch you later- and the phone clicks again.
Sometimes I hang up and my head is full of things- not that I recall much of what surged through my mind.
Anyway, that was that and the day seems easily done.
Full of reporting and filing them.
At times I get too tired to even read through what I’d written and so I leave it to the Editor’s care knowing she’ll do the needful.
I get home late.
My dad always greets me well when I get to the door.
And Lydia sweetly brings me tea. Can’t imagine life without tea, without a family, a home and friends of course.
In a while dinner’s ready.
But the tea I had was no appetizer so I forgo the chance of a family meal.
Only much later, all by myself in the kitchen, I’m seated doing nothing else besides eating.
At home, the food is always, always sumptuous.
That’s one reason why I love being home from the very core of my being.
Sometimes in the late evening, we get to start talking at home. Dad tells me my job demands too much of everything from me and suggests I quit.
And then, I get a little annoyed. But I also know that he says it because he cares.
Yet, it’s hard to listen to those things and smile because the profession I’m in is something very close to my heart.
Anyway, easily forgotten, that!
And I’m in my room doing petty things. Well, not really petty- I meant to say things I love. For instance, start up my pc and listen to some music and typing down my thoughts… sometimes I’m with my books. Yes, I don’t think I can quite survive without those engrossing novels.
Once I was reading “The Kite Runner” got my heart soaked and at the end of it, I get a different feel and then the next best thing is to dial a friend’s number and there goes our conversation again.
How are you? What’s up? – have those become too mundane and boring? But I haven’t really grown tired of asking or hearing them.
I can’t quite say if he has started to find it a bore but I guess it’s still the way it goes.
By the way, did I tell you he’s adventurous?
He’ll take you for a ride to the most unimaginable places.
He’ll bring up the most unimaginable ideas.
He’ll put in new thoughts to your head that you actually begin to wonder awhile.
He’ll also make you laugh more than you thought you are capable of.
And the above are just a very few reasons why I enjoy talking to him more than anybody else right now.
Okay, let me also be fair and tell you that I have a Best Friend and a Boy Friend, both with whom I enjoy talking almost as much. But for the record, Jimmy tops the list when it comes to talking and never tiring-
That night I think we talked for hours. An hour has become a non-issue.
From talking about the day’s affairs to the streams of moonlight falling outsideI was reminded of my stay in Delhi where my best friend and I took moonlight strolls and we always loved it.
He disagrees that Kohima has no pretty lanes for strolls.
And me, being a faithful Kohima-nian
refuses to agree.
It’s like a debate- a fun one.
In between, I giggle and laugh. Seriously, I am capable of laughing from long time since but with him, it’s become even more frequent. And easier perhaps.
He’s also one Straight Forward Guy.
He’ll tell you right in the face what’s on his mind. But it doesn’t hurt still. Wonder how he does it? Well, I don’t know it myself but I’m still in awe of the fact that he’s someone who won’t hurt another soul-
But did I just say too much in favour of him? Part of it is that I favour him more than the majority of my friends and another thing is that it’s true to the best of my knowledge.
It’s like he is a mind reader or something or does it mean I’m too transparent that it’s so much easier for people to know what’s going on in my mind?
However, ‘they’ do think Scorpions? But don’t get an inch of what it says. but they’re never really
I’m secretive- did someone say that’s a trait of the me wrong. I’m no horoscope follower- neither do I believe And I’m not all that secretive either. I do keep secrets too much. Very little and very personal.
See, I’m drifting away from the topic.
Yes, so he could tell what’s on mind many many times. But of course I was always very adamant to admit he’s right. Ego? Nope, I think it’s more to do with the kind of conversation that wells up from disagreement so let’s say it’s for the sake of it.
He found it easy to study me, me thinks.
He’s come fool- but four. How joys, and told each
to know me well. Very well. All my good friends know I’m an emotional really, three people knows exactly how that works in me- no, sorry, it’s can I forget to count Esmeral, the person behind my many achievements, sweet memories. She’s across the seas and mountains but we’ve always other, we’ll always be under the same skies.
A consolation, that! And I wish to see her soon, just so that I can also tell her of the exciting happenings in my life.