Little more than a year ago, ‘face book’ helped a friend who was long lost in the wild to send me a sms on my mobile. It was a pleasant surprise! And I immediately responded with a call. We spoke for well quite a while and then she spoke as much to C too. And, as I felt all the while, whenever she fleeted through my memory, that she must be a divorced mother, she told me that was the case. I was waiting for her to tell me rather than I ask if she was still carrying the suffix , and she said, “Anil, I chucked the fellow out”. I told her I presumed so.
She had impetuously acceded to the proposal of a effete fellow who was the branch manager of the office she worked. After knowing her, I and C , besides some other friends too, felt that , that was going to be an awfully wrong decision that she made. The fellow was not the right kind of a man for a girl like her. We did try to dissuade her, but she jumped the line unilaterally. She told us of her marriage only when that was done with.
And now, she was living in Bangalore with her two sons and parents. I promised to meet her while I travelled on work to Bangalore, but somehow I did not ring her up despite being there often. Though phone calls were common after that, somehow and after my turbulent transplantation from the place I lived and worked for twenty plus years, I ceased to have the mood to call her and be in touch. I see her often on my Facebook wall, but seldom reciprocated, why, I do not know.
There was an interesting twist to how we befriended and how we exchanged visits (I , C ∧ kids),she to our home and us to her lovely ancestral house in a remote country side in Palghat.
It must be about ten fifteen years ago. I got a telephone call to my office. The voice, a woman’s with good accented English at the other end. She introduced herself that she was calling from an International courier company and would request a meeting to see if it was possible to begin business with my firm. I do not remember if I agreed, but she promised to send a sales executive from her office for discussion. She called me a second time to thank for the meeting and the contract. She used to call often enquiring if there was any courier pick-up from my office. She sounded interesting and her language and sense was impressive. She in fact thought all the while that I was someone from north of India. She was, I felt, a bit excited when I told her that I was from Kerala and now settled in that part of Tamilnad. She exclaimed,”Oh gosh, so you are my country cousin that is wonderful”.
We used to in some manner call either almost every day. She invited me home to her parents place, and in fact I happened to meet her once in her office. I told C about this interesting person with good conversing ability and sweet husky voice. Whenever she called, I used to direct rather mischievously, the conversation into fields that was interesting. I felt that she was in a way excited about talking to me and I could feel her keenness to know if I was espoused. On few occasions she told me that she had called the office while I was out and the call was directed to a lady. I was impish in my reaction! One day she said, “I called your office and happened to speak to the lady there, by any chance is she your wife”? I was at the end of my tether withholding laughter (rather wickedly). I guess I managed to deviate the conversation, said neither yes nor no.
That evening, back home I told C about this interesting conversation and my ‘deft’ handling as I put it.
It was the day after or so, C got the call from the Courier’s and she let the “cat out” as I jocularly, but with a little disappointment, commented. The two of them spoke as usual as by then they were fairly at ease in conversing with one other. And C told her that she was not in the office when she called before, the other day and that I,( her husband )often tells her much about this girl from the Courier’s who speak beautifully.
Later, during some time when she called me, she said, "A, I spoke to your wife”. (!)