Saturday, November 22, 2008


I couldn't have timed my MBA worse. Its placement weeks and exam schedule, almost conspiratorially clashed with the Indian marriage season (I have always been perplexed as to why humans, specially Indians, unlike other species seem to have a wedding season but no scheduled mating season) and I missed what was arguably the most important event for that year - Liz's marriage...

I met Liz when I was a little boy and she was a beautiful girl, albeit only a couple of months senior to me, and by that logic, little. In all these years, only the "little" part of it has changed. Liz still remains gorgeous, or at least she was when I saw her last year. Back in the little years of our lives, when our ages had just barely reached double digits (and the only concern in our lives was how to emerge a winner in a game of gully cricket), Liz was a revelation as she scurried along the alleyways of our quaint little settings with the agility of a rabbit and the grace of a gazelle. It was her smile that I still remember vividly, for she seldom needed much motivation to break into peals of laughter that would quickly invade the stiffness we guys used to possess and the whole group would subsequently indulge into a merry banter without a care in the world.

I was strangely attracted to Liz for it was an association devoid of the boy-meets-girl romance types. We were a witty lot, with me being additionally chivalrous in letting her get the better of some of our verbal skirmishes but for two people who shared a vast expanse of their lives with each other, we were inexplicably distant, as if restrained by some invisible constraints that never allowed us to be closer than we were. Be that as it may, Liz was special, for she formed a pivotal section of my childhood. We had shifted our residence and the only reason I'd go back to our old place would be to meet her family and those weekends would simply pass in a blur as Liz, her brother and me would tee off on a variety of topics, that ranged from the conventional gossip to career choices that none of us were clear about at those times (I have subsequently discovered very few individuals who are yet clear about their career goals, which makes the acceptance of a lack of clarity that much easier). I don't know how many guys have ever pretended to be an astrologer to hold a girl's palms, but I can guarantee that it’s pretty effective, or at least it was in my case. Sometimes, the most puerile moments of our childhood becomes the most cherished memoirs in the coming years.

The first time Liz and I went out on our own, was when she was going to tell me that she was in love. Booh Hooh? Not really. I was never in love with her, but I somehow felt that I was going to miss a friend (it’s entirely a measure of how good Liz is that till date, I have never felt that she is away) and right from the time the alliance was cemented, I drew flights of fantasy of her marriage. For some unknown reason, I always imagined Liz walking down the aisle of a magnificent church in a traditional Christian attire, and I would be her best man, never mind, till then I had never attended a wedding, much less a Christian wedding.

Nothing that I imagined came true as far as Liz is concerned. The aisle, the Church, me as the best man, never happened. In time, I realized that it was irrelevant, for all my fantasies stemmed from one single desire - to see her happy and smiling, which I know she is. There is only one last thing for me to do as far as Liz is concerned. That is to let her know that she has been one of the most special friends I've ever had and that, it would take an exceptional person to command even half the feelings that I have for her. In a way, almost cruelly, I can see the brighter side (if one can ever exist) of not making it to her marriage, for it left my imagery of Liz unaltered. In the palace of my imagination, Liz is still walking down the aisle, resplendent in a traditional attire towards her marriage, with me as her best man.


honshu5 said...

O'Henry in the making!!!!
Congrats bro, i yearn for more, as ever!

PS: Interestingly, the word verification below is asking me to spell booking. Is that a way of saying you'll be so famous, we'll need to book your releases in advance?? :P

DJ said...

You could have dedicated more PARAGRAPHS describing how wonderful Liz is... :P
tat i'd told you before...made me very nostalgic..!!!

P.S you have a way of twisting something you do actually work in your favor.. :)

sandy said...

Some relations which have an ellipsis at the end are somehow the most cherished ones because the mind has a scope for extrapolating it to zones filled with your figments of imagination. It was a great read.

Kanika Gupta said...

Have you thought about writing professionally?
Your posts make a very engaging read. I envy your flair for writing. Congratulations!

gel said...

Engaging, engrossing, utterly mesmerizing writing!
Your talent shines through here as effervescent as the love in Liz's eyes. I'll return here to read.

Abhijit Karnik said...

A late comer to this party my friend. Guess you have lived the real-life "Fan Chan" (Thai movie, look it up) And as I am about to break the promise of being the best man to a bride, all I can say is, "Yeah, very true"