Smriti was waiting patiently, it was her 25th birthday, Vikas has thrown her a surprise party and all her friends were there but her heart was not there. Amrita had called in the morning, after so many years but Smriti recognised her voice in a second, how could she not?
She had grown up with her, they practically were twins for first 18 yrs of their life before Smiriti left Bhopal for Mumbai and after that they gradually lost touch. Smiriti had infact forgotten about her...completely.
Amrita’s call in the morning brought back a lot of happy memories. Memories of fun, fights, laughters and love and amongst those were a memory of her 15th birthday.
Memory of a pact...memory of a letter written 10 years back.
|Photo by Ramas Gecas|
Amrita had called to tell her that she has posted her letter last week and Smiriti should have gotten the letter by now.
In her heart Smiriti knew that she would be getting the letter anytime now. This thought was giving her chills.
This was a letter from 15 year old Smiriti to 25 year old Smiriti. It was a pact between two best friends to chalk out a future plan for their life....
She vaguely remembered writing the letter, with a lot of hope and excitement. She really hoped that she has not disappointed 15 yr old Smriti.
The bell rang and the letter had found her way to Smiriti’s house.She excused herself from the party and tentatively opened the letter.
“Hey Me!!...congrats you are 25 year old today and this is what I think you are as a 25 year old young lady
You have finished your education and are employed somewhere
You are under 50 kgs of weight, have no braces and can be called “Hot”
Not living in Bhopal
Not living with parents
Have a boyfriend/prospective husband
Have travelled to atleast one continent
I want to add a lot more to the list but I know you would still be a mortal soul at 25 yrs...so this should be enough
PS: If by any chance you have not achieved anything or everything from the above list and you still live here with Ma Baba...You dork!!!!!!!! I still love you and I am sure you would have achieved the most important thing by now.
You are “Happy and content” with whatever you are, and I am proud of you!!!”
Smriti was really surprised after reading the letter, even at 15 years of young age, she had the wisdom to foresee a really simple and uncomplicated life.
And she was relieved that she had fulfilled almost all the wishes on her list (she was an MBA, quite good looking, working for one of the best business houses in India, was married last month and there is one extra little surprise to look forward to) but above all she was very happy and content with her life.
She immediately called Amrita to tell her that she will keep the pact and write a letter to 35 year old Smriti and will mail it to Amrita soon.
Ten years down the line.....
Smriti had just finished a very important meeting and had clenched a client from competition’s jaws. There was celebration in office, people were shouting her name, there was a long queue of colleagues waiting to congratulate her, to shake her hands but Smriti knew all these will go back and openly speculate about her success in the company...each and every one of them. She had moved up...reached a rank in the organisation that others only dreamt of..
Smriti knew she had climbed the success ladder directly or indirectly stepping on all their dreams but she didn’t care. She had no friends but she didn’t care. She is living the dream of any middle class girl from a small town.
Suddenly she realised her cellphone was ringing. She thought it has to be some stupid client at this unearthly hour...it was a familiar number. She strained her eyes and her memory, what is this number? Ohh its from Bhopal...May be Ma was finally calling her back.
She hurriedly picked up the phone and was shocked to hear the voice on the other end. It was Amrita, calling her to wish her a happy birthday and to inform her that her letter had reached her home address.
Smiriti with a lot of difficulty mumbled a thank you and kept the phone down. All her old memories came rushing back, they were pushing the old vulnerable Smriti to come out. She couldn’t take it anymore and ran from the office not caring for the gaping eyes at her face...Why is her face wet? Why can’t she see properly? Is it raining? Oh god she couldn’t believe it she was crying. After years she was crying and she thought that her tears had dried up after Vikas left her 3 years back.
She reached home and the letter was at the door waiting for her.She took a deep breath and realized she will have to open the letter and read it, for her own sanity.
“Hey Mumma...wish you a very happy 35th birthday...
I know you are a very happy and doting mom (I sincerely hope it would be 2 kids by now)
I hope you have a very successful career
Vikas has managed to break even in his business and is earning profits now
You are under 60 kgs
And a yum mum (You know what i mean!!!)
PS: It’s ok if you do not have a successful career I have heard it can be difficult to manage both career and kids. I am very proud of you and I know you are still happy and content”
With the letter the world came crashing down around Smriti, she remembered when she was writing this letter she had just realised she was expecting.....
The old painful memories were coming back "How she was offered a very lucrative offer in US immediately after her 25th birthday with a condition to join immediately, how she decided to terminate the pregnancy without telling Vikas...she remembered his hurt face when he came to know about it"
And post that they just drifted apart but she never realised how drastically things were changing.
She remember the day 4 years back, her doctor told them that it will be very difficult for them to conceive if they waited any longer. This was the first warning sign...
Vikas wanted to try right away and was willing to throw away anything for it. He begged and reminded her how much she wanted a kid when they first got married. But she thought she was still young (Though in her heart she knew may be her body was saying something else but she pushed the feeling down) and accepted her next project.
Her body kept telling her to slow down, warning her that there was something wrong, something is dying inside, something is changing forever but she kept ignoring and burying the voice down.
Finally 3 years back she decided to do the tests.....her worst fears came true. Her body had given up, the chances of them conceiving was very rare.
By that time Vikas and her marriage was already on the rocks and this proved to be the last straw.
Smiriti was holding the letter and crying inconsolably. How did she reach where she was?She has not only distanced herself from anyone who loved her but she has also distanced herself from everything she loved and ever wanted from her life. She has disappointed even her 25 year old self
There were so many warning signs...she knew in her heart something was wrong. The reminder was there...days after days, months after months. Why did she not see those warning signs?? Rather why did she see the warning signs and still ignore them?
Then suddenly she realised the warning signs are still there and now she will do something about them. Smriti forced herself to get up and made a promise to herself
"She will sculpt a better life for the 45 year old Smriti"