The 36 years that separates the pictures couldn’t have been better for us. Naturally, there has been happiness and sorrow, agony and ecstasy, much failure, and a few specks of success. To begin with the losses, our parents and some wonderful elders are no more, but frankly, what hurts most is death of friends. It began with Siladitya (Sen) a few years ago.
Suhita (Sinha Roy) lost her brave struggle against complex syndromes in 2010. Then, 19 June 2011 was the happiest day, and the saddest. Our second grandson Toto was born that day, and Joe (Joy Joseph Manimury) died in an accident. Suhitadi and Joe didn’t know each other and were very different individuals. The common things about them were their brilliance, sensitivity, and kindness. Rarely do we come across people with such a blend of head and heart.
Arundhati and me were happy then; we are happy now, with much to be happy about. Our children have grown up into – we think – “good” human beings. Moumita has joined us, and Haroun and Toto have arrived.
The first picture was taken by Damu. Damu and Nandini are one of the finest couples we have been blessed to have as friends. In India, we don’t go to a counsellor when we are down, depressed, or suicidal. We turn to friends. I always turn to Damu when I confront something I can’t handle, and he has never failed me. We have also been fortunate to have friends like George-Molly, Rajagopal-Bhawani, Uma Sankar-Indrani, Gautam-Suktara, Soumya-Ruma, Saswati-Ashokda, Shyama and Santanuda, to name just a few.
In the 36 years that separates the photos, the earth has become warmer, and we, greedier. The earth has also become smaller, but our neighbours have become distant. We no longer visit friends without appointment. New phrases like the Internet, global warming, mobile phones, living together, etc. have come into our language and lives. What will we be after 36 years? And I?
Que sera, sera. What will be, will be. But in 2048, I’ll post another picture of us on my blog. Watch this space, Buddies!