Friday, February 21, 2014

Friends in need...friends indeed!

***My phone rings. I tuck a lock of loose hair behind my ears, and take the call. His voice is broken… “Call me from the landline, please,” he says, sounding meek. I do as I am told. As I hear his phone ringing, I experience some sort of a forewarning. “Hey,” he says, disillusioned. “Hey, all ok?” I ask him instinctively. “Accident…” he says, his voice trailing away. “Rakesh scratch…” he adds.

My stomach is tying itself into several knots...the bile is steadily rising in my throat. I can hear my heart ramming against my insides. I feel like screaming, but my voice, fortunately, behaves itself. “Are you ok?” I ask him, calmly. “Yeah, I’m not hurt,” he clarifies, easing the knots in my tummy a bit. “Anyone else hurt?” I ask again, and he says, “I don’t really know.” I rush to the office, wanting to be by his side. On my way, I’m thinking about Rakesh, the brand new car’s owner. The knots tighten, the bile erupts like a volcano.***

It was a bad day, no doubt, but it could’ve been far worse; far worse at multiple levels. What if Harish wasn’t driving a car, what if he was on his bike? I think and feel numb. What if one of those guys had died? What if the car belonged to someone else, not Rakesh, who was more than supportive. Fortunately, none of these things happened.

We slept peacefully. Probably the best sleep we got in days. We slept with smiles on our faces, with the relief of having beautiful people around. When I was worried about Rakesh’s new car, people around me consoled, saying the insurance will take care of everything. We slept smiling, because Rakesh was more worried about Harish than his car. We slept smiling, because we had a wealth of having a wonderful extended family. People who care, people who love, people who will shield us from any crisis that befalls us. We slept smiling, because a dear friend came all the way from Warangal, four hours from Hyderabad, just to spend an hour with us, having to go back and take a class, early in the morning.

Financially, we might not have reached there. But we are wealthy...we have earned some of the sweetest, most genuine friends, who are there to stand by us, through thick and thin. And at the end of the day, our friends are all that matters. Today, tomorrow, and for life, it is only this wealth that we would want to earn. Everything else, is just too fickle; everything else is just temporary.

We slept smiling, because that day, God helped us count our blessings, far more than we deserve.