“What about Apple?” – she would drop me a line on Facebook. A few minutes later and few messages more, our plan is ready.
I’ll take the car early afternoon, pick up Ameeta from home and drive to one road in Aundh with all our favourite places – Apple, Starbucks and Crossword. An hour in the beauty parlour, followed by a good cup of coffee, – is our way to take a break and unwind. If time is in hand, we’ll take a few meditative rounds in the bookstore, surfing through new releases or picking up next reads.
Trying to break a pattern of mundanely busy life, we’ve created our own pattern, which transformed into a monthly ritual of friendship. Ameeta is an architect, I’m a designer. Working with our husbands, we both know the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship.
Brunette with flowing glossy hair, I remember meeting her for the first time at their home. On the way, Mr. Sharma just casually mentioned that it’s going to be a dinner with new friends. Amidst architecture and design chit-chat, Sudhir and Krishnendu were playing with tiny Jihaan, who impatiently crawled and twiddled things around. After a few rounds of delicious home-made pizzas and baked chicken, Ameeta showed a miniature garden she had beautifully crafted in a huge glass bowl. Charmed with this art of design and gardening, we were pondering, how to name it. That evening ‘Life on your table’ was born.
Thereafter four of us would catch up for coffee or dinner. In those rare meetings, I measured the time which had passed, observing how Jihaan has grown. Since they moved to a neighbouring lane in Baner, we get together spontaneously and more often. After few years of knowing each other, me and Ameeta started going out. I’ve discovered women’s friendship as the new facet in this friendship of four.
Behind her subtly calm demeanor, I found an affable and soft-spoken person, an elder friend, who’s there to support and advise. We don’t talk much, but when we do, it’s meaningful. Strong yet impalpable, our friendship is difficult to shape into words. It’s more about deeds rather than words. And let others think it’s about books and coffee.
I was carrying the tray with chai at parents’ place when the phone rang:
“Where are you guys?” – Ameeta asked.
“At parents’ place. What’s up?” – I murmured, pressing the phone into my shoulder.
“We’re on the way back from Mahabaleshwar and got some strawberries for you…”, she continued.
“Wow, thank you so much! We will pick it up on our way back.” – I promptly replied, thinking to myself, “This is one friendship I’d love to write about”.