| 1.5 MINUTE READ | Our friendships are sometimes older than us
I was on a one-day work trip to Amsterdam. I messaged her to check if she was free that evening. She had guests home for dinner and I was welcome to join them.
The last time I saw her was almost three decades ago. She was thirty then. Me in my early twenties. In the nineties, there was a slowness in how we arrived into friendships. I first met her at the home of a friend, whose elder brother was working with her on a film. It was another dinner. She wore a crisp sari. Her eyes were luminescent. They watched, waited and listened. There were a few more such meetings.
After that we serendipitously ran into each other on a few occasions. The last time was on the platform of the Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station in Delhi. I took her landline number and called her occasionally. Until at some point, we became friends. When I felt vulnerable, I would speak to her. Get enveloped by her empathetic voice.
She got married, moved countries and we lost touch. Two years ago, I got her number and reconnected briefly. Resurrecting what had become a mythical friendship.
She remembered I was vegetarian and made pumpkin soup. The fresh bread was delicious. After dinner, I pocketed a gleaming red apple. She plucked another from her garden for me. It had a few rotten patches that she carved out before wrapping it. I had it for breakfast the next morning. It was my first taste of a freshly plucked apple. Sharp and tangy.
Seeing her again filled me with an inexplicable joy. At the airport, I received a message from her, thanking me for my abiding affection. I have no explanation for where it arises from.
There is something mystical in how warmth is preserved over such long periods of time towards people we have little contact with. Like a deep karmic bond from another life. That we briefly brush against in this one.
The mystery of the heart is that the love within it is so much older than we are.