It had been almost 19 years since I last saw her. She and I were in boarding together and like with camping friends, one makes a very close bond with boarding school friends. On Aug 28, 2013, she walked into my house. She looked at my place, I looked at her face and even after so many years, I instantly knew that wheels in her brain had started moving. Sure enough, after a couple of days, she asked me gingerly, Golooooo (that is what they called me in school when, I was nowhere even remotely near gol), would you mind if I reorganized your place. By that she meant CLEAN and REORGANIZE. Now, I must clarify that I lived in a very nice, simple 1 room apartment in Green Park in Delhi with a big terrace in front and a forest for a backyard. Also, I am by no means un-organized, unclean or unhygienic but my friend being who she is, suffers from OCD about a lot of things. After a few misgivings, I said, “sure, but two rules. One, neither you nor I, am spending any money on it. Two, don’t expect me to help”. She said, “sure”. And sure enough, next day when I came back from office, I found the entire room upside down. On the floor lay two clear piles of footwear. I looked at her askance. She pointed to one of the piles and said, ‘you have to throw these out’. Now, I do have a fetish for footwear and, at that time, I had 35 pairs of these. She had decided that I should get rid of 20 pairs at least. After some serious negotiations, we decided to retain a couple and rest were turned out, to be disposed-off later. A similar thing happened to a certain pile of clothing that evening. After we had cleared the room, we finally settled down for the evening.”
Next day, I started getting jitters coz it was the day kitchen was to be cleaned. God knows what all she might decide to throw. Also, I had began feeling a little guilty about her doing all this work in and for my house. So, I decided to take half a day off. I walked in to find all the bartans and bhandaas out under sun……sunning themselves. There was a very civilised looking stranger sitting with Deepa and both of them were
cleaning/ sorting bartans and eating bhujiya. I was mortified. I immediately went to the lady and apologised profusely on behalf of my friend, who I was sure, had blackmailed her into spending the day cleaning her friend’s home. Cleaning someone else’s kitchen can’t possibly be anyone’s idea of a day out. But, she laughed it off. I made some tea for both and after some time, she left. We decided to go to the market and despite the rule, bought a
few things. Well, I had made the rule and I am not Salman Khan so could certainly break it. We spent the remainder of the evening, organising my kitchen.
On the third day, I came back from office to find the entire house looking beautiful and totally spruced up. It turned out, she had amazing domestic skills and could organize in a way I never could. It was not only more organised but looked a lot more aesthetically pleasing. I had lived in that house for 7 years and in 3 days, she had turned it into a home. It felt wonderful. I was able to stay in that home for another 5 months only, but it was a wonderful time spent in a home made really cozy by a dear friend.
Well, that’s the thing about close friends, specially the boarding school ones. You grow up together and they are like your foster family. In some ways, they know you better than even your own folks who, you met for only 2-3 months in a year. Rest of the nine months were spent in close quarters with friends. No other friend could have done this for me and I can never take my other friends for granted like this.
Deepa darling, you are a Rockstar!