A few weeks back, we planned a pajama party at a friend’s house. Her parents were away for the weekend, so we thought of getting together to have some fun, considering that our exams were just around the corner. 😉 Well, we were just chit chatting with popcorn and Pepsi, waiting for the Pizza, when Anju, the host abruptly stopped us to make an announcement.
“Guys, I have something very interesting to show.”
And, suddenly she left the room. We were expecting something immediately, but it took her quite a while to return. But then, we were already joking and giggling. When she entered the room, we were more than eager to see what she had brought- is it her new dress, a pair of new jewelry, new shoes, a text message from her crush- WHAT, we were going crazy with ideas?
Slowly, she took out a book—A BOOK? What on earth was so special about it? As far as we knew Anju, she wasn’t the kind of girl who could be excited by books. Anju came forward and placed it on the table, and all of us poured in with excitement. It was not a book, rather a diary, a pretty old one, but the pages and writings were intact. It had a unique, nostalgic smell.
She opened the diary, and something was written in a beautiful calligraphic style. It was written in Hindi- “Pal- dosti aur pyar ke” (Moments of friendship and love). We wondered why Anju was so excited about this- has she written all this? Seemed very unusual, though.
She carefully flipped on to the next page. It had a breathtaking illustration of a beautiful face of a lady – a pencil sketch. Next to it on the other page were handwritten words, which looked like a poem.
Anju started reading it. It spoke about a girl, who was so different from others. It described her beauty, her grace, her elegance. It was so soulful and mesmerizing, with words so beautifully chosen to depict a girl’s beauty.
We went to the next page, which again had an amazing sketch of a girl, in a different mood, It looked like the same face, we had seen on the page before. Again, there was a poem, describing on her first meeting with a boy.
As we kept browsing through the pages, each one had a beautiful picture, and an accompanying poem, all about a girl and her everyday life. Anju kept beautifully narrating each one of them. We were so engrossed that we had no clue of the time. Suddenly, our trance was broken when the doorbell rang.
Anju got up and left, “it must be the pizza guy.”
The pages of the diary were moving under the fan. I noticed something. Each page had a date- and to my utter surprise, it dated back to the early 1940s. How come Anju has this diary, which is so old? Whom does it belong to? I was more intrigued. I was about to turn it to see if it had any names, but Anju returned with the pizza boxes, and I didn’t get a chance.
Ayushi asked, “Whose diary is this? Where did you get it?”
Anju did not reply to the question, she sat down, and said, “Guys, just enjoy your pizza and let’s read till the end.”
The poems narrated a story- how a girl came to a new neighbour, how the boy-next-door helped her get into college, how they became friends, how the boy gradually fell in love with her, how he got to know that the girl only considered him as a friend, how she had fallen in love with someone one, how the boy was always by her side, listening to her every story, her emotions, her moments of happiness and pain, how the boy was never able to express his love, and one day, how the girl left the city and went away.
It sounded like a tragic movie plot, but each emotion was beautifully depicted and had a lesson for everyone. It was a story on how a girl shared everything with this boy, but he could never his true feelings with her.
Gradually, we received till the midway of the diary, and suddenly, there was an abrupt end- an incomplete picture and poem, which was never written till the end. Rather, there were two marks, which seemed to be like tear drops, which smudged the ink.
By that time, most of us had tears in our eyes. It seemed so relatable, like a real life story.
Malavika asked, wiping her tears, “Where did you get this Anju? Is this a real life story? Do you know to whom it belongs to?”
Anju was sitting quietly, she had a weird look on her face. She spoke up, “Yes, it is a real life story. Yes, I know to whom this belongs to. It belongs to someone in my family.”
We almost dropped our jaws. I spoke hastily, “Your brother?”
Anju nodded. “Uncle?” She nodded again. We had run out of options.
Anju closed the diary and replied, “This belonged to my grandfather. Tears rolled down her eyes.” Her grandfather has passed away a few months back. She had gone to their paternal house, and found his diary in his belongings. She never mentioned this to her parents or anyone else.
We were about to disperse, when suddenly, Anju spoke again, “Guys, there is an entry a few moths before my grandfather died.”
We stopped where we were, whatever we were doing. Waiting for an unexpected suspense, we sat down again. Anju went to the page with the most recent date. It had yet another sketch of a very elderly woman, and a poem beside that. It spoke about how she is still beautiful, after all these years, and still today he could not express his feelings when they met, unexpectedly and went for walks for a week to the same park. It ended with “Yeh pal hamesha mere dil me rahenge- dosti ke aur pyar ke.” (these moments will always be in my heart, of friendship and love). It also had a note that said, “Kaushalya, I loved my wife, Poornima, every moment of my life, but I guess I could never become her friend like I was to you.”
Anju’s grandfather met Kaushalya, his neighbor, his first love and his friend after 60 years. He had lost his wife and she was a widow. Though their love never happened, their friendship was alive till the end.
Half Girlfriends are not only a recent fad, but they used to exist way back in time too. Finally, Anju said, “I wish to gift this dairy to Kaushalyaji, but I don’t know if I should.” She looked up at us with a question, for which none of us had an answer.
Check out the HalfGirlfriend Promo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmlBnmyelHI