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Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Something Called Polo"


The year 2008 changed a lot of things for me. I began with a new stint academically. I met new people, I formed new equations.I started pursuing a lot of forgotten interests. I developed some new ones. I also learnt that I could love again – I only had to try a little harder, and believe a little more.

This isn’t a story about how a lot of things changed me, or about how I changed a few things around myself – that will take up a lot of time, and make for many little stories. This is about one of those little stories – about how, among all the changes, something called Polo happened to me.

The first I remember of her is on an Orkut Community for our college. She struck me as bold, really bold – and definitely not someone I could be friends with. But then, we got talking. And we would speak for hours every other day. About the man she loved and wanted to marry, about the man I loved so much but could not marry, about her cocker spaniel, about my pomeranian, about our XLRI and IIM Dads, about the active social life that she led, about the boring existence that was my life. And somewhere, in this jumbled equation of startling similarities and crazy differences, I found a friend. A rock-steady friend.

We decided that when we both moved to Chennai for our MBA, we would be roomies. I was unsure, but I needed the madness, the difference in lifestyle, the change that Polo would bring into my world. And I was really looking forward to it.

But then, I received an offer to study in Bombay. And it seemed like a practical thing to do, because my mom was alone in the city. So I chose it over the other life that I had already started to construct so imaginatively in my head.

Once the MBA course began, we lost touch. But a year and a half later, Polo’s parents moved to Bombay, and soon, Polo followed, with a transfer to my campus. We finally met, and spent the last semester together.

In what would turn out to be another coincidence, we both got placed on the same day in the same organization. While choosing our locations, she opted for Gurgaon and I for Mumbai.

The day before she left, I went to meet her. Both of us were on the verge of starting another phase of our lives. This time too, we were eerily parallel.

With the jobs, staying in touch became difficult again. Once in a while, we would speak and update each other on our lives. She seemed to love her role, I hated mine.

Last year, I changed jobs and moved to a profile of my choice, a job that I love. Earlier this year, Polo got married to Anand, after more than five years of a beautiful, fulfilling courtship. I couldn’t make it to the wedding.

Recently, I went to Gurgaon on an official trip, and met Polo (now Mrs. Anand!) after almost two years. Things were just the same - conversations were easy and from the heart. I told her my parents were groom-hunting and that sometimes it got scary. She told me I was “gorgeous and honest and creative and fun and caring bloody brilliant” and that “I shouldn’t settle for something or someone less”.

I met Anand as well, and absolutely loved the couple. Polo asked me for my approval (yes, after five and a half years of courtship and two months of wedded life!!) and I very willingly gave her the thumbs up.

Last week, I received a random phone call from her early in the morning, when I was at work. “Tanu!!” She shrieked into the phone, and continued, “So I called my mom some time back, and said to her, Ma, go find Tanu a nice guy!”

“Erm…o…kay??” I responded. “Yeah!!” She went on, excited.  “And then I called my mom-in-law, and I told her the same thing! So you are in any case looking right? Always better to have someone who knows you look out for you!”

I wanted to tell her that her mom-in-law hadn’t the faintest clue who I was, but her earnestness, her enthusiasm were way too touching. I laughed and told her she was crazy. And we hung up grinning and went back to work.

After four years of knowing Polo, I think we were destined to connect in the craziest ways. I think back to that first day I saw her on Orkut, and of how convinced I was that she was “too cool” for me to gel well with her. I realize, off and on, that we have counted more and more similarities between our lives every now and then.

Today, four years later, she is still crazy, still bold, still unconventional, still forthright. She is also still one of the warmest, most honest, most genuine people I have known. I wonder what made us click, despite hiatuses in communication and distances in location. And I realize something that I am now putting in words for the first time…Polo and I may keep counting our similarities all our lives, but it is the differences that have kept us really strong. And for those differences, and the intermittent crisscrossing of our destinies, and for the time that something called Polo happened to me, I will always be grateful!!


Much Love,

Me.

9 Words Of Wisdom (WOWs):

Pesto Sauce said...

You two got along not because of differences but beacuase you respected those differences

Nikita Banerjee Bhagat said...

I agree with @Pesto :) You don't find many people who can be close to you and continue to respect and accept your differences.

Mishree said...

Pesto - true :) the key to any relationship,no?

And thanks for visiting again!

Mishree said...

Niki - very true! and thank you for stopping by every time!

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