Friends Forever! Really?


Tanya… a beauty with lot of brains. Her height and long, black wavy hair strikingly made her stand out from the rest of our group. She always tied her hair in a bun, except for that thin, long bundle which she kept loose as if to allow it to flow on her pretty face. I always felt, she was partial towards that particular bundle of hair. It was her trademark. Did I envy her? No. How could I? I loved her to the moon. I was so proud to have such a gorgeous friend 🙂

Me and Tanya had been together for ages… together in school and inseperable in college. One common thing that brought us more closer was… we dint have boyfriends. Actually, we dint need a boyfriend. We were the thickest of friends. She was my valentine and I was hers. We came from different faiths. But that dint stop us from being together, sharing our happiness and our lives with each other. We were soulmates.

‘Were’? Yeah… ‘were’… Its been ages I’ve seen her; and more than a decade after we graduated. She came home with a big bouquet; to congratulate me on the evening of our graduation results. I stood second in our college. And it was only her gesture that made me realize my achievement. That was the last time we were happy together.

After that she never spoke. Never answered my calls nor returned them. I never saw again. No, I did. Once, when she’d come to give me her wedding invitation, which she did while standing outside the door of my house. Couple of years before that, we used to study together in the same house, we had such great time together.

I’d been to her wedding. She looked like a fairy to me in that flowing white gown and sparkling tiara on her head. She gave a tough competition to her groom who seemed to be quiet in awe or can I say ‘envy’ of her height. Her heels made her tower over him. Oh yeah, that trademark bundle of hair was still swaying over her face and it looked so happy to me. She looked divine! I went up to wish her, we hugged each other. It was her wedding, but I could feel my stomach churning the entire day. That day, all my prayers were only for her, I wanted her to be happy. While leaving, I smiled and she smiled back at me. Yeah, that was the last time, the last moment we saw each other.

I never did understand why we drifted apart after graduation. I tried to be with her. But seemed she dint want to. She avoided me. Later, she cut me off completely. I missed her so much. I cried, kept asking myself why she was avoiding me. I never had an answer. She could have spoken to me and sorted, fought with me, instead of leaving me just like that. I loved her so much. There was no way I could have hurt her. The question why she went away will be unanswered forever.

I never did forget her. Don’t know why, but I see her in my dreams even today, almost every other night. Those days we dint have mobiles. Her land-phone number was the only connection I had with her. I may have changed a number of mobiles in the last few years, but I always ensured I had her number saved in each one of them. I never called her though. There were whole lot of ‘ifs’ on my mind. What if she dint like me calling her, what if she cut me off again….and so on…

I always remembered her birthday. Last year, on that day I decided to put an end to those ‘ifs’ and  listen to my heart. And I dialed, not knowing or thinking if that number still existed. She answered. I couldn’t have mistaken her voice to anyone else’s, although it was more than a decade after we last spoke. She was married. She could have been in her marital home. But she was there on the phone. Nothing on this earth would have given me the happiness that my phone-call did that day. We spoke for five minutes though she dint seem that keen to reciprocate. I left her my number. I waited that entire year for her call. She never called.

Last week was her birthday. I called again. Turns out, she hadn’t penned down my number last year. And I crazily waited for one whole year for her call. We spoke for ten whole minutes. Five minutes more than last year… I kept the conversation going for that extra 5 minutes. She said that her birth date was registered in my subconscious which is why I remembered it. Really? Was it just the subconscious thing that made me remember her birthday every single year for the past fifteen years? Couldn’t there be any possibility that I still love her? Well, I gave her my number once again and ensured she wrote it down this time. How? I made her read it out to me after she said she wrote.

Two days later, I read a quote somewhere, “if someone wants to be a part of your life, they’ll make an effort to be in it. So think twice before reserving a space in your heart for someone who does not make an effort to stay”.
My eyes struck wide open reading this. I felt as if there was someone shaking me… shaking me to the core, telling me “wake up”. Was that quote for me? I don’t know.

I’ve been thinking day and night over it. I’ve made my decision. I’ll wait one more year till her next birthday and I’ll wait every single day for her call. I really hope she calls. I really want her to call. Coz that will be the day I’ll have made up my mind.


bitesandplaces View All →

Warm welcome to BitesandPlaces!
My humble little blog has its own story to tell… my story… I’m gregarious being, vagabond at heart and have a monstrous appetite for food. I used to be a Human Resource professional until few years ago. To be among, with and for people was the reason I’d chosen this field.
Being in HR, I could only accomplish the ‘people’ part. I still yearned to be in those places I saw on TV and travel magazines and craved to eat all kinds of food that lulls you into coma. I didn’t want to be just a spectator anymore. I wanted to be in those pictures.
Luck smiled at me and I fell sick with an awful heart, lungs and liver disorder. Family said stay home. Rest.
Rest? Were they crazy? I grabbed this opportunity and quit my job; to pursue my passion – people, places and food.

Being on my own gave me lot of spare time for all the three.
I’m not a professional cook, but I’m mighty passionate about cooking. Although Indian, BitesandPlaces does not restrict itself to just the dishes of my country, which are toothsome beyond doubt. I’ve also tried to put together a bunch of mouth-watering and eye-pleasing recipes scattered from all parts the world. A lot of them are a tribute to my mum’s kitchen, the ones I grew up with. Few of them are a result of my experimentation and few others, borrowed from my generous friends 🙂

I religiously follow Andrew Zimmern’s favorite quote – what looks good to your eyes, EAT IT!! After all food is something that follows no boundaries, isn’t it.

Travel, I believe, is about exploring new places, meeting new people, building new relations, soaking in their culture, gorging on their cuisines, discovering their stories and of course, capturing all of these in my teeny-tiny camera.

After having been there and done that, I was inspired to share my travelogues with you, encourage you to travel and in some way find a bit of your happiness through me.
Thus BitesandPlaces was born!

Life’s a journey and people, places and food are all a part of it. So, come along with me and eat your way through this journey called Life…

I like staying connected. And it’ll be a frosting on my cake if you drop a line or two at

Celebrate Life!!!
Natasha Gracious

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