When I came to Mumbai, I wasn’t looking for friends. Colleagues, casual acquaintances, yes, but not friends. Especially not long lasting ones. But then, I met Tina. I hadn’t acknowledged her presence (nor had she acknowledged mine) until after the first month of coming to the same class. We just happened to bump into each other on our way to college once and surprisingly, much to our delight, discovered we live in the same building. Since then we’ve practically been inseparable.
It was so easy to like her. She’s a typical ‘baavi’, a Parsi to the core. In love with her religion, and in love with love. It was fascinating to know she was engaged at 20. She was different from my peers. While the others were all busy trying to get down to business, Tina was busy spreading her charms. Studies were (and still are) the last thing on her mind! Not that she wasn’t bright. She just had very different priorities from the rest of us. She’s rather stay home and take care of her ‘Goolu Maasi’ than finish assignments. Or pay a visit to her in-laws. Or tend to the many relatives of hers that kept streaming in throughout the year. Or go shopping! It was so lovely to have someone as refreshing as her to talk to after a harrowing day at college, ‘coz Tina is always smiling.
It’s amazing how easily I put all my trust in Tina. She’s one of the few genuine people left in this world. Observant like hell, she has funny interests. She likes noting down bus numbers and knowing where which one goes. She likes hospitals for God’s sake. She’s shit scared of butterflies. She makes the funniest sound ever, when she gets hiccups! She loves buying gifts for anyone and everyone. She sleeps in class. But every time you mention the word ‘Parsi’, or ‘Hyderabad’ her head pops up and her face breaks into a smile (‘coz she’s from Hyd and loves her city)! She goes crazy when she sees a ship (coz her fiancé is a shippie). And she simply loves taking ferry rides.
We’ve had so much fun together. The best time we had was when we went to Alibaug with our respective boyfriends, and she gave me tips on the art of seduction! Silly girl! Right now, she’s down with typhoid and is admitted to the hospital. I’m so worried for her. I hope she gets well soon. Miss her crazy antics so much! Gonna miss her all the more when I get back home. I am so used to seeing her around, she’s almost like a sister to me… it’s gonna feel really empty without her in Delhi. She better pay me a visit… Tina, if you read this, just wanna let you know…you’re really special, and mean a lot to me. You’ve really made a difference in my life. Thanks for being who you are…love you lots! And get back home pleeeaaase!!