Monday, December 4, 2023
FictionA relationship the world needs - Raj Purushothaman

A relationship the world needs – Raj Purushothaman


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Sunil always dreamed of achieving something extraordinary. Like any other Keralite youth of his age, he also determined to leave the nostalgic green Kerala behind to go to Bombay in search of a job ever since he graduated from the college. Though the name of the city had long been changed to Mumbai, the common tongue of the Keralites have never been successful in applying that change whenever it came to their ordinary conversations!

Sunil is an average person with ordinary looks and skills. He knew that he is not highly talented to make a difference in the world where he belongs. He still wanted to do something extraordinary in life, but didn’t know what! All he knew was that he had a big desire to succeed.

Migration to Bombay was an emotionally hard decision for him to take. He was so much attached to the culture and climate and the day-today affairs of his neighbourhood that a migration means a psychological transplantation for himself. But at the same time he knew about the huge volume of Malayali population living in Bombay and that gave him an edge of hope. He thought with relief that it is only the time span of finding a job and the friends of his wavelength that he had to face the psychological isolation. It was also a relief to him that whoever in his acquaintance had gone to Bombay in search of a fortune hadn’t been disappointed. But he always envied the people who are fortunate to live in the places where they are born.

Sunil called his classmate Manoj who already started working in Bombay to arrange for his accommodation and pick-up from the railway station. As expected, Sunil passed through his initial days in Bombay with much difficulty. He went through the local newspapers thoroughly to see if any ‘walk-in-interview’ would end his search for employment. He called wherever his skills would fit in.

One morning a girl answered one of his phone calls and fixed an appointment for his interview. He was interviewed that afternoon, and to his excitement, got selected! But the boss who knew of his lack of experience fixed him in a low salary range where he had the space only for a ‘just living’. Sunil moved closer to the place of his work and started a new life!

The Malayali girl Maya who answered Sunil’s call could very easily make out from his appearance and gestures that he is a Keralite too. She confirmed it with him and very soon they started conversations in Malayalam. Maya, who knew Sunil’s whereabouts from his documents, assumed herself in an elderly role and started calling him ‘Monu’ (a pet name for younger boys in Kerala).

Sunil who didn’t have sisters or girlfriends back in the college initially found it difficult to mingle with Maya. But she took the leading role to materialize the friendship. Maya was single and was living with her friends in Bombay. She realized fast that Sunil was brought up ‘spoon-fed’ and didn’t know even to cook the basic food for himself. She started cooking extra food for him and brought lunch for him every day. Sunil felt so much affectionate to her and they became very good friends fast.

Everyone in the office noticed their friendship. It was a native Marathi girl Varsha who got very much fascinated by their relationship and wished to join them. Varsha joined them for lunch every day and they were happy to include Varsha also as their friend.

Varsha also started calling him Monu although she knew that the pet name was used to call only the younger boys, and she didn’t fall ‘eligible’ for that by age! Yet she liked to call him that name because she knew that the name reflects an immense affection!

Although they couldn’t come to the office together, they started leaving the office together in the evening. They were happy to wait and help each other when someone couldn’t finish their works on time. Few men working in the office started looking at them with jealousy, but seemingly the women weren’t.

Though Sunil was brought up without having to mingle much with girls, he now took pride of taking care of his friends in a turbulent city like Bombay. Life started sprinkling its colours on him…

On Saturdays the office closes at noon and reopens on Monday morning. It became a habit for them to go out on Saturdays and spend the whole Saturday evenings together. During the weekdays they planned on where to spend the coming Saturday and waited patiently for the time that is dedicated to their own enjoyment. They spent their evenings on sandy beaches, temples, watching movies and so on. It was a pleasure for them to eat the Bombay’s favourite Pani Pooris and Paav Bhaajis and stuffing food in their friends’ plates, feeding each other. They shared their personal life that contained a natural spectrum of bright and dark colours, joys and sorrows… They supported each other emotionally and treasured every moment that they could spend together. Although they were talking mainly in Hindi and English, Varsha too started learning Malayalam by this time. Eventually Sundays became boring for them as they couldn’t see each other. But they never missed to call each other on such days…

The salary paid by their company was much less and for that reason most of its employees took those jobs only as a temporary resort for living. Overloaded work and less payment made people to think of escaping to better organizations. Sunil and his friends too consistently looked for other jobs in their respective fields and were helping each other to prepare their CVs.

It is well believed that for any Keralite who is prepared to leave Kerala the favourite destination for jobs is Dubai. One day Sunil found an ad in a newspaper for a job posting in Dubai that looked good for his career. Unfortunately the position was relevant only for him and not suitable for his friends as their fields were different. The application went in and they continued their normal life, working and living as usual…

About a month later, on a fine morning, Sunil got a phone call that he got selected to go to Dubai! That news brought a huge wave of joy and sorrow at the same time. His friends were happy because at least one of them escaped from that office – that too to his dream destination. At the same time the depressing part was that their golden friendship is about to break… Sunil became upset to think of his friends losing their biggest support in life. He even thought of declining that offer for his friends. But whenever he spoke of this to Varsha and Maya, they scolded him with love, yet with sorrow in their throaty sounds. He noticed tears soaking up their eyes…

Finally the day had come to see Sunil off. They decided Dadar railway station as their final meeting place on a Sunday evening. That was the most convenient location for everyone to reach. But on the day before Maya had to go back to Kerala on emergency and it was only Varsha who could come to meet Sunil. Varsha knew that Sunil had the habit of writing notes in diary. She gave him a beautiful diary and a golden pen as her final gift. Their final meeting was eventful as they recollected and went through the beautiful evenings and the memories of fun that they had shared together in the past. They missed Maya very much in that evening. Varsha had to leave fast as she had to reach home before getting dark. They said bye to each other and wished good luck. Sunil looked at Varsha without taking off his eyes as she walked away, until she became a spot and finally disappeared in the Bombay’s crowd… He looked at her gift again and felt her presence still…


Sunil is sitting beside the Dubai Creek, relaxing on a Friday evening. In the sky he saw a majestic Air India flight making a slow landing in Dubai International Airport. Seeing that great icon of India his heart was filled with an untold feeling of security that his Motherland is only one flight away! His thoughts flew back to India where all his nostalgic tie-ups lie…

Sunil always dreamed of achieving something extraordinary. He looked into his inner within to see what he has achieved. Earlier he was dreaming of becoming rich and holding prestigious positions in the office. Now he realized that what he has achieved is much more than that… He has won the hearts of his friends, the two precious ones…

He thought with pride that his achievement is even more than winning a love; for love always accompanies a feeling of possession that makes it selfish. His feeling for his friends is completely selfless… He always wished to see his friends coming up in life and leading a happy life, happier than his own life..!

It is beautiful to have such a relationship where you don’t expect anything from each other. Good friends are always thoughtful to give without expecting anything in return. Life has a meaning when the fragrance of your presence gives at least some form of energy to others’ lives. It is only when you start to expect something back from a relationship that there is a chance of its failure. A good friendship is a lifelong relation not tied by the birth by God!

Life is after all a tenancy allowed by the Almighty to reside in this planet for an unknown time. At the end of the day, it would be rewarding to think of such wonderful relationships that we gracefully cherished during the active years of our living… It is worth thanking Him for this divine tenure…

Sunil reads Malayalam newspapers through internet everyday and felt shameful about the incidents of atrocities against women that happen every moment in India. Women are so precious in life, like his own friends. They have great hearts to love and care; much more than men could ever… If ever men wished to discover the boundless volume of love and care a friend in her can hold, the equations of relationships would’ve been completely different; and the earth would’ve been a heaven with infinite colours of beautiful friendships everywhere..!

Sunil went on with his imagination… In a few years down the road all of them would be having their own families and kids… On a fine vacation while travelling back to Kerala he would stop over in Bombay for a day or two to meet Maya, Varsha and their families… It would be a moment worth remembering for the rest of his life to introduce his ‘great old friends’ to his family, who once took care of him in the turbulent and fast moving city of Bombay..!

It slowly started getting dark. He remembered Varsha again. Varsha always wished to reach home before it is dark. Instinctively he got up and slowly started walking back to his apartment, as though driven by the force of her wish…

Editorial Team of Indian Ruminations.



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