It had often rained pink cotton candy. And perhaps tarts, sweets and chocolates. Who could forget the occasional pastries and cakes? And mom’s chocolate date pudding. And could she ever keep her hands off the raisin stained kheer?

Then the world turned around. Suddenly,  the buzz word was sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free. The focus on ‘the body’ as if we were all turning into show-stoppers in fashion fiestas. The word fit had a completely transformed meaning.

I saw Meeta grow up. We were great buddies. She had always been chubby. But the cries of fat-baby and St Bernard never troubled her. I called her Chubs, and she hated me for that. And I secretly envied how pretty she was – almond eyes and silky brown hair. Her skin reflected everything around, and was glowing as ever. And the best part – she had an angelic aura on her face.

However hard she tried, she could never lose the fat! But from deep within, it never bothered her. When we went to college together, she ended up getting guys fall head-over-heels for her, while I just looked on. Nobody could escape the charm of her beauty, and above all, her angelic soul.

She always helped people, going out of her way sometimes. Once, she had travelled twenty kilometers in a bus ride, when it was raining cats and dogs, just to give notes to her classmate who had left them on the desk and had an exam the following day. She never cared for political correctness. But that was not expected out of her, as she was always warm and nice to people.

When I walked with her in the college corridors, I felt like I was with a celebrity. Everyone starting from the garden keeper, to students of all classes, to the Principal and lecturers greeted her with such affection. She was indeed the star.

I am sitting in the hospital today. Holding Meeta’s hand. As I hear the sound of the drip, I am reminded of her laughter. They say, she was very brave. They say, she saved many lives. I don’t know what they say, but my friend here in the hospital. Her mother stood nearby, her eyes full of tears, her sari covering her face, and a bowl of kheer in her hands.

When Meeta opened her eyes, I held her hand. She just smiled. She called her mother by her side and tried wiping her tears with her shaky fingers. Then she put her mother’s hand on her head and said “I am going Ma, bless me.” She looked at me and gave her mother’s hand in mine. I knew what she meant.

As the doctors pulled the sheet over her head, I was still in shock. Her mother was hysterical weeping out her woes. “She had seen blind children crossing the road. She had got out of her car and helped them. A drunk driver was racing, and she saved the children, but..” I could imagine how it would have been. How Meeta had been brave. How she did what she wanted to in life. She gave this for you and in my hand was placed a sheet of paper.

“My dearest friend, you have to take care of mummy now. And never disappoint her with your fad diet plans, just eat the kheer she makes for you. I was diagnosed with cancer last year and I don’t know how much time I have left. But I would not want to die sulking in bed. I have refused the medication. I have no regrets in life, I have seen smiling children, people and done my part. I have donated my inheritance to blind school. I never told mummy about this, but I am sure you can explain it to her.

And don’t ever undermine yourself, live life to the fullest. And you are very beautiful, inside out, and I know it. Have a happy and fulfilling life.”

She had never really lived for herself, she never cared much about how she looked or what she ate. But she cared about the people around her, every single being. She often told me, she owed a lot to this world. Her mission was to spread happiness around. Anyone would have laughed that away, not understanding what she meant. But there are some people who are ‘God’s own’ and she was perfectly just that!



02/25/2010 2:20pm

Nice touching story !! though the end is tragic :-(

02/27/2010 9:58pm

Thanks Vimal. Ends are not always as expected.

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